Call it spontaneity or luck or just good, old-fashioned ingenuity, but when a music track hits the right chord with a moment in life, the result is pure magic. Such is the case with several music-related moments in 2017: when life met sound in perfect harmony. There were numerous examples to choose from, but we picked a few of our favorites to share with you.
When Artists Debuted New Music
In September, Chance the Rapper was slated to perform a song off his new album Coloring Book for Stephen Colbert and the Late Show. Instead, he seized the opportunity to bring on Daniel Caesar and rap a new song that hadn’t even been titled yet. Colbert’s face lit up with glee when he realized the moment, and it’s hardly been washed off since.
Or what about when the Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga, filled in for expectant mother Beyonce at Coachella and released a song called “The Cure” to a sea of adoring fans? Gaga had already made her musical mark on 2017 by bringing her eclectic mix of sound and energy to the halftime performance at the Super Bowl, but this surely ranks up there in terms of sheer power.
When Artists Reflected On Old Music
Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, is many things – businessman, rapper, father, and pioneer – but it’s perhaps his new role as a reflectant, middle-aged husband that best epitomized his role in 2017. Sure, he had had several “comebacks” already, like in 2003 and 2013, but it wasn’t until the release of 4:44 this year that we truly got to appreciate Jay-Z for the man that he is. One of his shorter albums at 36 minutes, his new 2017 album packs an emotional punch with statements about regret, guilt, and family that leave you craving more from the renaissance man.
When Artists Channelled Their Pain
Demi Lovato is no stranger to emotionally=charged songs, but her most recent album Tell Me You Love Me is full of lines about romance and relationships that resonate with most of us. A song called “Daddy Issues” relates the story of unrequited love from a non-committal boyfriend, while “Ruin the Friendship” talks about the pain of trying to become more than friends with someone special. Most people might not have the chops to pull it off, but Lovato’s sound and energy come through in full force.
Annie Clark, (better known by her stage name St. Vincent) is another veteran emotional harbinger, and her album entitled Masseduction begins with a track called “Los Angeless” that is filled with references to either a lost lover or the dog-eat-dog nature of Los Angeles itself. On the other hand, it could be a more current song discussing the recent sexual harassment charges that are being uncovered almost daily by those in Hollywood. Regardless if it’s about one or all of those things, the chorus demands attention and sweeps you away into a sea of lust.
When Music Gets Current
When Funkmaster Flex invited Black Thought onto his radio station, nobody was prepared for what would follow: a nine-minute freestyle rap that shreds the current state of hip-hop in more ways that you can count. It’s one of those songs that you can’t help but listen to, analyze, and then listen to again in hopes of capturing the true essence of music.
Alternatively, what happens when it’s not a veteran reflecting on the current state of music but a genuine rags-to-riches story of a former stripper turned reality star turned rapper named Cardi B? Her song “Bodak Yellow” took the world by storm, and became only the second female rapper in history to sit atop the Billboard charts with a song that didn’t have a guest feature. How’s that for memorable?