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2017’s Best New Music (Or 30 Songs To Keep You Woke in 2018)

This year has given us space to flex. We’ve been resilient through fear, strong through sadness, and creative through depression. And we couldn’t have done it without the artists whose music kept us strong through rough times and helped us remember the importance of doing it for the culture. 

After gathering advice from fans and friends, and a healthy amount of debate, we put together 30 of our favorite songs released in 2017. May they bring you strength and light as you greet the new year. 


Imanigold (April, Dominique, and Hillary)

Listen to our “30 Songs To Keep You Woke In 2018” playlist and follow us on Spotify. 

30. N.E.R.D. feat. Rihanna, “Lemon”

My 2018 reach goal is to do a song with Pharrell. So, if you got that direct line to lil Skateboard P… (And DAMN, he got badgirlriri sounding smooth as hell on this track. Praise!) —April

29. Ibeyi, “I Carried This For Years”

If you’re starting the year anew with no boo, listen to this while lighting pics of your ex on fire and by the time the drums kick in, your heart will have been ~cleansed~. —Hillary

28. Daniel Caesar, “Freudian”

I came for the philosophy but stayed for the slow jam beats. — Dominique

27. Lorde, “Writer in the Dark”

I live for an “I’m gonna love you forever even though we won’t work out in the long haul” type narrative. And Lorde does it so well. —Hillary

26. Frank Ocean, “Chanel”

A vulnerable and important, but straightforward, study on what it means to see both sides. He fucks with gender while almost-rapping code switched glimpses into what it’s like to be Frank Ocean. —Dominique

25. Moses Sumney, “Plastic”

Moses Sumney is my fat bowl of warm pho on a cold Friday night. —Hillary

24. Kesha, “Hunt You Down”

Tarantino didn’t come out with a new movie this year, so we looked elsewhere to satisfy our revenge fantasy cravings. And Kesha came through with an album bursting at the seams with anthems of justice. —April

23. Bjork, “Blissing Me”

Way to force us to end 2017 on a high note. We love you too Bjork. —Dominique

22. Kendrick Lamar, “DNA.”

When you want to feel like the most powerful person on the planet. —Hillary

21. Chloe x Halle, “Too Much Sauce”

I put the first 15 seconds on repeat when I’m on the elevator to work. Shameless. —Hillary

20. Cardi B. ft Messiah, “Bodak Yellow (Latin Trap Mix)”

The only thing better than “Bodak Yellow” is “Bodak Yellow,” but trap. —Dominique

19. Wild Ones, “Paresthesia”

This came out on October 6th, just two weeks before we released “Ride On.” Putting out our first single was terrifying, and “Paresthesia” was a warm blanket during some cold-ass weeks. —April

18. Jessie Boykins, “No Worry”

For all the rebels out there—with a cause, or not—this one’s for you. —April

17. Cosima, “Un-Named”

My 2017 riot grrrl anthem. —Hillary

16. Little Simz, “Picture Perfect”

The song that makes me feel cool when I’m making a chips and candy run. —Dominique

15. Lola Tried, “Steam”

Because sometimes it’s time to let go and sometimes it’s time to hold on. But it’s always time for Lola Tried. —April

14. Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”

She had me at the piano loop. But if you need any other reason to enjoy it, just look into the mirror and sing, “I just took a DNA test, turns out, I’m 100% that bitch even when I’m crying crazy.” You’ll get it. —Hillary

13. Kari Faux, “Facetious”

kari faux
“Why are you calling?” It’s 2017, who calls anymore? And more importantly—why? (And how too, tbh.) —Dominique

12. Now, Now, “SGL”

nn sgl
For when I’m feeling super gay (most of the time), and super angsty (all the time). So, yeah, this is my most played song of 2017.  —April

11. Rayana Jay, “Everything”

This song was meant for your shoulders to dance to. Let them free! —Hillary

10. St. Beauty, “Caught”

caught st beauty
If we learned anything this year it’s that black women continue to hold it down even as others run around like decapitated chickens. With this mellow banger, St. Beauty nailed the “reclaiming my time” anthem. —April

9. Leikeli47, “Miss Me”

In 2017, I realized when a mesmerizing queen rolls through town, people are gunna stare and throw flowers, swoon, et cetera. But mostly, a queen is a queen is all about herself; a queen has no time for your bullshit. —Dominique

8. SZA, “Supermodel”

The award for providing the most feels in 2017 def goes to SZA. But you already knew that. —Hillary

7. Xetas, “The Gaze”

With “Beauty and the Beast” considered the pinnacle of wokeness, apparently, we need songs about the male gaze now as much as we needed them in the early 90’s. And Xetas gives us the perfect fuck the patriarchy soundtrack to drown out the bullshit. —April

6. Bosco, “Adrenaline”

Watching Bosco on her come-up has been one of the great joys of 2017. —April

5. Angel Haze, “No Limits”

 I appreciate this song for being an underrated pump-up anthem this year. Long live the Angel Haze experience! —Hillary  

4. Ivy Sole, “My Way”

There was some stiff competition this year for beachy jams, but this song stole my mermaid’s heart. —Hillary

3. Princess Nokia, “Tomboy”

Catch me walking into 2018 head held high, flaunting “my little titties and my fat belly.” —Hillary

2. Yo Gotti feat. Nicki Minaj, “Rake It Up”

Women are getting paid! The pro sex-worker song 2017 needed. —Dominique

1. Cosmo Pyke, “Chronic Sunshine”

When “Ride On” producer William Baker turned on “Chronic Sunshine” during a session, it was one of those “okay, I see you” moments. Cosmo is the best of jazz guitar and r&b vocals, with sincere lyric writing that brings warmth to dark days. —April