Top 10 Tracks – July 2020


Jackson Wyatt, Digital Editor-in-Chief

With a global pandemic raging on, social movements advancing and political parties falling deeper and deeper into disarray, creature comforts seem more important than ever before. Change is happening all around us, and where there is pain or discomfort, music is often a salve. This month’s best tracks cannot promise total relief against any situation, but at times like these, they sure help. May they find you in good health and a confident mindset.



Shooting down from above at lightning speed, ‘GOTHAM’ sees East-Coast rapper TOKYO’S REVENGE split the earth open upon impact. Lyrically, he compares himself to the titular city’s hero, Batman, through his violent yet lavish lifestyle, balancing robberies and shootouts with expensive cars and designer outfits. Cloaked in a midnight-black curtain of grinding bass and spitting out every word with a burning passion, TOKYO’s intensity on ‘GOTHAM’ is beyond impressive; it is superhuman.


  1. Smino, JID & Kenny Beats, ‘Baguetti’

Two heavy-hitters of the current rap game meet up on ‘Baguetti’, a slick, smooth-flowing powerhouse of a track showcasing the best of Smino, JID and in-demand producer Kenny Beats. Over rumbling 808 hits and a warped guitar loop, the pair trade off ruminations of past relationships and their statuses in the music world, alternating between rapping and crooning. The finesse of ‘Baguetti’ is how seamless they pull everything off, appearing as if they are barely flexing a muscle while dropping one of this year’s best collaborations. Magnifique.


  1. Cindy, ‘Justin’

Cloaked in a technicolor haze and waves of reverb, singer Cindy’s new track is a uniquely enigmatic affair. For starters, ‘Cindy’ does not exist; she is a conceptual character made up by artists Kai Hugo and Blue LoLãn. Their attempt at capturing the sappy highs of teenage life are more than successful here, as ‘Justin’ sounds like a whole universe packed into the staticy confines of an old car radio. The resulting track is so warming that there is no way it could be anything but real.


  1. MadeinTYO feat. A$AP Ferg, ‘Square B****’

Riding in on an eerie, pitch-shifted melody, rapper MadeinTYO’s ‘Square B****’ is as serious as a warning can get. While he does not employ much subtlety with the chorus, MadeinTYO makes sure to set the line for the song’s subject, telling him to simply shut up and back off before hip-hop heavyweight A$AP Ferg comes in with an excellent verse. It stands as ‘Square B****’‘s crowning centerpiece, a knock-out feature buoyed by the wonderfully dark, low-riding production. With a song this catchy, it is hard to shut up about it.


  1. Dorian Electra, ‘Give Great Thanks’

The always tongue-in-cheek Dorian Electra provides another subversive banger with ‘Give Great Thanks’, a clever, raunchy hyper-ballad that is just as perverse as it is sweet. Over a gradually intensifying instrumental, Electra sings to their partner about committing completely, demonstrating their loyalty while getting intimate with the details. It may be blush-inducing, but that is only in benefit to ‘Give Great Thanks’, a track that shows how good being bad can really be.


  1. glaive, ‘pissed’ 

Anger is turned into catharsis on North Carolina singer glaive’s ‘pissed’, an explosive light-show of a track that turns romantic woes and mental health into two destroyed punching bags. glaive sings about his anger like it is the only thing propelling him forward, distorted by vocal effects and crunchy bass into a speaker-destroying stream. Clocking in at just under two minutes, too, ‘pissed’ may be a short burst of energy, but it gives enough of a buzz to have you coming back again and again.


  1. Boldy James & The Alchemist feat. The Cool Kids & Shorty K, ‘Pots and Pans’

The spirit of old-school is alive and well on Detroit rapper Boldy James’ ‘Pots and Pans’, a back-to-basics, no-hook cut held up by each of the featured rappers’ powerhouse performances. Over producing legend The Alchemist’s funky, dust-flecked drum beat, flexes and stories are laid out one by one, making a frayed tapestry of tense drug deals and lavish rewards. All in all, ‘Pots and Pans’ is hip-hop at its best, a confident piece of storytelling that is hard to the core and enjoyable to the very end.


  1. Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver, ‘exile’

Out of all the expectations for July, Taylor Swift releasing a surprise folk-pop album was not one of them. An even bigger shock was just how natural the stylistic departure sounded, and there is no better example than the emotional battering ram that is ‘exile’. Disheartened piano chords and orchestral flourishes underscore lyrics that fully encompass the mourning of a failed relationship, with the pair comparing their loss of each other to being banished from one’s homeland. It is a cutting metaphor indeed, and on ‘exile’, Swift shows just how deep she can really go.


  1. Deema, ‘SE4’

Grimy as a big-city sidewalk and buzzing with nerve, South London rapper Deema uses ‘SE4’ to flex his skills, discredit haters and satirize the government all in one track. It may sound like a tall order, but Deema does not break a sweat, flowing over the speaker-knocking beat to make ‘SE4’ an ambitious banger that always demands another listen. With this much confidence, who are we to deny him?


  1. Future Islands, ‘For Sure’

Everything seemingly falls into its right place on Baltimore synthpop band Future Islands’ ‘For Sure’, a wistful track that seems to comfort the listener like a knowing hug. Frontman Samuel T. Herring lets loose his wonderfully rugged voice over the driving instrumental, flanked by gauzy synths and rising harmonies as he sings about putting his faith into someone’s destiny. He sings, I will never keep you from just who you are”. The sentiment alone is comforting, but altogether, ‘For Sure’ is this month’s brightest fragment of sunshine.


(All sources from featured artists’ Genius and Spotify pages)


For more track reviews:

Top 10 Tracks – June 2020

Top 10 Tracks – May 2020

Top 10 Tracks – April 2020