Christmas has just gone, and we’re coming to the end of the year so it’s the right time to look back. In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas here’s the 12 videos of the year by month.
Now just before I get started I had to put some rules in place for this to be fair. I only chose songs which have official video releases. That means no picture videos on random accounts, or tracks solely on projects. The next rule was that I wasn’t going to repeat lead artists in order to show just how many people had a good year. However an artist could feature more than once on the list but only as a featured artist. This means although people like J Hus, Stormzy, Yxng Bane and more have been killing it throughout the year – they will only be featuring as the lead artist once on this list. Beyond trying to keep diversity I felt that the impact of tracks had to play a big role too. So although there were other good songs in each month sometimes one song just connected with the audience more.
January: Yxng Bane – Shape Of You
What a way to the start the year. Yxng Bane smashed it with his remix of Ed Sheeran‘s huge track Shape Of You. That Afro-Swing style perfectly complimented the instrumental. Although the video itself is kept pretty simple, the catchiness of the track keeps you coming back. Also big up the other artists who had huge songs that month in the form of Dave & J Hus‘ on Samantha, and Harlem Spartans with Kennington Where It Started. They say start as you mean to go on which all these artists certainly did this year.
February: Lotto Boyzz – No Don
Now this one was difficult, and it was only month two. Avelino dropped Energy which got featured in the FIFA 18 campaign, 67 dropped #WAPS, Skepta had No Security, Nines and J Hus dropped a video to High Roller. That’s not all C Biz fresh from beating a case dropped visuals to Buzz. But the real difficulty was choosing between two absolute beasts Lotto Boyzz and Don E & Nado. Lotto Boyzz dropped the visuals to what was probably their breakout track No Don in February. Don E & Nado dropped the absolute banger that is You Alright Yh?. Ultimately, there could only be one winner – Lotto Boyzz. Although Don E and Nado made a splash in the underground with a track that would still shut down raves now, Lotto Boyzz track propelled them into the limelight and was played everywhere in the U.K. in clubs and on radio.
March: J Hus – Did You See
This was actually one of the easiest choices on the list. J Hus with Did You See is arguably the track of the year. When it dropped you couldn’t stop hearing it if you tried, it was just everywhere. Little needs to be said about the track when it beats out competition like: Young T & Bugsey Ft. Belly Squad – Gangland, Kojo Funds – Warning, Mist – Hot Property, and SL – Gentlemen.
April: Afro B Ft. Yxng Bane – Juice & Power
Yxng Bane back at it again, and not for the last time on this list. This time in support of Afro B for the hit Juice & Power. The track was aptly named because it really does have the power and juice it boasts. A catchy hook and solid production made it an easily accessible, but more importantly, likable track. Personally it’s biggest competition that month was from Harlem Spartans who dropped Darling Pardon around the same time. But also shout out to Lethal Bizzle & Skepta for I Win and Kojo Funds with Fear No One,.
May: MoStack – Ussy Ussy
Approaching the middle of the year we had a couple of big tunes coming out. J Hus dropped his video to Common Sense, but J Hus already has a month. But one of the most notable for May was Skrapz return with a very clean visual with Enemies, which started his campaign for Different Cloth. However the song for this month had to be MoStack with his cheeky, uptempo track Ussy Ussy which narrowly beats Ghetts Ft. Shakka – Know My Ting for the month.
June: Not3s – Aladdin
Now June was a tough month to release a track. We got: Hardy Caprio Ft. One Acen – Unsigned, Not3s – Aladdin, Yungen Ft. Yxng Bane – Bestie, MoStack Ft. Mist – Screw & Brew. That’s not even including some more cult hits like Lancey Foux – Left Home and Fredo – Like That. With so much competition this was one one of, if not the, toughest month to choose from. Bestie was probably the biggest track in terms of where it reached, but the song wasn’t that good. The best aspect of it was the Yxng Bane feature. Unsigned was big bit Aladdin is even bigger than it, it still gets plays today. As such had to give it to Not3s with Aladdin, although the songs I personally played the most were Left Home and Screw & Brew.
July: Dave – Tequila
July things cooled down a little bit, the biggest thing going on was P Money vs Dot Rotten. So of course I had to consider a track from that. Although the best track from that was Dot Rotten – Steak Bake, Dot took all his videos down. As such the track from the beef had to be P Money – Liars In The Booth as the video also features a second track. Lotto Boyzz dropped Birmingham and J Hus gave us the Spirit visuals. But Dave stole the show in dropping the much anticipated Tequila, which he had previewed in his LA Leakers freestyle.
August: Jorja Smith x Preditah – On My Mind
This month was another back and forth decision making process. The song I heard the most (not by choice…at first) was Mabel Ft. Kojo Funds – Finders Keepers. I heard it so much it even started to grow on me a bit. But the song that came from nowhere and stole the month away was Jorja Smith x Preditah – On My Mind. It competed with the likes of Hardy Caprio – Supersoaker, Abra Cadabra – Art Of War, Wretch 32 Ft. Kojo Funds, Donae’o – Whistle, and Chip Ft. Giggs – Amazing Minds. The track was just so unexpected and catchy it would be hard not to have picked it.
September: Sneakbo Ft. Giggs – Active
This months winner was actually very clear despite being a pretty competitive month. Two of the first wave of underground artists that made U.K. rap start to break into the limelight Giggs & Sneakbo linked up. This was iconic more than just on the music side and showed the way music allows people to move past destructive and conflicted pasts. Additionally the track Active got featured on FIFA 18 so its quite clear why it had to take the month. Other big tracks that came out in September were: Ramz – Barking, Krept & Konan – Wo Wo Wo, Carns Hill Ft. K Trap, Youngs Teflon & 67 – Check This, and One Acen – Verified.
October: Big Shaq – Mans Not Hot
This entry started out as a joke, I was going to put the track in for comedic value but realistically it had to win. It beats out tracks like Dave – Question Time, Krept & Konan Ft. Stormzy – Ask Flipz, and even Skrapz Ft. Chip – High Spec! The fact it does this is actually testament to the tracks genius and why it’s taken the world by storm. Likely the U.K. video with the most views (excluding people like Adele) on over 130 million at the time of writing. The song has taken over so much a lot of us forgot that it wasn’t the original and that it sampled the 67 and Giggs hit Lets Lurk.
November: Giggs Ft. Donae’o – Linguo
As much as Dave Ft. MoStack – No Words really was the tune of the month as it was a fresh release, both artists took a month for themselves already so it had to be left out. As such the competing tracks were Fredo – Change, and Giggs Ft. Donae’o – Linguo. Although Fredo – Change was very big, it even got commercial radio plays, it still felt underground. Honestly I’m happy Giggs dropped a video because he really deserves recognition for what he’s done this year and dropping visuals to this fun, party track capped off his extremely successful year.
December: Stormzy – Blinded By Your Grace Pt.2
A nice way to close out the year is with Stormzy‘s Blinded By Your Grace Pt.2 video. It came at the right time just before Christmas and this almost gospel track gained huge traction. It’s only right that Stormzy got a month as he dropped his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer which had more than a few bangers on there. Other notable tracks so far in December are Carns Hill Ft. K Trap, LD, Asap, Blade Brown – Big Business and Avelino – 1 In A Million.
All in all you can see just from the tracks mentioned that 2017 was an absolutely huge year for music. Hopefully it just shows signs of greater things to come in 2018. Take in the tracks enjoy the closing days of 2017 and be ready for what’s coming next.