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Crave Playlist | The Best Songs of 2017

Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, the XX and others made music great again in 2017.

Patrick Greenby Patrick Green
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images)

It’s been a hell of a year. Literally. As in dumpster fire. Thankfully, we were able to tune out and turn up new music that was inspiring, political, or just downright “Bodak Yellow”.

Also: Top Grammy Awards Performances of All-Time

It was hard to choose just 10 songs that personified the year in music, so I took an equal opportunity approach with my choices for Crave’s Best Songs of 2017, with a playlist that offers a little something for everyone. Enjoy and happy new year!!!

The xx – “I Dare You”

The achingly lovestruck British trio traded in dour for danceable on their I See You album, but the heart wants what it wants as the hopeless romantics prove with the insatiable “I Dare You”.

Vince Staples – “Rain Come Down”

A new age of hip hop has arrived with breakout stars rising up from the rap underground (Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, the late Lil Peep, to name a few), but Vince Staples is the one on my Best Songs of 2017 playlist because he doesn’t rely on the latest production gimmicks or made for meme choruses, but rather classic lyrical skills.

LCD Soundsystem – “Tonite” 


“Tonite” is like hearing from an old buddy whom you haven’t seen since their going away party when they moved to Williamsburg. Years later, they’re back — grayer, fatter and wiser, but still the life of the party.

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

There are so many great tracks on the instant classic Damn, but the opening single “HUMBLE.” encompasses all the power and glory in one chart topper, making it that rare piece of art that not only provokes, but can get the club turnt up.

Cherry Glazerr – “Told You I’d Be With The Guys”

Cherry Glazerr‘s Clementine Creevy makes music like she means it. With her lone wolf howls, shredding guitar jams and rock star swagger, the 19-year-old’s ode to female solidarity is not only a reminder of what real rock rock ‘n’ roll was, but can still be.

Portugal. the Man “Feel It Still” 

Few have doubted the talent of Portugal. the Man, but it’s hard to argue that the Portland band didn’t have an identifiable hit song. That all changed with “Feel It Still”, a song of the year contender that has seemingly appeared in more commercials than that Verizon/Sprint dude.

Tei Shi – “Keep Running”

This indie pop ingenue makes “mermaid music” in the vein of FKA Twigs and Rhye with a DIY sensibility reminiscent of Grimes.  

JAY-Z – 4:44

The hip hop icon’s title track off his best album in a decade, shows a more mature and personal side that reveals the man more than the myth. As hip hop becomes more about making that viral hit, it’s refreshing to hear someone grow by going smaller. 

Bonobo featuring Rhye – “Break Apart”
This is the modern equivalent of church music for a hipster atheist. Featuring the rapturous vocals of Rhye, the Grammy nominated producer takes us on a spiritual aural aerial journey.

Drake – “Passionfruit”

Drake may be one of the most polarizing music artists of his time, but the bearded Canadian can flat out make streaming-friendly songs that go Inception on you by weaving their way into your brain… and hips.