Pictured Above: "Dat $tick" - Rich Chigga (Award: Best Music Video)
I’m going to do my year end list a little differently. This starts with it being released well into 2017...
The following songs are the top 10 trap tracks of 2016. I didn’t do a countdown because all of these songs do different things equally well. Instead, I gave out individual awards like “Best Remix” and "Most Weird" etc. And I chose songs that differentiated themselves from the rest, not by bass level.
I also want to say that this is by all means a comprehensive and objective list. So when you think to yourself, “How could Anders not include [insert favorite song from 2016 here]”, remember that I, and only I, am the Trapkeeper, and the song you are thinking of is a trash pile.
You think Chainsmokers should be in this list? Wrong. You think DJ Snake had a top 10 trap track? Wrong. You think I didn’t hear, analyze and cross-compare every single trap track this year by waveform? Wrong (well I didn’t, but only because I didn’t take in daily track briefings).
Haters call out trap constantly for being uninventive and so forth and blah blah blah. But let me tell you, I alone can fix it, and it starts with this chart. That’s right. I’m draining the swamp. And you can tell those haters to go fuck themselves.
"Set Me Free (Atik Remix)" ft. Liz - Diplo
Award: Most Distinct Sound
Though I do wish Atik would start expanding his sound a bit more, there is no question it’s one of the most distinct sounds in the game. And in 2016, when everybody is hybrid-happy mashing everything together, being distinct really does say something.
"Light" - San Holo
It's just one beautiful track after the next for San Holo, one of the most inventive artists in music. From tracks with Jauz to interpretations of Clams Casino and so much else, he brings true artistry to everything he touches. So glad this strayed far enough into trap for me to include.
"Unicode" - div/div
Award: Best New Artist
One could list div/div as an "artist to watch in 2017," but this really can't wait. His track "Southpaw" was going to be in here, but when I went to grab the Soundcloud embed, I stumbled upon this new one. One listen was all I needed.
"Elastic Heart (METAHESH Remix)" - Sia
Award: Best Song From an Unknown Artist
Award: Best Song Removed From Soundcloud
What? Who?? How?!! Unknown Russian producers aren't supposed to make this chart over the NGHTMREs and Bro Safaris of the world, right??? I wouldn't have guessed it either, but this is one of my favorite trap tracks of the year. This goes to show it doesn't matter where you're from, or how much fame you have, you can still create a masterpiece.
"Never Be Like You" ft. Kai - Flume
Award: Best Original Song (Tie)
Flume has always been hard to define, and when he released Skin earlier this year, that was more apparent than ever. I loved the album, and "Never Be Like You" was something else altogether. I find myself listening to this no matter what mood I'm in, and I'm 100% fine with it being stuck in my head. It's not only one of my top "trap" tunes of the year, it's a personal all-time favorite.
"Kazoo Kid (Extended Trap Remix)" - Mike Diva
Award: Best Adaptation From Film
"Bad Boi" - Mr. Mermaid
Award: Most Weird
When I started compiling this list, it seemed impossible to pick just 10 songs. With so many brilliant tracks, how would I pick one over the other? Then I listened to "Bad Boi" and it hit me. The songs on this chart should be the ones that cause a real emotional reaction. I really didn't expect this song to end up here, but when I listened to it this week, I literally laughed out loud on the final drop. No other track had that effect on me this year, that I can tell you. #UnicornForm
"Elastic Heart (Diplo & ETC!ETC! VIP) - SIA
It doesn't take much for me to put a Sia track in here, but Diplo and ETC!ETC! really nailed this. Not only does it finally bring Diplo into the genre, the drop enrages every Chad and Trixie, every time.
"Death Row" - Party Thieves
Award: Best Debut EP
When UZ launched his new record label Hi Def Youth, he entrusted this man to make the first impression. And this man did not disappoint. I interviewed Party Thieves this summer and learned that there was a lot more than meets the eye and ear. Theft Army, Undrafted, For Jon... it all makes sense. Incredible story and incredible tune.
Short film paired with Wiwek's Free and Rebellious EP
Award: Best Short Film to be Paired With a Wiwek Record Featuring Skrillex
"Flood Up the Night (MYLK Remix ft. Miyoki)" - FEMM
MYLK and Miyoki bring so much to this track without drowning it out with bass. I considered a lot of songs from big names for this chart, but I realized that most of them were just overproduced drops (often of the exact same design). In other words, the music wasn't there, it was all drop. This on the other hand is trap music.
"Killa" ft. Elliphant - Wiwek and Skrillex
No mistaking this one when it comes on. Elliphant's "Killa, killa" call is about as iconic as it gets, and the drop lands with a heavy dose of both bass and originality. Signature Skrillex trapstep with a little Wiwek woogie. Better yet, it comes as part of an impressive short film (below), written and directed by Jonathan Desbiens.
"Vyzee (foxsky's DISTORT UR LIFE Bootleg) - Sophie
Award: Best Remix
Nobody's naming favorites here... but let me just say that this beat out the aforementioned Sia remix, Slander's "Love Again", Flume's "Heater" and more for my track of the week back in November. Actually, it was good enough for me to name track of the month back then, so who knows who else it bested. So unrelated to the source material I almost awarded it most original track. Right up there with AWE, div/div and Atik, Foxsky has some of the most inventive, hard-hitting tracks in electronic music.
"Her" - Vincent
Award: Best Original Song (Tie)
Seriously, this song. I included it in one of my first trap charts back in February and I couldn't agree more with what I wrote then. It really has stood out the entire year, and I can't see that ever changing. As I said in February, for anyone who thinks trap is shallow, have them listen to this. Absolutely stunning.
Party on y'all.