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25. Loose Kaynon & AQ ft Blaqbonez- Off Black: We all saw the tweet, Blaqbonez had acquired the cheat code to trap music, his performance here was the tip of the proverbial iceberg that was his debut album.

Solid performance and a perfect way to show the world that there was more to you than rappity rap. Blaqbonez ridiculously straddles the borders of mumble and cloud rap to inject some color into the at times overly serious CROWN.

24. Tempo featuring PsychoYP — Blessing: Sadly slept on, but do yourself a favour, get on this now! It is the psychedelic drum-heavy song you want to accompany you on a road trip, but quick advise; don’t be on any substance as it will definitely be an overdose — no one needs to have all that sauce.

23. T.I featuring Watch The Duck — Big Ol’ Drip: An underrated soul themed hook from the soulful lips of a soul brother, dishing out doles of boiled up class to fill the holes on a song with amidst a bowl of masterful flows by the legendary TIP.

22. The Carters — 713:What does a great hook do? Does it allow you take a break from fire vocals and verses to catch your breath, while you prepare for the next batch of lyrical onslaught? Or does it sound typically like Beyoncé rubbing her awesomeness in your face, yet still taking you back to the old school days when classics were actually “classics”.

I would think a great hook can come in any form but when JAY-Z and Beyoncé come together, even their sneeze can suffice as a great hook. Personally, their Joint Album, “Everything is Love”felt a bit underwhelming to me. But when the song “713" came on, amidst JAY-Z ever so familiar braggadocious rapping about his watches and whatnot, it was a relieve to hear a familiar symphony in the form of a more angelic (because Beyoncé is an angel) rendition of the Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg classic “Still DRE”. So, this was one of my best for 2018 purely for sentimentalreasons. Sadly, I never went past the hook, since I had to pause the song and rush to go download the actual classic that inspired it.-Mifa (@Mifaunuagbo_)

21. Young Thug featuring Elton John — High: What Elton John wants to do, he does and it’s always class

20. Tory Lanez — Shooters: Using the voice as an instrument with the aid of the auto tune is a well documented angle in music making.

What Tory manages to do on shooters is create moments that we thought only Travis and Future could conjure up.

19. Wiz Khalifa — Holyfield: The most underrated hook of 2018 with the trippy bounce of Wiz Khalifa when he is in the mood for hits like he was on “Black and Yellow”, “No Sleep” or “We Dem Boyz” but this time, it’s slower an more methodical — growth.

18. Cardi B — Money Bag: If rapped hooks were gourmet, Cardi B would be a chef on a food truck and cook tour across the southern roads of continental United States of America. Shout-out to Michael Favreau — go figure.

17. Sess featuring Poe and Shank — Smooth Operator — Hook by Sess: A lot of people didn’t listen to one of the most underrated projects of the year from an acclaimed Lawyer turned music producer. The hook was also interestingly done by him and he duly delivered, to an extent that celebrities craved being on the song.

16. Paybac — Mamiwater Song: Sample of an old song and the story of a twisted love affair that mirrored the classic hide and seek quest that never seems to have an end.

If samples made song better, this beat made the sample better like the song got new life.

15. BOJ and Ajebutter22 — Tungba :Whenever BOJ and Ajebutter22 hop on a track, you can be rest assured that they are going to body it. These guys kill everything from intro, to verse, to hook, to outro. All these while making music that’s easy on the ears. On this particular song, the duo took turns delivering what can only be described as audio morphine.

The hook is in fact so smooth; it could pass for actual playbook lines. Shout out to the producer for laying the soft beat on it’s back so the lines can go in easily (no pun intended). The body of work is great and we definitely look forward to more songs from these guys. — Charles (@__hassani)

14. Remy Baggins and Eri Ife — YLLW:The hook on this one is beautiful, it brings a unique vibe that is almost nostalgic in the way it makes you feel years younger. These youngsters join the growing list of artistes who will expand the versatility of style in the Nigerian music industry by going the other way with their style in a land of the Shakus and Zankus and their sorts.

The hook is simple enough, yet elegant and that to me, is the selling point. Furthermore, the play on the word and colour “yellow” is interesting and indulging. I might have to get a yellow bere… let me stop here before the entire team gets beaten up. Give it a listen if you haven’t already.-Charles (@__hassani)

13. M.I ft Terry Apala — Jiggy: The mad man, MI and the Nigerian king of internalized mumble rap collide to give us vibes for days on a song that chats ass as much as the jiggling of it all — no lies when we say that everyone craves a twerking session to this song.

12. McSkill ThaPreacher featuring Freeborn — Trust The Process: The musings of a true songbird with the freedom to express her peak power on the powerful vibes of introspect on wax with the verses of finding light in a struggle that only seemed to get more tricky for a Hiphop vet, on his 9th project and critical acclaim but without the pop star success. Freeborn definitely mad magic happen with her quips of assurance of a better tomorrow no matter how hard it is.

11. Post Malone- Rockstar: I am no fan of the sing-rap approach to hip-hop by most of these new cats and to be honest, Post Malone might probably be the only “white boy” that I still don’t know if I like. I might revisitthat some other time. But for now, I select the hook for Rockstar as one of my best for the simple reason that it was catchy. I first heard the song, having caught a glimpse of its “Kill Bill” esque video on MTV at a certain time this year and I was drawnto the catchy vibes. I take nothing away from the verses by both Post Malone and 21-Savage, but the hook was, in my opinion,the best part of the whole song. This was one of the best hooks for 2018 and I can put aside my grudge with singing rappers to say this.

10. Poe ft Efya- Voices. For a longtime, Hip-hop verses needed an RnB feature to temper it’s perceived harshness or to aid accessibility.

So often was the formula repeated that it soon became a stale label ploy. More importantly, in certain collaborations, it would be pointless to classify who was moderate or extreme. Voices is a perfect example of this. Poe isn’t rapping aggressively on Voices but he is declaring nonetheless and so is Efya. She manages to capture the message of the song in 7 sentences, perfection if you ask me.

9. Olamide- Motigbana: When you hear ‘Shabalistica!!!’, you know its going to be a hit. This excerpt is about the hook on Motigbana but I cannot deny that Killer Tunez the genius who produced this track provides the Xfactor for it’s success. Its amazing to see that Olamide sticks with the time easily, he’s definitely going to feed us with more hits and catchy hooks in 2019.-Dominic (@Durhminick)

8. SDC Ft Burna Boy- Legend: Burna Boy’s masterful hook for “Legend,” was both of genre flexibility and adaptation, that it fused instantly with the trumpets and the verses.

7. KSG-Reborn: Upon every listen, the hook on Reborn brings with it a certain form of fulfillment and enrichment tied to every melody. Kid Cudi let Kanye share the spotlight on an otherworldly stage that clearly belonged to him. Kanye, unsurprisingly, didn’t fail to live up to the expectations that I had from the first time I heard the melodic sound of the piano. Reborn was easily a fan favorite from Kid See Ghosts eponymous album when it dropped and deservedly so, because this joint in my opinion is the highlight of the album. -Dominic (@Durhminick)

6. Pusha T- Games we play: I don’t care what your man crush, whose rap name start with the letter “D” says, but PUSHA T is as much a drug lord as he is a rapper. Personally, I believe that man has either worked for Pablo Escobar in some other life, we do not know about or took lesson with his kids or something.

Trust me, no one can tell me that after listening to Pusha T for all these years, you wouldn’t agree that he has not mastered the art of rapping about drugs and carefully juxtaposing the subject matter with whatever current struggles he sees fit. I’m just saying, if Pusha T gets busted sometime in the future for being part of (or running) a cartel, I’d not be surprised.

Well, enough about drugs cartels and let’s see why I feel like Pusha’s hook on the song “The Games We Play”, off his recent Grammy nominated album “DAYTONA” was one of the best for the year 2018. Oh, did I say, ”let’s see”, pfft, my bad — silly me. There is nothing to see people. Why? Chances are if you have listened to the track, you’d understand that the hook didn’t feel like a hook at all: it was a perfectly blended cocktail that flowed smoothly with the almost freestyle-ish verses, detailing quotable lessons about cocaine peddling, whilst still dishing out ample forewarning to your “ex niggas” to not lay claim to the kind of dough they’d dream to have but could never make. This hook was one of the best for 2018 simply because it didn’t even feel like one.- Mifa (@Mifaunuagbo_)

5. 2face ft Peruzzi— Amaka: Simple and catchy choruses haven’t disappointed 2baba in the decades since he’s been making music and they didn’t in 2018.

4. Teni- Wait: From the moment I heard Wait I knew that Teni was going to be a star. Released in a very eventful and successful year for Teni, the hook on wait encapsulates the feel good factor and relatability present in all of her songs.-Dominic (@Durhminick

3. Burna Boy- Ye: The refrain and hooks on our De facto national anthem come together to form the jewel on Burna’s crown. The different Ye, the chorus housing this generation’s iteration of “body no be firewood”.

2. Drake — God’s Plan: The makings of a great man and the powers of a man on a mission, Drake not only produced one of the most resonant acts of 2018, he made a point of making great things happen with his pop star status and a slang for celebratory self-empowerment.

  1. Pusha T ft 070 Shakes — Santeria: Santeria was already a gloomy song, a dirge-cum-triumphant boast delivered through raps, but 070 shakes chorus is the chilling medium that sends Pusha’s verse to Devon.

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Urban Central

Urban Central

Urban Central is the Internet Magazine for the millennial mind, focused on the issues that matter for an evolving generation. Do follow us, Urban Central.

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