Top 89 of 2019: The Message

Top 89 of 2019
Top 89 of 2019 (MPR Graphic)

The votes are in! They've been tabulated. Here is The Message's Top Ten songs of 2019

From Sean McPherson


Thank you for joining us in our first full calendar year as a show. I've had so much fun discovering the music Sanni loves and the music our community of listeners turns us on to.

Here are a couple personal highlights from the list:

Rapsody / Ibtihaj - I had the chance to catch Rapsody live for the first time in my life when she came through town opening up for Big K.R.I.T. at The Varsity. It cemented my love of what Rapsody does. She's already been nominated for a Grammy, made a cameo on one of the most celebrated rap albums of all time (How to Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick), but I still feel like this year and the response to Eve is a breakthrough moment in her career. I have certainly never doubted Rapsody's rapping ability, but this is the first record of hers I simply can't put down. And the song that gets the most repeats is definitely Ibtihaj.

Muja Messiah / Like Yesterday - Three local artists showed up on this countdown (that's if you count Lizzo local, and as a member of the Twin Cities media world I am required to pretend that Lizzo is simply visiting Los Angeles). It warms my heart that we have musicians coming out of the Twin Cities who are delivering music that belongs alongside the best from around the world. Muja Messiah has that type of pedigree and he keeps on churning out spectacularly conceived records. I was able to catch Muja's release party for this album mere moments after I got off the air at the Current, and I got to Minneapolis with such deliberate speed because I wanted to see what he and DJ Mickey Breeze had in store. The energy in Pimento was incredible, and it's all because Muja is making compelling music at a point in his career where a lot of his agemates have tapped out. He can still bring it live, still sounds great on record and finds new ways to present his work.

Sampa the Great / Final Form - Sampa the Great will coming to the Twin Cities on April 4th at the Turf Club and I am tempted to start Xing off the days until she arrives. Her rapping on Final Form is just perfect. It is not wildly complicated but it weaves in so well with the beat that she makes the beat even funkier than it already was. THAT IS NOT EASY! The Message would love to take credit for all the great hip-hop and R&B on the Current, but that's not always the case. I heard this song for the first time on David Safar's show, New Hot, and I immediately knew it would be a fit on the Message. I imagine my fandom for Sampa is going to get even deeper when I get the chance to catch her live. It's only about 111 sleeps until Sampa comes to Minnesota.

From Sanni Brown


The music industry changed this year...in a very feminine way. The amount of Feminine expression I witnessed this year in Hip-Hop and R&B really gave me hope for the future of both genre's because the art that these Women shared with us this year made a good amount of people feel uncomfortable in one way or another. Good Art has that effect.

For me, these Women expressed a very real, raw, and unadulterated image and message of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-expression that I don't think I've witnessed since the Women Rappers/Entertainers of the 90's (I.E. Salt-N-Pepa, Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton). They gave us emotion. They gave us heart-stopping lyrics and visuals that's MOST CERTAINLY going to raise the bar for this next decade.

Nicole Bus - There is SOOOOO much emotion in the song "You." I actually get goosebumps whenever it comes on. It's that powerful for me. The stats say that the song is tied for the fastest debut single to reach the Billboard Adult R&B Songs charts...so I know I'm not the only one who feels this song. There is something raw and real about her voice...the raspy yet powerful vocals reminds us that real R&B hasn't lost its footing in the music industry. She's signed with Roc Nation because they know what's up. Can't wait to see what she does with her career.

Megan Thee Stallion - A Beauty with Bars. I love her freestyles! I love that she doesn't JUST twerk. She also shows that she's invested in her education...and she's GOT BARS!! She's also a firecracker! There are multiple sides to her and it's fun watching her break through sexist stereotypes about how Women who are comfortable in their own skin should or shouldn't act. Welcome to the party, Megan!

Lizzo - She Twerks & Flutes. She sings and raps. She does too much and she knows it...but that's part of the reason she's come this far! She KNOWS she can be too much for some people...she knows that it makes people uncomfortable but she doesn't let that stifle her. Whether you like her or not, how could that NOT inspire you? Think about a time you were geeked about something and some Negative Nancy comes along and tries to make you feel weird about being happy? That's how I feel about Lizzo. She's (rightfully) geeked about reaching her goals that she's worked so hard for and she's processing that in a way that may make people feel uncomfortable...and she doesn't GAF. That's inspiring.

What I also like about Lizzo is that she put in the work. PERIOD. When I see the footsteps of her story through the hallways of The Current...when I study the music I DIDN'T know about... I KNOW she got it out the mud (I.E. this is a hood way of saying she started from the bottom.) She's been homeless. She's been depressed. She's invested blood, sweat, and tears into her dream and to watch her come into her shine is VERY, VERY inspiring to me and I KNOW FOR A FACT millions of other Women.

Vote now: Top 89 of 2019

The Current Staff's Top 89 of 2019

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