Songs That Stayed With Me In 2018

As is my tradition as the end of the year nears, here are the songs that stayed with me in 2018.

It is a mix of songs everyone knows, like the marvelous All The Stars from the Black Panther soundtrack (which will be a 30sec sample unless you are a paying subscriber to SoundCloud) to little known gems like the starter track and the ending track. It features the biggest musical stars of the moment like Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, and lesser known artists that I love like Doja Cat, Little Simz, Sampa The Great, and Grapetooth.

It has a healthy dose of SoundCloud rap, in the middle of the playlist, because I probably listened to more of that this year than anything else. But I’ve included a number of genres, from hip hop, to electronic, to R&B, to alternative/indie, and a few tracks that defy categorization.

With that, here are the songs that stayed with me in 2018:

#My Music

Comments (Archived):

  1. Shalabh

    Thanks, Fred! I miss your tumblr music blog.

    1. fredwilson

      me too

  2. Richard

    Or just listen to the album Gasoline alley by j Rod Stewart

    1. fredwilson

      you are stuck in the 70s!!!!

  3. Justin Fyles

    Man that Phosphorescent song is catchy. Heard it on the radio the other day and immediately put it on all my playlists.Just saw Hop Along live last night, which reminded me of how much I liked that album too.

    1. tatum_thomas

      justinfyles more

  4. LE

    This is a really nice list of songs. The soundcloud embed works really well for reviewing the list. Interesting to me that the listen count runs anywhere from only 126 for the last song (Sometimes I wanna Dance by Lonnie Holiday) to over 55m for 16yr old which is explicit but isn’t listed as explicit. [1] Why? I wondered how the copyright works (payment and legal wise) with the song that features Elton John.So I go get the answer (like I said music is not my thing I had never even heard of Young Thug):Elton John has loved Young Thug ever since he heard one of his songs on Beats 1, and itโ€™s a story of serendipity how the two came to be on the same track…[1] Actually there is 62.5m for Famous Dex

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      I recently heard my son playing some tune that sounded like a remix of Sting and wondered how they were able to sample Sting without copyright infringement, but slacker that I am, never looked it up.

      1. LE

        What bugs me about all of this (because everything just kind of bugs me) is this general notion of creativity and arts shifting to the point where most things don’t appear to actually be distinctive in any way but more or less random and attracting an audience because they are highlighting the art’s existence.This is really happening with all types of artistic endeavors. Like we all know so much of art in galleries or being sold for real money is random and lacks talent and creativity. Ditto for music. Honestly it takes more actual talent to design a kitchen or renovate a house and pick things that have a nice feel or look.You know if you watch a good movie or series (say on Netflix) you think to yourself ‘wow this is really good I’d never be able to do that! That is creative!’ Ditto for most music done years ago in the established (and hated) talent system. This has nothing to do with whether you personally enjoy the music or not either. Just the lyrics and the music is not random and it’s not something that anyone could do (lyrics or melody).Here is talent. Belinda Carlisle (1986; 2001; 2018) same song still popular. Songs today? Let’s see if they are popular 35 years later.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Well, I’m not sure Belinda Carlisle is the best example but I get your drift.There are other newer artists/bands these days who are amazing. Everyone has their own taste in music — mine varies widely, though not into popular culture/mainstream music much these days. Here are some of the best bands I saw in the last couple of years:Darlingside –…David Wax Museum –…Gangstagrass (Bluegrass Hip Hop. Sounds crazy but it’s awesome!) –…Kitty, Daisy & Lewis –…The Marcus King band –…Ozomatli –…Pimps of Joytime –…Samantha Fish –…Southern Soul Assembly (really, just a “sometimes” gathering of four solo artists: JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard, and Luther Dickinson) –…The Wild Reeds –…I could go on… I’m a live music junkie.

          1. LE

            There are other newer artists/bands these days who are amazing.One thing youtube doesn’t do (since I like visuals when listening) is do a version with new artists such as ‘if you like this, then you might also like this’. So for example if you play videos of an older artist you get recommendations to other older artists. But you never get recommendations to newer artists. And further those recommendations should be labeled as ‘you might also like this give it a try’. (More or less I think what you are doing with your selections?). Because if it doesn’t say that I would not give it a try. I am sure I am not the only stick in the mud like that.Problem with this (youtube) and others is you can’t have people who love music driving that bus. Has to be people who are a diverse group including people like me who are always sticking with what they already know and like.My wife was in college in the 90’s and was into the music scene and I think was a band roadie etc. She can listen to music I like because her parents were always playing 70’s music at her house (they have literally the same things I had in high school).I am definitely a live music junkie.So much so that I even like the ‘Dad Band’ at the local elementary school when my stepkids were there (for a kids performance the Dad Band did the music). One member of the Dad Band was actually in a real band (that my wife knew about) in the 90’s. He now gives music lessons.Pretty much the only way I get turned onto a new group is when they…wait…cover an old song that I like.

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            Hahahahhaa. That’s funny. Maybe it’s genetic. My Mom listens to alternative radio and sometimes turns me on to new songs. Or vice versa.

  5. Jordan Jackson

    Damn Fred, pretty fly for an old guy.

  6. falicon

    Iโ€™ll see your list, and raise you a list of โ€œmusicโ€ I made (mostly) this past year ->… ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. LE

      Some of this is entertaining.It is actually more appealing becauseyou don’t think it’s good. ‘Music’.You need another song to go along with the picture of you in the hood. You can call it ‘unabomber in the basement’. Last track is actually decent. And ‘project me’ is kind of like a Billy Joel ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant’ song.Racism – “And the rich get more; not good; not good at all’. Some of this is funny.

    2. fredwilson


    3. fredwilson

      is this playlist private on your soundcloud account? i would like to favorite it

      1. falicon

        It should be public…if not, it’s not intentional…where do I find the settings?

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          It’s public. I was able to see it and Follow/Like

          1. falicon

            Great – THANKS!

      2. Susan Rubinsky

        I was able to Follow it and like tunes on it. Maybe you have to be logged into Soundcloud?

    4. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Ha! These are fun, dude. My fav is Breakfast In The Morning.

      1. falicon

        Thanks! Just goofing around as a nice distraction from the coding from time to time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Susan Rubinsky

    #10 – #14 flows really beautifully. Really into that Grapetooth tune, Violent. Reminds me of a modern mix of Violent Femmes with the Ramones.

    1. fredwilson


    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “Really into that Grapetooth tune…” With a little New Order thrown in ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Ronnie Rendel

    I discovered Bootsy Collins yesterday. And I found what was missing all my life.Happy Newyears, y’all.

  9. Susan Rubinsky

    Man, that last tune is amazing! Can’t believe he only has 19 followers.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, my 22yr old son turned me on to Lonnie. he’s awesome.

  10. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Yay! Gosh, it feels like only yesterday you shared 2017’s list.Love: – Japanese Breakfast- Childish Gambino- Grapetooth- reeseynem- 21 Savage- Gorillaz (of course!)You might enjoy New Optimism (one half of the Cibo Matto duo)…Also, really anticipating Ladytron’s new album coming out early 2019.

  11. chartreuse

    Love the fact you do this every year. Looking forward to listening to this!

  12. Bruce Warila

    Thanks Fred. I always get a few tracks from your list. Especially liked the Lonnie Holley track; expect it to blowup –

  13. Jeremy Shatan

    Lots of goodies on your list! Here’s my Top 25 albums from 2018:… You might find more of interest on the Best Of 2018 (Hip Hop, R&B and Reggae) which will be out later this month… Cheers!

  14. obarthelemy

    Gosh you’re making me feel old. I’ve given up on trying to stay current, I’m letting time do the filtering, and focusing on finding old stuff that’s new to me instead. I hear Lady Gaga ain’t all bad.My 6yo nephew had a clear 2018 winner, luckily he’s French and doesn’t understand the lyrics:…That displaced his last year’s favorite:…As for me, I realized that one of the worst things about 2019 is that Candye Kane is still dead and I won’t be able to attend more concerts.