Review of the year – Liam McMillen

Favourite Album: Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

No matter your opinion on Kanye West, you can’t deny that the self-proclaimed “Yeezy Season” – which saw the releases of Pusha T, Kanye West, Kids See Ghosts, Nas and Teyana Taylor – was an incredible spectacle for 2018. One of the best records was Kids See Ghosts, a collaboration between West and Kid Cudi. A record that evokes Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak and shows a human side to both artists, it was much more of an answer to West’s headspace than his bizarre interviews throughout the year. Exploring both of their struggles with mental health, it’s a beautiful record that is as thrilling as it is innovative. Featuring Pusha T, Ty Dolla $ign and Yasiin Bey, too, it’s an excellent example of where we’re at with 2018 hip-hop.

Favourite Gig: Black Honey – Concorde 2

Truly one of Brighton’s finest, Black Honey have gone from strength to strength since their inception. 2018 was, without a doubt, their greatest ever year too with the release of their immense debut record and a very special show at Brighton’s Concorde 2. This gig was a celebration of the group between both the band and their adoring fans and a huge statement of just how far they’ve come as a band. From outings of their early, desert-rock-inspired singles ‘Madonna’ and ‘Spinning Wheel’, to their innovative takes on disco and funk with album cuts ‘Midnight’ and ‘Crowded City’, the band have become an incredibly well-rounded machine and their Concorde 2 show was testament to this.

One We’ve Missed: Anderson .Paak at Brixton Academy

In terms of musical moments for me this year, it’s been pretty special. From joining Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on stage for ‘Stagger Lee’ and ‘Push the Sky Away’ at Primavera Sound, to witnessing Noel Gallagher join YOTA at the 300 capacity XOYO in London, to the return of Childish Gambino at Lovebox Festival, 2018 has been a hell of a spectacle for me personally. One gig – and moment – comes to mind straight away, however, and that is Dr Dre joining Anderson .Paak at Brixton Academy. A free show, for Apple Music dubbed as “presented by Dr Dre”, it was a huge surprise to see the hip-hop icon join his protege onstage for an exceptional version of ‘Still D.R.E’. An incredible moment that will stay with me forever.

Liam McMillen

Top Three Tracks:

Janelle Monae – ‘Make Me Feel’
Childish Gambino – ‘This is America’
Kanye West – ‘Ghost Town’