Who Defined 2017?

Who Defined 2017?

The best sounds of the year

The year of 2016 was full of many, many new albums including Lemonade, Blonde, and Coloring Book. So many new ones were dropped, that many thought 2017 would be a sort of 'off-year' for music. They, however, were totally wrong.

2017 was a great mash-up of both old and new artists dropping music productions including sounds from Drake and Kendrick, and new voices from Mansionz and SZA. Here is a countdown of some of the top albums released in 2017.

The singles mentioned in this article can be heard in the playlist 'Best of 2017' on Apple Music on Cambre Codington's account.

30. Harry Styles, ‘Harry Styles’

Release Date: May 12

Genre: Britpop, Soft Rock

Harry Styles is the debut album of previous One Direction member Harry Styles, an English singer, and songwriter. Its lead single, ‘Sign of the Times’, is the most popular of the album, with ‘Two Ghosts’ and ‘Kiwi’ both well known as well. Styles plans to headline a concert tour to promote the album.

29. Cold War Kids, ‘LA Divine’

Release Date: April 7Genre: Indie Rock

Cold War Kids, an American indie rock band, released their sixth album this past year, LA Divine, and is the first album to feature their lead guitarist David Quon. The most popular single from the album ‘Love is Mystical’ was released in February of 2017. The album hit number 69 on the US Billboard 200, and number 9 on the US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard).

28. NF, ‘Perception’

Release Date: October 6Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Perception is Christian hip-hop artist NF's third studio album released in early October. The album hit No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 in its first week and is NF's first No.1 hit. The albums hit single, 'Let You Down', was released in early October right before the album dropped, and continues to hit charts today.

27. Alt-J, 'Relaxer'

Release Date: June 2Genre: Alternative/Indie

English indie rock band Alt-J released their third studio album this last year, Relaxer, in early June. They recorded the album in London with the same producer of their first two albums, Charlie Andrews. To promote the album, the band released '3WW', 'In Cold Blood', 'Adeline', 'Deadcrush', and 'Pleader'. Alt-J performed at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury to promote the album and was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Prize.

26. Quinn XCII, 'The Story of Us'

Release Date: September 15Genre: Pop

After composing 4 EP's Quinn XCII released his debut album, The Story of Us, in mid-September. A previous SoundCloud writer, the singer plans to tour this year for the album. He described the meaning behind the album,

"I wanted the album title ‘The Story Of Us’ to really represent that I’m just like everyone else and go through similar experiences. The songs are relatable and touch on all different topics and emotions—new, old, good and bad relationships, growth, memories, temptation, and challenges. I’m just a kid from the Midwest. My life isn’t this unattainable fantasy, I didn’t have an angle or connections to the music industry. I just worked hard to turn my passion into a career, anyone can do the same in whatever they’re pursuing" (Genius).

The album has four singles, 'Straightjacket', 'Fake Denim', 'Worst', and 'Always Been You', and 'Flare Guns' has grown in popularity this year.

25. Mansionz, 'Mansionz'

Release Date: March 24Genre: R&B/Soul

Mansionz is an alternative hip-hop duo made up of Mike Posner and blackbear. Mike Posner is a singer-songwriter and blackbear is Matthew Musto, a hip-hop recording artist who performs under the name blackbear. Their debut album, Mansionz, was released this year with its first single 'STFU' featuring rapper Spark Master Tape and received positive reviews. Their second single, 'Rich White Girls' was released shortly after and was quickly followed by Mansionz first public appearance together at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. Both artists sported lime green hair, which would become a signature look to identify the duo. Their third single, 'Dennis Rodman' became their most popular single.

24. Daniel Caesar, 'Freudian'

Release Date: August 25Genre: R&B/Soul

Freudian is the debut album of Daniel Caesar, a Canadian singer-songwriter. The album includes guest appearances from artists Kali Uchis, H.E.R, Charlotte Day Wilson, and Sean Leon. Caesar released the singles 'Get You' featuring Kali Uchis and the double single 'We Find Love/Blessed' to promote his album. It reached number 25 on the US Billboard 200.

23. Kehlani, 'SweetSexySavage'

Release Date: January 27Genre: Contemporary R&B

Kehlani's (an American singer-songwriter) debut album, SweetSexySavage, was released in late January and received mostly positive reviews. Kehlani described the album as having three elements; Sweet, Sexy, and Savage, which are intended to be described through the lyrics. She was the lead writer on all tracks other than Intro. She released three singles to promote the album, 'Crzy', 'Distraction', and 'Keep on'. It peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard 200.

22. blackbear, 'Cybersex'

Release Date: November 27 Genre: Trap, Contemporary R&B, Emo Hip-Hop

Cybersex is blackbear's fourth studio album to be released. Blackbear is an American hip-hop recording artist who originated on the app Soundcloud. To promote the album, four singles were released; 'Playboi Shit' featuring Lil Aaron, 'Bright Pink Tims' featuring Cam'ron, 'Up in This' featuring Tinashe, and 'Gucci Linen' featuring 2 Chainz. Each single was released on a Friday before the album as a way to draw attention to the release. The album reached number 47 on the US 200 Billboard.

21. G-Eazy, 'The Beautiful & Damned'

Release Date: December 15Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

This is G-Eazy's fourth studio album release, The Beautiful & Damned, is exactly as it sounds. With features from girlfriend Halsey, Cardi B, ASAP Rocky, Kehlani, Jay Ant, E-4-, and Charlie Puth, as well as others and is composed of 20 songs. Preceding the album, three singles were released; 'No Limit', 'Him & I', and 'Sober'. The album has reached number 3 on the US Billboard 200.

20. Halsey, 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom'

Release Date: June 2Genre: Electropop

Peaking at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, American singer Halsey's second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, was released this past June. Billboard has pointed out that the title of the album may be named after a real fountain built by Halsey's ex-boyfriend found off the L-train's Halsey Street in Brooklyn. The album is inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Singles released for the album included 'Now or Never', 'Bad at Love', 'Eyes Closed', and 'Strangers'.

19. Portugal. The Man, 'Woodstock'

Release Date: June 16Genre: Funk

Woodstock is the eighth studio album released by American rock band Portugal. The Man. The single 'Feel it Still' was released to promote the album on March 3rd, and peaked at number 1 of the Billboard Adult Alternative Song chart becoming the bands first chart-topper on the chart. The song has also reached no. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart. 'Live in the Moment' was released as the second single shortly after. The album hit number 32 on the US Billboard 200.

18. Future, 'HNDRXX'

Release Date: February 24

Genre: Contemporary R&B, Avant Pop

Future, an American rapper, released his sixth studio album, HNDRXX, pronounced Hendrix, this last year. The album features artists Rihanna, The Weeknd, Chris Brown, and Nicki Minaj. HNDRXX is apparently named after Future's alter ego, Future Hendrix. Four singles were released to support the album; 'Selfish', 'Pie', 'Incredible', and 'You da Baddest'. The album charted to number one, making Future the first artist to release two Billboard 200 chart-topping albums in consecutive weeks.

17. Lana Del Rey, 'Lust for Life'

Release Date: July 2

Genre: Alternative/Indie, Rock

Lust for Life is Lana Del Ray's fifth studio album and fourth major label album for the American singer. She released her first single from the album, 'Love', and later the title track for the album as well as second single, 'Lust for Life' featuring The Weeknd. The album features ASAP Rocky, Stevie Nicks, Sean Lennon, and Playboi Carti. Lust for Life is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Grammy Awards.

16. Beck, 'Colors'

Release Date: October 13

Genre: Pop Rock

American musician Beck released his thirteenth consecutive album, Colors, this last year after production started in 2013. The album's earliest single, 'Dreams', was released in June of 2015, followed by 'Wow', 'Dear Life', and 'Up All Night', in June 2016 and September 2017. The album hit number 3 on the US Billboard 200.

15. Migos, 'Culture'

Release Date: January 17Genre: Hip-Hop, Trap

American hip-hop trio Migos released their second studio album Culture this last year. The album features DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and Lil Uzi Vert. To support the album, three singles were released. 'Slippery', 'T-Shirt', and 'Bad and Boujee'. The album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 as well as the Canadian Charts. It also received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album at the 60th Grammy Awards.

14. Jay-Z, '4:44'

Release Date: June 30 Genre: Hip-Hop

American rapper Jay-Z dropped his thirteenth album, 4:44, at the end of June in 2017. The album was not preceded by any singles, similar to his previous album in 2013 Magna Carta Holy Grail. The album features guest appearances from Frank Ocean, Damian Marley, Beyonce, and Gloria Carter. It has additional vocal appearances from Blue Ivy Carter, James Fauntleroy, Kim Burrell, and The Dream. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making it his thirteenth consecutive number one album.

13. Drake, 'More Life'

Release Date: March 18 Genre: Hip-Hop

Canadian rapper Drake released a commercial mixtape called More Life this past year, however Drake refers to it as a playlist. The album features many voices including Young Thug, Giggs, Skepta, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Jorja Smith, Sampha, and PartyNextDoor. To support the album, five singles were released. They were 'Fake Love', 'Passionfruit', 'Free Smoke', 'Portland', and 'Glow'. The mixtape debuted at number one on US Billboard 200, making it Drake's seventh consecutive number one album and breaking several streaming records.

12. Russ, 'There's Really a Wolf'

Release Date: May 5 Genre: Contemporary R&B

There's Really a Wolf was both produced and composed by American rapper Russ himself. The album dropped three singles to promote the album after Russ tweeted about the new album. 'What They Want', 'Losin Control', and 'Me You', were all released before the album. All but four of the songs on the album were kept secret from the public. 'What They Want', 'Pull the Trigger', 'Do it Myself', and 'Losin Control' were all released on SoundCloud. The album debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200.

11. blackbear, 'digital druglord'

Release Date: April 21 Genre: R&B/Soul

American hip-hop recording artist, Blackbear's third studio album 'digital druglord' was released in late April of 2017. The album dropped one single before release, 'Do Re Mi' becoming the lead single. They also dropped two promotional singles 'If I Could I Would Feel Nothing' and 'Make Daddy Proud'. The album debuted at number 14 on the US Billboard 200.

10. Calvin Harris, 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1'

Release Date: June 30 Genre: Pop music, disco funk, Nu-disco, Post-disco

Scottish DJ and record producer Calvin Harris dropped his fifth studio album in 2017, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. The album features Frank Ocean, Migos, Schoolboy Q, PartyNextDoor, DRAM, Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Future, Khalid, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Big Sean, Kehlani, Lil Yachty, and Jessie Reyez. The album was supported by five singles previous to release, 'Slide', 'Heatstroke', 'Rollin', 'Feels', and 'Faking it'. The album debuted at number 2 on both UK Charts and the US Billboard 200.

9. Tyler, the Creator, 'Flower Boy'

Release Date: July 21 Genre: Neo Soul, Alternative Hip-Hop

The fourth studio album to drop by American rapper Tyler, the Creator, Flower Boy or alternatively titled Scum Fuck Flower Boy. The album is his second under a major record label. The album's production was handled entirely by Tyler himself but did feature vocals from Frank Ocean, ASAP Rocky, Anna of the North, Lil Wayne, Kali Uchis, Steve Lacy, Estelle, Jaden Smith, and Rex Orange County. The album released four singles previous to release; "Who Dat Boy/911', 'Boredom', 'I Ain't Got Time!', and 'See You Again'. The album debuted at number 2 on US Billboard 200, and received a Grammy for Best Rap Album at the 60th Grammy Awards.

8. Sam Smith, 'The Thrill of It All'

Release Date: November 3 Genre: Contemporary R&B

The Thrill of It All is English singer-songwriter Sam Smith's second studio album release. The album was supported by two singles, 'Too Good at Goodbyes' as the lead, topping the UK Singles Chart and making the top 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The second single 'One Last Song' was sent to radio the day the album was released. Smith released two promotional singles as well, 'Pray' and 'Burning'. The album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200.

7. Miguel, 'War and Leisure'

Release Date: December 1 Genre: Contemporary R&B

American singer Miguel released his fourth studio album War and Leisure this past December. The album features vocals from Rick Ross, Quin, Kali Uchis, J. Cole, and Salaam Remi and production lead by Miguel himself with other contributors. 'Skywalker' featuring Travis Scott was the albums leading single in August of 2017, and was followed by 'Told You So' and 'Pineapple Skies' as a promotional track. The album hit number 9 on the US Billboard 200.

6. Imagine Dragons, 'Evolve'

Release Date: June 23Genre: Pop Rock

American Rock band Imagine Dragons released their fourth studio album Evolve, as a follow up to their second album Smoke + Mirrors. The album was promoted by three singles: 'Believer', 'Thunder', and 'Whatever It Takes'. Evolve peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard 200. The group also toured for the album with artists Grouplove and K. Flay.

5. Sampha, 'Process'

Release Date: February 3 Genre: Alternative R&B, Neo Soul

Process is the debut album for British musician Sampha, and the album won the 2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize. The single 'Timmy's Prayer' was released in May of 2016, and 'Blood on Me' was released as the albums lead single in August of 2016. '(No one knows me) Like the Piano' was released as the albums third single in January of 2017. Sampha performed a solo piano performance of 'Plastic 100 Degrees' on a rooftop of an office.

4. Lorde, 'Melodrama'

Release Date: June 16 Genre: Electropop

New Zealand singer Lorde released her second debut album Melodrama after writing the album for five years. Lorde took a step back from the spotlight after break up with her longtime boyfriend. She wrote and produced the album alongside Jack Antonoff and help from others. The album topped charts in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Canada. The lead single for the album was 'Green Light' followed by 'Perfect Places' and 'Homemade Dynamite'. Promotional singles were also released, 'Liability' the first and 'Sober' after. It debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 100 and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 60th Grammy Awards.

3. Khalid, 'American Teen'

Release Date: March 3 Genres: Contemporary R&B, Alternative R&B

American Singer Khalid released his debut album American Teen this year. The album released two singles previous to dropping: 'Location' and 'Young, Dumb, & Broke'. Khalid released music from SoundCloud before being signed to a label, and often signs about his hometown El Paso, Texas. American Teen debuted at number 9 on the US Billboard 200 but peaked at number 4.

2. Kendrick Lamar, 'DAMN.'

Release Date: April 14Genre: Hip-Hop

American rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped his fourth studio album DAMN. midway through 2017. The album topped the charts in the United States and Canada, and hit number 2 in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. The album was supported by three singles: 'Humble', 'Loyalty', and 'Love'. 'Humble' became Kendrick's first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. DAMN. received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album and Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. DAMN. is the Billboard Year-End number 1 album of 2017.

1. SZA, 'Ctrl'

Release Date: June 9 Genre: Contemporary R&B, Neo Soul

SZA, and American singer and songwriter, released her debut album, Ctrl (pronounced ‘control’), in early June of this year and it debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200. Writing most of the lyrics herself, the compilation has a type of confessional theme that touches upon her personal life and experiences through modern love including desire, competition, jealousy, low self-esteem, and others. Her most popular singles from the album are ‘Broken Clocks’, ‘The Weekend’, and ‘Love Galore’. SZA was nominated for Best New Artist and four other Grammy awards.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.


What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

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