With a cascade of releases spewing from the likes of DatPiff, LiveMixtapes, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud, it can be difficult to keep up with the overbearing yet increasingly vital mixtape game. In this column, we aim to immerse ourselves in this hyper-prolific world and share our favorite releases each month. On one hand, this keeps me balanced. On the other hand, time is a social construct. Some clocks have three hands, one of which is a second hand.
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In the later half of the s, hip-hop music officially became the most dominate genre in America. And meanwhile, the line between hip-hop and pop has become almost non-existent, as pop music adopted the production, writing, and vocals of rap. But, this year marked a time when the wide influence of hip-hop went even wider. The likes of Rosalia and J Balvin push the sounds of flamenco and Reggaeton further into the forefront of American mainstream music, Lil Nas X is challenging dominant genre labeling and blurring the lines between hip-hop and country music. This is what makes rap the most exciting style of music today. At times it can be punk rock, it can be political, it can be global. It's been an exciting year already, and these are the best hip-hop songs of so far. It's incredible to see Earl Sweatshirt completely reject popular hip hop music. After his breakthrough solo album, Doris, it seemed that he was primed to be the next big star in hip-hop. But, throughout this decade, he's rejected that possibly trajectory more and more, with his music becoming more strange, more experimental, and increasingly more unique.
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But sometimes, all you need is the right song to give you the push you need to keep at it — whether running, biking or weight lifting. TIME is here to help with an essential workout playlist: a mix of songs that are tried-and-tested crowd favorites and some deeper cuts worth your attention from recent years and beyond. We sorted through hundreds of tunes to select the critical picks that help us get our hearts pumping at fitness classes or while working out solo. The end result: a list of 50 of the songs that are best used for motivating you while working out — whatever the activity, from running to weight-lifting to getting in your crunches. Others — a Ricky Martin deep cut, some Brazilian baile funk and even a K-pop track — might be new surprises for the casual listener. Turn on the music and turn up your heart rate.
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