Traditionally, the bass is an unsung hero. It's a song's glue, holding everything together with a steady hand and predictable, in-key progressions. Bass is the chill friend, the one who's always down to stay in and watch a movie.
But every once in a while, the bass gets a chance to wile out. There are rare moments when the rules of equalization are thrown out the window and the bass takes center stage, booming out of the depths to rattle your teeth and palpitate your heart. Here are 10 songs with devastating bass.
Vince Staples - "Bagbak"
Vince Staples' "Bagbak" has been rattling around our speakers ever since it dropped two weeks ago. It has everything we'd want from Vince—cutting, insightful lyrics, passionate delivery, and production that knocks. This time it's Ray Brady on the boards, and he makes the most of a two-bar loop—the bass bends, phases, and distorts over the track's sub-three-minute runtime. Short and savage.
XXXTENTACION - "R.I.P ROACH DA EAST SIDE SOULJA"
Controversial Florida rapper XXXTENTACION has a catalog filled with music spanning genre and ranging from quiet and melancholy to loud and aggressive. This one fits in with the latter. It's one of his most popular songs, and also one of the most bass-heavy things we've ever heard.
Yung Lean - "Hoover"
Juicy bass cascades over the first verse of Yung Lean's "Hoover," sounding somewhere between a kicked hornets nest and a motorcycle's engine. This is one of the most aggressive cuts off last year's Warlord album—Lean is nearly unintelligible on this one, but he's coming with some crazy energy. It's no wonder, once you look at the production credits: "Hoover" was produced by Lean's day one producer Yung Gud, and the two came away with one of their strongest collaborations yet.
Lil Pump ft. Smoke Purpp - "Movin"
In this song, Florida rapper Lil Pump talks about fucking your mother, robbing your brother, and bringing a gun to a wedding. It's absurdly ignorant, but the bass is insane and "Movin" is another example of a Florida artist taking rap to an abrasive new extreme.
Stefflon Don - "Real Ting (Remix)"
Stefflon Don is an English rapper increasingly being referred to as London's "new grime queen." Giggs is one of London's established rap legends, and he blessed the remix of Steff's breakout hit "Real Ting" with his iconic hoarse delivery. The result is a bass-centric anthem that has her on a lot of radars.
Rob Stone - "Chill Bill"
"Chill Bill" has one of those drops that fits everywhere—from flipped water bottles to knockout punches, Rob Stone's Kill Bill flip is a manic jolt of unbridled joy, and it starts with that bass. Once the beat drops and that iconic opening line rings out, there's no going back. "Chill Bill" starts slow, but be patient, and prepare for bass.
Akito - "Metamessage (Murlo & Famous Eno Remix)"
It's rave time, and this track is too much fun. British producers Murlo and Famous Eno took on Akito's already excellent "Metamessage" and the result will blow the roof off any club. The colorful intro builds and builds and builds but when that elastic bass hits it's game over.
Jazz Cartier - "Tempted"
Toronto's Jazz Cartier has a new album coming—FLEUREVER will be out in the coming months, and "Tempted" is our first taste of things to come. We knew Jazz has a penchant for aggressive bass, evidenced by tracks like "Opera" and "The Valley / Dead or Alive." But "Tempted" has a pace and energy that outstrips anything on his previous work, and its all held down by that gliding low end.
Giggs - "Whippin Excursion"
U.K. rap legend Giggs has laced so many different types of beats with his iconic gruff delivery, but one of the shortest songs on his latest album Landlord is also one of the heaviest. With an undeniable US flavor, the menacing "Whippin Excursion" beat would be perfect for Future or Gucci Mane, but Giggs does his thing here too.
How about an Atlanta remix though?
Deadcrow - "Blade"
Future - "Groupies"
Future's new album Future has some excellent melodic hits, but there's nothing quite as intense as this DS2 cut. Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, and Southside—a holy trinity of Atlanta producers—produced "Groupies," and the beat is as wildly offensive as Future's lyrics.
"Bangin' her throat in the back of a Phantom
I'm back on that dope and I'm strapped with a hammer
I get that work and I'll sell it right now
If that pussy ain't free, I'll buy it right now"
Kamiyada - "Restraints"
Kamiyada is an artist from the DMV area and one of the founders of a collective called The Midnight Society. Like XXXTENTACION and Syringe, he blends rap with heavy, reckless rock elements, and his delivery ranges from militant yelling to a syllable-heavy Denzel Curry style of rapping. And like all these young artists, he's super versatile and able to jump from the punk-tinged hip-hop to more subdued songs like this.
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