This morning, your writer made the commute into work in a state of such extreme agitation that an aggressive, totally f*cking badass soundtrack was necessary.
This soundtrack did not work. The gale whipped the headphones out of my ears.
The rain was torrential in the north east of England, in August, and helpfully, the wind was howling. The pound shop umbrella crumbled under the weight of the weather, curling inside out, cruelly, into the shape of a smile. The umbrella laughed as my hair became a mess of wet, tangled, glorified pubes. Some piece of sh*t on the train decided that the integrity of his coat was more important than the comfort of his fellow man, and laid it beside him. That man received a stern tut and his coat was likely crumpled when I sat down as if it wasn't there, let me tell you.
Aggressive music is a requirement in this bullsh*t world of warped power structures and vile hatred spewed by the vermin who think they're clever because, like toddlers, they've just learned how to use semantics to twist a narrative in their favour.
If those f*cks hadn't ruined the planet by being too thick or arrogant to recognise climate change, this was the intended soundtrack.
10. Kendrick Lamar - The Blacker The Berry
This isn't just the sound of a profoundly pissed off man raging against the institutionalised racism of America: it's the sound of a man channelling generations of the suppressed to launch a brutally aggressive tirade.
'The Blacker The Berry' is also powered by the searing self-hatred Lamar bears just by allowing himself to exist and prosper within it. "I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2015," Lamar starts, before recalibrating his focus to the real target. Lyrically, this is a masterpiece. The choices employed throughout subvert the ugliness of racism with real power. "I'm a proud monkey," Lamar spits, in a burst of reclamation.
"You hate me, don't you?" he asks, rhetorically, before delivering maybe the most killer line in hip-hop history. The genre has long doubled as a quest to prove blackness, but here, with the richest thematic power consistent to his message, Lamar arrives at its destination:
"I'm African-American. I'm African. I'm black as the heart of a f*ckin' aryan."
The beat is beyond menacing: it's the sound of being terrorised into a dark alley, only to be confronted by something far more monstrous than what is portrayed in the media, or from the White House: the truth.
And, in the end, the soothing outro is almost Lynchian, in how the levity of the melody illuminates and reveals the darkness with a sobering gut-punch.