Best of 2015: According to Neighbor Stephanye Watts

One of our favorite people in the universe Stephanye Watts has blessed our site with her listing of favorite albums and songs of 2015. Simply put, Steph knows her R&B. Why else has she attained the “R&B Encyclopedia” title? She may live in Brooklyn now but we know where this Philly girl’s heart really lies. NYers, make sure you check out Jampardy, Steph’s monthly R&B Trivia party every second Monday at Brooklyn’s Trophy Bar. We’ll be jealousy looking at your Snapchats. Also, check out Steph’s interview with Nai Palm, the lead singer of one of our favorite bands Hiatus Kaiyote. Check out her top picks below.

Top 5 Albums

Jazmine Sullivan  - Reality Show

“Jaz wins album of the year. Not one song is skipped. The songwriting is poignant. She’s also singing every female vocalist under the table. This album has been overlooked and it’s a crime.”

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

“The funny thing about TPAB is that it’s only really making my Top 5 because of the musicianship. It’s not unapologetically blacker than any other rap album like people are saying. It’s not any more self-actualizing or conscious than DS2 or an old Beanie Sigel album. The project itself is on par with everything Kendrick has been putting out the last few years. Kendrick is the GOAT of our generation lyrically and he snatched that title well before TPAB. This album was just an additional receipt.”

The Internet - Ego Death

“I’ve been on The Internet train since the first album and I love the growth to “Ego Death”. They sound like adults! Syd’s voice is more confident and she’s really working it! I’m excited to watch The Internet become the millennial Mint Condition.”

Tamia - Love Life

“Tamia kicked the door all the way in! This album was legit about her sex life with Grant Hill. We all thought he was the lone committed athlete because he was a scare. Meanwhile, the real story is that Aunt Mia is keeping it right + tight and droppin’ it low for zaddy. It’s really dope to see a woman in her 40s own her sexuality and even though she’s married, it’s obvious that it belongs to her. Not Grant.”

Teedra Moses - Cognac and Conversation

“Whew! Aunt Teej made this 10 year way more than worth it. Amen for sexy, badass women in their 40s. This album is hits on hits on hits on hits on hits. Top to bottom.”

Steph’s Song of the Year

Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”

“"Alright" is hands down my favorite song of the year. Many have pointed to it being timely for the Black Lives Matter movement, but it extends beyond that for me. First of all, Kendrick is rapping his entire face off. I love fun, mindless rap, but sometimes it just feels good to your ears to hear someone just come with bars. I also love the burning in my chest I feel when I hear the song in a room full of black people. It’s indescribable. It’s like we’re speaking our own language that no one else can truly understand but us. K-Dot gave us the “I’m Black and I’m Proud” for our generation.”

I’m at the preacher’s door

my knees get weak

my gun might blow…but we gon’ be alright!

Honorable mentions:

Hiatus Kaiyote - “Breathing Underwater”

Jazmine Sullivan - “Let It Burn”

Thundercat - “Them Changes”

Travis Scott ft. Quavo - “Oh My Dis Side”

Tamia - “Stuck With Me”

Music & NewsEvon Burton