Best of 2018


Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 28, 2008
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Arsenal Sydney Swans GWS CBR United
Thread starter #1
The seasonal release roster ahead looks typically quiet (unless the likes of an Ariana Grande or Grimes suddenly drops an album), so time to share in your yearly lists, hopefully some good recommendations.

2018 was incredible for me. Going in, I merely hoped we would finally get new albums from the 2013 trio of Janelle Monae, Arctic Monkeys & Anna Calvi. I got that, and a whole lot more. A lot of good local albums as well. I've included a variety of different release types in my ranking, from 12" singles, to decades-old live shows, to 8 hour albums, to remixes EPs, youtube playlists, etc. (all but unofficial bootlegs).

1. Honey - Robyn
My AOTD by some distance, in my top 5 all-time.
Check out: Beach2k20

2. NTS Sessions 1-4 - Autechre
My #2 AOTD, saw them live in Sydney, the April-long release was ridiculous fun. Plus loads of other stuff from them in 2018.
Check out: e0

3. Xinri A / Xinri B - Yaporigami
Even as an existing fan, I wasn't expecting this change in direction.

4. Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live - Neil Young
The takes of New Mama & Walk On a particular highlight, nice banter as well.

5. Dirty Computer - Janelle Monae
This streamlines her influences, conceptual bent and album length into something more mature, confident and refined, exactly how you should pull off a pivot to a more overtly politicised, commercialised sound.
Check out: I Like That

6. S/T - Rings Around Saturn [aka Dan White]
Australia's best ever non-vocal electronic release.
Check out: Apocalypse Lite

7. Lovelaws - TT [Theresa Wayman]
The best Warpaint-related release since the 2014 S/T, an atmospheric blend of influences which deepens some persistent themes.
Check out: Tutorial

8. Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino - Arctic Monkeys
Despite an I-want-my-money-back first listen, a quick grower and risky project which comes off. 6/6.
Check out: title track

9. Tell me how you really feel - Courtney Barnett
A front-to-back delight, although the killer front half is a hard act to follow.
Check out: Need a little time

10. Golden Hour - Kacey Musgraves
Check out: Slow Burn

HM: Hunter (Chain), Phantom Thread (House of Woodcock), etc.

Also, the best singles to enter the ARIA chart top 10 during 2018. Clear top 2, little depth beyond the top dozen or so.
1. One Kiss - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
2. God's Plan - Drake
3. All the Stars - Kendrick Lamar & SZA
4. No Tears Left to Cry - Ariana Grande
5. Finesse - Bruno Mars & Cardi B
6. Nice for What - Drake
7. Call Out My Name - The Weeknd
8. Youngblood - 5SOS
9. In My Feelings - Drake
10. I Said Hi - Amy Shark

Most publications have put forward their lists. What are your lists looking like? Over to you.
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Brownlow Medallist
Sep 15, 2011
AFL Club
West Coast
I haven't had a chance to listen to as much music as previous years, particularly new music, so my list isn't as comprehensive. Off-hand, my favourite album was Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest, but I also enjoyed Beach House, Echo in Blue, Tiny Little Houses, Florence and the Machine, Amy Shark and Tash Sultana. The 1975's album is sounding pretty damn good off a couple of listens.


Brownlow Medallist
Feb 19, 2001
AFL Club
Other Teams
These are my favourite albums of the year.

1. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
2. GoGo Penguin - A Humdrum Star
3. Florence + The Machine - High As Hope
4. Chloe x Halle - The Kids Are Alright
5. The Carters - Everything Is Love
6. J. Cole - KOD
7. Black Thought - Streams of Thought (Volumes 1 & 2)
8. Kylie Minogue - Golden
9. The Internet - Hive Mind
10. Leon Vynehall - Nothing Is Still
11. Jay Rock - Redemption
12. Janine - 99
13. Nothing But Thieves - What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way
14. Conner Youngblood - Cheyenne
15. Dorothy - 28 Days In The Valley
16. Welles - Red Trees and White Trashes
17. George Fitzgerald - All That Must Be
18. RÜFÜS DU SOL - Solace
19. Albin Lee Meldau - About You
20. Robyn - Honey


Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 8, 2000
Canberra, ACT, Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
These are all the new albums I purchased this year:

BRMC - Wrong Creatures
Sarah Blasko - Depth Of Field
The Breeders - All Nerve
Anna Calvi - Hunter
Sharon den Adel - My Indigo
Bryan Ferry - Bitter-Sweet

Enjoyed them all. BRMC's is my pick for the best release of the year.

While I only purchased six new albums, I did purchased about 30-40 Remastered/Special/Extended editions, including the recently released Kate Bush box sets.
I enjoy these a lot more than a majority of the music released these days.


Club Legend
May 6, 2014
AFL Club
St Kilda
Guess i'm out of the loop thinking Tranuqility Base Hotel and Casino is actually plodding and a bit shit. It has been getting a fair bit of love in end of
year lists.

7 was my pick of the bunch this year.

Teen Wolf

Club Legend
Jul 5, 2011
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rancho Carne Toros
My Choice Hits

1. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar: “Pray For Me”
Imo, this is America. And more, this is music standing on its own two feet in which guns/racism/greed aren’t identified as the greatest threat to the (former? restored?) greatest nation, rather as a symptom of the weaponisation of god. Kendrick’s solution is better and clearer too (“look in the mirror, there go your hero”), notwithstanding it’s the same message he’s been pimping since Butterfly. One epiphany shared between this masterpiece and Childish Gambino’s overhyped video: rapier wit alone isn’t enough when dealing in the realm of sledgehammer subjects. You have to make waves to be noticed, you might even have to sell out and work for Disney or Fox if you wanna get paid in the meantime. Just giving the Canadian-for-hire an opportunity to belatedly validate his starboydom was enough to make it all worthwhile.

2. Camila Cabello: “Never Be the Same”
Cramming in every nook and cranny of her vocal range while overemoting, hyperventilating and dare I say self-harmonising, this isn’t so much a fully realised pop tune as it is a desperate audition tape (to join a better girl group, quizás?). Let it be said she makes the cut, not that it matters post-“Havana”—a fully formulaic production that blew up heaps bigger and ran out of steam halfway through the second play.

3. Drake: “Nice For What”
Ever proving himself a limited vocalist and unremarkable lyricist, there’s no denying his knack for meme generation amidst Generation Meme. But, so what, “Hotline Bling” is already sandwiched between “Hello Muddah...” and Lil Pump (or Lil Peep if I’m to play it safer) in the irrelevant novelties section. By some stroke of what I’m willing to bet is dumb luck, this single has got itself at least 6 months more staying power than any other solo Drake project, if you could even call it that.

4. Eminem ft. Joyner Lucas: “Lucky You”
The protégé is no wordsmith and wisely doesn’t try to be. The reason his bars can hold a candle to the host’s is because they are delivered like a shotgun blast to the chest you can feel viscerally, even on what should be a throwaway topic.

5. Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton: “Say Something”
In the way the charts missed a beat by only riding the sexy callback of “Filthy” up to no. 27, so too did JT miss a beat by considering a hologram of Prince—rather than himself—for this year’s Super Bowl performance.

6. Ariana Grande: “God Is a Woman”
Western values anthem of 2018.

7. Tom Walker: “Leave a Light On”
Joe Cocker could make other people’s songs his own with a trademarked growl and hope-drenched-in-pain outlook, I guess it’s only fair for this Brit to commandeer the former’s style and run it through the ringer of modern conventions. As for the acoustic version, its existence is predictable but ultimately justified by the unveiled dimensions of Walker’s voice.

8. Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B: “Finesse” (Remix)
Third attempt to replicate the enormous Mark Ronson monstrosity of 2014-15. With only 500m Youtube views, it failed again just like “That’s What I Like”—the most genuine Bruno incarnation in that it made no attempt to hide his shallowness. Here he’s back playing to his strengths, ie. ripping off artists before him with no original take on the material. Without a hackneyed producer smothering the exercise in delusions of grandeur, though, the false pretence of cutting-edge “funk” is totally stripped away and the emphasis on danceable r&b emerges at last.

9. Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus: “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”
This guy, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Marshmello... basically any knob jockey making it big on the back of small ideas, the effectiveness of their empty compositions is always at the mercy of the enlisted ingénue. Not only are they unable to elevate Anne-Marie up into Selena’s level, I doubt these flesh-covered robots even know the difference. For what it’s worth, split the middle and there’s Miley—if her songs are all we have to go by, she’s never truly experienced the hardships of heartache, self-sabotage, horniness or partying like an animal. But as somebody not much older than her with outstanding credentials in three of the four aforementioned disciplines, only the supposed correlation between risqué fun and body glitter that she (and others like Kesha, Charli XCX etc.) espoused in the past has ever bothered me. The rest of the ongoing act is adorable.

10. Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B: “Girls Like You”
Transparent intentions aside, crazier and more-talented Azealia Banks had it right when she panned the featured guest in question as a lowly imitation of most-talented Nicki Minaj. Cardi makes two appearances on this list and I can think of no greater testament to the year’s leanness. The pairing with Adam Levine didn’t make sense to me until I saw the meaningless star-spinning visuals while flicking through the 8__ channels on Foxtel, reminding me how good he is at pandering to the masses.


And then my favourite albums, of any kind

1. The Black Eyed Peas: Masters of the Sun Vol. 1
According to BF’s main board geniuses (those shitting on the AFL’s choice of pre-match entertainment) all good music should come with a bachelor’s degree. Personally, I’ll take the emotional stimulus over the intellectual any day. That said, the also-funny “Yes or No” (in which apathy is the best friend of evil) shares wisdom rarely found in universities. And whaddya know, the instant classic BEP banger “Ring the Alarm” laments that very observation: “the teacher ain’t teachin’ him nothin’, all they do is stuffin’ and stuffin’ him, stuffin’ him with stuff he can’t use... and that’s why you see the lil killer in the news”. The internet awarded JBP with that Greatest Philosopher Ever title for practically the same take.

2. Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel
Navigating the so life didn’t turn out the way you expected terrain with authority, they aren’t the first wallowers-in-misery to suggest pouring some whiskey when your relationship is headed for the rocks. The way they use off-kilter country platitudes as 1-2 gut punches in setup for knockout blows like “ain’t worth the time it’s gonna take to change me” and “call mom and tell her I’m alright” is rarer air.

3. Superorganism: Superorganism
Though I doubt I can put it better than youtube commenter Hugh Mungus who asked “What in the hipster is this?” (earning a modest 6 likes), there should be no doubt this group knows what they’re doing. En pointe choices like sourcing punchline-free outtakes from the Andy Samberg warehouse and following the M.I.A. less-is-moronic handbook to elicit that steady flow of lolz and facepalms are only topped by the installation of frontgirl Orono Noguchi, whose dryness will in turn set benchmarks for future oddballs swimming around in the same plastic sea.

4. Kendrick Lamar and co.: Black Panther
Having earlier granted Bruno’s song the compliment of “danceable”, I don’t mean to imply it’s irresistibly so. If you want the year’s best in that category, look no further than the Zacari and Babes Wodumo contribution on this Marvel movie soundtrack. Aural laxative, even uptight assholes won’t help but bust a move to it.

5. Jorja Smith: Lost & Found
More than one weapon in her vocal arsenal, more self-awareness than self-absorption, more sick beats than Grandma can handle. Everything Adele is not.

6, 7 and 8. Eminem: Kamikaze; Charlie Puth: Voicenotes; Meg Myers: Take Me to the Disco
In terms of what each artist was striving for, it’s a clear 10 out of 10 in execution on all three counts. But, without a moment's hesitation, I’d trade up some of that songcraft for fresh concepts in return.

9. MGMT: Little Dark Age
Haven’t had the chance (or maybe misfortune) yet to hear Zayn’s album, which is almost sure to be more remarkable in one way or another. But this is one that continues to linger on my phone, and whenever it surfaces I tell myself I’ll turn it off after the next chorus... then, before I know it, I’m 7 or 8 tracks deep.

10. Kanye West: Ye
14 years ago on The College Dropout he despised his status as a token black employee at The Gap. At least now we know it’s not the tokenism he objects to. Nobody should think of his temporary succumbing to White House flattery as a betrayal of his race, faith, or country. Nor should they think those things were his primary concern in the first place. Nor should they think this 23-minute inebriated dare is him skirting the issue Jimmy Kimmel-style. Kanye is a “slave” to his ego. His music, politics, shoes and choice of spouse will always be informed by that. For now, I still find all of it interesting enough, possibly because there’s logic in his optimism: If Trump can be our President, how bad of a guy could he really be? If I’m so out of touch, how come Toyota still uses “Black Skinhead” to sell Hybrids?
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Club Legend
Jun 14, 2012
AFL Club
this was a bit of a down year musically personally, i have been listening to much more bands/albums already out than new releases. going off my most played of this years albums though i have;

1. Ice Nine Kills - The Silver Scream
my aoty by a long long way, has been absolutely thrashed in my house since it came out. a metalcore album where each song based off a horror movie. eg. A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Shining, Halloween... it sounds stupid. it knows it's silly but it's a hell of a lot of fun & actually put together really well.
listen to: Thank God It's Friday (Friday The 13th)

2. Turnstile - Time & Space
surprised about this actually, i don't know if i think its actually that good, but it did get a lot of spins. full of riffy hardcore punk & dripping with attitude, it deserves to be played loud. one of the standout songs "Moon" sung by the bassist is a ripper - he kind of sounds like Michale Graves of the 90's era Mistfits, hope he does more in future.
listen to: I Don't Wanna Be Blind or Moon

3. Beartooth - Disease
got a bit of flack from critics for being too much the same sound as his previous albums, i didn't really listen to, i did dig this one though. polished post-hardcore 4 piece band sound from one guy. it's nothing ground breaking but easy to listen to.
listen to: Disease
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Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 28, 2008
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Arsenal Sydney Swans GWS CBR United
Thread starter #9
That was me last year, was only into a few current things, mostly older stuff. 2018 was my most attuned year since 2011, so many great releases.


Club Legend
Jun 14, 2012
AFL Club
That was me last year, was only into a few current things, mostly older stuff. 2018 was my most attuned year since 2011, so many great releases.
there are always down years & then years that are totally jam-packed. we obviously also have wildly differing tastes, but i still like reading everyone's lists as i get to check out things i normally wouldn't hear


Brownlow Medallist
Mar 6, 2014
AFL Club
Other Teams
1. Tropical **** Storm - A Laughing Death In Meatspace
2. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
3. Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens
4. La Luz - Floating Features
5. King Buffalo - Longing to be the Mountain
6. All Them Witches - ATW
7. Graveyard - Peace
8. Sleep - The Sciences
9. White Denim - Performance
10. Thee Oh Sees - Smote Reverser

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Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 1, 2013
AFL Club
Other Teams
Fulham, 76ers, Cubs, Bills
Haven’t heard a lot of stuff this year but top albums would be:

Geowulf- Great Big Blue
Julia Holter - Aviary
Kali Uchis - Isolation
Mitski - Be The Cowboy
Robyn - Honey
US Girls - In a Poem Unlimited
Apr 3, 2006
AFL Club
Massive year in music for me, with a bit of a folky slant.

Bonnie Doon - Longwave
TB - Heartbreak Hotel
J Mascis - Elastic Days
Monuman - The Polychoral
Foxwarren - S/T - Late in the year gem
Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love
S. Carey - Hundred Acres
Rolling Blackouts - Hope Downs - probably my fave album of the year
Sam Evian - You, Forever


Brownlow Medallist
Aug 11, 2006
heaven on earth! (Melbourne)
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
1. Tropical **** Storm - A Laughing Death In Meatspace
2. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
Mitski - Be The Cowboy
Robyn - Honey
+1 to all these, some excellent suggestions!

Allison Wonderland - Awake
Jack River - Sugar Mountain
Luca Brasi - Stay
Big Red Machine - Self titled

Tropical **** Storm, Mitski and Big Red Machine would probably be my top 3, or at least the 3 that I've listened to the most.
Jun 29, 2009
AFL Club
Other Teams
San Antonio Spurs
My favourite albums/EP’s from 2018 in no particular order.

Dabrye - Three/Three
Dj Koze - Knock Knock
Shinichi Atobe - Heat
Czarface & MF Doom - Czarface meets Metalface
Project Pablo - There is always more at the store (EP)
Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs
City Calm Down - Echoes in Blue
Space Invadas - Wild World
Jon Hopkins - Singularity
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris - Everything’s Fine
Robyn - Honey
Mall Grab - How the Dogs Chill Vol 1 (EP)
Vince Staples - FM
Beta Librae - Sub Species (EP)
Against All Logic - 2012 - 2017
Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts
Jan 4, 2019
AFL Club
My top list (not in the exact order):
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Travis Scott – Astroworld
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Twenty One Pilots – Trench


Team Captain
Jan 5, 2012
AFL Club
Other Teams
This is my Top 150 tracks of 2018 in order. (There's a handful of late 2017 tracks that have snuck in).

Pos. Track
1 Tusky - Going Out
2 Dizzee Rascal - Don't Gas Me
3 Pierce Brothers - Juno
4 CHVRCHES - Get Out
5 The Bamboos - Lit Up
6 Ghost - Rats
7 Nicki Minaj - Chun-Li
8 Wiley - Been A While
9 The Weeknd - Call Out My Name
10 Turnstile - Generator
11 Harts - Shake Ya Pants
12 The Weeknd - Hurt You (Feat. Gesaffelstein)
13 Stonefield - Delusion
14 Missy Higgins - Cemetery
15 Muse - The Dark Side
16 The Hard Aches - Mess
17 Paul Kelly - With The One I Love
18 Stonefield - Far From Earth
19 Tkay Maidza - Big Things
20 Rise Against - Megaphone
21 Wiley - Bar (Feat. Scratchy & D Double E)
22 CHVRCHES - Miracle
23 Tkay Maidza - Flexin' (Feat. Duckwrth)
24 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - All Is Known
25 Regurgitator - Roxx for Brains.
26 Sarah Blasko - A Shot
27 Stand Atlantic - Lavender Bones
29 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - The Great Chain of Being
30 Harts - Ain't Nothin' on Me
31 The Smashing Pumpkins - Solara
32 Calvin Harris - One Kiss (with Dua Lipa)
33 Alex The Astronaut - Waste Of Time
34 Camp Cope - I've Got You
35 The Weeknd - Pray For Me (with Kendrick Lamar)
36 Muse - Pressure
37 Golden Features - Always
38 Middle Kids - Mistake
39 The Presets - Martini
40 Nia Wyn - Turnstiles
41 Rise Against - Broadcast[Signal]Frequency
42 Samsaruh - Beautiful Killer
43 Billie Ellish - you should see me in a crown
44 RedFaces - Way Down
45 DMA's - The End
46 Nothing But Thieves - Gods
47 Mojo Juju - Native Tongue
48 Ocean Alley - Confidence
49 The Presets - Tools Down
50 The Dead Love - Ordinary
51 The Carters - APESHIT
52 The Prodigy - Light Up The Sky
53 Merpire - Hauntways
54 The Presets - Beethoven
55 Baker Boy - Mr La Di Da Di
56 A Perfect Circle - Disillusioned
57 CHVRCHES - Deliverance
58 The Black Eyed Peas - STREET LIVIN'
59 The Presets - Until The Dark
60 Stonefield - Visions
61 Paul Kelly - Bound To Follow (Aisling Song) (Feat. Kate Miller-Heidke)
62 Doko - Break Open
63 Dizzee Rascal & Skepta - Money Right
64 DZ Deathrays - Witchcraft Pt. II
65 The Smashing Pumpkins - Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)
66 Paul Kelly - A Bastard Like Me
67 Nas - Cops Shot The Kid (Feat. Kanye West)
68 Drake - Summer Games
69 Harts - Consciousness of What You Think
70 Joan As Police Woman - Tell Me
71 Wiley - I Call The Shots (Feat. JME)
72 Dizzee Rascal - Patterning Vibez (Feat. Afronaut Zu)
73 Dessa - Fire Drills
74 Harts - Pearls (If You Are My Lady)
75 DZ Deathrays - Feeling Good, Feeling Great
76 Maggie Rogers - Light On
77 The Hard Aches - Warm Blooded
78 Tusky - Beacheater
79 SWIDT - Who Run It
80 Tusky - White Dress
81 BLESSED - Superfly
82 Ready Steady Steroids - I'm Not a Pessimist, I'm an Optometrist
83 Denzel Curry - CASH MANIAC\CAZH MAN1AC (Feat. Nyyjerya)
84 The Presets - 14U+14ME
85 Racing - Motel Pool
86 Luca Brasi - Clothes I Slept In
87 Spacey Jane - Cold Feet
88 Turnstile - Can't Get Away
89 The Chemical Brothers - Free Yourself
90 Stonefield - Through The Storm
91 Turnstile - I Don't Wanna Be Blind
92 The Bennies - Natural Born Chillers
93 The Presets - Downtown Shutdown
94 Reel Big Fish - You Can't Have All of Me
95 Camp Cope - The Omen
96 Thelma Plum - Clumsy Love
97 Tusky - Goosey Goosey Gander
98 POETIK - Lets Kick It (Feat. MELODOWNZ)
99 Harts - Wishfulness
100 Muse - Get Up And Fight
101 Dead Letter Circus - The Armour You Own
103 Odette - Take It To Heart
104 Urthboy - Have & Hold (Feat. TIAAN)
105 Coda Conduct - Love For Me
106 YUNGBLUD - Polygraph Eyes
107 Nicky Jam - Live It Up (Feat. Will Smith & Era Istrefi)
108 Muse - Blockades
109 The Dollar Bill Murrays - Dancing With Death
110 Samsaruh - Gunpowder
111 Loser - Loser
112 DMA's - Time & Money
113 The Porkers - Make Hey!
114 Young Offenders - You Be You
115 DZ Deathrays - Back & Forth
116 Charlie Collins - Mexico
117 POETIK - For My City
118 Middle Kids - Salt Eyes
119 SG Lewis - Hurting (Feat. AlunaGeorge)
120 Gretta Ray - A View Like This
121 The Smashing Pumpkins - Seek and You Shall Destroy
122 Drake - Nice For What
123 Tash Sultana - Free Mind
124 What So Not - Stuck In Orbit (Feat. BUOY)
125 Nothing But Thieves - You Know Me Too Well
126 Kid Pharaoh - Jesus Looks Like Me
127 David Byrne - Everybody's Coming To My House
128 Matthew Sweet - Run Away
129 Dabrye - Emancipated (Feat. Ghostface Killah)
130 The Living End - Not Like The Other Boys
131 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Muddy Water
132 The Hard Aches - Happy
133 Ball Park Music - I Am A Dog
134 Press Club - Suburbia
135 The Prodigy - We Live Forever
136 Kookshill - The Ride
137 Muse - Thought Contagion
138 Dream Wife - Hey Heartbreaker
139 The Living End - Drop The Needle
140 Slaves - Chokehold
141 The Delta Riggs - Fake That
142 Minor Premiers - Memphis
143 K21 - Change My Way (Feat. Joy & Sparks)
144 Sean Paul & Major Lazer - Tip Pon It
145 Aluna George - Superior Emotion (Feat. Cautious Clay)
146 Montaigne - For Your Love
147 Dead Letter Circus - The Real You
148 West Thebarton - Stuck On You
149 A.B. Original - Blaccout
150 Wiley - Flip The Table Freestyle
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