Pitchfork's 200 Best Albums of the 2010s

Pitchfork recently listed their "200 Best Albums of the 2010s," highlighting "the records that made the decade." We couldn't help but notice that Downtown represents rights to works on about a tenth of the list, so we decided to make our own playlist of select songs from our catalog featured on 18 of Pitchfork's top 200 LPs of the past 10 years — including music by A Tribe Called Quest, Beyoncé, Disclosure, Drake, Frank Ocean, Iceage, Jamie xx, Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, RATKING, Rihanna, Run the Jewels, Shabazz Palaces, Solange, Sturgill Simpson, and U.S. Girls.

Coming in at number 200, RATKING's 2014 debut studio LP So It Goes — an ode to a forgotten New York landscape at the height of the city's rapid gentrification, as exemplified on tracks like "Snow Beach." Consisting of emcee Wiki, producer Sporting Life, and former member Hak, the group fused sample-driven East Coast hip-hop with an experimental, post-punk attitude — juxtaposing a nostalgic, old soul aesthetic with forward-thinking, youthful restlessness and providing a blueprint for how to innovate while still remaining rooted.


So It Goes is followed by 2018's Beyondless by Danish punk band Iceage (Crunchy Tunes) at number 187, Black Up (2011) by Sub Pop's Shabazz Palaces at 179, and Sturgill Simpson's 2014 sophomore LP Metamodern Sounds in Country Music at 162. Run the Jewels secures the 131st spot with their 2014 cult classic Run the Jewels 2, which features Wiki and Despot on the bonus cut "Blockbuster Night, Pt. 2." U.S. Girls comes in at 115 with 2018's In a Poem Unlimited, including the Richard Morel co-written "Rosebud." At 105, Disclosure follows with their 2014 project Settle — which features the song "Together," a collaboration with Jimmy Napes, Sam Smith, and Nile Rodgers. Solange takes 83 with her acclaimed 2019 album, When I Get Home, co-written and co-produced by Cowboys & Pirates' own John Key. John played a significant role in the project, contributing to 10 songs — including the video single “Binz.”


Drake's 2015 retail mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is featured at 69 and includes the song "Jungle," sampling Gabriel Garzón-Montano's "6 8." Kendrick Lamar's 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning album DAMN. follows at 57, featuring his revealing autobiographical origin story "DUCKWORTH." — which contains a sample of Hiatus Kaiyote's "Atari." Another contemporary hip-hop classic, released the year prior, A Tribe Called Quest's We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service comes in at 44. Its second single, "Dis Generation" featuring Busta Rhymes, includes a sample of Musical Youth's Fitzroy Simpson co-written "Pass the Dutchie" — a reggae classic.


Beyoncé's Shea Taylor co-written album 4 (2011) takes the 31st spot, followed by Jamie xx's 2015 record In Colour at 25 — which includes a sample of the John Robie and Arthur Baker co-written "I.O.U." by Freeez on the track "Girl" — as well as 2018's GRAMMY-winning Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves, co-written by Daniel Tashian (Big Yellow Dog). Next up, Lana Del Rey's Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019) at 19, featuring a cover of Sublime's '90s classic "Doin' Time" — which was inspired by the George Gershwin and DuBose and Dorothy Heyward co-written "Summertime" itself, adding to a long list of over 25,000 works influenced by the jazz standard.


Rihanna's 2016 LP Anti lands at 12, including the Shea Taylor assisted "James Joint," while Frank Ocean's 2012 album Channel Orange follows at 10 — also featuring writing by Shea, as well as Taylor Scott Johnson. Finally, occupying the third spot, Beyoncé's game-changing eponymous 2013 visual album — with co-writing and production by Ryan Tedder and Omen, the prior contributing to "XO" and the latter to "Mine" featuring Drake.


Read more about each project on Pitchfork's full list.

 

 

 

Listen to our "Pitchfork's 200 Best Albums of the 2010s" playlist and more.