The Best in the World 2015: Part Three


[ Part One | Two | Three | Four ]

You forgot he existed, until you saw his Snapchat
DJ Khaled

Although DJ Khaled’s role in the music making process is questionable at best, he has recently given the world a glimpse into his almost unbelieveable lifestyle via Snapchat. An endless source of life advice and wisdom, Khaled will educate you daily on the benefits of breakfast, lunch, and all the keys to success. Don’t play yourself. Follow DJKhaled305 right now. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, check out a compilation of all his best moments below. – TAYLOR BARNES

Least Functional ‘Greatest Albums’ List From A Publicly Funded Source
NPR’s 50 Greatest Albums of 2015

Is it too meta to include a “greatest list” within our end of the year list? Probably. In any case, we look to NPR’s list of the 50 albums they deem most worthy of 2015’s best. Despite gradually including a wider swath of genres and focusing on artists outside of those featured on Prairie Home Companion, National Public Radio still can’t figure out what constitutes a noteworthy album and what is simply complying with Paste and Spin’s top picks. Should the inclusion of contemporary classical music trump Leon Bridges’ brilliant debut simply to include something remarkably “un-pop?” A distinct lack of Father John Misty, Beach House, Wilco, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Sleater-Kinney, A$AP Rocky among many others seems inexcusable when Carly Rae Jepsen and Florence Welch make the cut. Of course, an individual who is list-maker themselves can never quite be satisfied with any smattering of 50 names. – JAKE TULLY


Best Superhero Television In An Era With Too Much Superhero Television
Jessica Jones

I’m into that comic book nerd shit but even I have to admit it’s getting to be a bit much — between the family of SHIELD shows and the CW universe and random properties like Supergirl & Hellblazer being mined for TV, there’s just more superheroes on TV than the market really needs. Especially since they’re all in the same flavor, which is namely “superheroics.” That’s what Netflix’s Daredevil was: a really good superhero action show. Jessica Jones is different, and it finally does what actual comic books have been doing for nearly 20 years: using superheroes as a vehicle to explore bigger themes. In the modern age of comics, you can’t just write Superman, you write a story about how the powerful should behave that just so happens to use Superman as a metaphor. You don’t write about Daredevil, you write a story about the criminal justice system and how that fails in a world where superheroes are real. Jessica Jones is a story about trauma and survival — what predators and abusers look like in a world of superpowers, the damage they would cause, and how so much of that damage looks like our world.

The main antagonist, Kilgrave, is a dark and logical conclusion to the idea of mind controlling superpower, something that is usually portrayed as a cartoonish tool just to move through a plot (think Jedi mind tricks.) Jessica Jones forces us to think not only about what havoc that power would wrought, but about how that power already exists — the way rapists hold that over their victims, the way abusers hang over the lives of everyone they’ve attacked in ways we don’t even consider. Kilgrave’s most powerful acts of control aren’t always ones where he uses superpowers, and when he does turn it on, he feels like the most fearsome, unbeatable villain in superhero film and television, period. Add into it Krysten Ritter’s surly performance and extremely tight, up & down & up plotting, and it’s one of the best works of superhero fiction ever. – JUSTIN PANSACOLA

Artist You Can’t Stand But Is Kind Of Tolerable Now Award
Justin Bieber – Purpose

As much as you hate to admit – 2015 was the year of the Biebs. The singer has come a long way from his bowl cut days of “Baby” and has transformed into a tatted R&B sensation with hits such as “What Do You Mean” and “Love Yourself“. With the release of Purpose, Bieber shattered the record for most songs (17!) on the Hot 100 chart – a record previously held by The Beatles and Drake. Months before his album, Bieber controlled the airwaves with Skrillex and Diplo’s heay hitter, “Where Are U Now.” Purpose has become everyone’s guilty pleasure turning Anti-Bieber’s into, dare I say, Beliebers. Given the list of the industry’s top producers: Blood Diamonds, Rick Rubin, Skrillex and collaborators such as Nas and Halsey – Purpose breathes fire into every track. Finally, after years of being on America’s Most Hated list – Justin Bieber has honed in on his talents to become one of the best artists of 2015. – TAMARA SYED

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