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What Your Spotify Wrapped Says About You






As a song once said, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" While this song was denoting the joys of Christmas, this particular blog is talking about another seasonal subject. This is the time of year where insecurities are shown and both true and false humility are displayed. That's right, I'm talking about #spotifywrapped.


If you don't know what I'm talking about, as the year begins to wind down, Spotify reveals exactly how much music you've been listening to and who has had your attention this year. This is a time for excitement for the fans and some artists, but this can also make less popular artists feel a way. While these numbers can show exactly how much suport an artist has garenered over the course of a year, some artists try and fake their numbers. Since the dawn of social media, these vanity metrics have stroked egos or made folks feel worse about themselves.

When Spotify first hit the scene, it changed the trajectory of the entire music industry. The focus went from album sales to streams. Due to the way apps track the data of their users, Spotify gives in-depth analytics about who, when, where, and how much fans are listening to their favorite artists.


While everyone knows that their habits are being tracked and music is suggested to the listener based on their tastes, Spotify created an interactive experience wherein the fans look forward to being presented with these findings. Spotify Wrapped shows the listener exactly who their top five artists are, the amount of minutes spent listening, and even creates a playlist of your top 100 songs for the year!!!


There is playful banter thrown in the mix so it’s not just a barrage of boring statistics and analytics, but Spotify Wrapped is an interactive experience that the user is then encouraged to share with others. With 2020 and 2021 being the years that they were, there’s no wonder that consumption of art, specifically music, probably dramatically increased.


But what does this all mean? Who cares about your Spotify Wrapped? It’s just music and entertainment right? I would say that you are both right and wrong. Music can be a deeply personal and intimate thing for people. Certain songs can evoke emotions and trigger memories that are both good and bad. Many of us mindlessly play music in the background, but others take the time to carefully construct and craft playlists curated to our moods and what we have a desire to hear. I submit that your Spotify Wrapped says a lot about you and your year overall.


While I can’t prove this, I can only look inward and see what my Spotify Wrapped said about the music I listened to this year.




This year, Spotify Wrapped told me that if my life was a movie, the opening credits would be the song “No Grease” by Swoope. To understand why that’s so epic to me, you need to hear the song first.



That song is pretty dope right!? If that song was my life’s opening credits, that would make my life seem like some sort of action thriller movie, which as dope as that would sound, couldn’t be further from the truth. That song is number four of my top five songs played for the whole year. The crazy thing is this: the song dropped in March of this year and still made it to my top five! Why? Because for a season, I was exercising at home and this song was typically the one I used to get my work outs on. There were also times where I would just put this song on repeat during my whole workout! It’s December and I still listen to that song like it just came out, it’s that good to me.


While I don’t intend on going through every aspect of my #spotifywrapped, I will highlight some of it and break down what the particular artists and songs say about me and what I value. Let’s get into my top five genres tho.





My number one genre this year is Christian Hip Hop. It’s a sub genre of hip hop that has existed since the late 80s and early 90s. Many folks have become aware of CHH (Christian Hip Hop) through the hip hop artist Lecrae. Lecrae rose to prominence in the late 2000s and early 2010s. From charting on iTunes in 2008, to his first Grammy nomination in 2012, winning the coveted award in 2013 and 2016, Lecrae’s stardom has often helped shine a light on this niche genre.


But that’s not how I was introduced to the genre. I’ve been listening to CHH since 2001, so this makes 20 years of listening to hip hop with Christian themes and undertones (I might write a blog on that too, let me know if you are interested). I’ve since moved from a listener of the sub genre to writing about it via the Trackstarz platform. This caused my already high consumption of the music to elevate to an even higher level. At one point I was writing articles almost every week about the new songs, albums, and music videos that were released.

Last year my number one genre was Lo-Fi Beats I believe, but this year Christian Hip Hop rose to the forefront. That makes sense to me, because this year was hard for me. In times of hardship I turn to my Faith and to music that speaks to my soul. July 10th, 2021, marked the ten year anniversary of the day I was robbed at gunpoint. The fact that God literally extended my life by 10 years had me emotional. I threw the song “Miracle” by Aaron Cole on repeat and was just thanking God for the fact that I’m still breathing. I don‘t know of too many mainstream songs that can speak to my soul that I can loudly and comfortably play in my home or car in front of my wife and daughter. I can play most Christian Hip Hop around them and won’t have to worry about turning the song. This plus the fact that I write about it makes perfect sense why it’s my most listened to genre. I value the message just as much as the music.




Your Top 5 songs also reveal something about you. Out of all the millions of songs, what is it about these particular songs that made you visit them over and over again? Was there a messsge or melody that just stuck with you? What was it? While you mull over those questions, I’ll briefly talk about my Top 5 Songs of 2021.


Song number 5 is “Desire” by Psalm Trees and Guillaume Muschalle. This is actually a lof-fi or chillhop song. For those not familiar with this genre, it’s a sub genre that jazz influenced instrumental hip hop. There are typically no words, and it’s gained popularity in the last few years. This song “Desire” was one that I threw on while writing or if I just wanted to hear it. It’s from an album that spoke to the need for hope and though it was released it March, I’ve been listening to it all year.

Song number 4 is “No Grease” and I discussed that song earlier. Number 3 is from an artist who was in my Top 5 in 2019. “Bustling” by Freddie joachim is a lo-fo song that sounds good to listen to when I drive at night. My second most streamed song is “Rinse Cycle” by Justcallmedt. I love the best and how chill it is. I think I became a fan of Justcallmedt off the strength of this song alone. It’s an introspective hip hop song that speaks overcoming roadblocks and persevering.


My number one song is “MPJ Freestyle” by Andy Mineo. It was released in August and has had chokehold on my ears. It was Andy’s first release that hinted at the fact that he was getting ready to release a brand new album. I’ve always loved Andy’s albums, so I was excited, but I didn’t expect to love the song this much! According to Spotify, I’m from August to December I listened to this song a whopoint 91 times!! Why???!


I loved the beat but I think it was Andy’s flow of conscious that captivated me. on his second verse he rapped, “It’s funny how all of these companies are caring about folks they never defended.” He then goes on to say, “Y’all don’t care about answers, y’all just care about not getting cancelled.” Those lines spoke to me because I believe thats exactly what’s happening. All of these companies have statements, but when you go their social media accounts and history, the people they claim to care about are not represented. Between the beat, this being the first single from Andy this year, the introspective lyrics, and the jabs at perfomative justice, this song just had me! I highly recommend that you check out the song.



Now we arrive at the nitty gritty. I’ve acknowledged the content that I’ve been rocking with this year, but it’s time to talk about my top 5 artists, the folks who made all of this excellent music that’s been integral to my 2021. My number 5 artist is an artist named Swoope. I've been listening to his music since 2012, and his 2018 released album 'Sonshine' got me through a tough 2018 and 2019. Then this man fooled around and dropped an album in 2021 called '24.' This album was chock full of bangers like the titular "24" and "OKF." Swoope is a rapper's rapper and he is an amazing producer as well. The project dropped in July and I'm still listening to it. Swoope gets better with each release and his latest album is no different. Swoope stays in rotation.



My number 4 artist is a guy named Ruslan. I've been listening to his music since 2011 or 2012. Over the last year and a half he transitioned his focus to YouTube, but he was constantly hinting that he had "a lot" of music in the stash. Imagine my surprise when he released a whole album! For me, Ruslan is my quintessential artist because he fits the season of life I'm in. He's a mid thirties Christian, entrepreneur, and husband, which exactly mirrors my life right now! His album, 'Love What You Do,' was released in October and most of the album made it's way to my "On repeat" playlist that was created by Spotify. His single "First Love It," is my current text tone and will be fo the foreseeable feature. As a fulltime poet and writer, I'm finding that his music is helping me as I seek to build up my business.



My third most streamed artist is a cat named Nic D, and crazily enough, I became a fan of his music this year. I was first made aware of him because Ruslan was singing his praises and had multiple interviews with him on his YouTube channel. I finally decided to dive into his music and was blown away. His work ethic was crazy, he released a song and music video every two weeks for a whole year and he's released a slew of singles in 2020 and 2021. Nic is an anomaly in the music industry: he's in his late 20s and he's writing songs about honoring his wife and the songs are blowing up. His breakout single of the year was "Fine Apple" and his fans loved it so much that the labels came knocking. He signed with one label to a single deal to work "Fine Apple," which may be in the six figure range. He's impressive on the pop side of things, but when he dips into the hip hop side of his artistry, that man is a problem. I'm more a fan of his rapping and his music stayed on repeat when I was faithfully working out. His songs "Weak," "Antsy," "Crickets," and more helped me push through and complete my workouts and inspired me to put in more work into my own craft.





The second most streamed artist in my top 5 is Andy Mineo. I’ve been rocking with Andy for about a decade, and even though he’s not in my top five emcees, I rock with his music heavy. His 2015 album ’Uncomfortable’ still gets plenty of streams to this day. I’ve made a “Mineo Playlist” on Spotify and whenever he drops something, I pay attention. That’s probably why I listened to “MPJ Freestyle” a whopping 91 times. He’s dropped EPs over the past couple of years, so it’s been a while since he was in full on album mode. When he released ‘Neverland II’ at the top of October, I immediately threw that thang into rotation and on repeat.


This album is the follow up to his ‘Neverland’ EP he released back in 2014. This new project finds a more mature Andy as he talks about what’s going on in his life. As he strives to balance being the best artist, husband, friend, and Christian, he draws the listener into his world. Andy has a way of relaying his thoughts in a manner that I envy as a writer. I feel like I’m reading his diary when I listen to some of the songs. Once again, this album came at a time when I was ready to hear it and needed it. Songs like “It Could Be Worse,” “Trying,” and “Priorities” speak to the season of life I’m in.


My most streamed artist of 2021 was Psalm Trees. What’s fascinating to me is that his music comes from my second most streamed genre of Lo-Fi and he’s not even an American artist. Psalm Trees is based out of the Netherlands and he made the album ‘We Must Believe In Spring.’ This album was released in March and he used sounds of spring to convey hope during s time where it’s most needed. For at least two or three months, I had this album on repeat. Sometimes I just let the music wash over me, and other times I used to his music as background noise while I wrote my poetry. I guess this was such a rarity that Spotify said I was in the top 0.05% of his fans. That’s crazy to me.






There you have it, that’s my Spotify Wrapped, and I think it encapsulated my year perfectly. In 2021 I found myself striving to find my way. I made a career pivot and was starting to really bet on myself and the music I listened to reflected that. I needed hope and outside of my faith practice, I turned to artists and musicians who had songs of hope, struggle, and those who emphasized hard work like Nic D, Ruslan, and Psalm Trees. When I needed to look inward and reflect, I turned to Andy Mineo and Swoope.


My Spotify 2021 Top 100 songs also mirrored my year. There are some Japanese pop and rock songs on there because my daughter and I watched a lot of anime together. The music chosen for the openings and endings of the shows are amazing and I found the ones I liked the most on Spotify and played them in the car. If you ever rode in the car with me you heard my music go from Christian Hip Hop to Lo-Fi and you might hear the occasional Japanese sing. Music plays a big part in many of our lives and by listeneing to what each other listens to, we get a sense of who that person is. Some argue that music is just entertainment, but I argue that the music you consistently listen to is the soundtrack for your life. What do you have playing on your life’s playlist?










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