Album: Kid Ink, My Own Lane (2014)

The blankness of the default Mustard beat makes it ideal for the interplay of R&B and hip-hop—it's as easy to hear Jeezy shouting "R.I.P." as it is for Chris Brown to lay down a sugary chorus. The muscle of the groove provides a perfect counterpoint to R&B's lush, unclenched generosity of feeling. Kid Ink's "Show Me" has a lot working against it: it flips a pre-existing club classic (Robin S.'s 1993 house jam "Show Me Love"). The song's star is a somewhat blank template, a photocopy of a photocopy of the archetype Wiz Khalifa already embodies. And it features the perpetually annoying Chris Brown. That the song not only survives these drawbacks, but feels like one of the most vibrant pop-rap singles of the past few years is a tribute to the creative sparks that fly when Mustard's delayed bounce meets the smoother side of R&B. —David Drake