2015’s Badlands propelled pop sensation Halsey to the top of the hip-pop totem pole, neck and neck with Charli XCX and Taylor Swift. Among the competition, Halsey may turn out most versatile. Songs like “Castle” and “Drive” lead off with the warm pomp of Yeezy’s “Graduation” and over-the-top theatrics of bands like Panic! At the Disco and Paramore. Vic Mensa chose her to spit a verse alongside New York firebrand Le1f and Lil B, the Based God. The pop of today features singers and producers who can churn out songs that are polished and experimental. The 21-year-old Jerseyite writes tough, jittery tales over ’06-style DJ Toomp drums.
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