Maybe the most straightforward track of the year. “I Beat the Pussy Up” yells Bay Area rapper Love Rance. I know all us guys thrive to do that, but wouldn’t actually mutter those words to the woman in front of us. I give credit to the brashness and to the superb production. And upon dissecting the lyrics of this track I can’t help but repeat the stand-out line on the version that features YG, “You know I ate the pussy cuz she light skinned.” Both honest and slightly racist.
No album released, not a household name, no previous hits, yet Frank Ocean had everyone singing Novacaaaane this summer. With the rise of this track, Goblin‘s release, OFWGKTA running shit, and Frankie’s collaboration with Beyonce and The Throne guys, Mr. Ocean is ready to take the reigns as the new R&B posterboy.
Everyone, including myself, was quick to jump on Drake for his super-soft release Take Care. And when an artist puts out so much material, and is featured on everyone’s single and mixtape, it’s easy to lump everything together, but “Headlines” is an insightful look into a musician who had an unexpected meteoric rise. Lyrics like “I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that” puts every Drake lyric into perspective.
It’s easily Weezy’s best song of the year. I was pretty disappointed with the Carter 4 album, after this hard hitting, and unbelievably catchy single hit the airwaves. It samples a song that everyone my age knows from Beetlejuice. How can you not love it?!
Homoerotic lyrics (and music video wardrobe) aside, this was one of the best written songs of the year. My ‘Best Of’ lists sometimes act like an NBA Draft, where potential is a very heavily weighed factor. We all have our favorites, but there’s something about a newcomer grabbing your attention and emotions.
One chill-wave rapper plus one half of my favorite Lesbian guitar playing twin sister duo equals one of the best songs of the year. It’s got a seriously head-nodding inducing beat and the amazing vocals of Sara Quin. The combination is kind of left-field but it’s also right up my alley. Shame on BET and Power 106 for not giving an experimental black artist like Theophilus London ANY play in 2011. Maybe they’ll wise up and diversify in 2012, but probably not.
This is probably the best track of the year, there’s only one problem… it came out last year. And was recorded by Arcade Fire. I love, let me repeat that, LOVE Mr. Little Jeans’ version of “The Suburbs”, but I can’t give her all the credit. The song is great because the kids at Arcade Fire wrote her a great song. But her rendition blows their original recording out the water. It’s pretty Little Dragon-esque actually. An instant slow girl classic for me that blends really dope electronic beats with a super dreamy female voice.
This is an original production to the best of my knowledge. Ohioan Jessica Lea Mayfield released a mind-blowing single that infected me for months. I even played this track during my dance sets. It’s a heartfelt folk ballad, that seems too personal to even listen to. I love this kind of emoting, and her squeaky guitar strums scored my (broken) dreams.
Two words: Yukimi Nagano. The best in the game. Can’t no one touch her, ain’t no one like her. SBTRKT needs to be writing Yukimi all kind of thank you letters for making him relevant. This song just does it for me. Hard hitting production and perfect vocals.
A phenomenon. There’s a video of a guy freestyling over this beat while making breakfast that has gotten over 16 million views in the past month. My point? Even the spoofs are a hit. We all know this song, every DJ has at least 2 remixes of it. It’s this years Dougie. And its got Yeezy and Busta to boot. The song is so good, no one even talks about CB’s walk off from the Good Morning America set anymore. It also can’t go unsaid that longtime GB favorites Diplo and Afrojack produced this mammoth hit. It’s as much their song as it is Chris Brown’s. Big up to Afrojack for pulling Usher and Paul McCartney at his Coachella set, and for Diplo having his face all over Blackberry’s commercial. It’s y’alls world.
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