75.Statik Selectah ft Joel Ortiz & Brother Ali-Damn Right
Brother Ali might have the most underrated guest verses of all time. I never hear anyone talking about his cameos, yet when he blesses it's lovely. Might be the underground Andre 3k. That's how memorable his verses are. Joel delivers a dope verse as well. The beat is cold to, Ali needs more of this on his next album for certain.
74.Mayer Hawthorne-Mr Blue Sky
I usually have a hard time co-signing cover songs. The fact that I am on my Sunshine Anderson a.k.a Heard it All Before doesn't help either. But this jam from Mr Hawthorne was crucial for my ears. He brought a little more soul into it, and it fits his M.O a little more than the original.
73.Drake-Look What You Done
The piano loop on this is classic. What makes it work too is the lack of drums in the beginning that help sell the emotion(yeah I know folks will say he is soft for this) of the song. I might not be the hugest fan of this man's music overall now days, but I can't front he understands a thing or two about crafting a good song.
72.Lil Wayne ft Tech Nine, & Andre 3000-Interlude
Andre 3000 spits a verse on here and Lil Wayne doesn't.
Also:Those who have somehow never heard a Tech Nine verse in their life will be amazed by his technical skills. For those who have, there is a Andre 3000 verse.
71.9th Wonder ft Terrance Martin, Phonte and Bird and The Midnighters-One Night
When I hear this song, it reminds me of the stuff that the older folks would listen to at parties when I was a kid. Has the funk as well as the soul and has that groove that had your Uncle yelling “that's my jam” and let the two-step'n begin from that point on. I almost want to buy an old Cadillac(or Lincoln) so I can drive around with a tooth pick in my mouth, fur coat on my back and this song playing in the system. It's that type of jam.
70.DJ Premier ft Nas & The Berklee Symphony Orchestra-Regeneration
If I wanted to be lazy basically I would just say there all artist involved in the title are enough to warrant any amount of listens. I am not so I will say it was good to see Premo and God's Son teaming-up again after what seems like forever(Nas is Like). But then you add the fact that there also is an Orchestra from one of the most prestigious music schools in the world? This should have been playing after you read the song title basically.
69.Marsha Ambrosis-Lose Myself
A cover Lauryn(Miss)Hill's far and few new musical creations this year. Now taking the form of a ballad, the song finds new life under Marsha as it's message of losing ones self and then finding it again is slowed down and the lyrics take on a new meaning.
68.Lupe Fiasco-Words I Never Said
Remember when Alex the Kid and Skylar Grey were taking over Top 40 radio months ago? Much like the bankers/speculators on Wall Street, big labels seem content in capitalizing as quickly and recklessly on something “hot” at the moment. Though when the Kid/Grey production was presented to Lupe while reorganizing LASERS for mass consumption(aka record executives approval), Lupe transformed another would be sad love song, into a rebel anthem for the masses. One of the biggest songs(sales wise) in his career asked many questions that had been pretty much ignored or handled pooryly by popular music. A rant of sorts, the song brought up such questions like: Is Obama really a terrorist? What about that War on Terror? What am I doing while all this is going on in the world? Salute, for making smart, cool once again.
67.Lil B'-Gon Be Okay
I like the sample(as well as the movie it's from), the positivity as well isn't bad to. Though he is on the Based flow more so than a structured verse, so not all the bars are nice, but if the kids are listening to this versus some of the trash that I hear on radio, I Okay with that.
66.Blu ft SA-RA & NOLA Darling -Never Be The Same
Nola Darling kicks this off so lovely. Like that is as good as it gets when you want to start a song off. It's hard for me to really zero in on what I really like about this one, because on hand it kind of has that bounce that you would cruise to. On the other hand it adds a bit of the electronic sound in it to make it something new. It works well, and because of that I am still trying to fit it into some box that exist when really there isn't one for this type of song.
65.Kirk Franklin-Before I Die
Paging Wale! This is what should have been on Ambition! The Go-Go drums and horns on this joint are ridiculous. Kirk brings it, the arrangement is incredible and you can't get that DC bounce outta of your head either.
64.Snoop Dogg ft Wiz Khalifa- The Weed Iz Mine
I wasn't really checking for Snoop this year, but my homegirl sent me this one and I couldn't deny the groove on it. Some of that OG bounce right here. Wiz Khalifa who I usually could care less about, actually sounds cool on the track as well(props for him will go no further that sentence). Though I am not a marijuana advocate, I can still be OK with life when this song comes on, and get my two-step on.
63.The Weekend-What You Need
Up until a few weeks ago I had all but forgotten about this guy. But as I sat in front of a beautiful French woman with a glass of wine in her hand, who just happened to ask what I would like to listen to, this was the 2nd song that got played. She liked it of course, and set the mood for the night. A slow burner, for the late night sessions, almost transported from a time when slow jams weren't regulated to a day or certain night on a station. Perfect music to set the mood.
62.E-40 ft Devin the Dude-Looking Back
They spittn' game right here. From 40-Water and Devin we get a look back at a few tales of their early days in the music game. As a long time fan of both artist, it's treat to hear some insider stories from their early days over this laid back beat. It's almost like you are kicking it at a summer picnic and your able to listen to the two start those remember when stories.
61.Big K.R.I.T-American Rapstar
To think that this was something that he did with out the help of Def Jam money. I really look forward to seeing what a little bit more money behind him could do. Not only is this something to ride to, but it also has some thinking man lyrics as well this guy might be one of the best in the game currently.
60.Theophilus London-I Stand Alone
Anthem status song right here. I can't deny how contagious this song is,the fact that it was the theme song for Season 2 of HBO's How to Make it in America(though I didn't watch any episodes yet)doesn't hurt either the cause either.
59.Killa Mike-God Is In the Building 2
With Andre 3000 making appearances on some tracks that are questionable, you got to wonder why he isn't appearing on tracks like this that would further his legacy, instead of say...Llyod?Despite the what I feel would the lack of a 3 stacks verse, Mike sounds like the super-hero of the south over this southern banger. Seeking God, exposing his flaws, and telling you who is still walking with him through it all. You can tell I miss Outkast don't ya?
58.Blu ft Thurz, Yonas Micheal, Pac Div, J'Davey, El Prez, Tiron & Ayomari- Doin Somethin
A posse(I just said that word)cut that if it wasn't for Mr Muthafuckin Exquire(I feel guilty just typing his name), would have been my favorite posse-cut for sure. You of course want to know who has the best verses of course. I would say in this order: Blu, Like, Tiron,Thurz, Yonas, Beyong, Mibbs, Ayomari, J'Davey.
57.Drake ft The Weeknd(should be the other way around IMO)-Crew Love
This track right here was ridiculous! Like crazy! For not having any drums especially the majority of the track it works. The Weeknd goes off on the vocals(pause), and when Drake finally comes in, it's above average flow, and I can't hate that. This is is a song on paper I am not supposed to like, but when I press play I can't front on it like I don't. Fierce track though.
56.Toro Y Moi-New Beat
My homegirl put me up on this dude, and I am so glad she did. This song has grooves. Wouldn't mind bumping this at a summer Barbeque as well for the fam & friends. Funky, but cool, that's a good lane to reside in.
55.Shabbaz Palaces-An Echo from the host that protess infinitum...
A mind shifting song. When I first heard it I was like, this is fierce, but when it goes into percussion mode midway through the song, and the journey it goes on from there is what allows it to stand out amongst the crowd.
54.James Blake-Give Me My Month
So soulful...I love listening to stuff inside somewhere, with a cup of tea, on a rainy day, or by a late night winter fire. Yeah, I like this song a lot, and it's rawness especially. No unnecessary polish that makes it sound like an Alicia Key's track.
53.Rapheal Saddiq-The Perfect Storm
I need more songs like this in my life. So does the rest of the world.
52.Little Dragon-Ritual Union
There are two Sweden artist on this list, what is Europe doing to me? The title and opening track to their latest offering had some funk to it. Get yo' Prince on Little Dragon!
Songs about travel always will have a home in my favorites.
50.Mr J Mederios ft Stro- Serious
First off, Stro absolutely nails the hook! Like this might be one of the best features of the year. Just that alone should warrant a listen. A song that definitely should be getting some plays from a lot more people outside his fan base.