[Single] Review: Future, “I Won” (ft. Kanye West)


Future Continues Relying on Autotune on Latest Single “I Won” Future featuring Kanye West • “I Won” (Single) • Epic • Release Date: April 8, 2014  Future has to be one of hip-hop’s more divisive artists – and NO I’m not throwing any shade.  It’s not because of the content of his music, but rather his reliance on such a heavy dosage of autotune.  The … Continue reading [Single] Review: Future, “I Won” (ft. Kanye West)

The 100 Best Songs of 2013: Complete!


Juicy J-WBU-019355

After a year filled with numerous albums and even more songs, choosing 100 of the best is an incredibly difficult task.  Like with the best albums of 2013, there will be surprises as well as snubs.  Sometimes the snubs are oversights while at other items there are just so many notable songs that some just get lost in the mix.  Regardless, here are 100 songs I found to be notable in 2013.

100

“I Luv This Sh*t”

August Alsina featuring Trinidad James

From album: Downtown: Life Under the Gun

August Alsina has one foul mouth on him, but his real talk mixed with the slower, horn-accentuated production is a match made in heaven, if a blasphemous one (see the hook).

99

“Cabaret”

Alice Smith

From album: She

According to highly underrated alt-R&B musician Alice Smith, Hollywood isn’t very kind: “I see no reason for chasing / in Hollywood, got to lose my patience / want this life to be a cabaret…” Hollywood may not be for the ‘faint of heart’, but “Cabaret” it self is brilliant.

98

“Every Man Should Know”

Harry Connick, Jr.

From album: Every Man Should Know

Sometimes the simplest, and most important life lessons to become a gentleman are best conveyed through song, preferably a mix between traditional pop, jazz, and country.

97

“Sophomore”

Ciara

From album: Ciara

http://rd.io/x/QUKSLjderx_Z/

Judging by this track, Ciara is far from being a ‘freshman’… definitely. “I ain’t no amateur / baby I know how to handle ya / If you ready for this ride, get your saddle up / I need a boy with some stamina…”

 96

“Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece)”

Wale

From album: The Gifted

We expect nothing less than Wale’s clever wordplay between “piece” and “peace”, particularly on an album titled The Gifted.  Specifically, Wale informs us that too many people don’t want to hear about Jesus or his ‘peaceful’, Christian approach; they’re more concerned about the bling-bling (aka Jesus piece).

95

“Holy Grail”

Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake

From album: Magna Carta…Holy Grail

Magna Carta…Holy Grail certainly left plenty to be desired, but few can deny that Jay-Z is one of the kings – all hail, “Holy Grail”!

94

“Unf**kwittable”

Kid Cudi

From album: Indicud 

http://rd.io/x/QUKSLjdem6WN/

Basically, Cudi is saying you can’t mess with him… he’s unbreakable… or something like that.

93

“Let Us Move On”

Dido featuring Kendrick Lamar

From album: Girl Who Got Away

Even English singer/songwriter Dido had to get Kendrick Lamar on the track… can’t blame her.  “Let Us Move On” is arguably the best moment from an underrated album nobody bought.   Well, I bought it to be fair.

92

“Vegas Girl”

Conor Maynard

From album: Contrast

The video is a trip…‘course the song is too.  Conor may still have some ‘schmaltz’ about him, but he also has some swag.  Swag on brother – swag on!

91

“Pusher Lover Girl”

Justin Timberlake

From album: The 20/20 Experience

Love and sex have been compared and likened to everything at this point (thanks R. Kelly).  JT decides to make his lady like a drug dealer, only she deals love instead of say cocaine.  What’s shocking is that this album opener works triumphantly.

90

“Clappers”

Wale featuring Juicy J Nicki Minaj

From album: The Gifted

What does one learn from the ‘cellulite anthem’ “Clappers”? That “Shawty got a big ole butt…OH YEAHHHHHH!!!”

89

“Heart Attack”

Demi Lovato

From album: Demi 

I’m not going to front, I’ve been listening to Demi put her “defenses up” all summer…  I don’t think she could really survive the number of heart attacks she’d receive at the hands of my playlist on repeat though…

88

“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”

Alice In Chains

From album: The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

While the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs (at least that I can remember off the top of my head), I’m not so sure Satan created them… Regardless, this title track from Alice In Chains’ most recent album was among the best hard rock performances of the year, potential misconceptions and all.

87

“While I’m Alive”

STRFKR

From album: Miracle Mile

While I’m Alive” sports an irresistible, danceable groove; Electronic cues further sweeten things while the soulful guitar is the ‘cherry on top’.  Well written, the theme of “While I’m Alive” is getting past the past, broken relationships, and living ‘while I’m alive.’

86

“Bandz A Make Her Dance

Juicy J featuring 2 Chainz Lil Wayne

From album: Stay Trippy

Everyone needs a good stripper anthem in his (or her) lives, right? On the raunchy “Bandz A Make Her Dance”, Juicy J spits: “Bands a make her dance, bands a maker her dance / All these chicks poppin’ p***y, I’m just poppin’ bands…”

85

“Body Party”

Ciara

From album: Ciara

Just when ‘the art of making love’ was getting boring… Ciara’s here to spice things up!

84

“Her Favorite Song”

Mayer Hawthorne

From album: Where Does This Door Go

Yeah, the accompanying music video is weird, even if the ‘dogs’ are meant to represent guys that are dogs (in theory), but the song is brilliant.  “But when she gets home, she puts her headphones on / she plays her favorite song and fades away…” I do the same thing… well not quite in the same context though…

83

“Brave”

Sara Bareilles

From album: The Blessed Unrest

Here’s the gist of the song: STAND UP AND BE A MAN!!!  $%^!

82

“Trojans”

Atlas Genius

From album: When It Was Now

I promise this song is not about a popular brand of condoms or making love… really:  “Take a picture you could never recreate / write a song / make a note / for the lump that sits inside your throat…” I promise!

81

Forbidden Fruit

J. Cole featuring Kendrick Lamar

From album: Born Sinner

I know, I know – I somehow missed this gem on my “50 Best Rap Songs”, but the atonement is on this broader list.  The one-two punch of J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar is nothing short of fire, period.

80

“Love Me”

Lil Wayne featuring Future Drake

From Album: I Am Not A Human Being II

“Love Me” may have been a shallow as everything else was on I Am Not A Human Being II, but at least it was enjoyably shallow.  “Long as my b*****s love me / I can give a f**k ‘bout no hater…”

 79

“Angel”

Depeche Mode

From album: Delta Machine

Sure, this track is titled “Angel”, but it surely must be representing a dark angel… Mysterious, chilling, and ‘bothered’, “Angel” finds Depeche Mode doing what they do best.

78

“Nosetalgia”

Pusha T featuring Kendrick Lamar

From album: My Name Is My Name

The rap IQ on “Nosetalgia” is off the charts, particularly with Kendrick Lamar collaborating with Pusha.   Pusha T proclaims himself the “Black Ferris Bueller, cutting school with his jewels on…what I sell for pain in the hood, I’m a doctor…” while Kendrick Lamar’s slaughtering verse is capped off with “Go figure mother f**ker, every verse is a brick.” True.

77

“Ain’t It Fun”

Paramore

From album: Paramore 

Ain’t It Fun” may be Paramore’s best track EVER.  Driven by a funky groove, the band goes ‘big’ with a gargantuan bass line, full-force punk-laden guitars, and gospel vocals.  ‘ain’t it fun’? – Definitely!

76

“Pop That”

French Montana featuring Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne

From album: Excuse My French

The raunchiest track from French Montana’s debut album is the best.  It’s all about popping… and I’ll leave it at that!

Continue reading “The 100 Best Songs of 2013: Complete!”

The 100 Best Songs of 2013: Part 3 (#50 – 26)


After a year filled with numerous albums and even more songs, choosing 100 of the best is an incredibly difficult task.  Like with the best albums of 2013, there will be surprises as well as snubs.  Sometimes the snubs are oversights while at other items there are just so many notable songs that some just get lost in the mix.  Regardless, here are 100 songs … Continue reading The 100 Best Songs of 2013: Part 3 (#50 – 26)

November’s Playlist: The Best of October 2013


I’ll admit that during the month of October I missed out on a couple of albums (Pearl Jam, Scotty McCreery, Korn, Paul McCartney, etc.).  Alas, that is the life of a music journalist and music critic – you can’t listen to ‘em all.  Despite this, from the albums I did partake of, I’ve assembled a list of ‘gems’ to start out November 2013 just right! … Continue reading November’s Playlist: The Best of October 2013

Playlist: Bangers That Get It Poppin’ At The Club… (Part 1)


Who says that a twenty seven year old trained musician with a masters degree in music theory/composition can’t throw down to a banger? Nobody, so don’t judge me!  I have compiled a list of  twenty club bangers (not BANGERZ) and have divided it into two parts.  See you at the club snitches! 1 Wale featuring Juicy J & Nicki Minaj “Clappers” (The Gifted) Much of … Continue reading Playlist: Bangers That Get It Poppin’ At The Club… (Part 1)

Review: DJ Khaled, ‘Suffering from Success’


Khaled’s Not ‘Suffering from Success’, perhaps suffers from a lack of innovation…  DJ Khaled⎪ Suffering From Success⎪ Cash Money ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 22, 2013 If there is one reservation I (and likely others) have with DJ Khaled’s albums, it is that generally they all seem ‘one-dimensional’.  Maybe that is a harsh critique, or maybe it’s just actual reality.  Of the Khaled albums that … Continue reading Review: DJ Khaled, ‘Suffering from Success’

Playlist: 15 Tracks To Spin Heading Into August


So August 2013 has arrived…ugh! Where did summer go? SMH! Well, whether life is in a state of “earthquake weather” because you were an a-hole to your girl, or you see a hot girl and you just want to ask her out for “dinner and a movie”, well music can help you out with that.  There is definitely something on this playlist for everybody.  15 … Continue reading Playlist: 15 Tracks To Spin Heading Into August

Review: Jay Sean, ‘Neon’


British-Asian pop and contemporary R&B artist Jay Sean continues to struggle to find an artistic identity stateside on his fourth studio album, Neon. Okay here’s the deal. British-Asian pop/R&B artist Jay Sean has never really established commercial grounding in the U.S.  Yes, “Down” was a no. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, but his debut album stateside (third overall), All or Nothing was no … Continue reading Review: Jay Sean, ‘Neon’

Review: Rich Gang, ‘Rich Gang’


Is ‘Rich Gang’ wealth without substance?  Rich Gang⎪ Rich Gang ⎪Cash Money⎪⎪ US Release Date: July 23, 2013 Featured artists include: Ace Hood; Birdman; Busta Rhymes; Chris Brown; Cory Gunz; Detail; Flo Rida; French Montana; Future; Gudda Gudda; Jae Millz; Lil Wayne; Limp Bizkit; Mack Maine; Mystikal; Nicki Minaj; R. Kelly; Rick Ross; Tyga “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, or better yet, … Continue reading Review: Rich Gang, ‘Rich Gang’

Chart Moves, July 24, 2013: Jay-Z Keeps the Number One Spot Warm


Chart Rewind Jay-Z latest album Magna Carta…Holy Grail debuted at number one with gargantuan numbers to the tune of 528,000 copies, giving the MC his 13th number one album. Ciara ‘came up’ on her fifth album, Ciara, bowing at number two with 59,000 copies sold. Nope, 59,000 is ‘change’ compared to the half a milli Hov moved, but for CiCi, it was a 22,000 copy … Continue reading Chart Moves, July 24, 2013: Jay-Z Keeps the Number One Spot Warm