Here are a bunch of great 2005 songs, some very popular (well, most of which are very popular) but many of which don’t get the same attention on blogs as say, “Sittin’ Sidewayz.” Actually, many of them get attention from blogs too, but I’ve been listening to them a lot so it doesn’t matter. Basically here are some great songs I want to talk about because I’m bored at work, and if you don’t like it too bad. (Now 100% Dipset-free!)
15. Boys n da Hood – Dem Boyz
Its weird but people still hate on Diddy. Between 8ball and MJG’s album last year, his video-endorsment of T.I. in Rubberband Man and this, Diddy is like my favorite non-rappingest rapper. Oh yeah and this song is great blah blah blah read about it on gelandweave. The album is pretty good too! Plum Drank makes fun of me for liking SAD RAP MUSIC but one of his favorite songs on the album is about how the Boyz refuse to make happy jams.
14. Cassidy – I’m a Hustla
This track is like someone listening to Jay-Z’s Life and Times of S. Carter and deciding that it was too long, and really it could be a single song about hustling. OK so it misses huge swaths of Vol. 3‘s awesomeness but its reductive and punchline-heavy version of Jay-Z is pretty great on its own. I like the remix with Mary J. too, because as Serg would say, I have soft hands. Don’t worry though, plenty of R&B left in the list.
13. Kano feat. Sadie – So Sure (Remix)
Kano is disappointing everyone, because the WEIGHT OF GRIME’S MAINSTREAM SUCCESS IS ON HIS SHOULDERS. Or it was, I think his 15 minutes of blogophame are up. This song is really pretty though.
12. Christina Milian feat. Twista – For Real
The return of Xtina Milian! Triumphant clarion call of chipmunked voices, but oh how sweet it is. (Remember when in “Dip It Low” Christina said “greet him at the door with nothing on”? That was my favorite part, too.) Seriously, Twista’s the best thing to ever come out of Chicago rap.
11. Keyshia Cole – I Should Have Cheated
I saw her do this live on Live at the Apollo and it was mildly jawdropping. She started out uncomfortable and by the end her Mary J. Blige-like tortured conviction had sort of leveled the boisterous crowd. Oh yeah, this song is also depressing because she’s clearly lying – she wouldn’t have cheated, and this is her last attempt to hurt. She contradicts it all with a little overdub at the end.
10. Lil Rob – Summer Nights
I’ve already said too much about this song but I thought I should reiterate its greatness because no other bloggers or internerds are recognizing. Its like the rap version of “Night Moves” which makes it classic, obv.
9. Eightball and MJG feat. Lloyd – Forever
This is on their great and underrated album Living Legends from last year and I like how weird it sounds on the chorus – slow, gutter-ass Shondrae beat and then Lloyd’s creepy falsetto singing about hustlin with your misfits and keeping money til you get rich. I like the video a lot too, with its dark, post-rainstorm Memphis gloom. MJG dreams of marrying Oprah and Eightball’s gonna let his nuts hang and start punching clowns out. Get this album.
8. Tru – Where U From
I didn’t feel the album as much as Plum Drank but the single is killer, jazzy New Orleans bounce with rumbling pianos and big triumphant horns and people shouting out where they are from like the title instructs. The video is pretty wild, dudes just going buck all over the place (courtesy IAP-TV).
7. R Kelly – Slow Wind
Way better than “Trapped in the Closet,” or at least it has a lot more longevity for me. “Slow Wine” is R Kelly doing reggae, sort of like the Police *do* reggae! Yeah, its like the best Police song never made. And its pretty sexy too, without being creepy. No ‘wacky’ lines about tossing salads. Kell’s music is good BEYOND novelty, folks, its true!
6. T.I. – ASAP
T.I. is my favorite rapper, and this is my favorite 2005 T.I. single.
This is a picture of Aesop Rock sweatbands.
5. Xzibit – Criminal Set b/w Saturday Night
This is like one of those old classic Cali beats, propulsive thump and Ice Cube lyrical hook. I like it a lot! Certainly better than the recent Xzibit-Timbaland bullshit. Its like X was waiting for Timbo’s price to go down before he’d hire him. Which is sort of like buying stock in WorldCom today. Man I remember I bought man and machine from ‘hiphopsite.com’ because it came with an autographed poster and the CD was fucking awful, and no one would buy the poster on Ebay. Fuck you Xzibit! Oh yeah the b-side to “Criminal Set” is called “Saturday Night” and it has a cool flute hook. These songs are both great. Xzibit is great at this old Cali sound, and at adding useless shit to cars, just leapfrog over the middle of his catalogue.
4. TOK – Hey Ladies, Footprints
TOK are so awesome. Their new album Unknown Language is like the perfect summer barbecue music celebration LP, and these are two of the best songs on it. “Hey Ladies” is on the Junkanoo rhythm and it’s an upbeat BLAST of perfect party dancehall. Footprints is SAD, like the blues! No but seriously, the track is pretty heartbreaking, and my favorite use of the beautiful drop leaf rhythm.
3. Pretty Ricky – Your Body + Bow Wow feat. Ciara – Like U
These two songs are like synth-pop hip-hop, twisting the dark rowdy crunk synths into peppy 80s pop cuts. Lil Jon tried this with Nivea’s “Okay” and it didn’t work very well. Lil Jon is much better at club/arena-sized minor key air-raid synth blasts. These sound much more like little bedroom teenage pop synths, which explains why they work so well for these artists I suppose.
2. Mariah Carey featuring Styles P and Jadakiss – We Belong Together (Remix) + Mariah – Secret Love
Styles P has a funny name. Say it. “Styles P.” I haven’t heard anything from him since the totally great “I Get High” which is much better because it came out way back when it did than it would be if it came out today. Anyway this remix is way better than it has any right to be, consider how much it messes with the original. I posted about “Secret Love” way back when, and it’s still one of the best songs Mariah’s ever done. And its with recently-revitalized Swizz Beats. Why its not on my copy of the Mariah album I could not tell you.
1. 3-6 Mafia, Young Buck and 8ball and MJG – Stay Fly
I mentioned this a couple days ago in a couple awkwardly-worded sentences, but jesus is this track great. I mean we go through like 5 years of New York sub-soul, sped-up samples thrown in to harness that generic 70s sound, a hundred bad songs for every good one (“I Get High,” “Through the Wire”) and helium no longer has the same effect. THEN! Hypnotized Minds drop, like, the apex of *THAT SOUL SOUND* with this, a full-bodied realization of the legendary encounter that David Banner couldn’t quite get right (“Gangsta Walk” is good and all, but…). This song fucking rules.