The urge to make lists at the end of years/decades/centuries and/or the back of your magazine is extraordinary and mind-breaking. I labored over my Pazz & Jop this year, partly because I listen to SO MUCH MUSIC that I loved I know I forgot some things, and the albums section turned out super bootsie cuz I didn’t really listen to full albums like that. A few years ago we just made shit up (is this still the funniest thing Sasha ever wrote?). Fuck I forgot to put Beach House on there. A rather more accurate way of listing I SUPPOSE is to look at the 25 Most Played on iTunes, which weirdly differs from my top played on my iPod, which weirdly differs from my 25 Most Played on the iTunes on my home laptop. This shit is imprecise. BUT HERE IS WHAT I LISTENED TO ON MY iPOD. LIVEBLOGGED! LIVE IT, LOVE IT!
1. Yoyo, “You Can’t Play With My Yoyo”
Still my favorite song ever written. It’s like my bible/life-guide and I’m not even kidding. All my dates involve slow jams and Cisco and I totally do keep a real small gat in my purse. A REAL SMALL ONE. At the FADER edit staff holiday party I got tipsy on Jameson, started iPod DJing and rap-synched to this front to back. Pretty sure Schnipper fell in love with me that night. Sorry boo, my heart belongs to another.
2. Big Boi f. Konkrete, “What’s that Smell”
Why did snap music die? The snap dance was so fun to do (second only to the Walk it Out) and believe me I am very good at it. This song is so dope and it’s ALL ABOUT WEED! GO FIG.
3. Ghost Town DJs “Shorty Swing My Way”
Breezy booty bass w/R&B vocals is imprinted on my soul and this is possibly thee best example of it. It has occurred to me that this is why I also love UK Funky so much. Is this a perfectly written/executed song? Jermaine Dupri, WHY ARE YOU SO AMAZING yet SO WEIRD AND SQUISHY?! No really JD is kind of unheralded for everything he’s done for contemporary music. So So Def Bass All Stars / Rhythm & Quad series shaped a fuckin generation. Plus there’s THIS AND IT IS TOTAL HEAVEN.
4. Nicole Wray f. SAS, “Back Up Against the Wall”
I have this thing about Nicole Wray. I think she’s theeeeeeeee best young R&B singer of our time, man, but nobody rates her. She’s better than Keyshia, better than JHud, also who the fuck is Leona Lewis? Yall need to get off Solange’s dick and holler at Wray. She dropped a decent album in ’98, did vocals on like EVERY Dipset mixtape ever (including a version of “Shorty Swing My Way”), had the cutest best roller skating jam Hot 97 played in the summer of ’04 (“If I Was yr Girlfriend”), dropped an OK song this year and is supposed to put out another album but you know that shit is coming in Nevuary of 2036. Bummer. This song is amazing and I am not mad at UK Dipset members SAS even tho on this song they totally sound like Aesop Rock with that guttural lump in the back of the throat dealie.
5. Peter Scheurman-Nussbaum Jr. “SO SAD ABOUT SPARX RIP SPARX”
This is actually “Freaky Freaky” by Electrik Red but I got it as a promo real early on cuz I wrote a feature on them in the FADER so I mislabeled it in case someone broke into my iTunes or something. More on this later.
6. Rihanna f. Jay-Z, “Umbrella”
I mean duh. I wrote an essay about this being an antiwar pop song for Pazz & Jop 2007 but it’s not online but someone recommended it on Jewcy. I’ve never been on Jewcy before but sometimes people of the Jewish persuasion also think I am for some reason. I get this a lot–Lebanese people always also think I am Lebanese. Mexicans always recognize me as one of their own though. Not sure what that’s about. WAIT NEVER MIND I FOUND IT
7. Lil Wayne “Upgrade U freestyle”
I mean duh. I wrote an essay on Drought 3 when I still had a column on Pitchfork that was pretty much better than anything anyone else wrote about Drought 3, and also perhaps the peak of my writing career. I will never write anything that great again probably. JUST PLAYING! I murder it every day. I’m a monster, every day is Halloween.
8. Emynd “Knee Deep Theme”
This is a track my friend Emil made interpolating P-Funk with Bmore club and it bangs so I choreo’d a dance to it. Yeah dogs I do that kind of thing. I’m a dancer!
9. Ciara “Rattla”
This is an outtake from her last album I found on the internet. Kind of a followup to “Oh,” totally about donks, I grew up a Mexican in Wyoming where hydraulics are the harbingers of sex so you know, I can relate.
10. Electrik Red “Freaky Freaky”
See above. I also choreographed a dance to this one. You know Electrik Red, right? They are like The-Dream’s Vanity 6. He wrote their whole album and it’s fucking amazing but totally slept on mostly cuz Def Jam fucked up working their album and put like zero promo behind it. I’m still pissed cause I love this album. This song is pure sensual molasses.
11.The-Dream f. Mariah Carey, “My Love”
I mean duh. You know I was the first person to interview The-Dream nationally? “Shawty is the Shit” came out and I called him up for Vibe.com on some labor-of-love tip. It was on the old Vibe.com so it’s not up but I think I have a screenshot somewhere. Anyway he’s the homie, always remembers me and is THEE sweetest dude ever. REALLY have to take issue with those knickers he wore at his wedding to Milian though.
12. Lauren Flax f. Sia, “You’ve Changed”
This is a perfect house track and Lauren made it ON A PLANE. Sounds like summer.
13. Emynd “Reach Out”
Why the f do I have two Emil joints on here? This one is good, too, though. It’s “I’ll Be There” on a Bmore club beat so it has the advantage of being MOTOWN.
14. Diamond, “Time to Get Paid”
15. Diamond “Run Yo Mouf”
From the Mz. Booghetto mixtape. Another genre I will always love is the down-south female posse cut. My favorite example of this was “Ready 2 Rumble” by Lady C, Ms. Monet, Dee-Dee and Ms. Unique, from a super small run/bootleg Memphis-based mixtape I had from a LONG time ago called Southern Raw Divas. I have since lost it and am perpetually googling it to see if anyone put it up on the internet. If you have it, please do that. It was on Free-Toes Records and it was a thing of beauty.
16. POPO “Comin to Get You”
17. POPO “Pay the Price”
18. Toadally Krossed Out! “Toads Theme”
19. POPO “Kill Tonight”
These songs will forever remind me of March 2009, when A. we had a Mad Decent showcase at the FADER Fort at SXSW and B. I first met Popo bros AND THEY WARPED MY MIND.
20. Vybz Kartel f. Spice “Rampin Shop”
Erin brought this one back last fall after Jamaica fashion week as the MOST PLAYED SONG EVERYWHERE. Clearly it took about eight months for Hot 97 to get on it but shit aint the same or maybe even worth it since they had to censor out approximately THE ENTIRE SONG. The only thing imperfect about this track is the homo-hate which we obviously do not fucks with. Side note BIG UP to Distrito Federal aka Mexico City for recently legalizing gay marriage. Even amidst what is tantamount to a civil war they still manage to be more progressive than America’s hateful assez. Fuck you for real if you don’t fux with gay rights. Speaking of, the best part of this song is the TRIUMPHANT AND GLEEFUL chorus where Vybz and Spice sing in unison, “I CANT STOP FUCKIN YOUUUUU!” YEAH!
21. Blank Dogs, “No Compass”
I’m such a gothic bitch! I love Blank Dogs though I wish dude were weirder instead of just some dude who works at Academy Records. I want him to be more like the chick in the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. We went over to her apartment in the East Village one time for some reason (her brother is some guy in Jawbreaker that Jessica knew or something) and she was, no joke, watching Blackula wearing some wispy outfit and she had not only a GIANT CROSS in her room but a LIFE SIZED STUFFED SHARK that she said she climbs out of during shows. That’s so amazing! I love that chick!
22. Ellie Goulding “Starry Eyes (Jakwob RMX)”
Pete thinks Ellie Goulding sounds like the yelps of a trapped pixie-faerie (or something) but I don’t know, I think her high voice is sweet and extremely feminine. HMMM. That new song does feature quite a bit of yodeling though. The Jakwob RMX is an awesome dubstep reworking that maybe neutralizes the lovely flutters of her vox. You know in case it is too feminine for you! SNAP!
I think MNDR has huge pop star potential and it’s also rad because SHE IS THE BIGGEST SYNTH NERD OF ANYONE I’VE EVER MET AND YO, I KNOW SOME GIANT ASS SYNTH NERDS. SHE WILL OUT-TECHNICAL ANY OF YOU DUDES. READ HER BLOG! IT’S STUPID CONFUSING! This song makes me sad John Hughes is dead so he can’t make another movie and soundtrack the joyous final makeout scene with this.
24. Freeway f. Jay-Z & Beanie Siegel, “What We Do (Dirty)”
Do you really need me to rant on how I kind of hate Jay-Z a little bit because he broke up the Roc? I would have done so before Beanie Siegel started being whiney but now it feels unnecessary. Freeway is still one of my favorite rappers. His new album with Jake One is actually super dope! and I was worried cause frankly a lot of Jake One’s beats are boring to me. But it works. Aw man, Beans. You know what else this reminds me of? The best blog ever written by my friend Chris Ryan, GABE SAID WE’RE INTO MOVEMENTS. It’s all letters to Jay-Z and it’s genius because Chris is the best writer on the internet for serious. Music critics can twit ma beez. He wrote this entry for me if I recall. Gabe is Gabe Tesoriero, who is our friend and also like VP of PR at Def Jam. Chris was writing Rick Ross’s bio for his first album and wrote about how Rick Ross was a MOVEMENT and Gabe was like “YEAH WE’RE INTO MOVEMENTS.” I think.
25. L-Vis 1990, “United Groove”
I think L-Vis is a crazy genius, he’s so good with any style. Did you know he makes videos also? Like as a job? He directed the video for “Who’s There” by Riton & Primary 1 and some other things I can’t remember. So that’s cool.
I think it is weird that my top 25 on my computer does not match the ipod one. What is up with that?