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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2005 YEAR END WRAP-UP: Singles 

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Better late, then never? Not necessarily the best singles of 2005 in any kind of objective way ('cos some of the most significant records of the year ain't to be found in these parts), just the joints I liked the most personally. I'll say this much though, there were a whole lot more hot singles than albums but I'll get into that in another post coming soon (I hope).

THE CHAMPION SOUNDS (in somewhat rough order):

* Amerie "1 Thing" (Sony Urban) - it got totally overplayed by it's peak but was still a mindsplittingly great club banger that showed there was hope for classically produced hip hop music in an era dominated by keyboard and digital-effects heavy production.

* Ying Yang Twins "Wait" (TVT) - shout to Dave Banner too.

* The Game feat. 50 Cent - "Hate It or Love It" (Aftermath/Interscope) - I never got tired of hearing this track all year.

* Damian Marley - "Welcome to Jamrock" (Tuff Gong) / I-Wayne "Can't Satisfy Her" (VP Jamaica) / Richie Spice “Youth A So Cold” - good to see the classic roots reggae sound back in vogue last year.

* Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z & Fat Joe "Go Crazy (remix)" (Island Def Jam)

* Lil Kim " Lighters Up" (Atlantic) - the album wasn't really a 5 mic-er but this single was. I think people would have been even more into this if it had turned out that Lauryn was the artist behind this joint like many had initially thought. Even though many dismissed it as a blatant "Jamrock" bite (like that Juelz "Murda Murda" wasn't - WTF?!), one thing was for sure, it was definitely a lot hotter than that half-ass Fugees comeback single.

* Paul Wall "Sittin' Sideways" (Swishahouse) - "Still Tippin'" set off the movement but this track was Screwed up, Texas, rider music perfection.

* Cassidy "B-Boy Stance" (J/SonyBMG) / "I'm a Hustler" (J/Sony/BMG) - two of many Swizz Beats heaters this year that added up to him having almost as big a comeback this year as Mariah Carey.

* Dem Franchize Boyz "Oh I Think Dey Like Me" / Dem Franchize Boyz feat JD, Da Brat & Bow Wow "Oh I Think Dey Like Me (remix)" - Snap Music: big in 2006. Remember where you read it first.

* Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp "Grillz"

* Jae Millz "Who?" (Wanna Blow Ent.) - unfortunately for this kid, people are still saying, "Who?" when his name comes up despite dropping a series of stellar grimey NYC bangers like this one all year.

* Ne-Yo feat. Peedi Crakk "Stay With Me" (Def jam)

* John Legend “Ordinary People” - I just hope that every male contestant on American Idol doesn't butcher this instant-standard Alicia Keys "Fallin'"-style next season.

* Juelz Santana "There It Go (The Whistle Song)" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam) / "Mic Check 1, 2" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam) - this dude dropped so many hot songs last year in advance of his album that I was primed for what I was sure was gonna be a modern classic. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be but that's a story for another post....

* Yummy Bingham feat. Jadakiss "Come Get It" (Motown/UMG) - and I thought this joint was really gonna go too. It really didn't.

* 50 cent feat. Mobb Deep "Outta Control (remix)" - this guy and his crew lost a fair amount of their cachet this year by dropping too much medicocre product but this remix of one of the few decent tracks from his The Massacre album was hot fiya. Even Fitty-haters had to give it up for this, right?

* Styles P "I'm Black" (Ruff Ryders/Interscope) - between this and Jada's "Why?" single, D-Block finally grew up but, unlike "Why?" this was criminally overlooked. Hip Hop fans (and black radio), what's wrong wid y'all??

* Tony Yayo "So Seductive" (G-Unit/Interscope) - one shot, one kill... literally as far as that so-so Yayo album went.

And also dug:

* Ashanti feat. Paul Wall & Method Man "Still On It" (The Inc/Island Def Jam)

* Ax "100 to 1" (White Label)

* Da Backwudz feat. Slim Thug & Nas "You Gonna Love Me (remix)" (Rowdy)

* Dwele "I Think I Love You" (Virgin)

* Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl" (Interscope)

* Juvenile feat. Ludacris "Pop You" (Atlantic)

* Kanye West feat. Jay-Z "Diamonds (remix)" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)

* Little Brother feat. Joe Scudda "I'm Lovin' It" (ABB/Atlantic) - one of the few highlights from a WAY overrated album.

* LL Cool J & Juelz Santana "It's LL & Santana" (Island Def Jam)

* Maceo "Nextel Chirp"

* Mashonda feat. Nas "Blackout" (Full Surface/j records)

* Remy Martin "Whuteva" (Terror Squad/SRC) - despite a couple good singles, no-one really cares about this broad, do they?

* Nas feat. Lauryn Hill "It Wasn't You" (unreleased - I think)

* Notorious BIG feat. Jay-Z & Diddy "What You Want" (Bad Boy/Atlantic)

* Pharrell Williams feat. Gwen Stefani "Have It Like That" (Star Trak/Interscope)

* Prefuse 73 feat. Ghostface & El-Pee "Hideyaface" (Def Juxx)

* Razah feat. Fatman Scoop "I'm In Love With You" (Virgin)

* Stack Bundles "Why Would She" (Unreleased)

* Teairra Mari "Make Her Feel Good" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)

* Three Six Mafia feat. Eightball & MJG & Young Buck "Stay Fly"

* Ying Yang Twinz feat Mike Jones "Badd" (TVT)

amongst a year with a lot of hot singles in every conceivable format from white label promos to bootlegs, mixtape exclusives, mp3-only tracks, CD-R burns, mashup's and ones I'm probably not even up on yet.

A look back
: the 2004 Year End singles wrap-up.

NOTE: the mp3 links in this post may be (actually probabably are) dead. Sorry, but I really didn't have time to check them all out and clean them up. If you're curious about any of the music discussed here that you may not be familiar with (which is hard to imagine 'cos these are all hits of one sort or another in the clubs, on the street, on the radio or otherwise), google it, check it on itunes or, here's a novel concept - GO BUY IT!

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