Most people who read me or know me know that I was pretty underwhelmed by most black music released this year. I do think this was a stronger year for individual songs than it was for albums, but even so I could literally only come up with 10 songs that I really love, that I played a lot, that I repped for hard this year.
Before we get to those though, here are a few runners-up. These are songs I like, that are good in their own way, but didn't quite bowl me over the way the top 10 did for one reason or another.
Anwar Robinson, “Come Over”
EPMD, “Don’t Get Clapped”
Frank Ocean, “Back”
JLS, “Shy of the Cool”
Johnny Gill, “In the Mood”
LastO ft. Stern Savage ,“The City”
Van Hunt ,“What Were You Hoping For”
Teedra Moses, “To Hell Wit It’
Mobb Deep ft. Nas, "Dog Shit"
Jazmine Sullivan, “Fly & Sexy”
Lalah Hathaway, “Small of My Back”
Common ft. Nas, "Ghetto Dreams"
After the jump, get into the 10 songs that I adored this year.
It is likely too early to call, but Kelly Rowland may be finding herself.
We all know I love me some Kelly Rowland so I’m probably biased. But it is nice to see her finally own so completely and confidently the fact that she is the finest woman on the planet.
But more than that, she holds your attention in this video in a way she simply hasn’t before. Kelly for so long was the dime piece who didn’t want you to notice her. Even though she was a prominent member of one of the biggest girl groups of all time. Even though everyone who had eyes could tell that there was something there worth paying attention to.
“Motivation” the song and video feels more like the true progression from her scene-stealing turns in “Lose My Breath” (both song and video) and on the last Destiny’s Child album, where she got all the best parts and freaked the hell out of them. It isn’t a great song, but it’s better than what she’s been releasing so far and, most importantly, it allows her to use the top part of her vocal range well.
And it just feels like the star turn we’ve all been waiting for.