My favorite thing about traveling is the quality time I get to spend with my iPod. I’m aware of how that sounds. Sure, I like new places, new people – turns out Omaha steaks really are one of the great pleasures on God, Buddha and nem’s green earth – but what really makes me excited is how new experiences color old habits.
There is a heightened awareness that I think happens when you are in new places. You pay attention, not just because you are taking things in but because you are trying to get your bearings. Customs, smells, the way Google Maps becomes your best friend – all of this requires you to be open and cognizant.
And for me, I find that that leads to hearing music I love differently.
This list represents what I consider to be the 20 best recorded songs in black music this year. You should know before reading that I don’t just consider singles, as singles are such a small sample of what is recorded and released in any given year.
Any number of songs from Tank’s three studio albums could have made this list. That’s how deep – and dope – Tank’s catalog is. It’s a crime that he’s not a bigger star. I chose So Many Times because I still think it’s one of the finest songs he’s ever sung and it’s totally a song that could have been a huge hit had it been released as a single. Brilliant as Tank is, he hasn’t always made the best choices in singles.
The song was written by Static/Major, the greatest songwriter no one knew they knew. This is his best song and Tank owns it. The song is basically about sex, but the melody is so tight, so smooth that you almost don’t listen to the words. That is until the hook comes in: “I’m horny like I’m fresh out of jail.” Tank makes it sound like the sexy, sly come on it is, without sounding cheap or silly. Few male singers can do that well.