Cupid by Sam Cooke: One of my favorite artists of all time, Sam Cooke’s voice is unparalleled. This song is one of my favorites but I came across it this time in an unexpected manner… I was listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse this week including her cover of “Cupid.” While I like Amy’s version, I found myself singing the song all day but with Sam Cooke’s voice in my head.
Someday by The Strokes: My coworkers and I were sitting in the office listening to music when the Strokes got brought up. My coworker said he saw a list of the “worst bands of all time” and the Strokes were number 5. For whatever reason, that had me a little pissed off. Granted, I haven’t listened to the Strokes since their debut album, Is This It, but I still don’t believe they are a horrible band. I love this track, “Last Nite” and the whole album is pretty great as a whole. While I’m not certain what direction they took after Is This It, I think making a classic album should at least keep you from being mentioned with bands like Nickelback and Limp Bizkit.
Redemption by Jay Rock f/ SZA: Criminally underrated rapper and a criminally underrated album by Jay Rock this year. Being the dumbass that I am, I forgot to include Redemption in my year end Hip Hop list so hopefully this makes up for it a little bit. The title track is phenomenal and “WIN” is another banger. Definitely check out the whole album if you haven’t already.
Never a Dull Moment by Statik Selektah, Action Bronson, Termanology and Bun B: A classic Statik beat, a classic Bronson verse but I was pleasantly surprised to re-listen to the Termanology and Bun B verses. Check out the video below as well, it’s a classic.
Valerie – ’68 Version by Amy Winehouse: It was hard for me to pick just one Amy song to put on the playlist. All week I’d been listening to “Valerie”, “Cupid” and “You’re Wondering Now.” “Valerie” is just such a beautiful song and I can’t stop singing it so I had to go with that one.
Zealots by The Fugees: Quite possibly the best rap verse I’ve ever heard. Lauryn Hill’s verse on this track is full of bravado, dense wordplay and biting lyrics. In one verse she cemented her status as a GOAT in Hip Hop. Check out the full lyrics to the verse below.
Like Me by Joey Bada$$ f/ BJ The Chicago Kid: Joey Bada$$ became popular with his “90’s-styled-boombap” flow along with his crew, Pro Era. As his career has blossomed, young Joey evolved as an artist; becoming more politically leaning and offering a more melodic sound than his previous works. I think this track off his 2015 album B4DA$$ is the first instance in that direction. This is one of my favorite tracks by the Bada$$ and to me, it’s straight lounge Hip Hop. The perfect setting for this song is a good, comfortable seat, a stiff drink and something to put in the air and pass to the homies. Also check out his live performance of this track on Jimmy Fallon when he debuted the song: click here.
Zealots, Lauryn Hill’s Verse:
“Yeah, yeah behold, as my odes, manifold on your rhymes
Two MCs can’t occupy the same space at the same time
It’s against the laws of physics
So weep as your sweet dreams break up like Eurythmics
Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
Whether Jew or gentile, I rank top percentile
Many styles, more powerful than gamma rays
My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays “Black Magic Woman”
So while you fuming, I’m consuming mango juice under Polaris
You just embarrassed cause it’s your last tango in Paris
And even after all my logic and my theory
I add a “Motherfucker” so you ignant niggas hear me
Crew remember take notes, as I sow my rap oats
And for you biting zealots, here’s a quote”