I’ll preface this list by pointing out that it’s not my m.o. to keep a running list of songs I like. What am I supposed to be, Chinese? Dustin Hoffman in Rainman?
I was already gonna put together a list of my favorite albums of the year, and my favorite rap albums of the year, for features on my own site and this site respectively, as I’ve done the past couple of years. But the other day, I got an email from a guy inviting me to participate in a poll of rap critics, and part of it involved putting together a list of my 10 favorite rap songs of the year. Which I hadn’t planned on coming up with. It could be the case that this was part of the poll last year as well, and I just didn’t bother. I know I haven’t bothered submitting a list of songs with my Pazz and Jop (an exclusive critics poll, limited to only the top 1500 music writers in the country) ballot the past couple of years. But then I figured what the fuck. This way, I can fill up two days worth of posts with asinine lists.
Without further ado.
1) Eli Porter “Iron Mic Freestyle” – Something that just occurred to me rewatching the controversial Iron Mic freestyle battle for the purposes of creating this list: Of course Eli Porter is retarded. But the rest of those guys are probably retarded as well. If they went to my high school, they definitely would have been in “resource,” if not downstairs resource, aka “the Lost World.” But I went to a high school where you had to be able to read in order to be in a regular class. I’m not sure how it works in the South. Feel free to chime in in the comments section, if you have any insight with regards to this matter.
2) Busta Rhymes “Arab Money” – A strong contender for the number one spot. If only the video, by Rik Cordero aka the Cancer of Filmmaking, didn’t suck balls; and if only Busta Rhymes hadn’t been pressured by the TIs to change the pronounciation of the chorus to Ah-rab money, which is as pointless as it is weak. It’s been redeemed to a certain degree by the remix, which includes guest verses by everybody and their grandmother, and which, in an attempt to make it a bit less offensive, has somehow been made even more offensive.
3) Mic Terror “Detention” – The final, triumphant volley in my favorite hip-hop beef of the year, Mic Terror vs. Mazzi. Mazzi, you’ll recall, had put out that song “Lesson A,” going at hipster rappers for wearing those Rachel Ray terrorist scarves, and questioning how Jay Electronica has somehow gotten the LCD community to pretend as if they like what sounds like a buncha long lost Killah Priest records. But the song was just gay, and he tried to turn it into some sort of race issue, rather than just a music issue. He pretty much set himself up to be chopped down by Mic Terror. Fortunately, Mic Terror didn’t pull a Charles Hamilton and let the Tis talk him into eating a few shrooms and calling it an evening.
4) East Coast Avengers “Kill Bill O’Reilly” – Similarly, this is the song Ludacris would have made after Billo the Clown cost him his coveted endorsement deal with Pepsi, if Ludacris… wasn’t the kind of rapper who goes around seeking opportunities to shill for soda companies. Ha! No but really, it’s unfortunate that this didn’t lead to an actual on air confrontation between Billo and the East Coast Avengers. I know Billo’s had Cam’ron and Damon Dash, and Diddy, and Blood Diamond Rush on there. What gives?
5) John Brown “Sarah Palin (I Wanna Lay Pipe)” – Speaking of politics, here’s another failed opportunity. The song itself was fantastic. Probably the best thing John Brown will do. And probably the only John Brown song I’m gonna listen to anyway. But how did he not cast bespectacled, gorgeous (albeit a bit short) pr0n star Eva Anglina as the Sarah Palin stand-in in the video? If it’s because he didn’t have her number, I’m sure he could have gotten it from ?uestlove from the Roots. I could have arranged that. I’m friends with ?uestlove on Twitter. And I’ve got reason to believe there’s some secret folder he carries around with information about pr0n stars in it.
6) Japcity “The Facts” aka “Operation Purse Snatcher” – A spiritual hymn for what became known this year as the No Tights Pants Movement. Of course I was gonna support such a movement, if only because tight pants are just not an option for a man of my stature. But also, I do find it unfortunate that hip-hop has gotten as teh ghey as it has. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just that I consider hip-hop to be a straight genre of music, and therefore I don’t find that sort of thing conducive to quality hip-hop. I know, I’m such a homophobe.
7) Elzhi feat Royce the 5’9 “Motown 25″ – If I was in charge of picking out the rappers for this year’s 10 Freshmen cover, which obviously I wasn’t, a good half of it would have consisted of rappers from the D. And the only reason I say half is because I’m not even sure if I’m familiar with 10 rappers from the D, let alone 10 that put out songs this year. The ones that did though fucking killed it. Black Milk in particular pretty much pwned 2008. It’s a good thing he’s apparently constitutionally incapable of producing a song suitable to be played on the radio. He could fuck around and be on Fat Beats forever. We can only hope.
8) The Knux “Cappuccino” – The only hipster rap group that put out a song, and then an album, people actually liked, and they didn’t even turn up on the cover of XXL’s all-hipster 10 Freshmen issue. Or was that by design? I did a couple of posts about the Knux here around the time their album dropped, and the response from the comments section was a resounding, “Who in the fuck are the Knux? We’ve never heard of them, and hence we can’t be bothered to read any posts about them. And it’s not like we’re sitting in front of machines with which we could find information about them, if we were so inclined.”
9) Snoop Dogg “Sexual Eruption” – This seems like it’s been around so long it shouldn’t be considered a song from 2008. But I figured I’d go ahead and include it on the grounds that I’m seeing that damn MGMT album showing up on a lot of best of list this year. Shit, I wouldn’t be surprised if that shit was still showing up on best of lists next year. True story: As recently as yesterday, I was informed by some unfortunate southerner on Twitter that I need to check out a song called “Electric Feel” by a group called MGMT. Has that shit even been in a TV show yet? ’09 could be a long year.
10) Ron Browz “Pop Champagne” – Speaking of Jim Jones, this is easily the best (and as far as I know, the only) thing he’s done since “We Fly High.” I’m gonna have to second ?uestlove (who’s only saying the same shit I’ve been saying for years) on this one: If Jim Jones can continue to churn out crap like this, which can’t be that difficult, Damon Dash might be able to avoid getting kicked out of his apartment. If I were him, I’d talk to the bank about signing an agreement similar to one of those agreements you have to sign in order to avoid having your heat turned off during the winter. Or as I like to call it, an “I work for for Harris Publications” agreement.