I’m not going to waste time talking about how wonderful (or not) 2011 was, I’m just going to list a few songs (I’m not sure how many yet) that took me through the year. Some of them were released within the year, some before – but all of them impacted me in the year in one way or the other. So without further ado, I present to you, my list
Patrick Stump – Mad at nothing
The Fall Out Boy crooner has possibly the best vocal range in the business, and he uses it really well here as he tells his runaway love that she’s made a huge mistake getting mad at him over nothing whatsoever. Add some wicked toms and 80s sounding keys and you’ve got a song I absolutely adore – and it’s just a bonus track on the album.
Janelle Monáe – Cold War
I think this song was released in 2010, but I really couldn’t care less. The ArchAndroid continues to be a standout album on the R&B landscape – and this theme song for the lonely heart on a mission is one of many brilliant songs from the record.
Iye – Nothing.
I heard this song before most :D. I’m proud to call Iye a personal friend, and who wouldn’t be? With this much depth and such an incredible voice, what’s not to love. With DJ Klem behind her, I predict huge things for she who is, in my opinion, Knighthouse’s finest.
Foster the people – pumped up kicks.
Lady Gaga may be the queen of eldritch, but no one song she has done is quite as disturbing as Foster the People’s break out tune. A very slow burner, the homicidal feel good song was released in 2010 but didn’t become a worldwide smash till summer of 11. It’s astounding that so many people can feel good listening to someone sing about killing his classmates though…
Eva Alordiah – I stay
I love pianos. I love strings. I love rap. I love girls. Now put all of them together sexily on the same track and I consider myself dead and gone to heaven. I rarely like artists based on one song – but this is an exception. My love for Eva is well documented on twitter – and this song played a big part.
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
This song is an infection – you cannot help dancing when you hear it. The California party animals stunned the world by rapping about nothing important and bringing back a dance previously thought extinct. I’m not crazy about dance music but this track is all kinds of hot.
Aloe Black – I need a dollar
In a year when everyone from Lahore to Las Vegas felt the pinch, some good ol’ soul crooning was all we needed to tell us exactly what all of us appear to want so much more of. Aloe Blacc is probably gonna go down as a one hit wonder, but boy what a hit this is.
Coldplay – Paradise
To be honest I was a bit disappointed by Mylo Xyloto. The first single grew on me after a few plays, but it wasn’t the instant love that most Coldplay lead singles inspire in me. Luckily this song came out – brilliant. And the video – brillianter. Love it love it love it!
Shudy featuring TIG – Boloman
Superhero tunes aren’t regularly heard in Nigeria, but this off-centre track by Shudy aka ThatBoloman is a bit of a gem. Produced by yours truly and featuring a dope verse by TIG, this should be on more playlists than it currently is. I mean, wouldn’t you like to be rescued by a dude in an Ankara cape and mask?
Take That – Love Love
I carried serious last in movie watching in 2011. I didn’t watch X-Men 1st Class until November – and I loved it. When this song came on at the end I couldn’t believe its awesomeness! The imagery is so on point!
Patrick Stump – The “I” in lie
Cheating has never been so cool. I imagine a couple at a Patrick Stump concert, and the dude throwing his hands up when Patrick starts singing the hook – and the look on the girl’s face when he does so! Dope!
Maroon 5 – Never Gonna Leave This Bed (Acoustic)
Maroon 5 is one of my favourite bands… Of all time – please quote me on that. This song speaks to me – celibate though I am. I love it! And Adam Levine’s voice is just INCREDIBLE!
Oji – Just Like Sugar
Pro-Inc. general Oji comes… Erm… Well quite frankly quite weird on this tune. Another off-centre tune by a personal friend. This one is strictly for the ladies…
Eminem – Cinderella Man
This was my standout track from the Recovery album. If you’re gonna brag, why brag about money? Brag about doing the impossible! Over a banging beat by the still completely unknown Skill Seraph, who also provides a delightful hook, Cinderella Man is a track that befits such a juggernaut in the game.
Lil’ Wayne featuring Bruno Mars – Mirror
By a million miles my favourite track off The Carter IV, I’m astounded this is only a bonus track. Bruno comes so correct that all Weezy has to do is breathe and it’s a study in dopeness.
Zuki – Getting Mine
Pro-Inc. in the house again! JoOoo! Anytime I hear Zuki rap I just feel so proud to hear how far he’s come in a few short years. He’s getting it, plain and simple.
Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You
Cee-Lo has been flirting with music royalty for years. He found worldwide success with “Crazy” as part of Gnarls Barkley, but lacklustre sales of their follow up must have frustrated him to no end. This anti-relationship anthem penned by label-mate Bruno Mars granted him another shot at superstardom – and he grabbed it in his own very flamboyant style.
Shudy featuring TIG – Am I Enough?
Shudy enters my list again with this sweet love song. Released on Valentine’s Day, it is in my opinion one of his best tunes. Another completely on point rap by TIG completes the picture.
Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars – Lighters
As an Eminem junkie I’m always on the lookout for new material from him. Having had my reservations about the Recovery album, I was even more bothered when this EP was announced. My trepidation was again unfounded though, as Bad Meets Evil delivered – Bruno Mars assists this tune to perfection. Dope.
MI featuring Praize – Epic
When I first heard MI I liked him, then I didn’t like him anymore, and I’m still not really a fan. I did buy his album though. This song… That hook… That melody and harmony through the verses… I don’t think I’ve even listened to the bars yet.
Eva Alordiah – High
I’d been waiting for the GIGO EP for months, and when it dropped I’d lost quite a bit of the initial excitement. As a dutiful Eva groupie, I downloaded and listened through, and I was rather pleased with what I heard. Solid stuff. This track might sound like an ode to getting high, but it’s way deeper than that.
Download the entire EP here http://www.notjustok.com/2011/11/20/download-eva-the-gigo-ep/
Give Me Everything – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer
I’m not a Pitbull fan. I am, however, a Ne-Yo fan – and his presence made this song, in my opinion. Love it.
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
When this song was announced I was a tiny bit scared it would be all over the place. It’s not. It’s a tightly arranged pop tune that makes you dance. And dance again. And again. And again. Absolutely love it… Infectious.
Alexandra Stan – Mr Saxobeat
I’m not even gonna talk about this one. I’ll just start dancing… Doo… Doo doo doo…
P-Square – Asampkokoto
Every P-Square album has a song I like – even though I’ve never been a fan of theirs. On the invasion album it’s this tune. I still don’t know what the word means, but the song is pretty much self-explanatory – apart from being pretty darn good.
Bruno Mars featuring Damien Marley – Liquor Store Blues
Bruno Mars is the universal god of cheese right now, but this tune is an ode to liquor as a panacea to pain and poverty. Jr Gong delivers a revolutionary verse his dad would approve of, while Bruno wails about how pathetic his life is. We’re getting you, Mr Hernandez.
Tomboxe – Feeling Myself.
I almost forgot to add – I made a few pretty hot tunes too… This one was inspired by a Timbaland beat I heard a while back. I love it coz it’s so abstract, and I got to sing the hook. Not bad, in my opinion, biased though it may be.
Shady 2.0 – BET Cypher
I watched all (well, nearly all) of the cyphers from last year’s BET awards, and I was only marginally impressed by most. Team Shady came correct though, as a matter of course. Nickel 9 also gave us the most memorable line of the entire show… “Hi Rihanna”
Iye – Hello
My friend makes another appearance on my list. This tube came at the very tail end of the year, but it’s so good it’s ridiculous. If she keeps impressing me this much I just might… Well, we’ll see.
Ellie Goulding – Lights
There are some things that make me jealous. One of them is an amazing electronic arpeggio. The one that kicks off this tune is up there as one of my all-time favourites. And her voice…
Tomboxe – Fly By
This is my final entry on this list. Oji sent me a beat. I loved it. I killed it. Case closed. *knacks Ray Bans and strolls off into the sunset*