Since I managed to pull together 11 photos from 2011, I thought I’d do it again, this time with songs. Keep in mind, I’m not saying these are the 11 best songs of the past year, or that they’re even my all-time favorites. But they are the 11 songs that remind me of this year.
#1 – Marvin’s Room, Drake
Yes, I’m always obsessed with Drake, but when this song came out, I was hooked. It’s the Drake I personally love, and it was just what I needed to hold me over until Take Care came out. Plus the video is really good. I definitely remember jamming to this at 3 am in a cab.
#2 – You Be Killin’ Em, Fabolous
I just love this song – the beat, the lyrics, everything. It’s one of those songs that always gets me hyped up. I didn’t love his mixtape that much, but this track is a keeper.
#3 – What’s My Name, Rihanna
The beginning of 2011, I pretty much played this song on repeat everytime I was in the car so I could sing my little heart out. Of course, the highlight for me is Drake’s verse at the beginning. It’s words like that that make me love him and make me wish he was on every song that comes out. Plus I love the beat of the song – it just makes you want to dance – and the song is so hot!
#4 – Promise, Romeo & Usher
I freaking love this – Usher doing bachata! I wish this song had been a bigger hit on the radio because it is just perfect – Usher & Romeo’s smooth voices, then the bachata beat kicks in. And Romeo is coming to Chicago for a concert in 2012…who wants to go??
#5 – Sure Thing, Miguel
This song is amazing. Now this is a song you dedicate to a lady. Another one that I pretty much played on repeat in the car. I’m glad Miguel had a great year!
#6 – Anything from Eminem’s Recovery album
The Recovery album is so good. I had it on repeat in my car until my brother stole it back. And yes, I know the album came out last year, but I remember it as part of the beginning of 2011. Plus, we got to see Eminem at Lollapalooza this year, and that was definitely a highlight of the year! Other favs from Recovery include No Love, Going Through Changes and 25 to Life.
#7 – My Last, Big Sean
I really like Big Sean’s album. And I actually got to meet him and interview him this year…twice! (I love my job.) This is the first song of his I heard this year, and I feel like it was definitely the song of the summer. It just opens up so epic.
#8 – Mr. Wrong, Mary J. Blige feat. Drake
Yea, the list is filled with Drake features and cameos. Get over it. Anyways, once again Drake kills it on his opening verse. I was so disappointed he wasn’t part of MJB’s performance of this song on the AMAs (or whatever awards show that was). And why isn’t he in the official video??? You’re killing me, MJB!
#9 – Work Out, J. Cole
J. Cole is another rapper that came out big this year that I really like. There are a bunch of tracks I really love off Cole World: The Sideline Story, including Lost Ones and In the Morning. Plus, after seeing him talk about his songs on Muve Sessions (client) I feel like he just comes across as a smart, fun kid. And of course, you can’t go wrong when you sample a Paula Abdul classic.
#10 – When Your Mind’s Made Up, Once Soundtrack
This is a really random entry on the list, but I just watched Once this year, and it really got to me. It’s kind of a weird movie and you can’t quite tell if it’s supposed to be documentary or fiction because it feels so real. And the music is amazing – this song is my favorite song from the movie, plus it’s featured in a great scene. But the more well-known track from the soundtrack, Falling Slowly, is awesome, too.
#11 – Make My, The Roots
Man, what a way to end the year. The Roots Undun album is so good! Tells a great story and I love how it’s pretty much a symphony. This track is what got me hooked on the album, although Tip The Scale is a close second.
It was pretty hard to find the right 11 songs in the end to really reflect back on 2011, but I’m pretty happy with this list. The one that I would have liked to squeeze in here that I’ll add as a bonus final thought is The Motto, which I just wrote about the other day anyway. I have a feeling this will be one of those hype jams tonight!