How Do U Want It--2Pac, K-Ci & JoJo
A great jam by 2Pac, I love his deep introspective songs and party jams, and this is a bit of both.
Area Codes--Ludacris and Nate Dogg
I've been listening to a lot of stuff with Nate Dogg lately as I was a fan when he was alive and was upset to learn of his passing at such a young age. This song is both funny and has Dogg's great voice.
I Didn't Mean To Turn You On--Robert Palmer
Known for his hit, "Addicted To Love," I actually really like Palmer's more techno-focused stuff, and while this song may be pretty old in the eyes of you young'ins (and was made before I was even born) it is just so catchy and fun. Plus how often do you get a song where the man is turning the woman down?
Die Young--The Sweet Serenades
An eerily floatly little tune by indie rockers with a slight techno-sound to it almost. I like it.
Filling Myself--Pusha T
Half of the group Clipse, Pusha T may rap about your usual rap topics of wealth and gangsters or such, but unlike most rappers, he and Malice actually are really good rappers who can make any topic intriguing, so this solo track has some solid rhymes and the beat is killer.
The Nights Are Cold--Camera Obscura
I love Camera Obscura and this single is a great little slow piece to relax to.
Bad Boy--Ray Parker Jr.
Yeah, this is also was made before I was even born, but damn if it isn't really catchy, plus it has an odd S&M element with the whole "Spank me, whup me, break out the leather baby," line in regards to punishment for being a bad man to his lady. It introduces an interesting subtext to the song. I mean, "Come on and hurt me if you want to," doesn't have a deeper meaning to it dealing with human sexuality and how boundaries were being tested in the 1980s some would claim?
Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None)--Kurupt, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg & Warren G
As I said in my earlier comment, I love Nate Dogg's voice, plus this song is just so absurdly dirty and silly you can't be offended even if it is pretty misogynistic.
Superman--Eminem and Dina Rae
We all know love songs, telling someone how much you love them and can't live without them--how they're perfect. Yeah, I like some of those, but what I really like are the songs that take that formula and twist it up, the dysfunctional love songs. If you want a dysfunctional love song, here is a prime example. Hating someone, loving them, not being sure; being angry, happy, because you can't be someone's Superman. For some reason I'm not as big on Eminem's new stuff, but this older song is pure gold.
Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk--Lightspeed Champion
The song references rap, but this is actually an acoustic-rock-sounding jam. The instruments sound great, the artist, Lightspeed Champion, has nice voice, and the lyrics are clever with a dark sense of humor.
Pretty Young Thing--Blondfire
A peppy song where the woman singing has a pleasant voice and the guitar works just right with the beat. It's the kind of song that just puts a smile on your face.
Just Like Me--Jaime Foxx Featuring T.I.
A song about cheating, with the twist that both the man and woman admit they have cheated. Hence, "You're just like me, and I'm just like you." I've always enjoyed Jaime Foxx as an actor, comedian, and singer, with the last talent possibly being my favorite thanks to great tracks like this.
We Don't Care--Kanye West
I love his new album, but I still go back to, "The College Dropout" when I want to hear Kanye's best raps. This was the first song on that debut album, and it is amazing. He had everything to prove. He had to show he wasn't just a, "producer-rapper," as folk called them, he had all the doubters saying he was full of himself even then, and this song tells you how you are going to experience something so cold, and boy you do. Over an energetic beat Kanye breaks down just how miserable life can be with lyrics and rhymes that are utterly amazing and on a level few can achieve. I had a friend who said she didn't like Kanye much, but she had only really heard his newer techno-type stuff. I played this for her, she admitted it was hot stuff (my words, not hers).
Yes, I first heard this song on Scrubs, and yes, I watched Scrubs and actually thought it was a good show (last season notwithstanding) even though people loved to hate on it. Now that we've got that out of the way, I shall just say that having heard a bit of this song on the show I searched out what it was and eventually got its name and the artist. It is a sad little tune but good for when you're driving along not sure where your'e going with life.
One Wish--Ray Jay
Yes, in his regular life the man is a tool and I never watched the show (I watched shows that made fun of it though, "She smashed the homie!"), but Ray Jay actually can have a pretty nice voice and for some reason I really enjoy this song.
War Sweater(Live Version)--Wakey!Wakey!
I saw a member of this group (the singer who also plays the piano) live and found this song really enjoyable. It's lyrics are cryptic but interesting, and the instrumentation is beautiful.
Daddy Fat Sax--Big Boi
The Train Part 2 (Sir Luscious Left Foot Saves The Day)--Big Boi
I list both because I find them to be different sides of the same coin. Both sides mention politics, have a melancholy view on life, and are otherwise great, its just that the first one is really fast and the other is much more slow and quiet.
Reality Show--T Pain Featuring Musiq Soulchild, Raheem Devaughn, and Jay Lyriq
This song has an opening skit that is actually funny, clever lyrics that riff on reality shows and how they involve people trying to fall in love, and a killer beat and melody. Nice.
19 tracks from 18 different artists. After you sample my recommendations and cut out what you don't like you'll probably have enough songs to make a decent length mix-tape/burned CD, or you can just toss it all on your media player and call it a day of course. Anything I mentioned you love or hate now that I helped you discover it, or already had strong feelings about? Say something in the comments and let me know!