First Top 5 fave songs of the year

The first Top 5 fave songs of the year from us here at ‘HoB’. I’m interested to see just how long I will be playing these songs for. Back by my own demand to give you my new top five songs. Just while I’m here let me say this. It seems that anything that drops now without prior knowledge is known as a “Beyoncé”, and I’m sick of it. She didn’t invent surprises, she just happened to release an unexpected album without promotion, in order to sell. Recently a few other artists have “unexpectedly” (whatever that could mean in the digital era where leaks are rife) released songs or singles, but the comparison is driving me up the wall. Mini rant over, now where was I…?

NWA feat. Kurupt
Wild EP
Right, so Miguel has been very quiet on the musical front, I guess he’s hoping everyone has forgotten his “wild” antics at the Billboard Music Awards in 2013, where he landed on the girl’s head. But oh no, I remember it well.

Miguel serves up a new 3-track EP titled ‘Wild’ just before we turned out backs on 2014. While he claims its “new”, these songs could’ve easily been leftovers from his last Prince inspired album, ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ as two of three possess the very same R&B infused pop, funk and soul sound as the album. His release method is also the same as it was with his ‘Art Dealer Chic’ EP’s, that acted like album samplers for his last album. Standout track for me though is ‘NWA feat. Kurupt’, while the sound is very similar, it still is different, and I can only hope this is the musical direction he takes. The song has a drum-beat throughout, layered by what sounds like an electric guitar, Miguel applies his falsetto on top with breathy vocals, and quick lyric chorus, singing about, “She just wanna fuck til she can’t move no more”. Kurupt brings his West Coast flow, and raps explicits that makes me think of pimps, perms and Cadillacs. Very throwback, this song is dope and definitely for the OG’s as he rightfully chants.

J. Cole
A Tale of 2 Citiez
2014 Forest Hills Drive
Still riding off the buzz of J. Coles “Surprise” third studio album, ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’, I’m trying to listen to it in full but my favourite song ‘A Tale of 2 Citiez’ won’t allow it. Last week on my journey home, shuffle threw the song on and I spent the entire journey starting this song over and over, not making it to the end once. I’m upset because it means my play count won’t change on iTunes, however I can confidently say I know it word for word. I think the story itself is what has me so gripped, I was walking down the street amped. And for some reason I think of ‘8 Mile’ everytime I hear the intro.

Post to Be feat. Chris Brown and Jhené Aiko
Sex Playlist
Post to Be
With no disrespect to the artist that is Omarion, he finally dropped his follow-up to his 2010 album ‘Ollusion’, but I’m not sure if anyone cared. Singing to MMG, adopting a new name, two EP’s and a reality show later, ‘Sex Playlist’ comes up a little short. Throughout this time though he has proven to be a good feature artist, but with four years away I was hoping for something with a little more kick. Lead single ‘Post to Be’ that features Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko is what gave me hope for this album, and has been getting a whole lot of plays this week.
Produced by DJ Mustard, the song has so much similarity to Chris Brown’s ‘Loyal’. A Hip-Pop song, with R&B inspiration, lyrically the song sounds like the prequel to ‘Loyal’, singing about “If your chick come close to me, she ain’t going home when she post to be…” alluding to him stealing your girl. Chris Brown adds a decent verse, while Jhené gets a little explicit for a change. I’ve been singing this song for quite a few days, resulting to it being played in excess.

Azealia Banks
Ice Princess
Broke With Expensive Taste
With her debut album falling continuously down the charts, it is a real shame that Azealia Banks’ first album has been overlooked. Undeniably Banks has been confident and consistent in her sound since the beginning. Slowly and surely I’ve managed to listen to the album and by far ‘Ice Princess’ is an instant favourite. The song samples ‘In The Air’, by Morgan Page, and was also refixed by music producer AraabMuzik, with a more hip-hop twist. From the opening, the Morgan Page sample creates a chilling atmosphere, with wind gusts included. Unexpectedly the xylophone adds to the winter theme, creating a jingle-like rhythm, and Bank’s comes in harder than ever. Opening line, “I’m so cold I’m dripping icicles…” sets the tone for this song, that has enough winter references to make a polar bear cold, she honestly delivers a song straight from the North Pole. Remaining in true form, she keeps the Morgan Page catchy pop chorus. The song is very different to her usual stuff, where she usually just delivers alliterated lines, dropping puns about cunnilingus (see: 212), here she raps a common theme in the Hip-Hop world, which is wealth. Rapping and bragging about her potential riches, she is “iced” out and decked in diamonds and all things white,“…my diamonds on Anna Wintour…” is just one example. What I love is the visual imagery this song creates. Have a listen and you’ll see what I mean.

John Legend
Let’s Get Lifted Again
Get Lifted
John Legend won us over before even releasing his own debut album. Guest vocalist on Kanye West’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘The College Dropout’ from the same year. Debut album ‘Get Lifted’, literally was only the beginning for John as he has gone on to score multiple number one singles and albums worldwide. Common theme of love, relationship woes, it’s is soulful R&B, with tinges of religion infusion. ‘Let’s Get Lifted Again’ appears on the first album, but isn’t a full song. Almost an interlude the song serves as a reprise to ‘Get Lifted’, also an album track. Although it stands as a two minute and nineteen seconds long, by far this song remains one of my favourites, even as an interlude. The production features heavy clicks in the background, while a bass guitar takes center stage and John applies his falsetto; coo-ing and singing words to his partner about getting “lifted”, a metaphor for sex.

-Stephen Paul


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