Hey, remember this? Back in my day, we ripped from the ghettoblaster, eagerly awaiting the moment when a song would play again. If we miscued the recording, we already knew that the song will come back on in about an hour. Nowadays, that is not quite the case, but the spirit holds true. This year, I listened to DJ mixes in lieu of tuning into the randomness of the pop roulette. If there is roughly 52 weeks in a year, I listened to about two different mixes per week depending on my habits. None should be surprised, but what the disc jockeys mixed were vaguely in line with the radio. The upcoming list are the tracks that were the most common in my library of 'mixtapes.' At least they were expressing some liberties in how to present the following songs:
When this song crept into the timeline, I knew a hefty drop was going to take place. His softer vocals made for a great contrast to the house beat that would get appropriately swallowed by an emotional display of frustrated relationships and tempo changes. The actual song has three different moments in its structure (chorus, verse, bridge) that made it easy pickings for DJ's to incorporate a range of sounds.
Juicy J- Bandz A Make Her Dance ft. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
I cannot begin to hate on this song. It was one of many that served as tasty filler during a mix. It gets the crowd in line for serious body-grinding. The spicy drums and claps are part and parcel to the Trap music sound that I enjoy, thus it is nigh-impossible for me to critique this song. Lil Wayne does spoil some parts of the whole song, but the mixes I jam to cut through his verse. Plus, Alexis Texas.
Waka Flocka Flame- Rooster In My Rari
I have no idea what he is saying, but that is never the point when the beat hits hard like this. Snappy drums under a monstrous bass, one is reminded that a sound like this can be intimidating. Then again, party music is only scary to those that cannot stomach a raucous fun time. That is the modus operandi for Waka, especially when a man in a chicken suit is rolling with him.
Driicky Graham- Snapbacks & Tattoos
Although I credit this song as a reason why I do not wear caps, I will never deny that the repetitive quality of this song gets my elbows up and ready to be thrown. The song introduces a searing element every few bars, and then it goes into the chorus, shadowed by that "AYE" sound. In each mix that I have heard this song, I get my fists clenched for explosive movement.
Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz- Mercy
Of course Kanye West had to make it into someone's list somewhere in the world. I am far gone when it comes to bashing Ye, and I am less inclined to name drop to prove a point. Facts are facts right now. This song was certain fire when it hit the air-waves, and DJ's are keen to work a good song in when it includes a line up as featured on this track. "Swerve" "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-kay" were important cues in a mix for the listener to prepare themselves for Mercy.
2 Chainz- Undastatement
Another rapper that is an embedded facet of party music. I believe that this is one of the hardest songs to be featured this year. Which is a simple choice for DJ's to insert this track into their set. Anything more I can try to say would be debunked by the title. Understated.
Chief Keef- I Don't Like
This is probably the second-hardest song this year. I can't say the lyrics are champion-status, but the anthemic catch-phrase does outweigh any intelligent dialogue for a rap song. There is a tinge of doubt on my end whether this parodies or comments on a social issue, or it is just the ramblings of a 17 year old kid. Aside from that, this song was catchy enough for inclusion into nearly half of the mixes I listened to.
TNGHT- Higher Ground
And now, one of the more exemplary productions this year. May the accolades continue to roll in for these kids, because their 5 track EP busts down the doors of every house on the block. Overlaid by rap vocals or as tempo drops, I usually get really hyped when a TNGHT track works its way into a DJ set.
Major Lazer- Original Don ft. The Partysquad
Yes, this is an older track. That never stops a DJ from taking it and dissecting it and frankensteining it into a an unstoppable beast. That is what happens when a producer leaves the right clues for other producers to implement grand sound designs. That's what Diplo did for Flosstradamus, which was one of the more common remixes that graced my ears.
Drake- Crew Love ft. The Weeknd
Carly Rae Jepsen- Call Me Maybe
Baauer- Harlem Shake