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YEAR-END TOP 10: nOva’s Picks of 2008

Yesterday my comrade ill Mami unveiled her Top 10 Tracks of 2008 and now the ball is in my court. Last year's list was topped by Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu and Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" landing at #1. I've decided to count mine down, based in part on spin frequency along with overall appreciation.

http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10neyo.jpg10. Ne-Yo: "Nobody"
Ultimately, I ended up being bored to tears with Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman. Perhaps it was his declaration that he wanted to push R&B forward on this release, causing me to have expectations. Whatever, it was the same stuff we've been hearing for the past couple of years except for a few tracks--one of which is "Nobody." In spite of the blatant Michael Jackery at work, I couldn't help but tap my foot, resulting in many spins since this album's nearly quiet release.


9. NERD: "Anti-Matter"
Seeing Sounds was one of the best Neptunes productions in ages, but I almost feel like it was slept on. It was fun without being infantile and the crew explored a range of sounds throughout the set, which is almost unheard of for the Neptunes. My favorite is "Anti-Matter." We have to wonder if this is addressed to anyone specifically, because there are a lot of time-wasters in music right now.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10jazza.jpg8. Jazzanova feat. Phonte: "Look What You're Doing to Me"
This track surprised everyone this year, mainly because we had no idea what a Jazzanova/Phonte collab would yield. What we ended up with was something fun and celebratory, a song that makes you clap your hands and stomp your feet upon first listen. To quote DJ Stylus, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10fe.jpg7. The Foreign Exchange feat. Darien Brockington & Muhsinah: "Something to Behold"
"Bring you some wings on your lunch break / Like 'Baby how's your day?' / 12-piece, fried hard." That, my friends, is true love. Like the aforementioned track, "Something To Behold" celebrates love in a manner that is relatable and sweet without being saccharine. This love song is an event, an anthem, even. If you aren't feeling it then I pray for your immortal soul.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10qtip.jpg6. Q-Tip: "Gettin' Up"
I can't have a Top 10 list without my boy Q-Tip. This track, fortified by a gentle Black Ivory piano sample, is yet another fairly uptempo Hip Hop love song to make this countdown. The important thing to note here is that Q-Tip could've easily led The Renaissance with a party track, but instead decided to salute his lady.We have to wonder why so many other popular rappers make excuses for dropping trash in the name of having a good time. Does disrespect = partytime? The short answer would be "No."


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10ppp.jpg5. PPP feat. Karma: "On A Cloud (Trackademicks Remix)"
Although I knew The Platinum Pied Pipers had a new release on the way, I was formally introduced to this track via Gordon Gartrell Radio. While the original uses a familiar Motown backbeat, the Trackademicks remix fortifies it with just a touch of B-More House. But the true energy lies in Karma's gi-normous vocals. This one is a win all the way around.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10blackmilk.jpg4. Black Milk feat. Royce Da 5'9": "Losing Out"
I've gone on and on about Black Milk's utter dopeness but I didn't expect the curveball that was "Losing Out." This is a banger of the highest caliber, victorious Rocky music with lasers or what Stylus has coined "Blade Runner Soul." It makes me want to fight Storm Troopers with lightsabers, or hunt down an Atari or some sh*t. I've relived my childhood many times bumping this.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10elzhi.jpg3. Elzhi feat. Black Milk: "Guessing Game"
Easily the BEST (yes, I said it) Hip Hop album of the year, Elzhi's The Preface was slept on and overlooked exponentially. It's actually heartbreaking, especially when so many of us are begging for a solid Hip Hop album with dope beats and dope rhymes (what more do ya'll want?). This track got the most play. Clever phrasing and cadence paired with insane Black Milk drums. A headache never felt so good.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10jaz.jpg2. Jazmine Sullivan: "In Love With Another Man"
The was very close to being my #1. Jazmine is an extremely gifted vocalist. Her delivery has plenty of character and rawness. However, much of the material on Fearless was hit or miss. But not this track. "In Love With Another Man" is soaring and beyond soulful. She went to church on this song. She conjured spirits. She had my soul wide open, especially at the end. This is what people talk about when they talk about singers. Barring any more DMCA notices, we'll keep this at a snippet.


http://soulbounce.com/soul/wp-content/uploads/blog_images/top10kam.jpg1. Kameron Corvet: "Sophia Quinn"
I was finally introduced to Kameron Corvet this year, but he'd already generated plenty of buzz on other sites. This track, "Sophia Quinn," kind of snuck up on me. Not that I had any preconceived notions about him or his work, I just didn't expect to fall so deeply in love with a track like this. Although Korporate Rockstar has a heavy Rock influence, Kameron's vocals bring to mind classic Boyz II Men. That youthful, vulnerable thing always gets me with male vocalists. Also, there's a very bittersweet story here that pulls at the heartstrings and turns me into mush. This was the most beautiful song I heard in 2008. And I heard a lot of songs this year.



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  • Okay... these lists are turning into an arms race.
    I really have to marinate hard on mine.

  • Madame Zenobia

    My Christmas list is HUGE thanks to this site. I love these choices here 🙂 and wholeheartedly agree with you about Jazmine's "In Love With Another Man".

  • excellent list! most of these songs were on my all-time fave (pun intended) for the year.
    and it's WANGS...not WINGS...this is Phonte we're talking about. LOL

  • Reecie

    man that Black Milk joint goes so hard!!! I can't listen to Losing Out just once. I need it at least 3 times in a row to get me right.
    I hadn't heard the Jazzanova or the KC so good looks......I like this list.

  • kiki

    as you should already know I love your site. I love the lists. Everytime the lists pop up this week I keep checking my iTunes library just to make sure I have the artists you're talking about. Thanks so much!!!!

  • stoneyisland

    I actually am more with your list then Mami's but the best rap song I have heard this year was "the Ring" off the Finale & Spier 1200 CD named Develop. Next to that Masta Ace Joint "beautiful this may well be one of the best rap joints ever. Lupe's Hip hop has saved my life comes in second, followed by my main main Black Milks "give the drummer some" and last but not least Jean Grae's "Love thirst". As for R&B I cant front 2008 was a slow year the only CD were talking about is Raheem Devaughn latest joint, "Try again" was my anthem since it dropped. Sterling Simms is a cat people should get familar with for 09.

  • Seriously? No, really? You don't want to take anything back? ....walks out of thread confused.

  • Soul UK

    Im not really a hip hop head so alot of these songs passed me by ... howevere i will def be checkin some of them out!
    I agree with FE's Something To Behold, can't tell you how many times i have listened to that album. I'm also loving the Jazzanova album, especially the tracks with Phonte and Ben Westbeech.

  • Joshua

    Jazmine for the WIN! That girl is mesmerizing!!!!!

  • marques richards

    oh my gosh i love this site. as much as i love discovering new music, i hate searching for it. soulbounce delivers it right to my mailbox...
    thank God for soulbounce...
    that said... kameron corvet's song. he gets downloaded TONIGHT after work. beautiful song!!

  • The list - hot.
    I must admit I slept on the hip hop side this year, so I will have to check your tracks out.
    Kameron is my man, love that album. Of course along with Jazzanova and FE, great picks.

  • I woulda picked Q-tip for President and Give the Drummer Sum and Trouble but this is a good list!

  • That #1 had MY soul wide open. Definitely adding KC to my ever growing list of artists who passed me by.
    I have been giving Neyo's album the cold shoulder despite everyone telling me it's good. Me likes this track though.
    Nice list - and it has something for the hip hop heads.



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