Here we are with the third edition of, the 10 for 10.
The first time around, I gave away my 10 favorite Hip Hop songs of the year. And then the second go around, I gave away my 10 favorite R&B songs of the year. And now, I present to you my 10 favorite Pop-Hybrid songs of 2016.
Now why did I name this a Pop-Hybrid list? While these some of these songs/artists are believed to be within the pop genre, they have certain elements to me which would classify them as something more than simply “pop”. They could have funk, rap, country, rock, or soul elements to them. Or they could have two completely different genres blended in together.
I’m not sure where I’d place each song in its category so I made this list for my enjoyment! (If you have a better idea for what genre you’d fit a certain song, let me know. I’m all ears to learning).
Same Ol’ Mistakes – Rihanna (ANTI)
It took me a few months to figure out this was a cover of a Tame Imapala song. So, I thank Rihanna for leading me into that band.
This song obviously has some alternative ties to it. It feels mysterious and cunning. Everything from the instrumentals to Rihanna’s voice. I like this song a lot because it adds to her versatility to make certain type of music. You never know exactly what you’ll get.
I also bet that this song would sound great live. There’s just a lot of good going on in this song. She killed it on this one. Her album ranks as one of the best of any genre this year and this song is the contributing reason why.
24K Magic – Bruno Mars (24K Magic)
Bruno Mars brought the heat with this song. It is full of energy and good spirit.
One of the good things about artists tapping throwback styles/acts, is that some people will go back and track the origins of those influenced. And while his album as a whole isn’t better than the original art that he’s influenced by, it still does its job to provide a sense of a good time and catchy tunes.
This song has a dope beat to it that’ll make anyone get up and start dancing. And it doesn’t matter if you can dance or not, you’re just going to have to dance. Give Bruno some top end production to work with and he’ll deliver for you. Like Rihanna, he can dive into a few different sounds/genres as he please. And him pulling off the disco sound this time around worked.
Sidewalks – The Weeknd x Kendrick Lamar (Starboy)
Shout out to The Weeknd for getting out of the OVO sweatshop camps while he had the chance.
Also, shout out to him for the work he put in on this track.
The blues guitars to open the song and that appear throughout the song is a cool touch. This song feels electric. The autotuned hook feels a bit too much but it will do. His rapping feels perfect for this song on this beat.
Another quick shout to Kendrick Lamar for his unpredictable flows and replay appeal.
This song has its rap elements to it and I’m always here for a decent rap tune.
Six Feet Under – The Weeknd x Future (Starboy)
Back to Back with The Weeknd but this time, it is with the Freebandz General himself.
Future only contributes to the hook but anything he touches, whether it is a full verse or a hook, is usually gold.
This song has a kick to it. It makes you get invested right away and has an odd feel to it. I think these two should make more music together. This and Low Life are two good songs they have on their collaboration resume and I’ll look forward to seeing what else they got in the future.
John Wayne – Lady Gaga (Joanne)
This song has some western feel to it. Mark Ronson was a part of the production on this track so kudos to Gaga for recruiting him. I give the production two thumbs up.
Gaga on the other hand has some pipes. Others songs on her album represent a better example of that opinion but I like her performance on John Wayne which appears to be describing a fantasy about some cowboy. While juxtaposing that type of person with a man from the city. I can’t relate to this but if nothing else, Lady Gaga’s hook is money and feels electric.
By the way, on a side note, shout out to Gaga’s activism and doing more for some of these movements going on. She is doing more than what some of her other peers are doing.
Controlla – Drake (Views)
Views, in the grand scheme of things was to many, mediocre. The album still had its high points with some of the hits. Controlla is one of them. I dig the song.
This song makes me want to move like that DJ Khaled snapchat video that was floating around last spring. Drake loves his Caribbean influenced ‘tings’. The beat makes ‘tings’ catchy and makes a good anthem for clubs everywhere.
Drake sings and raps about the same exact ‘tings’ every time. Just on different sounds. If nothing else, Drake is good at what he’s comfortable doing. And to many, that’s all that matters.
Formation – Beyoncé (Lemonade)
The hot takes and think-pieces on this song have been hammered repeatedly. Formation still hits though. Imagine 2001 Barry Bonds. That’s how hard this song goes.
Queen Bee flexes her muscles on this track and lets it be known that she didn’t come to play. She provides a jolt of power and energy on this while providing another anthem for the masses in these tiring times. The song is straight forward and in your face. You can’t turn away from it and the song became even more interesting after the Black Panther Themed Super Bowl performance and hearing it in context of the album.
Say what you want about Beyoncé, but she can get people talking in some of the most interesting ways. And her track record of releasing good music is wide and proven.
Cheap Thrills – Sia (This is Acting)
I’ll keep this one short and sweet.
Sia, put together a carefree track. She performs well on the hook and it meshes well with the instrumental which sounds simple compared to some of the other songs on here. I’m down with the song either way.
There is also a remix to this song on her album with Sean Paul. This song didn’t really need a remix from me because I like the original the way it is but a cameo from Paul is welcoming never less. I honestly forgot about him.
Dubai – Jeremih x K CAMP x Wiz Khalifa (Late Nights: Europe)
Jeremih has music that can either be a slow jam or one with some energy attached. Dubai is an example of a track with some energy.
Jeremih, tend to blur the lines between two genres like R&B & Hip Hop. Sometimes it works and that’s what I like about the song. The three verses are fun and everyone lets you know that they are coming for certain things. They’ll flex anytime, anyplace, and anywhere.
Also, the production on this song is dope. I can’t explain it but it fits the mood of the shenanigans going on in the song. It also feels like I’m starring into diamonds if that makes sense (it probably doesn’t).
Together – Kaytranada x AlunaGeorge x Goldlink (99.9%)
This song sounds complete. It flows well, the vocals sound good, and it is straight to the point.
What I like most about the song is the instrumental. Which makes sense because the strength of the entire project is reliant on Kaytranada’s production. He knows who would be able to fit on certain tracks and where on the track they could be able to fit. The result of him figuring that out usually goes well for him.
While I’m on the subject, even though this isn’t the best example, Goldlink can really rap. He’s a dual talent meaning he can sing and rap. He does both of those things well. His verse on this one was short but it reminded me that I should check for his music often.
Welcome to the AD report.