45-41

45. “Where Are U Now?” – Jack U, Justin Bieber

*dolphin sounds*

Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Diplo are wealthy and famous white guys and frustratingly capable at what they do. And yet, the star of their hit is the high-frequency hook, Bieber’s own voice stretched beyond recognition, though you could convince me it was the last breath of a dying porpoise sacrificed in the name of a summertime smash.

44. “Changes” – Langhorne Slim and the Law

“And I’ve just begun under a purple sun”

Future country fans are probably going to look back and wince at today’s output of red-cup twang, but Langhorne Slim proves that not everything out of Nashville needs to be booze-soaked and pop-friendly to be listenable.

43. “Dots and Lines” – Lupe Fiasco

“We can make pie if we don’t fidget” 

I really wanted to like Lupe Fiasco’s latest album Tetsuo and Youth, partly because a lot of people really liked it, and partly because Lupe deserves more attention despite his streak of lackluster projects. Alas, I didn’t like it so much, though “Dots and Lines” shows how warm Lupe can be when he puts it all together.

42. “Somebody” – Natalie La Rose, Jeremih

“We ain’t never turnin’ down”

“Oh no, not this song again, they’ve already played it three times on the radio today, I think I even changed the station one time and they were playing it again on the next station, I swear if I hear that intro one more time” …checks to see that no one’s in the room… “AND AT THE END OF THE NIGHT WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT…”

41. “Twist My Fingaz” – YG

“I’m the only one to make it out the West without Dre”

In case you didn’t notice, G-Funk came back this year. And in case you did notice, surely it might surprise you that despite excellent showings from Dr. Dre and disciples, the best reincarnation of the sound came from the guy otherwise known for the historically dumb “Toot It and Boot It.”

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