22. Black Milk feat. Royce Da 5’9 – Losing Out
I’m a sucker for this track. I can’t help it. It’s not the sample (lol Kanye). It’s not the beat. It’s not even the verse (summary: Detroit = #1/don’t mess with Royce). It’s the transitions. There’s just something about how Cross cues up his intro (“Who’s the most underestimated/Plus underrated city in this hip hop game…”) with the drop, the way Royce syncopates his verse perfectly with the bass, and the way the beat changes to the lub-dub heartbeat bumps in the verse that makes this song so damn catchy. This track is more a testament to Milk’s production than it is to his rapping, but oh well. Still gives me chills.
21. Janelle Monáe – Many Moons
I have the biggest crush on Janelle Monáe. Maybe it’s the pompadour. Maybe it’s the white tux. Maybe it’s her dancing. Maybe it’s the fact that she recorded the perfect companion piece to “Hey Ya” and this time white people haven’t ruined it (yet). Who knows. The important thing, though, is that Many Moons is one of the best pop songs to grace radio waves this year. Monáe crafts perfect PnB (pop n’ blues to those uninitiated) magic, with a shake rattle n bang drumline (complete with requisite gong), a church organ hook that sounds like it was recorded by Charles Earland on coke, and a chorus that won’t leave your head for daaaays (trust me). Plus, the video (I've watched it at least 1000 times and have no plans to stop anytime soon) features a cameo by that dude from Heroes, Big Boi from OutKast, and the masks from The Knife (the holy trinity – mainstreamers, hip hoppers, and indie rockers). Janelle sure knows the way to my heart. Call me!
20. Pwrfl Power – Alma Song
Yep, this is the guy from those eSurance commercials. Shut up. It's good. Same deal before (twee as fuck croonin' with only an acoustic guitar as accompaniment), but this time he talks about love and money and other important stuff. Gives hope to all the "not that attractive" girls with small boobs. This is the feel good song of 2008.