Whether it arrives via an artist’s song lyrics, ad-libs or in the form of a routine sound while performing on stage, your favorite rappers and singers are constantly dropping consumable anecdotes for the masses. If they’re lucky, these catchphrases are repeated and mimicked often enough to eventually be added to the popular-culture lexicon, used as amusing mantras for us all to drop in text messages and into tweets as #hashtags. Some might even make it into the dictionary.
This year, especially, delivered a treasure trove of jack-able artist quotes, and while you might wish that most of these never make it into 2013, we present you with a nostalgic look at this year in music verbiage: 2012’s Most Memorable One-Liners.
We’ve seen the tattoos and we’ve heard the stories of it tragically back-firing, so there’s certainly no denying that Drake’s (or Rick Ross’?) You Only Live Once motto wasn’t one of the biggest this year.
2. “(Pop A) Molly”
We can all rattle off a list of rappers who (over)used this designer drug reference in 2012, but here’s hoping that Meek, Kanye, French, Trinidad James, Ross and others can find a new addiction to flaunt come January 1.
3. “Oh God”
Like a cheerleader for himself, Detroit’s G.O.O.D Music member Big Sean knows how to announce himself before spitting a verse. Alternate spellings include gawd and gaud.
This year a handful of artists surprised us by up and changing their lanes. There were rap stars gone skate stars, name changes, game changes and bass drops, and (mostly!) better. Four, for example:
The Year Of 2 Chainz; or, The Most Successful Rap Name Change Ever
Nobody was more productive than Tauheed Epps in 2012, who, according to some records, tallied something like 98 singles, a BET Rookie of The Year trophy, a No. 1 album and three Grammy nominations to his new name. To his new name, 2 Chainz, that is. Prior to this year, he was going by Tity Boi, one half of Playaz Circle or “Duffle Bag Boy,” or he was simply hanging somewhere off our radar. So why the name change that wrought this best year ever? As he explained once and for all to Shade 45 — “Every single interview I do they like, ‘What’s up with the name change?’ This is the universal answer,” he said — earlier this year, the motivation for the moniker change was threefold: 1. He likes jewelry; 2. It’s more “family friendly;” and, 3. He was ready for a second act. “You know,” he said, “like 2 Chainz, second chance. So I thought that that would have a little more substance.” And what a substantive second chance it has been. 2 CHAAAAINZ!
We’re three days away from ending 2012– the year the Mayan’s math didn’t quite add up–with a bang. Before we bid this year adieu we’ve documented the Best Ofs for the past 12 months; so during the next predicted Apocalypse rears its false head, we’ll reminisce on the Crunkest Songs of 2012 or 2012’s 8 Most Underated Singles or the Best Songs of 2012.
Our countdown continues with the 12 of Music’s Breakout Stars of 2012. It’s been a glorious year musically with diverse projects by promising new artists. While Frank Ocean‘s stardom is no surprise, who would’ve expected PSY to sing with Bieber‘s manager Scooter Braun? Meek Mill sketched his name in cement as one of hip-hop’s brightest stars this year transitioning from mixtape storyteller to mainstream success. How good 2013 will treat these breakout stars is unforeseeable, but with raised glasses let’s all toast to the year of stars coming out (no pun intended). Read more…
Last week, we successfully brought you the VH1 staff’s favorite songs of 2011 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2012 into a concise list. Again, what VH1 staffers enjoyed in 2012 was a rich and vibrant tapestry of genres, created both by newcomers and veterans.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 23 LPs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only 6 that appeared on four or more lists: Miguel‘s Kaleidoscope Dream (7 ballots), Emeli Sandé‘s Our Version Of Events and Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE (6 ballots apiece), Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (5 ballots), Taylor Swift‘s RED and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ The Heist (each with 4 ballots).
Now, on with the show!
2012 was the year of being or getting #turntup. Crunk songs encouraging partying, drinking and the good life were the soundtrack to turning up. French Montana‘s “Pop That” instructed women on how to, err, pop their booties at a party or club. It easily was one of the summer’s most popular anthems. In the same vein was Juicy J‘s “Bands A Make Her Dance” which suggests rolls of money secured by a rubber band will indeed make a girl dance. Not that we frequented the strip club or anything, but word on the street is strippers made this their unofficial theme song.
Other crunk songs had less to do with booty popping or stripping and more to do with intimacy–straight grown and sexy style. Take for instance Kelly Rowland‘s “Motivation” that inspired a body roll whether you were at your desk at work or in your car at a red light. Fun.‘s “We Are Young” isn’t your typical crunk song, however, if the DJ played this song at a party you witnessed the crowd going wild. So without further ado, here’s 16 of the year’s crunkest songs. Shout out to the artists for enabling our turned up ways. Read more…
2012 has been an interesting year for the music business. As chart genres shift and technology continues to influence how and what we consume, in-flux trends seem to fly in out of nowhere.The viral sensation breakout star, for example. But can we go back to basics for just a moment? These people are here to entertain us and sing, right? Like, into microphones and send sound waves into the universe. Whether their songs permeated the charts all year or their pipes are ones to keep an eye out in the future, the following 15 voices were the most noteworthy in 2012.
Having created what’s sure to be a sing-along bar anthem for years to come, Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” is a monster. Shout out to Kimbra for the solid assist, too!
In addition to being the voice behind David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” this year, Sia also wrote the lyrics and melody for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and her talent should be recognized, damn it.
3. Kendrick Lamar
Through storytelling, K-Dot has the versatility to sound nervous, vulnerable and shrieky, macho and intimidating, soft and robotic, Compton tough, and instructively monotone.
Jay-Z is a perfectionist. No breaking story there, it’s nothing we didn’t already know. Hov’s unsatisfactory with a verse he recorded for Meek Mill‘s “Lay Up” from his debut Dreams and Nightmares has surfaced and we understand why he 86’d it. Read more…
You might not have caught The Soul Train Awards on Centric last night. In a flurry of Sunday night programming (plus Liz & Dick Lifetime!) it would’ve been easy to skip the award show dedicated to awarding the best in hip-hop and R&B. If you did choose another route, here’s your tl;dw (That’s “too long, didn’t watch.”) rundown: Cedric the Entertainer hosted, Anthony Hamilton did “Lovely Day”, Leah LaBelle did Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”, Fantasia paid tribute to Aretha with “Don’t Play That Song For Me”. There was a New Edition tribute (in which Bobby Brown failed to thank his departed former wife Whitney Houston?), Keyshia Cole performed “Enough of No Love” from her new album Woman to Woman, and X-Factor winner Marcus Canty did Luther Vandross‘ “Never Too Much”. On the hip-hop side, 2 Chainz was there. Naturally.
Perhaps in the strangest moment, Tyrese‘s “Stay” won Song Of The Year, despite being released independently from his album, Open Invitation. It beat out John Legend, Trey Songz, Estelle, Wale, AND Usher–making it a true underdog. Tyrese most likely knew this, stating in his acceptance speech that today’s R&B is “insecure, since everyone is doing house and techno music” (a weird nod to Usher, perhaps?) But tonight, he continued, “Real R&B is winning”.
And now for the best performances…
I often find myself feeling grateful for the little things that make me pause to smile. These days, those things aren’t always as clichéd as rainbows and finding expected loose change in coat pockets. It’s also within the stuff we come across every day. That’s right: social media. Rappers happen to be more active on social media platforms than ever before, and I’m not just talking about vain Instagram selfies (Hi Rihanna). I’m talking about quirky posts that open the door to reveal something truly genuine or endearingly silly about the artist’s personality.
I’m not even going to tell you who to follow, because this post is about what makes me happy, but the Instagram antics of the following four rappers are notorious for making me giggle in public.
“my current playlist”
Jay Electronica (@jayelectronica)
When he’s not sharing images of his LDN surroundings, dog, or super-wealthy lover Kate Rothschild, Jay Elec is likely to tout his spiritual acumen for his 47,000 followers. Be still my esoteric heart. The best part of these non-album related posts? They always generate hundreds of “but where’s your record?” comments. True love.
The Game‘s Jesus piece has a Jesus piece. Seriously, folks. Not everyone is happy with the cover art for his upcoming fifth studio album Jesus Piece, but his peers seem incredibly comfortable with the project judging by the gaggle of rappers, singers and comedians he has courted for guest appearances. Well, no one can accuse Game of fear of being out shined on his own album. When Game (entourage in tow) stopped by the VH1 offices, we thought it’d be fun to find out if he could rattle off all the features off the top of his head. Get comfortable because this may take a minute. Read more…