7.) Kanye West – Love Lockdown (produced by Kanye West)
Even though I cant’ stand this song, ‘Ye turned the phrase “beatmaker” on its end, and essentially pissed off every hip-hop producer I know. It’s a good thing, I promise.
6.) Kid Cudi – Day and Nite (produced by Dot Da Genius)
While most songs this year have become complex autotune monstrosities, Day and Nite thrives in its simplicity.
5.) Kano – Hustler (produced by Mikey J)
With Hustler, the Londoner Kano and producer Mickey J create the East Coast street banger that New York rappers should’ve made this year.
4.) TI, Jay-Z, Kanye West – Swagger Like Us (Produced By Kanye West)
This track redefines the posse cut, and this MIA sample has started the new hip-hop/hipster crossover movement. Look for said movement to dominate 2009 like Autotune did in 2008.
3.) Jay-Z featuring Santogold – Brooklyn Go Hard (produced by Kanye West)
Even though Black people can’t stand Santogold (just check out any comment section on Concrete Loop where her name is mentioned), Kanye and Jay-Z’s track just might give her enough street cred to achieve mainstream status in 2009.
2.) MIA – Paper Planes (produced by Diplo and Switch)
How does song from a relatively unknown UK rapper/songstress about the working poor somehow became one of the most popular songs in America? It’s the quintessential musical rags to riches story. Diplo and Switch created a monster and they didn’t even know it. Oh, and can just I say….best. hook. evar.
1.) Lil’Wayne – A Milli (produced by Bangledesh)
Bangledesh’s sample of a obscure Fatboy Slim UK remix of A Tribe Called Quest became the top anthem of 2008. This track was so hot, even R&B dudes were rapping over this beat.