2013 surprised me with all of its great music! It took me some time to narrow it down and I managed to make it to a top 40, larger than my lists in the past. So here it is. Enjoy :)
40. “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell and T.I: I’m not here for the skeevy lyrics but damn this song is groovy. It’s quite circus-y, very silly, and a 2013 success story.
39. “Bodysnatcher” – AMALIA: A distorted, industrial, soulful song that is slow-burning and ends up putting you in a trance. So good.
38. “Secondary (feat. Problem)” – RL Grime: RL Grime produced a highly underrated monster track with this one. While Problem tried his best with his lighthearted T-Pain-esque auto-tuned singing, the production held all the weight and then some.
37. “Work (feat. BANKS)” – Lil Silva: Yaaaas to this funky dance banger! I’m automatically transported to some underground LDN party when I hear this song. Gun fingers in air and all. Endless vibes and the start of a bountiful relationship between one of my favorite new artists this year, BANKS, with mega-talented (and mega-cute) Lil Silva.
36. “Suit and Tie”– Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z: The feel-good song of the year! JT started a dapper movement with this one. More than anything, it was a really good stab at the 2013 musical landscape by a legend reentering the game.
35. “Fine China” – Chris Brown: CB is singing is little heart out on this old-school inspired track. The beat gives me major Michael Jackson-vibes and is an undeniably catchy tune.
34. “Twerk It” – Busta Rhymes: For having one of the “words of the year” in its title, this song is refreshingly pleasant and enjoyable even! Busta’s Jamaican patois is brill and the Pharrell-production is perfect and oh so underrated.
33. “Crush” – Jai Paul: While the circumstances for which this happened absolutely sucked, I was so excited to get an album’s worth of demos/unfinished songs from mystery man Jai Paul. This song stood out from the rest, albeit it being a cover. He turned it out and breathed new life into this 90s radio hit. It was also great to hear him sing semi-clearly over this funky, guitar-led rework.
32. “Voices (feat. Sasha Keable)” – Disclosure: Can I just say how unbelievable this song is live??! GAWD. Sasha’s soulful, characteristic voice paired with this bouncy and hypnotizing Disclosure beat is magical.
31. “My Party” – Icona Pop feat. Zebra Katz: Icona Pop’s album this year was disappointingly underwhelming but this non-album gem was dropped and served as a beacon of hope for what Icona Pop could potentially sound like in the long run. It’s unapologetic-ly emo-glam, if that’s a thing. “Sad gurl” anthem status!
“It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.”—
This practice of whitewashing in Hollywood has been going on for a long time. The problem is that there’s this attitude that white is the normal and everything else is not. And so there’s this kind of idea that a lot of times roles that originally come from sources — like comic books or novels and things like that — are ethnic roles, are often given to white actors when it’s converted into a film.
“…I think this upsets a lot of ethnic people — ethnic actors — because this was, this is something that is perpetuated by Hollywood and this idea that white is the norm and if you want to identify with the hero — identify with the person on the screen — he or she has to be white. America’s not the same as it was 50 years ago and I think those things should change now.
“…I think it’s just a mindset that exists from a long time ago, you know that like I said white is the sort of norm. If we want to project ourselves onto the screen in the form of a hero or heroine, that person has to be white. And that’s been sold to us for decades.”