Without the NBA in our lives, we fans might have time for the things we’ve been putting off for too long. Maybe we’ll have time to finish that historical biography that sits next to the bed getting dusty. Maybe we’ll get more exercise. Maybe we’ll start following hockey? As we get closer to the end of year, we’ll take a look back at all things â€” inside basketball and out â€” that occupied our attention alongside the game we love. That means over the next few weeks, we’ll break down the best music, movies, styles, plays, players and more. Each debate will be put to a vote by you the readers, and by the close of the year, we’ll have compiled a list of the Top 11 of ’11.
2011 was a breakout year for many artists and a return to power for others. Kanye West and Jay-Z finally teamed up for a much awaited full album – as did Eminem and Royce da 5’9″ – proving why they might be the two best MCs in the game. Rick Ross created his own Dream Team known as Maybach Music Group and the power of Twitter helped catapult young guns like Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T into the mainstream. And that’s just the hip-hop game.
Here are four hits that had us boppin’ our heads this year. Hit page 2 for our explanations and vote…
Rick Ross and Lil Wayne – “John”
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This year, Rick Ross, the Big Boss, a.k.a. Ricky Rozay somehow managed to find a way to recreate the same song over and over again. I mean I’ll give anyone five dollars if they can tell me any actual difference between Lex Luger produced songs “B.M.F.” (Blowin’ Money Fast), “MC Hammer” or “I’m Not a Star.” You can’t. But building off the success of 2010’s Teflon Don, Rick dropped Ashes to Ashes around the end of last year, which featured the slow, melodic radio cult hit “John Doe,” presumably a guide for how to respond when police ask for your name. Fast-forward a couple months, on the heels of Ross’ collaboration effort Self Made, Wayne joined the party on “John,” and spit one of the most lethal opening verses of the year, somehow mentioning Redd Foxx, Basquiat paintings, and Palmolive soap. Although the beat (and lyrics) are pretty much indistinguishable from “I’m Not a Star,” this song gets me hyped every time I hear it. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. â€“MICHAEL AUFSES