61. Kendrick Lamar – “My Mind Drifts” — Few make stream of conscious rap sound as cohesive as the West Coast’s new golden boy, especially over the type of easygoing beat Quartermaine provided. Smooth keys plus hard drums is nearly always a winning combination in my book. (Listen)
62. Mayer Hawthorne – “A Long Time” — This poppy sobriety check from Mayer’s How Do You Do debut was for all the impatient Detroiters out there, reminding them cities don’t get rebuilt overnight. (Listen | Buy)
63. Bambu – “None Left” — Ominous strings by Josh The Goon and a broadcast urging folks to squat in their foreclosed homes begin the latest banger from Bambu before he proceeds to spit his usual brand of streetwise politicism. Two verses of the knowledge the people need are followed appropriately by a news report on the National Defense Authorization Act. Listen up folks. (Listen)
64. Schoolboy Q – “#BETIGOTSOMEWEED” — Schoolboy Q delivered a smooth, hazy gem with this one. The bars are quality, as always, and I’ve had the hook stuck in my head for months now. (Listen)
65. Big K.R.I.T. – “R4 Theme Song” — Just one of half-a-dozen songs, at least, from Return Of 4Eva that could be on this list. This song is warm and clear, a shot of energy – the drums pound, the sampled vocals are honey-sweet, and K.R.I.T. put everything he had into the verses. (Listen)
66. Scotty – “Dream Catcher” — The Summer Dreams mixtape flew under the radar for the most part, but those that caught it heard a consistent and relatable lyrical performance from Atlanta’s Scotty over a slew of worthwhile country rap tunes cooked up by DJ Burn One. The overarching plot of the project is the pursuit of one’s goals, and with a bouyant chorus from Indeed and Chrissy Chambers, “Dream Catcher” could be the theme song. (Listen)
67. MAM – “Can’t Live Without Music” — If you decide to do any digging on this shimmy-shaking ray of ’80s-esque house-funk, you’ll turn up next to nothing and probably wonder if MAM is actually a real group at all. That, or you’ll disregard the artist completely, break a leg or two and wear the soles out of your Nikes. (Listen)
68. OnCue – “Feel Tall” — After building up his steez over the past few years on the harsh NY underground circuit, OnCue grew into his own in 2011 and batted away all his naysayers with this empowering, giant of a single. Self-fulfillment never sounded so good. (Listen)
69. Too $hort x Skrillex – “Blow The Whistle” (Brenton Duvall Remix) – Take the sweet-spots from Mr. Dubstep’s best song, combine them with Shorty The Pimp and voila, a feel-good mash-up the whole party can sing along to. (Listen)
70. Avicii – “ID (Levels) (Original Mix)” — Flo Rida might’ve turned Avicii’s breakout song into a radio hit. But, the Swedish producer who originated this world-renown instrumental parlayed it into a career-making, EDM game-changer. (Listen)
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