Seconds, Please: Top Songs of 2012

January 4, 2013 8 comments

In true mostlyjunkfood style, we are fashionably late with our best songs of 2012 list. Well, really it was calculated. You don’t want to be the blog that drops their list the day after Thanksgiving trying to get shine off being the first. And, you don’t want to release your list while every single publication on the Internet.coms is releasing theirs because it’ll get lost. And, you certainly don’t want to drop it the week after all those publications released their list because everyone is so fucking sick of lists. So, here we are. Ready for the new year and ready to reminisce. Let’s get to ranking, shall we?

We have compiled our staff selections into a Spotify playlist that contains 200 songs and 13 hours of music, expertly curated and arranged by resident heart throb, Nah_Rez (seriously, don’t shuffle. Just let this one ride). You are welcome. For the songs selected that are not on Spotify, we have placed those into a .ZIP file on the old Drop Box, which means you can easily download all of the songs or just the few you need (and by doing so will make the Spotify playlist complete). “DAMN MJF YOU REALLY THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING. I’M SO THANKFUL TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE.” Don’t mention it, kid. Leave comments and tell us which staffer’s list is best or how much we collectively suck for not including any Machine Gun Kelly. Enjoy.

“MJF Presents: Best Songs of 2012″ Spotify Playlist

Drop Box: Top Songs of 2012 (Non-Spotify)


Staff Picks: Songs With The Most Selections

G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
Future – “Turn On The Lights”
Kendrick Lamar – “Cartoon & Cereal ft. Gunplay”
Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”
Meek Mill – “Dreams And Nightmares”
A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”
Odd Future – “Oldie”
Frank Ocean – “Super Rich Kids ft. Earl Sweatshirt”
Mac Demarco – “Ode To Viceroy”
AlunaGeorge – “Your Drums, Your Love”
Phedre – “In Decay”
Frank Ocean – “Forrest Gump”
Action Bronson & RiFF RAFF – “Bird On A Wire”
Mystikal – “Hit Me”
BJ the Chicago Kid – “His Pain II ft. Kendrick Lamar”
Odd Future – “Analog 2″
Rick Ross – “Stay Schemin ft. Drake & French Montana”
XXYYXX – “About You”
Cash Out – “Cashin Out”
Juicy J – “Bandz A Make Her Dance”
Nas – “Daughters”
Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
Danny Brown – “Grown Up”
Kendrick Lamar – “Money Trees ft. Jay Rock”
Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
Beach House – “Myth”
Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum”
Usher – “Climax”
TNGHT – “Higher Ground”
Kendrick Lamar – “m.A.A.d. City”
Ab Soul – “Book of Soul”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love”
Ty Dolla $ign – “Cabana”
MØ – “Pilgrim”
Haim – “Forever”


Bauce Sauce

20) Mystikal – “Hit Me”
19) Action & RiFF – “Bird On A Wire”
18) Young Thug – “Keep Going ft. Ca$h Out”
17) Doc Waffles – “Grouch Masks”
16) Chief Keef – “3Hunna ft. Soulja Boy”
15) Thief Urban – “Closer”
14) Chance The Rapper – “Fuck You Tahm Bout”
13) Meek Mill – “Dreams and Nightmares Intro”
12) DJ Drama – “We In This Bitch 1.5 ft. Drake & Future”
11) King L – “Want It All ft. Lil Durk”
10) Justin Bieber – “As Long As You Love Me ft. Big Sean”
09) Gunplay – “Jump Out”
08) Zac Brown Band – “Overnight ft. Trombone Shorty”
07) Ke$ha – “Die Young”
06) Jamie Lidell – “What a Shame”
05) Homeboy Sandman – “Richardsun”
04) Big Baby Gandhi – “American Experience”
03) Jeremih – “773 Love”
02) Ty Dolla $ign – “My Cabana”
01) Action Bronson – “Steve Wynn”

With a wondrous, bass-driven loop provided by Party Supplies and absurd, multi-syallabic rhyme schemes by Action, this is a quintessential rap song with more replay value than a Kate Upton Doing The Cat Daddy In A Skimp Bikini video. As the second track on “Blue Chips,” Bronson sets the mood for the whole tape, and gives us the best one-liner of 2012, inside of a cursive-like flowing quatrain.

“On my behalf we had a meeting at the Neptune
Had little daddy hide the heater in the restroom
Guns drawn like my bath by my lady friend
Mesothelioma money, drop Mercedes-Benz

Are there better produced/written/crafted “songs” that came out this year? Yes. Are there any as lighthearted and fun? Nah, b. Now, let’s laugh and eat brisket.


The Black Kevin Arnold

Honorable Mentions:
Atlas Genius – “Backseat”
Tinashe – “Boss (Ryan Hemsworth RMX)”
Earl – “Chum”
Usher – “Climax”
Nicki Minaj ft. 2 Chainz – “Beez in the Trap”

20) Nas – “Daughters”
19) Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”
18) Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
17) Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools”
16) Juicy J – “Bandz a Make Her Dance”
15) Xxyyxx – “Alone”
14) Cash Out – “Cashin’ Out”
13) Trinidad James – “All Gold Everything”
12) Kendrick Lamar – “Cartoon & Cereal ft. Gunplay”
11) Xxyyxx – “About You”
10) Future – “Turn on the Lights”
09) Rick Ross – “Stay Schemin ft. French Montana & Drake”
08) Odd Future – “Analog 2″
07) Lil’ Mouse – “Get Smoked”
06) BJ the Chicago Kid ft. Kendrick Lamar – “His Pain II”
05) Ab-Soul – “Terrorist Threats ft. Jhene Aiko & Danny Brown”
04) Future – “You Deserve it”
03) Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
02) Chief Keef – “I Don’t Like”
01) Big Boi – “She Said OK ft. TheoPhilus London”

It’s all about the honey dips. Always has been, always will be. Big Boi nabbed Theophilous London and Tre Luce for this raunchy, yet smooth, Hip-Hop ballad– lyrically offensive while veiled under serene production and a flawless melody. While most Hip-Hop fans were cherishing the slew of guest verses Andre 3000 offered in 2012, I was preoccupied with singing about tidd-ays and puss-ays. I think I won.


Catf1sh

20) Thee Tom Hardy – “Show Me Your Hands”
19) Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
18) Ca$h Out – “Ca$hin Out”
17) King Louie – “Val Venis”
16) Wiz Khalifa – “Deep Sleep”
15) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love”
14) Sha Stimuli – “Green Grass”
13) Freddie Gibbs – “Money Clothes Hoes”
12) Rick Ross – “Holy Ghost”
11) Starlito – “Produced By Coop”
10) Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
09) ScHoolboy Q – “My Hatin’ Joint”
08) Gunplay – “Bible On The Dash”
07) Meek Mill – “Dreams & Nightmares (Intro)”
06) Gucci Mane – “Plain Jane ft. T.I. & Rocko”
05) Don Trip – “Hold Back Tears”
04) G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
03) Future – “You Deserve It”
02) Ab-Soul – “The Book of Soul”
01) Ty Dolla $ign – “4 A Young”

My list doesn’t really have a theme to it. It really is just a collection of my 20 favorite songs released in 2012. This heavily rap influence list represents everything from jams that you can ride to, to jams that you can party to, to jams that you light candles and meditate to. Check these joints out, expand your musical horizons and stay blessed and #BASED in 2013.


Dan

20) Ty Dolla $ign – “Cabana”
19) Haim – “Forever”
18) Miguel – “Adorn”
17) Big Sean – “Guap”
16) Chief Keef – “No Tomorrow”
15) Teki Latex – “Ladies in the Back”
14) TNGHT – “Goooo”
13) Danny Brown – “Molly Ringwald”
12) Jeremih – “773 Love”
11) Konshens – “So Me Tan”
10) Jessie Ware – “Sweet Talk”
09) Frank Ocean – “Pilot Jones”
08) Future – “Turn On The Lights”
07) Gary Clark Jr. – “You Saved Me”
06) Diplo – “Express Yourself”
05) Jai Paul – “Jasmine”
04) Major Lazer – “Get Free”
03) How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”
02) Benzel & Jessie Ware – “If You Love Me”
01) Toro Y Moi – “So Many Details Remix ft. Hodgy Beats”

Released in November, This late entrant to the 2012 party, blew my wife (Jessie Ware Haggar) out of the first place spot, and that’s no easy task. Amidst a backdrop of whale sounding chord swells, sharp snare retorts and a minimal synth beep (that erupts into something resembling a dancing starfield by the chorus,) Mr. Bundick delivers this great ode to yearning. Stacked against the original, there’s an easy to spot sonic difference, with a bumped mid section bringing Toro Y Moi’s light vocals to the forefront, making everything sound a lil’ more intimate.

Chazwick is flexing on us.

He’s got backup too, enlisting the talents of MellowHype/Odd Future MC, Hodgy Beats, who provides a strong counterpoint to the more gentle leanings of Chazwick. Hodgy delivers a verse which is like the tough guy wingman to Chazwick’s pleading tone, upfront with a little more bite.

If he didn’t get the girl after releasing this amazing gem, I just don’t know. Maybe he should continue to release more amazing music till he does? YEAH?


Fred

20) The Game – “Pray”
19) Nas – “Loco-Motive”
18) Meek Mill – “Black Magic”
17) Fabolous – “Only Life I Know ft. Troy Ave”
16) 8Ball – “We Buy Gold”
15) Spaceghost Purpp – “Suck a Dick 2012″
14) TNGHT – “Easy Easy”
13) G.O.O.D. Music – “New God Flow”
12) Odd Future – “Oldie”
11) Action Bronson – “Steve Wynn”
10) Schoolboy Q – “Hands on the Wheel”
09) Badbadnotgood – “Earl”
08) Frank Ocean – “Pyramids” (second half)
07) Ab-Soul – “Black Lip Bastard (Remix)”
06) Lute – “Success”
05) G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
04) Clams Casino – “The Fall”
03) Rick Ross – “High Definition”
02) A$AP Rocky – “1 Train ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T.”
01) Kendrick Lamar – “Money Trees ft. Jay Rock”

Like Kendrick Lamar himself, “Money Trees” has so many awesome things going for it that it’s no wonder it wound up ruling my 2012. It boasts the “Ya bish!” catchphrase that has worked its way into my everyday lexicon, Jay Rock’s stellar guest verse, a quotable hook, the beautifully dreamy Beach House sample, and the mere fact that it’s the best song on the year’s best album. All these reasons are great, but what truly makes it my favorite track of 2012 is the personal connection I feel when he speaks of listening to E-40 after school and of a time when Compton rappers weren’t cool. I don’t remember a time in my rap-loving life when I wasn’t listening to 40 Water before, during, and after school. And I do remember when L.A. rappers just weren’t coming with it once the Westside Connection petered out. As we head into 2013, I’m still listening to E-40, but thanks to Black Hippy, Compton rappers are cool again. Hallelujah.


Jessie

Honorable Mentions:
Atlas Genius – Back Seat (Goldroom Remix)
Lovelife – Tonight (We’re Taking Our Own Lives)
Conner Youngblood – The Warpath
Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work (RAC Mix)
Solange – Losing You

20) Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger – “Spinning, On Fire!”
19) Carousel – “Let’s Go Home”
18) Tomas Barfod – “November Skies”
17) Tanlines – “Not The Same”
16) St. Lucia – “Closer Than This”
15) The Royal Concept – “Gimme Twice”
14) Haim – “Forever”
13) San Cisco – “Beach”
12) Frank + Derol – “Let It Go”
11) Swim Deep – “King City”
10) Pacific Air – “Float”
09) Mansions On The Moon – “Leaves Fall”
08) Ghost Beach – “Empty Streets”
07) Tiny Victories – “Mr Bones”
06) Beach House – “Myth”
05) MØ – “Pilgrim”
04) alt-J – “Breezeblocks”
03) HAERTS – “Wings”
02) Major Lazer – “Get Free”
01) The Neighbourhood – “Sweater Weather”

There is one single song that completely transformed my 2012: “Sweater Weather.” From the moment Marc first introduced me to The Neighbourhood back in February, I was swept away. It was more than just the original mystery associated with the group that I found so alluring (Remember when their only promo shots was of 5 shadowy figures?). And then I heard “Sweater Weather” and I knew what it was. Their lyrics are seductive and enticing. Their production is undeniable. There is a reason every time new material of theirs came out, I dropped what I was doing (I’m sorry to my work…see what I did there) and felt compelled to publish it right away. It’s the same reason as to why I have rambled on and on in every post about how these guys are my band crush. The Neighbourhood has been courting me all year with their music and videos and at the end of 2012, I am still as in love with them as ever. Not to mention their excellent taste in sweaters and leather jackets is just a little bonus. 2012 was the year of The Neighbourhood and why they have earned number one on my list.


Lloyd

20) Joey Bada$$ – “Snakes”
19) Parquet Courts – “Borrowed Time”
18) Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”
17) Kwes – “Bashful”
16) Bat for Lashes – “Laura”
15) Kendrick Lamar – m.A.A.d city
14) Death Grips – “Hustle Bones”
13) Diplo – “Express Yourself”
12) Juicy J – “Bandz A Make Her Dance”
11) Frank Ocean – “Forrest Gump”
10) TNGHT – “Higher Ground”
09) A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”
08) Fiona Apple – “Werewolf”
07) Killer Mike – “Big Beast”
06) Grizzly Bear – “Sun in your Eyes”
05) Grimes – “Oblivion”
04) Mystikal – “Hit Me”
03) Mac Demarco – “Ode to Viceroy”
02) G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
01) Ab-Soul – “The Book of Soul”

Ab-Soul didn’t have much to gain from the highly confessional, nearly heartbreaking penultimate closer to his album Control System. He’d already built an LP steeped in conspiracy imagery, self-doubt and candid reflection. So, for “Book of Soul” to drive the project to its emotional peak is equal parts climactic and completely unexpected. Ab-Soul maps out the most tumultuous sequences in his life, starting with his diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome at the age of 10 and through the loss of TDE affiliate (and assumed love interest) Alori Joh — all within one harrowing verse. Despite tears, a wailing, choir-driven instrumental, and a frequently cracking voice, Ab-Soul spills himself in a way that not only makes the listener feel him, but experience him. It’s a flawless performance by sheer force of emotional execution.


LoneXI

20) Killer Mike – Big Beast ft. T.I., Bun B & Trouble”
19) Macklemore – “Same Love ft. Mary Lambert”
18) A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”
17) Trinidad Jame$ – “All Gold Everything”
16) The Royal Concept – “Goldrushed”
15) Usher – “Climax”
14) 2 Chainz – “No Lie ft. Drake”
13) Kendrick Lamar – “m.A.A.d. city ft. MC Eiht”
12) The Shins – “Simple Song”
11) St. Lucia – “Closer Than This”
10) BJ the Chicago Kid – “His Pain II ft. Kendrick Lamar”
09) Kendrick Lamar – “Cartoon & Cereal ft. Gunplay”
08) Nas – “Daughters”
07) fun. – “Some Nights”
06) G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
05) Ca$h Out – “Cashin’ Out”
04) Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
03) Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
02) Frank Ocean – “Super Rich Kids ft. Earl Sweatshirt”
01) Future – “Turn On The Lights”

Over a hauntingly beautiful Mike Will Made It beat, Future relays his desperate search for the woman of his dreams. The pure emotion evoked by this song is unmatched in music this year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hit the streets with a flashlight and find my soulmate.


marc

20) ASAP Rocky – “Fuckin Problems ft. 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar”
19) Santigold – “Disparate Youth”
18) Phedre – “In Decay”
17) Gucci Mane & Future – “Fuck The World”
16) Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”
15) Mac Demarco – “Viceroy”
14) Danny Brown – “Witit”
13) XXYYXX – “About You”
12) LOL Boys – “Changes”
11) ScHoolboy Q – “My Hatin Joint”
10) Tyga & Lil Wayne – “Faded”
09) Beach House – “Myth”
08) Big Sean – “Guap”
07) RiFF RAFF – “Time”
06) Waka Flocka Flame – “Triple F Life Intro”
05) Odd Future – “Oldie”
04) Action Bronson – “Bird On A Wire ft. RiFF RAFF”
03) Rick Ross – “Stay Schemin ft. Drake & French Montana”
02) Future – “Turn On The Lights/You Deserve It/Straight Up/Astronaut Chick”
01) Lil B – “I Own Swag”

The Based God had a great year. Not only did he drop several mixtapes and the classic “California Boy” but he ended David Banner’s career with this searing diss track. Scrumptious. No Pope.


Nah_Rez

Honorable Mentions:
TNGHT- “Higher Ground”
Killer Mike – “Ronald Reagan”
Daniel Rossen – “Silent Song”
Solange – “Losing You”
THEESatisfaction – “Enchantruss”
Miguel – “The Thrill”
Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Baby”

20) Hot Chip – “Look At Where We Are”
19) How To Dress Well – “& It Was You”
18) Kimbra – “Settle Down”
17) David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”
16) Grimes – “Genesis”
15) Benzel & Jessie Ware – “If You Love Me”
14) Alt-J- “Dissolve Me”
13) Polica – “Lay Your Cards Out”
12) BJ The Chicago Kid – “Good Luv’n”
11) Justin Bieber -”Boyfriend”
10) Future – “Turn On The Lights”
09) Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
08) AlunaGeorge – “Your Drums, Your Love”
07) Ca$h Out – “Ca$hin Out”
06) MØ – “Pilgrim”
05) Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”
04) Frank Ocean – “Sweet Life”
03) G.O.O.D. Music – “Mercy”
02) Major Lazer – “Get Free”
01) Odd Future – “Analog 2″

“Can you meet me by the lake, at the park, or in your room?”

I am very far away from being an Odd Future stan so it’s probably rather surprising that I chose “Analog 2″ as my number 1 song of the year. Initially I was drawn to this track for obvious reasons, that being the Frank and Syd features, however upon hearing it for the first time, actually it wasn’t even hearing the song in full that did it for me. Upon hearing Tyler’s deep voice (that I find rather attractive) open the song with, “Bitches think I’m crazy but I’m normal/I just come off as a psycho maniac when I’m performing/That’s an act so I won’t bore you to death cause I adore you…and it’s the summer, so.” I knew I was in for something different than what I typically expect from the Odd Future gang.

I honestly think Frank sounds better than normal on this track, but it could be because I’m deeply in love with it. When there’s that break in the middle of the song, right before Syd’s endearingly sweet verse, my heart still races as if I’m hearing it for the first time. You know that song you listen to on repeat any time you’re in the car? “Analog 2″ was that for me throughout a very long period when I first moved out to Florida this year. It essentially was my Linus Blanket when I was living in a strange place, with only forced friendships to be had with coworkers, no opportunities for a social life, and a highly stressful job.

Here’s to “Analog 2″ for being my everything when I needed it the most, “to me, you are perfect.”


Raj

20) Hoodie Allen – “No Interruption”
19) Juicy J – “Show Out” (feat. Big Sean & Young Jeezy)
18) The Avett Brothers – “Live and Die”
17) A$AP Rocky – “Brand New Guy”
16) Slightly Stoopid – “Top of the World”
15) Poolside – “Next To You”
14) RAC – “Hollywood”
13) Maybach Music Group )- “Power Circle”
12) Earl – “Chum”
11) Big Sean – “24k of Gold ft. J Cole”
10) Trinidad James – “All Gold Everything”
09) Kid Cudi – “Just What I Am”
08) Reptar – “Houseboat Babies”
07) Danny Brown – “Grown Up”
06) Meek Mill – “Dreams and Nightmares”
05) Schoolboy Q – “There He Go!”
04) Frank Ocean – “Thinkin’ Bout You (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg)”
03) Kendrick Lamar – “Money Trees”
02) Heems – “Soup Boys”
01) Kendrick Lamar – “Cartoons & Cereal ft. Gunplay”

Face it, 2012 was a solid year for music releases. We finally had artists who were willing to evolve and push the envelope, all while maintaining mass appeal that brought them to where they are today. I have no shame putting Hoodie Allen in my top 20 because his music is undeniably good. Cartoons & Cereal was my number one pick due to the unhealthy amount of plays in my iTunes and the fact that I know the song front to back. It was also a good way to introduce Gunplay, who put all his emotions in that one verse. Still waiting on the part 2 though, which will probably make my 2013 list.


Stu

20) M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
19) Miike Snow – “Archipelago”
18) Tiny Victories – “Mr. Bones”
17) Deadmau5 – “The Veldt”
16) Savoir Adore – “Regalia”
15) G. Eazy ft. Hoodie Allen – “Lady Killers”
14) Mika – “Love You When I’m Drunk”
13) Frank Ocean – “Forrest Gump”
12) Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean – “The One”
11) Dirty Projectors – “Dance For You”
10) Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
09) Carousel – “Let’s Go Home”
08) Ghost Beach – “Empty Streets”
07) Frank Ocean featuring Earl Sweatshirt – “Super Rich Kids”
06) Reptar – “Sebastien”
05) Passion Pit – C”arried Away”
04) Icona Pop – “I Love It”
03) Danny Brown – “Grown Up”
02) Cherub – “Doses & Mimosas”
01) Mika – “Lola”

This entire track was written and produced in a hotel room in Miami in the course of four hours. This one fact alone blows me away. Self described as a mix of Fleetwood Mac with a little bit of “Billy Jean,” this song has one of the most infectious hooks I’ve ever heard. To me, this epitomizes a perfect pop song.


We’ll end this by saying that every track on this page is worth a listen or two. MJF writers care about introducing our fans (who we consider fam) to decent music and we do it for the love. We have not been paid a single cent by any artist to post their songs and for good reason. There are too many other blogs that just post a track/video because a label paid them, and their sites ends up being a mix of straight up hype artists. Please take the time to go through the Spotify and DropBox playlists and see our diverse taste range. By doing so, you may find a few songs that you may have missed and you can thank us later. We will always be there for you. 2013 is our year. Hugs and Kisses.

What were your favorite songs of 2012?