YEAR-END TOP 10: Butta’s Picks of 2008

Today it’s my turn to reveal my Top 10 Songs of 2008, and I have a tough act to follow thanks to ill Mami and nOva bringing their respective year-ending heat, but I’ll do my best nonetheless. Examining my list of faves compared to last year, indie artists represented in ’08, I was either shaking my groove thang or laying it down, and once again someone with the initials ER is on top. So without further delay, here are my songs of the year ranked in order of how much I loved them.


Q-Tip feat. Norah Jones: “Life Is Better”
I first heard this song at the Q-Tip listening party and it was one of many tracks to have me open that night. This is Q-Tip’s love song for Hip Hop and Norah’s voice floats over the beat. With artists like Tip still going strong and producing relevant, good music, methinks that maybe I do still love H.E.R.

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9. Raphael Saadiq: “Oh Girl”
Saadiq’s The Way I See It was one of my favorite albums this year, and this was the one song that I was immediately drawn to. It’s such a lush and beautifully crafted ’60s-style recording. I don’t know about anyone else, but it made me want to screw in a red lightbulb and put a nickel in the needle.


8. Robin Thicke: “Magic”
I loved this song from first listen. Thicke had me at hello with the throwback groove and his vocals were in great form. This was the shining star on an album that was ultimately a let down, but whenever I put this joint on it’s all good.

7. Angela Johnson feat. Eric Roberson – “Let Me Know”
This song straight snuck up on me. Amazingly, I first heard it on the radio. What can I say, WHUR in Washington, DC comes correct with playing indie artists, but I digress. Angela Johnson went hard on the production of this Electric Slide-inducing song. This track was not only a rump shaker, but it was a lovely distraction from the fact that Erro didn’t release a new album this year. Y’all know that Butta without her Erro is like corn flakes without the milk! And when I got to see him perform it live this summer, I was a very, very happy woman.

6. Eric Benét: “The Hunger”
I’ve already gone on record professing my love for this song. I was shook when I first heard this jam, and I still need a moment to collect myself whenever I hear it. It is just so sexy, so succulent, so…Sorry, I had another moment. 

5. The Foreign Exchange: “I Wanna Know”
It should come as no surprise that a song by The Foreign Exchange has also found its way into my year-end Top 10 as well. l could have chosen any number of tracks from the breathtaking Leave It All Behind, but I settled on this love song. What sealed the deal for me was seeing this done live in concert and hearing Phonte breaking the song down. Okay…

4. Jazmine Sullivan: “Lions, Tigers & Bears”
This song will be Jazmine’s next single at the top of the new year, but I’ve been loving it long time ever since it leaked this past summer. She took me higher on this one singing about the intricacies of falling in love and the fears of falling out of it. My God, does Jazzy go in on this track or what?

3. Jazzanova feat. Phonte: “Look What You’re Doing To Me”
The minute I heard this song? I had to hear it again. Quickly. Like the homie nOva said on his Top 10 list, this track surprised the heck outta everyone when we were the first to post it on the internets. *Pops collar* If you needed further proof after FE’s LIAB dropped that Phontigallo had come into his own as a vocalist, this song gave it to you in spades.


2. Reel People feat. Tony Momrelle & Imaani: “Amazing”
If there’s one music-related regret that I have this year, it’s that I didn’t review Seven Ways to Wonder by Reel People when it came out earlier in the year. My only excuse is that I was so busy jammin’ to each and every song on the album, that I couldn’t sit still long enough to collect my thoughts on how awesomely awesome this joint is. And when this particular song comes on with its breezy ’80s vibe and Tony Momrelle and Imaani slaying their vocals, I can’t help but get up and shake what my mama gave me. Matter of fact…

1. Erik Rico: “Wanting You
I seriously could have chosen at least three Erik Rico songs to include in my Top 10 countdown this year, but I narrowed it down to my favorite favorite amongst the pack of gems that Rico dropped late last year on his debut , Journey Back To Me, and this past summer on the EP A Higher Frequency. The way that he articulates the desire of another is incredible and the slightly raspy tone of his voice takes me to another place. Don’t get me to testifying up in here. Bounce-Worthy, indeed.

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