This week's top hip-hop songs include entries from Nas, Young Jeezy, and Saigon.
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Watching Kanye struggle with his performance of this song at this year's BET Awards almost made me forget how wonderful it sounded on wax. Ahh, autotune -- where would we be without that nifty studio trick.
"Saturday Night Live" is a bubbly track from Sway's new album, The Signature
, due late this year.
8. Saigon - "Believe It"
© Henry Adaso
It wasn't a coincidence that Saigon leaked this street anthem on his way out of Atlantic Records. It sums up his ordeal at the label, while speaking directly to the struggle of America's urban youth.
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After witnessing nearly a million remixes to Lil Wayne's "A Milli," I never thought anyone could convince me to check out another one of these things. "Chamilli," which is obviously Chamillionaire's rework of the popular single, changed my mind. Cham goes in and attacks the beat with the confidence of a Forbes millionaire.
Photo © Scott Gries
'Kast and Rae reunite to skew it on the Barb-B-Q over a big bass drum that will surely excite partygoers.
5. John Legend & Andre 3000 - "Green Light"
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Even though it's not purely a rap song, this unlikely pairing of Andre 3000 and John Legend is already one of my favorite collaborations of 2008. It's a well-sculpted exercise in melodic entertainment. 3 Stacks' freestyle-esque rap at the end is the icing on the cake.
"Pressure" reveals the result of putting two raging rappers in the same studio. The song is powered by a basic drum track but it comes at you hard with the force of a bulldozer.
© Def Jam
Nas fans always complain that he makes bad choices with regards to beats. Well, if this infectious Polow Da Don concoction doesn't impress Nas fans, then nothing will.
Sure, T.I. has leaked many songs since "No Matter What," but none of them sounds as compelling as this one.
This star-studded remix freshens up the already dope "Game's Pain" and achieves what eluded the original version, a spot at numero uno. It's such a delight to hear Bun, Buck, Joe, Pusha, and Game share their early hip-hop memories while paying homage to their predecessors.