Because of this – and our individual penchants for liking specific music – picking “Best Song of the Year” and “Best Album of the Year” is quite a difficult task, even if a few projects stand out as the year’s best. Think about it this way: while your #1 may not be anyone else’s #1, is your #1 in other people’s top 5? How about everyone’s #1s? Are they in your top 5? It’s not necessary for either to be true but it would probably help to explain a lot of what is considered “popular” or “successful”, but again, that’s not necessarily the point.
With the help of our respondents, we have narrowed down the choices and here we present the 1VIBE community’s choices for “Best Song” and “Best Album” of the year. Agree? Disagree? Either way we just hope you understand them.
Best Song: WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE! This song by Rihanna has not only spent multiple weeks at #1, but it also has the ability to make me want to do one thing and one thing only, and that is party!!! Put this song on, and I know it’s going to be a good night. It’s up beat, it’s catchy, and the music video is a trip. Even just writing this response and thinking about the song makes me want to throw on a pair of heels and hit the town, I absolutely love this song.
Best Album: THE WEEKND! With the recent release of The Weeknd’s new mixtape Echoes of Silence, I found myself listening to House of Balloons and Thursday. Abel’s unique sound and the way he stays so anonymous, I can’t help but love it.
Best Song: “I’m on One” had to be the hottest single this year; the beat was different. It was nothing like anything anyone had done before and Drake came in with that chorus that went perfect with it. It makes you feel like you’re on one. Once again, shout out to T-Minus, Nikhil and 40 on the beat.
Best Album: I’m pretty sure everyone’s going to say Take Care, just because Drake put on for our city, and even more than half the production was Toronto-based. I want to mention Jay/Kanye’s WTT as well. Definitely a tough decision between the both. I might be biased because Jay is my favourite of all time but “Niggas In Paris” is my tune.
Best Song: Slaughterhouse – “The Illest” – Kind of a weird choice I know but after taking a short hiatus, Slaughterhouse tore up my headphones with a FIRE track consisting of a catchy beat, a well-executed Biggie sample and four ridiculous verses.
Best Album: Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne. Ten years from now, the only CD I’ll still be playing on even a semi-regular basis is Watch the Throne. When I’m 31, I’ll be too old to get mad at life as I smoke a j and listen to House of Balloons, and I’m not sure if referring to women as “bitches” will still be cool then – I’m looking at you Drake – but damn if I can’t get hype to “Paris”.
Best Album: I don’t think 13 million people can be wrong about Adele’s 21. This album was just amazing, uniting so many music listeners from different generations, genres and subcultures together. It was commercially viable and acceptable, wonderfully arranged and produced and has SO much replay value. This album just goes to show you that music with real substance and emotion will ALWAYS find an audience to connect with, ALWAYS. To be honest, no matter how many times I’ve heard it on the radio, or how many times it’s been remixed, I’m still not sick of “Rolling In The Deep”. In fact I’ll be very surprised if Adele doesn’t walk away with “Album of The Year” at the Grammy’s.
Best Song: The Weeknd – House of Balloons – Glass Table Girls. Countless rappers and producers attempted the whole dubstep/hip-hop medley this year, and let’s be honest, the majority were about as unbearable as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s saggy ass replacing Katie Holmes in The Dark Knight. The Weeknd’s “House of Balloons – Glass Table Girls” (at least the second half of the record) was a lone exception, as the record managed to blend both unexpected lyrical prowess by Abel and Illangelo and Doc’s nightmarish 707 slaps. Go ahead and vibe to this jam at top volume, but then don’t expect to kick that debilitating Mango addiction.
Kevin James Rogers
Best Song: Song Of The Year: “Yonkers” – Tyler, The Creator – Tyler would probably hate me for choosing this song, his most popular, as not only his best, but one of the best of the year period, opting to call me an “Internet Blogger Dumbass” or something to that effect. But Yonkers is the best New York, New York rap track to ever be made by someone outside New York, New York, hiding its calculated pop sensibilities under layers of Tyler’s own
conflicting, asshole magnetism, becoming one of Wolf Haley’s integral productions that points toward a bright creative future.
Best Album: XXX – Danny Brown. Detroit wunderkind Danny Brown’s fifth album, fourth solo, is the sort of LP that makes it look both incredibly easy and completely impossible to craft an amazing rap record. XXX, symbolizing Xanax tablets, Brown’s age, and the nature of the content found within, doesn’t simply make an introspective universe where Brown’s concepts of adoration (binge drinking, eating pussy, and smoking blunt after blunt after blunt after blunt) can co-exist, it miraculously makes those topics feel universal, despite an ever branching, internet fueled hip-hop underground.
Best Song: Adele – “Someone Like You”. Everyone in my inner circle rates this record to the 1000th, they know all the lyrics word for word as I’d assume is the same for many songs in 2011 but “Someone Like You” is special for many reasons. This song is delivered from a place of humility and sincerity that is relatable to anybody and the feel is very authentic as opposed to a song that feels manufactured in trying to appeal to you.
Best Album: Common – The Dreamer/The Believer; For me this was a clutch 4th quarter game winner. The Dreamer/The Believer provided everything I look for in an album; strong production, concept execution, sequencing, and most importantly BARS. Common delivers all four with this album and this remains consistent throughout, with little to no drop off…
Ildi Xhaholli (1VIBE Founder/Director)
Best Song: Florance and The Machine – “Shake It Out” (Original). This was hard for me to choose, but in my opinion, your favourite song should be the one that speaks to you. The lyrics of “Shake It Out” are powerful. “And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope – It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat – Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me”. Lead singer Florence Welch combines rock and soul like no other artist I’ve heard and at times I hear a bit of Portishead in there. But her voice made “Shake It Out” what it is, and allowed the lyrics to give out this energy I didn’t feel from any other song this year.
Best Album: I’d say Take Care, but The Weeknd pretty much wrote (or as Drake would say “helped write”) like 4 tracks on the project. So I’m going to have to say House Of Balloons, which was The Weeknd’s introduction to the world. Even though his following projects Thursday + Silence of Echoes are just as good in my book, House Of Balloons had every female I know thirsty for pills, sex, pain and other crazy shit for almost a year. Not to mention how instantly after House Of Balloons came out, it was normal/cool for guys to quote R&B lyrics (yes I fucks with all of Abel’s words). This mixtape, EP, or album, whatever you want to call it, truly broke a few important boundaries, but the real reason why it’s the best project in my eyes is because it spoke to a culture. It gave voice to Toronto kids who’ve been through some pretty fucked up things, and even though it’s nothing to be proud of, it touched on powerful emotions in a young generation, and the songs told raw stories without compromising any of the lyrical content for RADIO or record labels.
Gowsigan “Impress” Sabanathan
Best Song: Adele – Someone Like You – this song was by far the most unique and played song this year, Adele coming out of nowhere and sweeping all our hearts away with a record that makes us all relate to someone in our lives. It was a song that touched us all.
Best Album: Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne – hands down this was the best album that came out this year, not as a lyrical album, but an entertainment album. This album initially an experiment ended up with countless billboard hits, and amazing sales. What made this ablum so great was the production value on it, each song was an experience.
Andrew Bacchus (1VIBE Co-Founder)
Best Song: The Weeknd – Dirty Diana. This selection isn’t based off of internet ratings, billboard selections or any of that garbage but pure opinion. Echoes of Silence was only released this month but Dirty Diana has always been a favourite of mine because I`m not afraid to say that Michael Jackson is my favourite artist. When I heard that The Weeknd re-did his song I had to listen, I kid you not, I thought I was listening to Michael for the first 20 seconds of the song.
Best Song: This has to go to Marvin’s Room. Every time I hear the song I have to listen to the whole thing from start to finish. The lyrics Drake chose to use for a track like this makes you think and a lot of people would say the same thing if they were in his situation.
Best Album: So far I would have to say it’s Take Care. The way Drake put together the tracks to keep you listening was genius. This album shows that he put a lot of heart into each song especially the ones where he is talking about his personal problems at home.
Darren “D-LO” Lopez
Best Song: Church Chizzle – I’m Comin’. Classic hip-hop flow, with a mellow vibe. It just came out organically, it’s still a secret to most that impresses people who stumble upon it.
Best Album: Take Care. The hype and brilliant promotion of this album built up to a project that didn’t disappoint at all. Drake went with a mellow theme that ran smoothly front to back.
Best Song: Church Chizzle – “I’m Comin’”. For an introduction song, I feel it did a great job of introducing the audience to who Church is as an artist and as a person. The video was shot very well, and the substance in the song’s lyrics is extremely rare these days. Plus, that song did some numbers boyy!
Best Album: Drake – Take Care; Lil Wayne – The Carter IV; Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
Best Song: The Roots – Sleep
Best Album: The Roots – undun
Cristhian “ShotbyCris” Ramirez
Best Song: Drake – Crew Love
Best Album: Drake – Take Care
Sam “GITB” Turner
Best Song: The Weeknd – Initiation
Best Album: Drake – Take Care
Masashi Appeadu – (1VIBE Co-Founder)
Best Song: The Weeknd – Wicked Games
Best Album: The Weeknd – House of Balloons