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Wednesday, December 5

Vinnie the Intern #30: Top 50 Songs of 2012 (30-21)

30. JJ DOOM - "Guv'nor" - Key to the Kuffs
Very different from Madvillainly or the Mouse and the Mask, Key to the Kuffs is Daniel Dumile's newest venture with Jneiro Jarel contains icy electronics and disjointed rhythms which reflect oddly in his delievery. "Guv'nor" bridges the gap between DOOM's old collaborations and the new. Irrelevant references (including an Icelandic volcano) abound which make him the same old DOOM we all know and love. 

29. Hank. - "Peas" - The Venture EP
Mathy and lyrical delivery usually not seen in the genre, make Hank.'s "Peas" and interesting listen. This track is a fast burst of raw energy. Full of breakouts and prime usage of space (notably the "Wooo" in the middle), Hank. are definitely worth checking out this year.

28. Passion Pit - "Constant Conversations" - Gossamer
After hearing the sugary sweet (almost to the point of diabetes) tracks such as "Cuddle Fuddle" and "Sleepyhead," you think that it would be hard to deviate away from the formula and push forward. Behold: "Constant Conversations" which is essentially a slow jam. Featuring smooth piano lines under a bed of warm synths, and the sweet voice of Michael Angelakos.

27. Kanye West - "White Dress" - Man with the Iron Fists OST
Kanye West had a busy year with G.O.O.D Music, but it wasn't as good as it could have been (pun realized, not intended). Where the compilation Cruel Summer showcased some potential future talent, it ultimately was a little more uneven than I would have enjoyed. The standout from Mr. West that stood out the most was "White Dress." No "HUHS?" here. Just straight lyricism as well as masterful production.

26. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Kinski Assassin" - Mature Themes
The opener to Mature Themes blasts onto your speakers immediately with a line similar"Light My Fire." A twisted song about a broken heart where you will be scratching your head trying to keep up with the story of "suicide dumpling dropping testicle bombs" and "blowjobs of death."

25. Dirty Projectors - "While You're Here" - About to Die - EP
This gorgeous and sentimental orchestral piece by David Longstreth and company is absolutely memorable for his sincerity and elasticity of his falsetto. While the track is brief  the brevity almost speaks to how life can be over before you know it. 

24. Death Grips - "Hunger Games" - NO LOVE DEEP WEB
My favorite NO LOVE DEEP WEB track is an incessant percussive attack with subject matter of paranoia,  murder, and schizophrenia. NO LOVE DEEP WEB showcased Death Grips from less instrumentally grandiose and put MC Ride in the forefront and this is the biggest success of that experiment. 

23. Titus Andronicus - "In A Big City" - Local Business
"In A Big City" displays the "new" Titus Andronicus. Vocal clarity and harmonization about like never before, but this is not a bad thing. It doesn't sound stale. An anthem for going to a new city and being against the world (taxes, the feeling of being a robot, and "building bombs between beer and blowjobs"). This is the American way as most Titus Andronicus songs capture.

22. Dirty Projectors - "Dance For You" - Swing Lo Magellan
"There is an answer, I haven't found it, but I will keep dancing 'til I do." This could easily be the phrase of the  year: positive, catchy, and uplifting. We are all looking for that thing, whatever it may be, and David Longstreth's optimism on what lies ahead could not be more refreshing. The simplicity (when compared to other head scratching Dirty Projectors tracks) was a great addition and adds to the accessibility of Swing Lo Magellan.

21. Joey Bada$$ Feat. Capital STEEZ - "Survival Tactics" - 1999
Opening with sirens and gunshots, you know immediately you're about to hear hostile attack. Brooklyn's Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ represent their group PRO ERA. Some of the greatest wordplay this year is spit rapid fire calling for many listens:"(his)panic like Dora" just to name one. When the beat cuts out to, a couple bars are spit frantically until they are ignited again by gunshots. Containing Wu-Tang boom-bap, intensity, and horn sections, "Survival Tactics" shows us that the spirit of gritty New York hip-hop is still alive. 

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