My Three Favorite Songs Ever
I’m obviously going to be one to argue for the importance of music. I love it. This blog is about it. It’s the soundtrack to one’s life. It has the magical ability to completely sway someone’s mood at the drop of a dime. Every person has their own individual tastes and what’s great to someone might be awful to someone else. It’s just so incredibly interesting to think about the role that music plays in my life and I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the most important music in my life (to this point).
As an aside, I’m not going to pick any music I’ve ever made here. It plays a different role in terms of importance in my life. I’m talking about music that I enjoy from other artists… Also narrowing down this list was practically impossible and I could sub in or out certain songs on any given day. At this moment in time though, these are undoubtedly my top 3.
With no further ado…
My Three Favorite Songs Ever
Cam’ron feat. Kanye West & Syleena Johnson – Down & Out
Why It’s a Great Song: Kanye West in his golden years as a producer. Cam’ron at the top of his game (and his best album). Amazing chorus sung by Syleena Johnson and rapped by Kanye West.
Why It’s a Favorite: This is my favorite song ever. Bar none. Dipset (Cam’ron’s group) ran upstate New York and embodied all things great at that point in my life. As with all the songs on this list, it’s more than musical value. This song came to me when I was going through bouts of depression as a freshman here at UGA (before transferring to Cornell). I heard it in the spring semester when I was feeling really low and the message in the chorus really resonated with me at the time. This song will always be important to me for that reason and will always serve as a pick-me-up.
They tryin’ to see he (down… down…)
I hear n*ggas sayin’ he (down…. but not out)
Cee Lo Green – F*ck You
Why It’s a Great Song: It’s new, but it easily makes the list. I’m going to be honest… if this song doesn’t win a Grammy I’m going to be legitimately upset. The idea behind the song, the execution of the song, the instrumentation, the artist, the lyrics… everything is perfect. The song was originally written by Bruno Mars and his production team (The Smeezingtons), but come on… there’s no better artist for this song than Cee Lo. Where Bruno Mars is young and handsome and fresh in the music game, Cee Lo has been around for almost two decades, is old, only has one smash single (and that was in a group as Gnarls Barkley), and has the perfect voice for this song. When I first heard this song I listened to it on repeat for two hours and was frantically calling/messaging friends online about this song. Ahhh.. love at first listen.
Why It’s a Favorite: I picked the lyrics video for the song as opposed to the music video because this is how I originally saw this when my friend Ben sent me it. Key to knowing a song is a lifetime favorite: You know exactly when and where you heard it. I heard this song in September 2010 when I was laying on this very couch and going through some girl drama of my own that pretty closely describes what Cee Lo is singing about. To having a lifetime favorite there’s always going to be an element of perfect timing and almost having a “need” for the song before stumbling upon it. Any guy (Ryan Gosling and George Clooney notwithstanding) can relate to this song. It’s incredible and the timing was perfect.
Joe Budden – All of Me (Reprise)
Why It’s a Great Song: If I had to play one rap song for someone who hated rap to try to cross them over… this would be it. I think this is the most artistically deep and real song I’ve ever heard in my life. The original version of this song appeared on Budden’s ‘Mood Muzik 3’ mixtape which I remember running to the mailbox for after pre-ordering back in December of 2007 (yes, I still have childish joy about music). Budden has always been one of my favorite rappers if not my favorite… As I said above I pre-ordered a PHYSICAL copy of this album… in 2007!!! Ever since about 2004 I’ve been able to find any music I want for free and get it about a week before it’s officially released. With ‘Mood Muzik 3’ I was waiting like a little kid on Christmas Eve… but I waited. And it was worth it. The lyrics and storytelling are phenomenal, and the instrumentation/production by The Klassix presented Joe with the perfect canvas to paint upon.
Why It’s a Favorite: Unfortunately compared to the two above, I don’t have a really good story behind this one outside of explaining why it’s a great song. I remember listening through this mixtape while running outside through the snow and having that synthesized organ sound come on and the notes it hits… man it was like tears were about to come streaming down my eyes. Some pieces of art just pull at your heartstrings from every direction, and this was it. There are so many lines worth quoting. To share my four favorites:
Depression tells me I suck,
So I reply ‘I ain’t here cuz I fell down, I’m here because I got up!’…
I’m still a risk-taker let me put it in words,
You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first…
“Why am I meeting so many backstabbers?
Why when I’m about go crash do I go faster?…”
“Past is a disaster,
When your house is see-through,
Learn to close your eyes in case the glass shatters…
As an artist myself, I’m both in awe and envy how incredibly open Joe is in his music. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to put your innermost thoughts and feelings out there for everyone to hear and judge, decipher, and criticize. His story about Tammy in the song is absolutely heartbreaking and relatable at the same time. When I had a personal blog I spent over 3,000 words on this one song… so I’ll stop here. Just know what I’ve said about it is only the tip of the iceberg.
And with THAT…. you now know my three favorite songs ever. I hope you can get 10% of the joy from listening to them that I do because if you do… that means you’d like them a lot, hahaha. Think about your favorite three songs and what role they play in your life (or the timing with which they “came” to you, I think music can absolutely search people out)… You may learn a lot about yourself in the reflection.