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’11 Best Singles: #5 Common “Blue Sky”

Common’s second single was first rate. Produced by No I.D., Lonnie went ham over choreographed drums and a groovy Electric Light Orchestra sample. Part inspirational, “It all started with a dream, I wanted to be Run D.M.C/ The Lord put the blessing upon the MC” with a dash of swagger, “Suited in Prada, stay mellow like LaLa/ Young fresh with dollars, ladies go gaga” “Blue Sky” soars above the clouds. Lift off.

’11 Best Singles: #6 The Throne “Otis”

Before the album even dropped, this song was a movement by itself. Son! Do you remember how this pass-the-mic, soul sample-packed lyrical exchange shook the rap game up? Over Otis Redding’s “Tenderness,” this nigga Kanye told YMCMB to “tuck their whole summer in.” Crazy! Hov’s callin the paps on himself? This shit still give me chills. Run it back! Maybe Flex likes this shit more than me. But not by a lot. Ha!

’11 Best Singles: #7 2 Chainz x T.I. “Spend It (Remix)”

2 Chainz’s “Spend It” was already the hottest in the hood. But once T.I. was released from the clink and added a verse for the remix, it was a wrap. Over Drumma Boy’s friendly organs, Tip delivered a sweet 16 that complimented Chainz’s kooky rhymes, “I’m riding around on my side of town/ Wit’ my dubs up, and my wind down”. Don’t forget the similac!

’11 Best Singles: #8 Ace Hood Ft. Rick Ross x Lil Wayne “Hustle Hard (Remix)”

This street anthem set the year off right. Make no mistake, Khaled’s protege had a certified smash on his own. Lex Luger’s sinister track was knocking and Ace’s hook was deadly killer but then Rozay and Wayne hopped on and this joint went national. Weezy’s verse here is his best since life after prison. With a lil help from his friends, Hood proved all the doubters wrong. The third time is still the charm. We The Best be that logo.

’11 Best Singles: #9 J.Cole x Trey Songz “Can’t Get Enough”

The story goes that Trey Songz was originally rapping on the chorus. Thankfully, the powers that be deaded that. Held down by Balla Et Ses Balladins’ tribal sample, Cole creates an irresistible hit with more bounce than an ounce. But it’s not all fun and games, Lightskinned Jermaine still handles his business with smart similes like, “I’m from the ‘Ville where they bang for the money/ And carry 4-5’s like change for a 20.” Good God, that hit the spot!