My Favorite Songs of 2014

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Feature Image Via SoundIsStyle

When you live in a big city and spend an absurd amount of time on public transit, your iPod is your best friend–My iPod is actually my longest-lasting relationship. And as you may know, my musical tastes could use some Adderall, but these are the 50 songs that kept me most sane this year.

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I’m so glad Sam Smith took up where Adele left off in 2014. This song just sucks you in the minute it starts with that booming drum. And who doesn’t know all the words to this one? Radio didn’t really give us a choice. It was like, “You will listen to this song 20 times a day and you will like it.” We did.

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I don’t really have a long list of ex-lovers to really relate, but according to a Buzzfeed quiz, I’m capable of smashing a guy’s car with a golf club. I see it. Is anyone else really happy T-Swift finally switched over to pop? It’s also refreshing that the whole truck bed and fireflies era is over. I like psycho Swift. Good work.

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Happiness. This was my official morning song for a month straight this past spring. I’d wake up on the weekend, turn on this song and just take in the morning light. That’s all it took for me to be happy. Imagine being Jessica Beal and actually having that same morning, except JT is actually next to you.

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Heeeey-ey-ey! One Direction wasn’t the only boy band stirring up 9-year-old girls’ tears this year. 5SOS and their ode to American Apparel underwear (which sadly passed without any A.A. sponsorship–their loss) had me jamming like a fool. I also learned to be super careful with my Snapchat from these guys. Thanks for the song and the help, guys!

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Oh, John Legend. This song gives me so many feels. I JUST WANT TO BE CHRISSY TEIGEN. If any of you saw his performance at the Billboard Music Awards, you’d maybe understand the aura I feel: a beautiful man, a polished, black piano and dimly-lit retro light bulbs. It is magical.

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So, from sweet and loving to hard and dirty. An ode to R. Kelly’s hit debut album, this song features two of our most suave R&B fellas joining forces to take our pants off for us. I ain’t mad. If you want a good slow jam with a killer hook, this is it.

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Last year I didn’t bat an eye at this song from Prism. Then when it became an official single this year, it stuck, and then I couldn’t get enough. I was humming it. It was my ringtone. I craved tacos like crazy. Katy Perry is capable of creating audible cocaine and I don’t know how she does it. An ode to besties and all of the shenanigans you got into (orand still do, hopefully), this song has a catchy swag you can’t shake.

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It wasn’t even intentional for TWO 5SOS songs to end up in my top ten, but, damn, it happened. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it’s perfect. Part throwback to the days of Good Charlotte, Bowling For Soup and All-Time Low, part chill production, “Never Be” was a perfect gem off of their debut album.

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There was no better hook in music in 2014 than the first ten seconds of this summer jam: Dun, Dun-Dun. Buh-duh Dun Dun-Dun. Buh-duh Dun Dun-Dun, Buh-duh Dun–“First thing’s first, I’m the realest.” BOOM. Iggy Iggz was all up in our face outta nowhere. And then the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel skit happened. To me, this was the most iconic song of 2014 and one of those tracks that you will always remember for the rest of your life–love it or hate it.

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First of all, the album art is perfection. Look at those fine ass headlights and taillights. That alone accounts for 10% of a great single. This song is so euphoric to me and makes me feel alive. It came at a time when I was away with some close friends on a weekend trip to Palm Springs and would play every time we were in the car. From there it just developed this whole piece of nostalgia itself which carried me through the rest of the year. EVERYBODY FIST PUMP.

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Is Nicki Minaj shading Mariah Carey? Music Video Battle Royale

The big music news today was the arrival of diva extraordinaire Mariah Carey’s newest single “You’re Mine (Eternal)” with the video dropping at tonight at 7:50 EST on MTV. But not so fast, Mimi; it appears Nicki Minaj wants in on the buzz.

Just a few  hours ago, Nicki Minaj unexpectedly debuted her new NABIL-directed video, “Lookin’ Ass Nigga.” This is the Trinidadian’s first song in nearly a year, the former being 2013’s “High School.” The video features Minaj back in her rap roots, shedding the purple/blue/red/blond/green wigs and picking up some serious machinery. The automatic guns look good on ya, Nicki Nicki. Maybe she’s prepping for combat with Mariah Carey? I mean, the two have a notoriously sour relationship, stemming from their “Idol” judging days. Shall we recap?

First, there were the reports that Minaj threatened Carey during the “Idol” auditions last season; a threat that had Carey so unsettled that she told Barbara Walters she had to hire extra security guards because the rapper was “unpredictable.” Meanwhile, Minaj took to Twitter to blast that interview claiming, “Ironically, no camera or mic heard the gun comment tho. Lol @ the struggle. Not even the producers believed u. Say no to violence barbz.”

In November, Mariah told Hot 97 FM that working on “Idol” was like, “Going to work every day in hell with Satan.”

One month later, Carey sat in Andy Cohen’s clubhouse for a festive episode of “Watch What Happens, Live.” She claimed she joined “Idol” to show her personality, which her friends felt, would be good for viewers to see, and she agreed:

“You know what? That could be cool. I’ll be with Randy. It’ll be fine. It’ll be the 3-person panel, the typical thing. And THEN…” It’s getting drafty in here Nicki.

Let’s begin the diva music video throwdown:

Check out Mariah’s video (which is still not uploaded to Youtube) here.

2014 Grammy Nominations are IN

jayzgrammysMusic’s Biggest Night is just around the corner. The nominations for the 56th Annual Grammys were announced on Friday during a concert at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. Good news artists: Adele is NOT nominated (other than Best Song for Visual Media)! *music industry rejoices*

Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations, but Hova will have stiff competition from newbies Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar, who are each nominated seven times and in most of the same categories. Also in the seven-nominations group is Justin Timberlake and Pharrell.

Eligibility for this year’s awards opened on Oct. 1, 2012 and closed Sept. 30, 2013, so some big releases like Katy Perry’s “PRISM,” Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP,” Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP2,” and Paul McCartney’s “New” were not considered this year.

Also making a strong showing is first-timer Lorde, who boasts four nominations including “Record” and “Song of the Year.”

And now for the nominations….The pop and rap, at least, since that is all I can speak for; I need to brush up on my regional Mexican (including Tejano) music.

Record of the Year

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Radioactive” / Imagine Dragons
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “Locked Out of Heaven” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell

My vote: “Royals.” Such a massive hit. Fresh. Cool.

Grammy vote: “Royals.” It’s very Adele-like and we all know the Grammy’s are OBSESSED with Adele.

Album of the Year

  • “The Blessed Unrest” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Random Access Memories” / Daft Punk
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Red” / Taylor Swift

My vote: “The Heist”

Grammy vote: “Random Access Memories” Something just tells me this is getting it.

Song of the Year

  • “Just Give Me A Reason”
  • “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • “Roar”
  • “Royals”
  • “Same Love”

My vote: “Same Love.” It’s our civil struggle in 2013, beautifully illuminated by a hip-hop artist?

Grammy vote: “Same Love.” It has to win. Point-blank.

Best New Artist

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Ed Sheeran

My vote: Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis. They’re so unique and current. Love what they do.

Grammy vote: James Blake. Esperanza Spalding, anyone?

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Brave” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “When I Was Your Man” / Bruno Mars
  • “Roar” / Katy Perry
  • “Mirrors” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Roar” After the huge success of “Teenage Dream,” and getting snubbed, she deserves this. Since the award’s creation in 2012, Perry has been nominated each year for “Firework,” “Wide Awake,” and now “Roar.”

Grammy vote: “Royals”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Just Give Me A Reason” / Pink Ft. Nate Ruess
  • “Stay” / Rihanna Ft. Mikky Ekko
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell Williams
  • “Suit & Tie” / Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z

My vote: “Blurred Lines” Summer anthem and all around good fun.

Grammy vote: “Get Lucky” There seems to be a lot of love for Daft Punk this year and not so much for JT.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • “Paradise” / Lana Del Rey
  • “Pure Heroine” / Lorde
  • “Unorthodox Jukebox” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke
  • “The 20/20 Experience–The Complete Experience” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Paradise”

Grammy vote: “Paradise”

Best Rap Performance

  • “Started From the Bottom” / Drake
  • “Berzerk” / Eminem
  • “Tom Ford” / Jay-Z
  • “Swimming Pools (Drank)” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “Thrift Shop” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis

My vote: “Tom Ford” You cannot say Tom Ford without saying it like Hova. Try.

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop” It’s an easier “rap” song for the old peoples’ ears, so I think this will find their vote.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • “Power Trip” / J.Cole Ft. Miguel
  • “Part II (On the Run) / Jay-Z Ft. Beyoncé
  • “Holy Grail” / Jay-Z Ft. Justin Timberlake
  • “Now or Never” / Kendrick Lamar Ft. Mary J. Blige
  • “Remember You” / Wiz Khalifa Ft. The Weeknd

My vote: “Power Trip” Love. Love.

Grammy vote: “Holy Grail”

Best Rap Song

  • “F***in’ Problems”
  • “Holy Grail”
  • “New Slaves”
  • “Started From the Bottom”
  • “Thrift Shop”

My vote: “Started From the Bottom”

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Album

  • “Nothing Was the Same” / Drake
  • “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” / Jay-Z
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Yeezus” / Kanye West

My vote: “Nothing Was the Same.” This album was just dope. End of discussion.

Grammy vote: “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” It snagged an “Album of the Year” nom, so chances are pretty good for this one.

Last thought: I am NOT happy Britney did not get a Best Music Video nom for “Work Bitch.” That video is EVERYTHING.

You can catch the 56th Annual Grammys Jan. 26, 2014 on CBS.

Kanye being–well, Kanye

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The “Yeezus” tour stopped in L.A. this week. After rocking two nights at Staples Center, Kanye West visited “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” to chat with the entertainment guru. And what he said was…you be the judge.

“There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday.”

“Like I went anti-hit song on the “Yeezus” album. I know how to write hit songs, but I’m not interested in that particularly. I’m interested in design and helping the world.”

“…but because of the perception I was under after the Taylor Swift incident, the only way for me to somehow buy my affection of the public back, was to deliver an absolutely perfected product. So if you listen to “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, that’s the closest thing to a perfected album. So it’s like, I know how to make perfection, I just don’t want to.” He followed up on the Taylor incident with, “You know what? I would not want some crazy drunk rockstar cutting my daughter off also. But, my daughter would 100% also be like, ‘Yes, Beyoncé did have the best video.’ That’s what my daughter would do!”

“What if you’re Gaudí and you know you’re the best architect and everyone is saying that you’re saying you’re the best architect the wrong way. The problem isn’t whether or not you are the best – it’s the way you’re saying it. People get really hung up on the way I word things. But I am the best. That’s the bottom line.”

“I drink Grey Goose. And I’m not getting paid anything from them, but I’m going to tell you as a man – and they said Shakespeare was like a drunk and yes, I said that to blatantly compare myself to Shakespeare.”

“And collectively, we’re the most influential with clothing. No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day.”

I’ll cap it at that. My only concern is that if he keeps name-dropping celebrated creative figures, he’s going to exhaust the list! I know he said fiancée Kim is the most intriguing personality right now, but I think he might be overlooking someone else, someone much…closer. I could listen to him talk all day. I really could.

P.S. I’d take Michelle Obama’s arms over Kim’s bottom asset any day. My point: say what you want, but don’t drag POTUS and FLOTUS into this. Untouchables.

[Images via hellobeautiful.com and L.A. Times]