There have been countless times that I have put on the A&R/record executive hat and say what should have been a single for an artist. Some songs are just THAT good and the world needs to hear it. I pay attention to the choices these labels make regarding album singles. Back then, it used to be that the single would showcase what the artist is all about, the best song was the single. It’s pretty much the opposite now. For whatever reason, these songs didn’t have enough mass appeal to make it to the #1 spot but they could have. Some great songs shot themselves in the foot and killed any chance of it being a #1 hit. There are countless variables that played a part with each track but these are 5 tracks that should have been a hit….at least the ones I can think of at the present moment.
Dom Kennedy – When I Come Around
Dom deserves to be more popular than he is, plain and simple. He should be up there with Cole, Wale and Kendrick. I thought he was just going to be an underground rapper at first but songs like that show me that he can make a hit. Within 3 seconds of the track starting, your head is bouncing. You want to get out of your seat and two step. Perfect for the cookout, club or wherever you need to catch someone’s ear. The laid back flow is where Dom shines. The verses are like conversations with a sprinkle of humor here and there. Then the bridge got the DJ getting the crowd even more into it. This is a hit, by the end of this song you will be saying the same thing.
XV – When We’re Gone
XV and Dom are in the same boat. Star potential. If there was one song from XV that I thought would push him to the limelight, it was this one. He’s a pretty good rapper that has always had a positive vibe about himself. This track is total inspiration that i still play to this day. The way Seven flipped that sample was nice. Its a mean one, check it out. This one got all the ingredients in my opinion. I still wonder why this track didn’t do much.
Teyana Taylor & John Legend – Bliss
How do you not push this record!? Was Teyana not ready? Did John have something to do?! First off, check the beat. Straight out of 1990, sound like a Ralph Tresvant / Johnny Gill solo jam. The drums, the synths, Its incredible. Then you got this woman singing with this unique voice, somewhat raspy. It works. Then you got John, well you know John. Ok then. To wrap it up, its a great love song. Both of them get shine. G.O.O.D. music, right? Personally, this was arguably the best song on Cruel Summer, my goodness. Don’t know what went wrong here.
J Cole – The Blow Up
This track is better than any single J.Cole has ever put out. The chant, the awkward yoldel, the rock star vibe, etc all works. The beat pushes this jam to a new level with the switching tempos and beat drops. The cherry on top is the word play which is witty, personal and most importantly, relatable. Blow Up is the perfect song for any young artist on the come up. It jams at any venue.
Styles P – I’m Black
I still question why this wasn’t a hit when it dropped. Styles is known for being the hardest out but he’s also one of the most conscious. The beat grabs your neck, Marsha Ambrosius’ message during the chorus is perfect and serves as great inspiration, Style’s verses soak into you like lotion. This song is even more relevant as of late. If it dropped during that uproar last year, would it then be played everywhere? Cormega was right on Industry,
“When Styles made “I Get High” it was playin’ all day / When Styles made “I’m Black” it didn’t get enough play”
Feel free to add to the list, what other jams should have been hits but weren’t for some reason.