Songs of the Year 2012
From Frank Ocean to Fiona Apple, the Grantland staff looks back on the most notable tracks of 2012
By Grantland Staff on December 18, 2012
No matter what corner of it you were listening from, 2012 was a truly interesting year for the music world, with the most exciting sounds often coming from the least expected places. An unassuming Compton MC delivered what many are calling the best hip-hop album of the year, a British pop diva materialized fully formed before our eyes. Genres were flipped on their heads: Even Taylor Swift couldn't help but drop the bass a couple times, and finally the R&B singers were taking acid. But plenty of perennial favorites also delivered: Fiona Apple came out of hiding with her most emotionally raw material to date, Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music formed like Voltron to occasionally dazzling effect, and trash princess Ke$ha continued to dole out undeniable party jams with the kind of sweet, sleazy panache [some of us] have come to love.
Join the Grantland staff as we relive the year in music via some of the most unforgettable tracks of the year.
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Trevin Hunte, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
Jay Kang: When a Diva kills a song, she presides over its soul for five years. All aspirational Divas who dare sing that song during the proprietary period do so at their own peril. Microphones explode, weaves combust, vocal cords get stricken with a pox of polyps. Such was the fate, then, of anyone who dared sing THE BIG SONG during Jennifer Hudson's reign, which ended last Christmas. Long live the Queen.
In this first year of freedom, a new legion of wanna-be Divas went to usurp THE BIG SONG. Among the comers was the original sovereign, Jennifer Holiday, who tried to wrest the crown away from Jessica Sanchez on the Idol stage. In the Philippines, where a YouTube singing prodigy is born once a week, a new slew of contenders, led by Random Girl at the Mall, came hard at the throne, knowing that ownership of THE BIG SONG would yield unimaginable returns. Charice Pempengco, armed only with a Dukedom of THE BIG SONG, amassed a fortune and a recurring spot on Glee. And what was Jennifer Hudson other than just another Idol contestant before her surprise reign?
Here in America, the expiration of Hudson's reign led several bright-faced singing competition Divas to try out THE BIG SONG. None of these performances were deserving of royalty, but a surprise contender emerged for BEST BIG SONG OF THE YEAR. His name is Trevin Hunte, and although he didn't come close to killing THE BIG SONG, his is the only performance worth watching again.
But again, this is only a flesh wound. Ladies (and gentlemen), the throne is still open.