Photo of Schoolboy Q live in Paris shot by Mr. Mass for Okayplayer.
Okay, we know who made the album of the year but now it’s time to talk Best Songs of 2014. The category “Best Songs” can mean a lot of different things: hottest single, best tracks; best vocal performance; best song-writing (as in a song that would still sound dope if somebody–maybe anybody–else sang it). Or in an even harder-to-quantify set of criteria; most timely statement on what the world is feeling at this particular moment…most eloquent articulation of our pain, our anger, our fierce joy i.e. our collective mood, even if it’s a mood we didn’t know we shared with others ’til that song came on the damn radio.
Truthfully, there may be rules to this shit, but they are not scientific rules. More like pirate guidelines, rules of thumb made to be broken by the next show-stealing, paradigm-changing song. A ‘Best Song’ can be made by the brilliant production, brilliant lyrics, its hum- or dance-ability, the singer’s voice, or it might be that lucky song born on a day when the world needed to hear those exact notes to know itself better. If there’s any predictable formula at all, it’s that it’s most often a unique combination of all of those things that combine to make a song great. And in at least a few examples from our Best Songs of 2014 list, it might take a Man of The Year (or woman) to make a Song of The Year. Without further qualification or disclaimer, may we present Okayplayer’s 14 Best Songs of 2014. Run the track: