While Barack Obama was visiting a sub-Saharan country for the first time, I was also visiting Vegas for the first time for college reunion. Pi reunion, in fact. I don't know what his expectations were, but Ghana sure did pull out the red carpet for him. I wasn't going to command that welcome in 'Sin City' but Vegas did not live up to expectations. I have few stories to tell and not many interesting things happened. The parties were on point though. I didn't get a single phone number :-) One girl told me Vegas was no place to meet someone. For real? It's not like I'll go to USC and track her down. And that tipsy Indian Australian girl probably gave me a wrong name because I can't find her on Facebook. Bummer. Too many people on the Strip looked like the white Ciara I met on Friday. One of the most interesting things about the weekend was the 'very little African music' I listened to all weekend. This must be the longest stretch of time without a healthy dose of Museke. The long road trip gave me the chance to listen a few American songs closely and reminisce over a few jams I loved back in the day.
Before I get into a selection of 10 American songs, you have to check out my favorite Kenyan songs, 10 favorite songs from South Africa, my 10 favorite Nigerian songs and 10 African songs I think you should know about. I still haven't run into Beyonce on the street but am holding out hope. Enuff respect for MJ. Here are the 10 songs in no particular order.
Where is the love - Black Eyed Peas
Quite easy to understand why I love this song. "Father Father Father help us; Send some guidance from above; Cause people got me got me questioning; Where is the love?". I also have mad love for this group because of their name, do you know that I make waakye from black eyed peas? That's what's up. BEP continues to churn hit party jam after party jam, but this song is how they got introduced into my life. Will.I.Am also led the Youtube music efforts for Barack Obama. That's what up too. We only got one world.
Lose yourself - Eminem
8 Mile is one of my favorite movies. Eminem's lyrics are so sick, I love listening to him. This song oozes emotion and has a pretty good message. "You better lose yourself in the music, the moment; You own it, you better never let it go; You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow; This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo".
Hey ma - Camron
Now this is my jam right here. "Hey ma, whatsup?" I love saying it to a special girl. Whatever happened to Camron anyway? He kinda feels a little out of place on this list. But what's really really good? This song. "She looked at me laughin', like boy your game is tight; I'm laughin' back like shordy you right" Hehe. And the song is set in Washington DC. Bonne!
With you - Chris Brown
I first heard this song when I was in Ghana during Christmas 2007. My friend King Como loved the song so much, I got into it. I always went crazy everytime I heard it on radio that I had to get the song eventually. Chris Breezy did beat Rihanna and all so it's a lil interesting having to sings 'I need you boo' these days. The lyrics to this song are so good, they make me cry. Breezy, why?
Fallin' - Alicia Keys
This was a battle between 'Fallin' and 'If I ain't got you'. Alicia is the bomb when it comes to music, she's super. She's a good humanitarian too to boot. She's another person I'll love to meet.
Ordinary people - John Legend
I have the whole 'Get Lifted' album; it's a rarity for me to own a secular American album. This jam got me sold. "This ain't a movie no; No fairy tale conclusion ya'll
It gets more confusing everyday; Sometimes it's heaven sent; Then we head back to hell again; We kiss then we make up on the way"
Buy you a drank - T-Pain
Do you know T-Pain is right up there with Michael Jackson and the Beatles when it comes to number one singles? First it was Sean Paul and Reggaeton, then the Crunk music from down south, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and now we are in the auto-tune era with T-Pain. This guy is something else. He's even on the 'I'm on a boat song'. This is one of my favorite songs to sing along to. "Walk It Out; (Now Walk It Out Bang Yo Body, Aaahhh Snap)"
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
I absolutely loved the emergence of this song. I was surprised with the lack of major gospel songs on American radio and this song tilted the scales a little bit. It was a bold move by Kanye and I'm glad he was successful. I'll let Kanye do the talking - "So here go my single dog radio needs this; They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus; That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes; But if I talk about God my record won't get played Huh?; Well let this take away from my spins; Which will probably take away from my ends; Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreaming about; Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out; (Jesus Walks)"
Pimpin all over the world - Ludacris
This song makes an entry here simply because the video was shot in South Africa and has the line, "the best women all reside in Africa and that's real.(Whoo...Oh yeah)". Now that's what I am talking about. Big up to Chris Bridges and Bobby V, whose jam 'Slow Down' is another fave.
We belong together - Mariah Carey
The last but not the least is this number one hit by the Glitter lady. She came back strong with this one. "Who else am I gonna lean on; When times get rough?; Who's gonna talk to me on the phone; Till the sun comes up?". Who else loves 'Anadwo yɛ dɛ?' phone conversations.
Presently, I am feeling 'girl, you know I I I' by Jeremiah, I gotta feelin by BEP and Knock you down by Keri Hilson. More from Alicia - If I ain't got you and No one. Nas' I can is another song I had to get eventually. I am a big fan of Usher, got his Confessions album and love Yeah, You remind me and You got it bad. One of my favoritest club songs is Low by Flo-rida. Also love Kanye's Good Life and Gold Digger. Others are Wyclef's 911 and Two wrongs, all of Michael Jackson's hits, Lupe Fiasco's Superstar, TI's Live your life, Mary J Blige's Be without you, etc. Akon represents with Mama Africa, Lonely, and Don't matter and his countless sweet collabos with African musicians. This is all I remember now, will update as I remember some more.
Long live good music.