“Urb” Keeps Things Brief With Lil Wayne

Nov 29th, 2007 // 17 Comments

wayneinthebrain.jpgThe most recent issue of electronic/hip-hop/indie lifestyle mag Urb features their picks for best singles, albums, remixes, and live shows of the year (the lists are so far unavailable online, as far as we can tell). Unlike just about every other paper and online rag trying to cram as much music as they can into lists that stretch to 100 albums or more, Urb only throws its weight behind 10 albums, seven singles, six remixes, and five live gigs, all unranked. It’s also the first entry in our year-end list analysis to feature Lil Wayne’s double-CD mixtape Da Drought 3, which you can probably expect to see a lot over the coming weeks. The full (brief) lists are after the jump, but for now, some cursory judgments.

THE GOOD: Quibble all you like with their picks, but it’s still nice to see a publication favor brevity when it comes to compiling their year-end wrap-up lists. Do you really care what some magazine thought was the 76th-best album of 2007? (At least with long singles lists you stand a chance of having time to listen to all 100 entries.) A not-so-well-kept secret: Even professional listeners are largely bullshitting when attempting to seriously rank albums after about No. 20 or so.
THE BAD: All that said, this list is not at all surprising if you’re even a little familiar with Urb‘s editorial remit, drawing entirely from 2007 faves widely-acknowledged by folks from the non-Paste/Harp side of indie, whether it’s hip-hop (Wayne, Kanye, the Flosstradamus/Spank Rock axis), dance rock (LCD Soundsystem, Klaxons), or miscellaneous (Battles). Many of these are excellent records of course, but the uniform hipness of it all is pretty suffocating.
THE WHAAA?: Forget placing in the Top 10: There’s no way that The Good, The Bad, And The Queen album was the best anything of ’07. Except maybe “the best way to give Tony Allen and Paul Simonon a little well-deserved extra spending money.”

Seven Singles for ’07
Kanye West, “Stronger”
UGK ft. OutKast, “International Players Anthem”
Dude ‘N Nem, “Watch My Feet”
Calvin Harris, “The Girls”
Pase Rock, “Lindsay Lohan’s Revenge”
Justice, “D.A.N.C.E.”
Teki Latex ft. Bitch Bitch Lap Lap, “The Ish”

Best Albums
Lil Wayne, Da Drought III
Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future
M.I.A., Kala
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
UGK, Underground Kingz
Blonde Redhead, 23
Mark Ronson, Version
El-P, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
Battles, Mirrored
The Good, the Bad & the Queen, s/t

Best Remixes
Klaxons, “Gravity’s Rainbow (Soulwax Remix)”
Justin Timberlake & Timbaland, “Yo Hips, Yo Thighs (Benzi’s Ghetto Juke Remix)”
Kanye West ft. Lil Waye, Busta Rhymes & Young Jeezy, “Can’t Tell Me
Nothing Remix”
Matt & Kim, “Yea Yeah (Flosstradamus Remix)”
ABC, “The Look of Love? (USA Remix, DUB Version)”

Best Live Show
White Stripes at “Icky Thump Records”
Flosstradamus at the Shortstop
Flaming Lips at Bonnaroo
The Gossip at Emo’s
Clipse & Cold War Kids

[Thanks to Michaelangelo Matos for providing the lists.]

  1. Halfwit

    All that said, this list is not at all surprising if you’re even a little familiar with Urb’s editorial remit

    A “electronic/hip-hop/indie lifestyle mag” populates it’s best-of list with electronic/hip-hop/dance oriented indie albums and singles. Why is it a bad thing that a magazine’s end of year wrapup encapsulates and underscores the opinons that they’ve expressed over the year?

  2. Rob Murphy

    This is the best “year end list” you’ve posted yet. And the brevity actually makes it nearly impossible to have the “Arcade Fire wuz teh robbed!!!” flame war.

    Kudos, Urb

  3. Jess Harvell

    @Halfwit: a list that doesn’t offer many surprises does not necessarily = bad (two of those albums are making my own Top 10), though “the uniform hipness of it all is pretty suffocating” pretty well explains why i found it a little, you know, boring. but our “year-end analysis” formatting sadly does not account for “the good/the indifferent/the whaa?”.

  4. bedpan

    damn, that good the bad and the queen record will totally make my year end list. i love that thing. however, i will say that i have noticed that people either love love love it or hate it. very polarizing. which is strange, because it’s not like it’s “metal machine music” or something.

  5. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @bedpan: You’re not alone. I too really enjoy it. This is coming from someone who only like three albums by more *ahem* traditional rock bands this year.

    It appears that Harvell damn-near has a vendetta against the album, though!

  6. catdirt

    the good the bad & the queen at coachella- easily the most boring performance i have seen EVER!

  7. Nunya B

    Calvin Harris for best single makes me cry a little inside, even though I do like the smug twat. The laundry list of amazing British artists releasing killer material this year does not include Calvin Harris and his pastiche of an album, sorry to say. “The Girls” is good, but does it compare to… anything the Popjustice readers cream themselves over?

    No, no it does not.

  8. Al Shipley

    they could’ve made this list even shorter and summed it up with the words “Clipse & Cold War Kids”

  9. Cos

    @jessdolator: I’m still not convinced why end of year lists should be surprising. If it were, it’d be something like this: “While you little shits were too busy bumping Lil Wayne, we were secretly listening to something way cooler!”

  10. Cam/ron

    I still miss the old Urb of yore (circa late 90s, early 00s) when they covered nothing but electronic music and hip-hop – back when indie rock never set foot into its pages.

  11. Rob Murphy

    @GovernmentNames: “Hang Me Up To Dry” is on my “Top 5 Records [NARAS-style] Of The Year” list, though I’m not sure where. That song is brilliant.

  12. Jfrankparnell

    Great list on brevity alone. At least someone’s learning. Aside, I’d like to please always be excused from the room when that godawful El-P record is played.

    Thank you. Have beer.

  13. beta.rogan

    A boring and predictable list from a boring and predictable magazine.

  14. Halfwit

    @Cos: This is kinda what I was getting at with my original comment, although it would actually be more along the lines of “While we were telling you every month to go bump Lil Wayne, we were secretly listening to something way cooler!”

    Having said that, I do understand what Jess is saying about the dead-end nature of such a list. To steal a concept from the Onion, a best of list that basically restates your four star+ reviews from the past year is the definition of “inessential”.

  15. yussel

    URB Year End Podcast is on their site.

    http://www.urb.com/podcasts/

  16. busdriverstu

    Clipse & Cold War Kids

    What the motherfuck?

  17. Tauwan

    Am I the only one who thinks Mark Ronson’s Version is a little top heavy and therefore should be placed near the bottom of a best of list if one chooses to place him on it? No?

Leave A Comment