This week, SportsAlcohol.com writers are recounting the best music of 2014. Today’s Track Marks focus on individual songs from albums that didn’t make our individual best-album lists.
I know what you’re thinking, reader: “Rob, a mashup was one of your favorite songs of 2014?! There are less embarrassing ways to relive your college years.”
Fret not, reader. I have so many great reasons to include The Hood Internet’s latest.
I wanted an excuse to post this video.
“Backseat Shakeoff” was released at the tail end of the media’s coverage of the mutual admiration society between Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift. This appeals to a very particular demographic AND I AM PART OF IT. I wish I had something more insightful to add beyond “I think it’s cool that Taylor Swift is into Kendrick Lamar and vice versa” on this point, but I’m not sure what to add on this point.
Just Enough T-Swift
So between that last album with that one really dope song and this new album with ??? did T-Swift become White Beyonce or something? — jesse (@rockmarooned) October 27, 2014
Maybe Jesse and I are just clueless old men who just don’t get the success of Taylor Swift’s march towards world domination, but we’re totally the type of dudes who love great pop music to the degree people question our sexual orientation. I’m serious. Jesse and I did a radio show during summers in college and we’d throw in some Mandy Moore and Atomic Kitty in between the de rigueur Guided By Voices and Built To Spill. We would sometimes get phone calls full of homosexual slurs.
This is a roundabout way of saying that I really like the idea of Taylor Swift transitioning from country to pop superstardom, but the tunes don’t always grab me. “Shake It Off”, the lead single from her latest album, is a mixed a bag. The Hood Internet take the good parts for their mashup by just using the beat, the first verse, and one chorus. The pseudo-rap, spoken word breakdown and troubling music video get left on the cutting room floor.
Kendrick Freaking Lamar
I was late to the party on Kendrick Lamar, but I am here now. While it works well in the context of the full album, “Backseat Freestyle” is (to me) one of the less interesting songs on his breakout good kid, m.A.A.d city. I know it’s one of the clear singles from that record, but it lacks the nuance and insight of Kendrick at his finest. That being said, “Backseat Freestyle” is the obvious choice to mash up with “Shake It Off”. While most of Kenrick’s songs could be described as downbeat, this isn’t one of them.
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