Song of the Day #4,967: ‘Guns Go Bang’ – Kid Cudi feat. JAY-Z

Yesterday I focused on critically-lauded 2021 films, and today I’m swinging in the opposite direction, highlighting the year’s best action movies.

That’s not to say the movies below were poorly reviewed. Some did quite well with critics. But these are movies that don’t require much deep thought, ones best enjoyed with a bucket full of popcorn.

Here are the ones I liked most, in alphabetical order:

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Song of the Day #4,898: ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ – Jay-Z

Given the 25-year lag between an artist’s first published recording and their eligibility for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we’re starting to see the sea change in popular music that took place in the late 90s and early 00s reflected in Rock Hall inductions.

It was around the turn of the millennium that rap and then pop became the dominant forces, while traditional rock faded away. If the Rock Hall hopes to remain relevant and honor artists who debuted after 2000, its membership will start to look less and less like the rockers of years past.

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Song of the Day #4,512: ’99 Problems (Live)’ – Jay-Z

Every time I do one of these Decades theme weeks, I highlight a celebrated rap album from the year in question, hoping it will make a big impact despite my aversion to the genre.

For 2003, the lucky record is Jay-Z’s The Black Album. And I’m sorry to report that it fared about as poorly as the rest.

Rap just isn’t my genre, and even Jay-Z’s “farewell” album, widely praised as one of his best, can’t change that.

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Song of the Day #3,482: ‘Moonlight’ – Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s ‘Moonlight’ is one of the most provocative and entertaining videos of 2017, and it barely even features the song.

The short film imagines an all-black reimagining of Friends starring some of the hottest talents working today: Jerrod Carmichael (of the regrettably cancelled Carmichael Show, Lil Rey (so great in Get Out), Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta‘s scene-stealer, also in Get Out, Issa Rae (Insecure), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, my personal fantasies), and Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, living legend).

Hannibal Buress shows up as well to do some scene-stealing of his own.

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Song of the Day #1,876: ‘Hard Knock Life’ – Jay-Z

jay-z_hard_knock_lifeMy final Jay-Z selection comes from the 1998 album Hard Knock Life, his third.

I know a little bit about the title track from the descriptions of it I read in compiling this list. Specifically, it samples the chorus of the song of the same name from the Broadway show Annie. That’s a hell of a bold move for a rap song, so I’m definitely intrigued.

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