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Akini's Top 100 Artists of the 2010s: [#1]

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  • #26
    003. Nicki Minaj



    My favourite rapper of all-time, Onika Tanya Maraj's significance rating is a perfect score largely because she took hip/hop - a genre of music where I struggled to find a figure with whom to identify - and through her clever and quirky bars crafted a brand that was digestibly low in homophobia and misogyny, and relentlessly high in all the other good stuff - creativity and ingenuity, quality of messaging and themes, blending with other genres. I do often make a distinction between Nicki and Onika, though I love them both. In my view, Nicki is the rap-pop hybrid that's given us some of the best crossover hits of the new millennium (in steps "Super Bass") whereas Onika is the gritty emcee that I fell in love with through her 'Beam Me Up Scotty' mixtape, who spits bars with passion, vigour, and a ferocity unmatched among any of her so-called peers. It was Onika on tracks like "Monster" and "Bottoms Up" that elevated those songs to an iconic status. And it's Onika who I view not just as the undisputed queen of rap, but rather the prevailing monarch of the genre. I recall seeing a tweet about "featuring Nicki Minaj" being a genre unto itself and that was one of the truest things I read all year. When Nicki hops on a track, she really claims ownership of it and it's insane how so many of her best moments come through her features. I do hope that she brings more Onika to her next project. Her last LP 'Queen' was a brilliant move in the direction that I want her to go, but I'll definitely be an avid fan for as long as she elects to continue her recording career.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 20/20
    Biggest year: 2010
    Songs featured in decade-end series: Monster [#41]; Give Me All Your Luvin' [#63]; Good Form [#68]; Bang Bang [#78]; Woohoo [#79]; Bottoms Up [#80]; Side to Side [#113]; All Things Go [#123]; ***Flawless [#130]; Roman in Moscow [#138]; Right by My Side [#154]; Kissing Strangers [#177]; Super Bass [#222]; Hot Girl Summer [#229]; Turn Me On [#246]; Moment 4 Life [#257];
    Albums featured in decade-end series: Pink Friday [#8]; Queen [#18]; The Pinkprint [#21]; Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded [#66]
    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

    Comment


    • #27
      002. Beyoncé



      At the start of the decade, I'd say I appreciated Beyoncé and her obvious talents but I wasn't a die-hard fan. Now, I feel like I'm practically a card-carrying Hive member. It says a lot about an artist when she's able to consistently push her limits and evolve from one LP to the next (to the next). Disregarding her non-solo, non-soundtrack ventures, Beyoncé released three studio albums within the 2010s - each of them ended up as my top album from their respective year of release. Her last solo studio release ended the decade as my top album and already ranks among my top five albums of all-time. In the songs department, Queen B was no slump either. Her performance in my decade-end songs series was bettered only by the winner of the countdown. Beyoncé was also the decade's top live performer, in my view, as she continued to deliver breathtaking moments that set her apart from her generational peers. Vocally, the 2010s saw her experiment a bit more and I think some of her most stunning vocal highlights came via this past decade. What Beyoncé did throughout the decade was build an undeniable CV for legend status submission and I can't wait to see how she continues to better herself. She's really an incredible force in the music industry, an influential standard-setter, and I think this new decade will see her expand on her already insanely impressive legacy.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 20/20
      Biggest year: 2016
      Songs featured in decade-end series: Drunk in Love [#3]; Telephone [#8]; Daddy Lessons [#37]; All Night [#43]; Runnin' (Lose It All) [#60]; ***Flawless [#130]; Partition [#158]; Love on Top [#160]; I Was Here [#162]; Why Don't You Love Me [#193]; Start Over [#238]; Countdown [#240]; Run the World (Girls) [#247]; Rise Up [#263]; Don't Hurt Yourself [#265]; Love Drought [#274]; Hymn for the Weekend [#277]; Formation [#295]; Freedom [#305]; Sorry [#341]; Before I Let Go [#357]
      Albums featured in decade-end series: Lemonade [#1]; 4 [#7]; BEYONCÉ [#14]
      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

      Comment


      • #28
        001. Rihanna



        Each year, I view my year-end song and album countdowns as a procession towards the year's top honour - artist of the year. The same perspective applied to my decade-end series I initiated at the top of the year, in a pre-pandemic world. Well, the procession has concluded and here we have the coronation of not just my artist of the decade, but indeed my artist of the new millennium. And indeed, Madame Fenty was never fronted. A quick by-the-numbers overview of my decade's music queen: Rihanna featured in six of my year-end artist countdowns throughout the 2010s. She was my #1 artist in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015. She finished second to Britney in 2011 and second to Beyoncé in 2016. So in the decade's first seven artist contests, RiRi featured in the top two on six separate occasions, a unique achievement. Her four crowns? Also a unique achievement. She had the highest points tally on my decade-end songs countdown and for as much flack as her detractors have given to her for not being an 'albums act', half of my top four LPs of the decade were recorded by this Bajan legend. She's also amassed the longest stay at #1 among all artists on my daily chart, which started in the summer of 2009 and ran through the entirety of the 2010s. The decade saw Rihanna transform from the millennium's most dominant and significant pop star to a giant in the beauty and fashion industries, which has meant that her early 2016 'Anti' release was the last studio release the mogul blessed her fans with, after having spoiled us for so many years with annual releases. The thirst awaiting new Fenty music has been real and I'm so eager to have her back. Ariana Grande has done a fine job holding things down since her hiatus, but RiRi's throne is getting cold at this point and I'm looking forward to her reassuming it.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 20/20
        Biggest year: 2010
        Songs featured in decade-end series: Diamonds [#9]; S&M [#11]; Only Girl (In the World) [#26]; Rude Boy [#32]; Man Down [#34]; Bad [#49]; Jump [#98]; What's My Name? [#100]; Stay [#157]; No Love Allowed [#167]; FourFiveSeconds [#194]; All of the Lights [#198]; Princess of China [#261]; Kiss It Better [#276]; Love on the Brain [#281]; Pour It Up [#301]; Bitch Better Have My Money [#316]; Where Have You Been [#321]; What No [#325]; Love the Way You Lie (Part II) [#345]
        Albums featured in decade-end series: Loud [#3]; Unapologetic [#4]; Anti [#39]; Talk That Talk [#53]
        Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
        Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
        Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

        Comment


        • #29
          YAY for that #1.

          She really was on fire the last decade. She is also my #1 artist of the decade. Let's see what she has in stores in the new decade, new music , too hopefully?

          Good to see T-Swizzle in the Top 5. Will go through the entire list this weekend and come back to comment.

          Comment


          • #30
            I've never cared for Lily Allen that much, but I liked her appearance on P!nk's "True Love" in 2012 and absolutely loved "Hard Out Here". "Sheezus" is a great album.

            I remember liking Lady A's "Need You Now" back in the day, however I don't think it has aged that well. :(
            "If I Die Young" is a nice song but I never really checked out The Band Perry.

            The entire "The Heist" era was great. I loved the album and "Can't Hold Us" brings back great memories from university 2013 (mainly summer 2013!). My favorite song is "Same Love", though. Their newer stuff (or the "This Unruly Mess I've Made" album) is pretty bad, though.

            OneRepublic is hit and miss for me, I did like certain songs last decade.

            Although I've already liked Sam Smith in 2013 ("La La La"), I was really excited for his debut album as I liked "Money On My Mind", too. "Stay With Me" was one of my favorite songs of 2014. The album however left no great impression on me. Since then, he is very hit and miss for me.

            Billie Eilish is cool and I am excited to see what comes next for her.

            Actually, "Head Above Water" is one of my favorite Avril Lavigne songs. My favorite song from the 2010s is her "Smile" though.

            B.o.B. had a great start with his debut album but I lost interest in him after I disliked his 2012 record.

            I must be one of the few people that tried to avoid Dua Lipa, just because I thought her voice was irritating and her songs pretty bad. It worked during her debut era but that luckily changed in 2020. I like her a lot now, however I still haven't listened to her debut album.

            I was so excited for the "Animal" album and the 16 year old me loved it.
            I also liked her "Warrior" stuff, especially the album cuts "Wherever You Are" and "Last Goodbye".


            "Payphone" is one of my favorite songs of the last decade. I enjoyed their "Overexposed" album and "V" was nice, too.

            My favorite JLo song of the last 10 years is "Ain't Your Mama". I do love the "I Luh Ya Papi" video a lot!

            I liked Drake's music at the beginning of the decade, sadly it didn't go anywhere for me in the last few years.


            Yay for such a high placing for Emeli Sandé. Always have a soft spot for her and her music.

            When it comes to Imagine Dragons, I totally agree with you when it comes to the peak of my love. Their 2017 album is absolutely amazing!


            YAY for Little Mix. I absolutely love the girls and I am so gutted I only discovered them in 2018 when I could have experienced all of their albums right from the start. "Little Me" is an underrated, often forgotten single in their discography. And Leigh-Ann is the underrated member of the group.

            Alicia Keys delivered some tunes last decade, the song I could relate to the most was "Brand Me New", that was also the song I came back to when I came out of the closet.

            Clean Bandit is hit and miss for me, however "Real Love" and "Solo" are truly amazing.


            My boyfriend would love to see Glee Cast on your countdown. I discovered Glee was on Netflix , maybe I'll watch it someday. Speaking of my boyfriend, he also introduced me to RuPauls Drag Race (currently on Season 6) and I enjoy "Don't Be Jealous Of My Boogy".


            I love Eminem and "Recovery" would also be in my Top 100 albums of the decade.

            When I started to get into [pop] music, I liked Kylie a lot. Then at some point, I grew to like other artists more. Nowadays, I enjoy lots of her older stuff. However, my favorite Kylie song is from last decade: "All The Lovers".


            YAY for Madonna! Been in love with her since 2005. Never cared for SuperBowl but when she performed there, I stayed up all night just to see it on my television. She released some weird stuff that decade, however I love "Living For Love" the most. And I grew to love "Rebel Heart", the album.


            Absolutely loved "Pure Heroine", however I really dislike her 2017 album. That's a very unpopular opinion. My 10 favorite Lorde songs consist of 9 tracks of "Pure Heroine" and "Yellow Flicker Beat". "Homemade Dynamite" is nice, though.

            Been in love with Kelly Clarkson's "Meaning Of Life", personally my favorite album by her so far.

            Bruo Mars released some great stuff and I cannot wait for a new album! So far, he has always delivered.

            I thought the start into the decade was very strong for P!nk, unfortunately the 5 years break between TTAL and BT was quite long. Great to see TTAL pretty high on your decade-end charts!


            Oh no for Lana missing the Top 10 :( Some great songs on your list and yay for NFR! being quite high! Absolutely amazing record.


            "21" is my favorite album of the decade and I absolutely love Adele's music.

            When you ask me to name an artist that defined the 2010s, I would name Katy Perry. So many great memories with her music. Unfortunately, "Witness" was pretty bad. Glad she's back on track (for me), though.

            Ariana released lots of bops, however it wasn't until "Sweetener" that I cared to listen to an album more than once. Since then, she always returns to my playlists!

            Comment


            • #31
              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              YAY for that #1.

              She really was on fire the last decade. She is also my #1 artist of the decade. Let's see what she has in stores in the new decade, new music , too hopefully?

              Good to see T-Swizzle in the Top 5. Will go through the entire list this weekend and come back to comment.
              Glad RiRi is also your favourite artist of the decade! I was disappointed that she didn't get that same honour in a lot of the decade-end music publications I saw at the end of last year, but she was my clear #1. I really can't wait for new music from her.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I've never cared for Lily Allen that much, but I liked her appearance on P!nk's "True Love" in 2012 and absolutely loved "Hard Out Here". "Sheezus" is a great album.
              Ah, "True Love" kinda came and went, but I did enjoy it at the time of its release, and "Hard Out Here" is iconic!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I remember liking Lady A's "Need You Now" back in the day, however I don't think it has aged that well. :(
              "If I Die Young" is a nice song but I never really checked out The Band Perry.
              I think "Need You Now" has aged like fine wine. I like it so much more now than I did back then.

              Their discography is pretty scant so not that much to check out, but I definitely think they're worth an exploration.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              The entire "The Heist" era was great. I loved the album and "Can't Hold Us" brings back great memories from university 2013 (mainly summer 2013!). My favorite song is "Same Love", though. Their newer stuff (or the "This Unruly Mess I've Made" album) is pretty bad, though.
              Similar thoughts, though I must say I found the "Same Love" chorus grating.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              OneRepublic is hit and miss for me, I did like certain songs last decade.
              I get that. They did have a few home-runs for me, though.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Although I've already liked Sam Smith in 2013 ("La La La"), I was really excited for his debut album as I liked "Money On My Mind", too. "Stay With Me" was one of my favorite songs of 2014. The album however left no great impression on me. Since then, he is very hit and miss for me.
              I thought The Thrill of It All was a strong album from them. The choir vocals really resonated with me.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Billie Eilish is cool and I am excited to see what comes next for her.
              Same. She's an exciting new talent. Kinda reminds me of Lorde.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Actually, "Head Above Water" is one of my favorite Avril Lavigne songs. My favorite song from the 2010s is her "Smile" though.
              "Smile" is nice. Fits her style to a T!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              B.o.B. had a great start with his debut album but I lost interest in him after I disliked his 2012 record.
              Similar experience with him here.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I must be one of the few people that tried to avoid Dua Lipa, just because I thought her voice was irritating and her songs pretty bad. It worked during her debut era but that luckily changed in 2020. I like her a lot now, however I still haven't listened to her debut album.
              Yeah, I wasn't crazy about Dua early on either. Future Nostalgia is ridiculously good, though.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I was so excited for the "Animal" album and the 16 year old me loved it.
              I also liked her "Warrior" stuff, especially the album cuts "Wherever You Are" and "Last Goodbye".
              I have to revisit those album cuts you highlighted.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              "Payphone" is one of my favorite songs of the last decade. I enjoyed their "Overexposed" album and "V" was nice, too.
              Similar M5 thoughts here.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              My favorite JLo song of the last 10 years is "Ain't Your Mama". I do love the "I Luh Ya Papi" video a lot!
              Oh my, "Ain't Your Mama" is such a bop! It's aged really well, too.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I liked Drake's music at the beginning of the decade, sadly it didn't go anywhere for me in the last few years.
              I think he just releases too often these days. He still has solid songwriting skills; he just needs to take the time to really put together something good.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Yay for such a high placing for Emeli Sandé. Always have a soft spot for her and her music.
              She has a great voice and I love her style of balladry. Soul-pop is a big win for me most times.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              When it comes to Imagine Dragons, I totally agree with you when it comes to the peak of my love. Their 2017 album is absolutely amazing!
              "Whatever It Takes" >>>

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              YAY for Little Mix. I absolutely love the girls and I am so gutted I only discovered them in 2018 when I could have experienced all of their albums right from the start. "Little Me" is an underrated, often forgotten single in their discography. And Leigh-Ann is the underrated member of the group.
              Glad you also appreciate the generally underappreciated "Little Me"!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Alicia Keys delivered some tunes last decade, the song I could relate to the most was "Brand Me New", that was also the song I came back to when I came out of the closet.
              Ah, I could understand why that won would have such strong relevance to you then. I do love it. "Tears Always Win", which came out at about the same time, was similarly good.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Clean Bandit is hit and miss for me, however "Real Love" and "Solo" are truly amazing.
              Hmm...I'll have to revisit "Real Love". I don't have strong feelings about it.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              My boyfriend would love to see Glee Cast on your countdown. I discovered Glee was on Netflix , maybe I'll watch it someday. Speaking of my boyfriend, he also introduced me to RuPauls Drag Race (currently on Season 6) and I enjoy "Don't Be Jealous Of My Boogy".
              Oh my, your boyfriend sounds pretty great. Glee was one of my fave shows as an adolescent and RuPaul's Drag Race has quickly become my favourite series of all-time. Any standout queens yet?

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I love Eminem and "Recovery" would also be in my Top 100 albums of the decade.
              Same.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              When I started to get into [pop] music, I liked Kylie a lot. Then at some point, I grew to like other artists more. Nowadays, I enjoy lots of her older stuff. However, my favorite Kylie song is from last decade: "All The Lovers".
              Ah, "All the Lovers" is lush. I love its video, too.
              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              YAY for Madonna! Been in love with her since 2005. Never cared for SuperBowl but when she performed there, I stayed up all night just to see it on my television. She released some weird stuff that decade, however I love "Living For Love" the most. And I grew to love "Rebel Heart", the album.
              Yeah, Madge had a solid 2010s. Madame X didn't really have the punch I'd have liked from it, but even at her worst, she still has a few bops to share with the popverse.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Absolutely loved "Pure Heroine", however I really dislike her 2017 album. That's a very unpopular opinion. My 10 favorite Lorde songs consist of 9 tracks of "Pure Heroine" and "Yellow Flicker Beat". "Homemade Dynamite" is nice, though.
              I have a pretty reverse opinion!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Been in love with Kelly Clarkson's "Meaning Of Life", personally my favorite album by her so far.
              It is terrific! "Slow Dance" and "Love So Soft" particularly >>>

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Bruo Mars released some great stuff and I cannot wait for a new album! So far, he has always delivered.
              Indeed! Definitely one of the most consistent contemporary acts ever!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              I thought the start into the decade was very strong for P!nk, unfortunately the 5 years break between TTAL and BT was quite long. Great to see TTAL pretty high on your decade-end charts!
              Very similar thoughts here!

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Oh no for Lana missing the Top 10 :( Some great songs on your list and yay for NFR! being quite high! Absolutely amazing record.
              NFR really brought me back into the Lana fold.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              "21" is my favorite album of the decade and I absolutely love Adele's music.
              That really was a landmark album. I'll forever remember that era.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              When you ask me to name an artist that defined the 2010s, I would name Katy Perry. So many great memories with her music. Unfortunately, "Witness" was pretty bad. Glad she's back on track (for me), though.
              Probably the first half, but not so much the second half. Her Teenage Dream and PRISM eras were ridiculously huge, though.

              Originally posted by luckyONE View Post
              Ariana released lots of bops, however it wasn't until "Sweetener" that I cared to listen to an album more than once. Since then, she always returns to my playlists!
              Even though it's far from my fave from her, I fell in love with Ari during her Sweetener era, too. That "God Is a Woman" --> "Breathin" 1-2 punch was too much, and they actually were my top two songs of 2018!

              Many, many thanks for playing catch-up, though! Much-appreciated!
              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2020: [100-96]
              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2020: [Starting 12/16]
              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2020: [Starting 12/24]

              Comment

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