BILLBOARD picks "How I roll" as one of the 10 best deep cuts from the 21st century by Pop stars
10. Eminem, "Kill You" (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000)
In a musical world like pop, where the genre's very name puts the emphasis on popularity, the deep cut is always at risk of being overlooked. For the world's biggest pop stars, the hit single is forever paramount, with their non-singles carrying an air of relative unworthiness.
But as any true pop stan knows, the smashes only ever tell half of an artist's story. The real stuff of cult devotion is found in the album tracks, the soundtrack and compilation contributions, the bonus tracks -- the deep cuts. Without them, the pop star is only the sum total of what the public already knows about them. With them, they become three-dimensional artists, worthy of near-worship.
To pay tribute to these lesser-celebrated gems hiding in plain sight within the pop sphere, Billboard has compiled a list of our 100 favorite deep cuts from pop stars this century. We define a deep cut as anything that wasn't released as an official single in the U.S. -- promo singles are OK, as long as they don't have an official video that's more than just a bunch of strewn-together concert footage, as are international-only singles. Songs from albums before 2000 were ineligible, though, as were ones from 2017, since there's still time for them to be tabbed as singles.
As for "pop star," that's a little trickier. We generally tried to apply our hyper-subjective Four-Song Test: As in, if you were talking to a fan who's casually paid attention to pop music this century, would you expect them to know at least four songs this century by (or featuring) the artist, without knowing whether they were actually a fan? If so, they're probably in, if not, they're most likely out. (So sorry, Carly Rae fans -- not queen of this list.) Of course, the word "pop" itself is pretty open to interpretation, and sometimes we just had to ask ourselves: Would we ever refer to this person as a pop star in conversation? (That's why Drake is on this list, for instance, but not Kendrick Lamar.)
You may or may not agree with our definition, but we think you'll agree with the songs -- buried treasures, should've-been singles, and oddball jams that show you a side of your favorite superstar that you never knew existed. Dive in to the deep end of the pop world with us.
The best thing since wrestling leaned so far into his heel persona on this Marshall Mathers proper opener that he could never be upright again, toggling between rapes, murders and worse like an overzealous channel-flipper. "Now it's too late/ I'm triple platinum and tragedies happen in two states," he cackled, mostly amused at his ability to get us to take him seriously when he couldn't even keep a straight face for the song's threatening chorus ("Cause why?"). In an era with enough real-life monsters, there may not be much need for a cartoon one like Em, but the peerless wit and self-awareness on display here explain why we still pay attention to him through any number of deathly self-serious piano ballads: Bitch, he wrote "Kill You." -- A.U.9. Britney Spears, "How I Roll" (Femme Fatale, 2011)
Femme Fatale, Britney Spears' first album of the 2010s, came at the right time, with the right sound. While singles “Till the World Ends” and “Hold It Against Me” approximated the EDM drop-oriented pop music of the moment, the buzzing, glitching and popping “How I Roll” stood out as antithetical to the rest, a precursor to the hyper-gleam of PC Music and a rebuff of the scientifically engineered precision of the day. It’s chaotic and bizarre, and remains one of the best songs she’s ever made. -- S.J.H.8. The Weeknd, "House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls" (House of Balloons, 2011)
On his first mixtape, The Weeknd was consistently direct. This music? You should be high for it. Your desires? He’s got what you need. And even though it sounds too bleak and depraved and claustrophobic to be true, trust, this is fun for him. “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” runs Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Happy House” through a funhouse mirror and the scene reflected back is warped beyond all recognition. The taste in your mouth is chemical and your skin feels different. There’s coke on every cool transparent surface in the party and you’re always going to want more. Six years later, it’s still true. -- R.S.7. Drake, "Feel No Ways" (Views, 2016)
There's not too many songs out there that credit both Future and Anne Dudley from Art of Noise as songwriters, but that's just how goddamn good "Feel No Ways" is. A sort of spiritual sequel to "Hotline Bling" -- and it should've been just as big -- this time it's Drake that's been touching road, coming back to find his girl having moved on without him. He squeals petulantly about what's rightfully his ("You got something that belongs to me") amidst repeat accusations of such cruelty ("On purpose!"), but as on most best Drake songs, the sublime backing track gives him away -- a sentimental, electro-tinged wallow that underlines how what Drizzy's trying to say is that he feels all ways, always. -- A.U.6. Lady Gaga, "Teeth" (The Fame Monster, 2009)
Smile! The woman who spent her third single seeking disco-stick ride admission certainly never wanted for extended sexual metaphors, so it's not surprising that what makes "Teeth" so remarkable isn't its implied carnality ("Take a bite of my bad girl meat") but the seething aggression lurking not far below the song's surface. Not that "Teeth" is a BDSM anthem, either -- it's just unequivocal in its demands, and Gaga told MTV that "Show me your teeth" is just as much a call for speaking honestly and intimately as it is for anything else mouth-related. Regardless, no pop star since She Who We Will Not Compare Gaga To had spoken so bluntly about what they wanted -- and none had sounded so badass doing the spoken-word backing vocal thing, either. -- A.U.5. Rihanna, "Desperado" (ANTI, 2016)
Rihanna goes on the lam in this sinister, sexy ANTI vibe about the push and pull of a relationship. Whether the narrative and its myth-like “old Monte Carlo” are literal or metaphorical is up to you, and the ability to pull off both is just what makes the song so excellent. Sure, its loose, rambling structure and dramatic storyline might not fit the bill of a conventional single. But “Desperado” stands out as a brilliantly crafted mini-drama unto itself, and one that epitomizes the themes of isolation and distrust that define the 2016 album if you listen hard enough. One especially heartbreaking lyric sums it up: “There ain’t nothing here for me anymore/ But I don’t want to be alone.” -- T.C.4. Kanye West feat. Bon Iver, "Lost in the World" (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010)
The final proper song on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy brilliantly translates that album’s ambition into a haunting conclusion: At the end of a project about fame, power, sex and extreme wealth, there is an emptiness that our hero does not know how to fill. The collaboration with Bon Iver was radical at the time -- before Justin Vernon had a top 10 album or a Best New Artist Grammy -- but Yeezy tapping the indie-folk newcomer made sense, considering the vulnerable howl at the heart of “Lost in the World.” A few cuts removed on the track list from the self-accepting douchebag-toast of “Runaway," West is once again forcing himself to be honest about his shortcomings, this time about being “lost in this plastic life.” “World” has all the makings of a standout pop track, but as a deep cut, it speaks to the power of the project it calls home. -- J. Lipshutz3. Taylor Swift, "All You Had to Do Was Stay" (1989, 2014)
Obviously, there’s no shame in not being picked as a single off an album with five top 10 hits. A prime 1989 deep cut is most pop artists’ lead single, and besides, “Wildest Dreams” and “Out of the Woods” have nothing on this pristine synth-pop nugget. The breakup song is certainly well-mined territory for Swift, though that simple “Stay!" -- in all its pitch-upped glory -- captures the manic desperation of a sudden split like few four-letter cries could. There’s no less than 25 stays for everyone in the stadium or the karaoke room to shout out, and the way the chorus sprawls out and lets its hook run wild -- those “had me in the palm of your hand” parts -- drives home the true lesson of "Stay": Don’t let go of a good thing, and once you’ve got it, call up Max Martin. -- C.P.2. Justin Timberlake, "FutureSex / LoveSound" (FutureSex/LoveSounds, 2006)
It's not easy to predict what the future will sound like -- all you can really do is make music that sounds like nothing has sounded before and hope for the best. The opener and title track to Justin Timberlake's second solo album isn't totally without precedent: There's some peak Prince in there to be sure, more than a dash of "Another One Bites the Dust," sprinklings of some of Timbaland's more outré work with Aaliyah. No song had ever slithered quite like this before, though, not with this narcotic an undertow, not lorded over by a singer in such control it sounds like he's dancing flawlessly in zero gravity: "Just tell me which way you like that," JT offers, but like any good lawyer, he already knows the answer or he wouldn't be asking. Did the future of pop end up sounding like this? Of course not, and it's been a damn disappointing past decade of finding that out. -- A.U.1. Beyoncé, "Freakum Dress" (B'day, 2006)
"When he acts up, that's when you put it on." If you thought angry Beyonce debuted on Lemonade, let us direct you to 2006 sophomore album B'Day and its standout deep cut "Freakum Dress." Opening with history's sauciest Hamlet reference ("To be or not to be – NOT") and some James Brown-worthy executive orders ("Bring the beat back – stop! I ain't ready yet"), it's a relentlessly funky ode to that one outfit you know will always turn heads… and using it as revenge against an inattentive partner. A blaring New Orleans horn section builds this pissed-off-girls-night-out anthem up to an explosive final verse where Beyonce spits her secular sermon about paying him back by looking your best -- and reminding him it's not hard to find a replacement.
For an album with six singles (if we're talking the deluxe version), it's crazy that "Freakum Dress" wasn't worked to radio. But it's also a reminder of Beyonce's sky-high standards when it comes to making albums -- something that's common knowledge now, but was hardly accepted as canon when the breakout star from Destiny's Child was on just her second album. With a three-minute album track, she introduced a new phrase to our pop culture lexicon, previewed a direction she'd fully explore a decade down the road, and reminded us that when it comes to top-tier talent, knowing the hits is never enough -- you gotta dive into their catalog Scrooge McDuck style to fully reap the bounty of their artistic riches. -- J. Lynch
Two other Britney tracks made the list ("Freakshow" at #60 and "Kill the lights" at #100).Source
: https://www.billboard.com/articles/colu ... m=referral