2013 Music

The Best R&B songs of 2013 (so far) – Part 1

Words by Edward T. Bowser, SoulInStereo.com

Can you believe we’re halfway through 2013 already? The year already has produced some outstanding albums and with many high-profile releases still on the horizon, we’re in store for more heat.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s time to celebrate what we already have.

A couple of days ago, the crew at YouKnowIGotSoul.com got together to pick their favorite 10 songs of 2013 so far. Any albums cuts or songs that were officially released as a singles between December 2012 and June 1 were eligible.

To avoid repetition (and potential bloodshed), we made our selections NBA draft-style. We hope you enjoy the results.

First up is Senior Editor Kyle Ng.

Honorable mention: Tamar Braxton, “The One”

With a familiar beat that embraces listeners like an old friend, Tamar’s latest single has us eagerly anticipating her solo release later this year.

10. Mariah Carey featuring Miguel, “#Beautiful”

Anyone who questioned Mariah’s comeback was instantly silenced by this track. Miguel has helped Mimi recapture her sound.

9. Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

Speaking of comebacks, JT has dominated the airwaves all year, mostly thanks to this gem. It has dominated Billboard since its release, and for good reason.

8. Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller, “The Way”

She’s not a player (yet) but 2013 could be Ariana Grande’s year. “The Way,” which takes its cue from Big Pun and Joe’s 1998 hit, has rocketed up iTunes, making it one of the fastest-growing singles of the year.

7. K. Michelle, “V.S.O.P.”

Your favorite reality show bad girl proves she’s just as memorable in the booth as she is on VH1. She continues to keep us intrigued as she builds momentum to her solo release this summer.

6. RaVaughn, “Best Friend”

RaVaughn knows what she wants and she’s tired of being in “the friend zone.” She might be one of the most underrated artists in the game right now, but her relatable lyrics and fiery personality continue to turn heads.

5. Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott, “Without Me”

Harmony told you so. A few months back, he said he was working on a huge collaboration with a couple of female artists that would be big. Fantasia and company delivered, producing one of the best tracks of the year so far.

4. Tamar Braxton, “Love and War”

Tamar may have reinvented herself with reality TV but it’s her smoldering vocals that will give her longevity. Case in point: The fire she brings to the embattled “Love and War” proved that she’s not just a reality-show punchline. She’s a star. Dot Com.

3. Justin Timberlake, “Pusher Love Girl”

Love is a drug and we were instantly hooked when JT premiered this track at the Grammys. It hasn’t left rotation since.

2. Chris Brown, “Fine China”

Breezy’s fans have long anointed him the spiritual successor of Michael Jackson. Tracks like this make it hard to argue that point. It’s taken right out of the King of Pop’s playbook with a dash of 21st century swag.

1. Ciara, “Body Party”

Producer Mike Will Made It has been unstoppable for months now, and “Body Party” might be his greatest achievement. Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” became the perfect template for CiCi to regain her footing in the industy.

Next up, yours truly, reviewer Edd Bowser, and YKIGS founder Tom share their favorites of 2013. Stay tuned.

Can’t get enough of Edd? For more album reviews, relationship talk, pop culture news and Keith Sweat hero worship, visit SoulInStereo.com and follow him on Twitter @etbowser.