10 of the most criminally neglected songs by hugely successful artists

Kanye West featuring Kid Cudi – Welcome To Heartbreak

Most of you probably weren’t aware of this, but did you know that celebrity impregnator and star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians Kanye West also has a rap career? It’s true! And very good at it he is too. It’s about time he received some recognition for it.

Welcome To Heartbreak comes from his much mocked 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak, which was followed by 2010’s universally adored My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I think the critics got it wrong. Any album which contains the masterpiece that is Love Lockdown is automatically better than any album which features a song that starts with the lyrics ‘one hand in the air, if you don’t really care’ (So Appalled) in my book.

It’s about time we gave 808s another chance, starting with this little treasure. It’s easy to see why fans might not have taken to this ode to mo’ money mo’ problems the first time around. Coming so soon after the 2008 global financial crisis, we weren’t ready to have our synthesised heartstrings plucked by a mega rich rapper moaning about having to leave a wedding ‘before they even cut the cake/welcome to heartbreak’ (although we all know that missing out on cake is the greatest tragedy of all). But in 2008 Kanye did have a lot to cry about. His mother had recently passed away following cosmetic surgery that went horribly wrong, and he had just broken up with his fiancée. All the cash in the world couldn’t bring his mother back to life. Money couldn’t buy him love (although please feel free to challenge that last statement in light of Kanye’s current romantic situation and disregard it completely).

See also: Monster; Roses; Runaway Love (with Justin Bieber)

Daft Punk – Aerodynamic

This genre-busting epic of strings, church bells and electric guitar solos would sound just as good heralding the new age of Atlantis or welcoming our Martian overlords as it does as a rap sample (in Slum Village’s Aerodynamic and Wiley’s Summertime). It’s the soundtrack to a life you’re not ready for yet.

See also: Tron: Legacy. Yes, the movie. You say “two hour long Daft Punk video” like that’s a bad thing.

Björk – All is Full of Love

The video, which features two large-breasted Björk cyborgs (cybjörks) snogging each other, has been on YouTube for over two years, and still has less than a million views. What is wrong with you people?

(The song isn’t half bad, either.)

See also: Isobel; Venus As A Boy; Hunter

Basement Jaxx featuring J. C. Chasez – Plug It In

Likewise, I would’ve thought that a video of one of the biggest pop stars of the 90s presiding over an explosion in a robotic love doll factory would’ve had more than 30,000 views, but what do I know? I’m not Queen of the Internet (yet).

See also: Scars; Cish Cash (with Siouxsie Sioux); Jump and Shout

Chemical Brothers – Swoon

This sparkling gem entered the UK charts at #100, before creeping up to the nosebleed-inducing heights of #85. Be careful up there boys! Make sure you’ve got plenty of oxygen and please don’t do too many drugs.

Sure, it’s little more than catchy hook repeated over and over and over again, but that didn’t stop Hey Boy Hey Girl (#3), Block Rocking Beats (#1) and It Began In Afrika-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka (#8) from becoming hits.

See also: the score they did for Hanna – an underrated soundtrack for an underrated movie.

Lady Gaga – Dance In The Dark

Much like its subject matter, a young woman who is too insecure to make love with the lights on, this exhilarating sonic romp needs to step out of the shadows of the more widely played power ballads that followed it (Marry The Night, Edge of Glory) and let its freak flag fly for the whole world to hear.

See also: The Fame; Speechless; Chillin’ featuring Wale

Beyoncé – Countdown

Lord knows why this lovestruck belter only made it to #77 in the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Illuminati conspiracy? The revenge of Sasha Fierce? The series of unflattering wigs she wears in the video?

See also: Fighting Temptations; Ring The Alarm; Video Phone featuring Lady Gaga

Drake – Loonies To Blow (A-Trak remix)

This one is a bit of a cheat because it’s an independent remix of a reasonably dull song, but this utterly chronic dancefloor tearaway is enough to make Amanda Bynes-level fangirls of us all. Bonus points for renaming it ‘Loonies To Blow’ after Canadian dollars in honour of Drake’s homeland.

Rihanna – Numb

Regardless whether you find her fascinating, infuriating or completely charming (or all three at the same time), Rihanna is an intriguing character. I find her most appealing when she succumbs to the dark side, as in this hypnotic ballad of slowly spiralling drops, distorted vocals and Marshall Mathers at the Slim Shadiest he’s been in years.

See also: Princess of China (with Coldplay); Jump, which samples Ginuwine’s Pony; that one with T.I. that sampled the ‘Numa Numa’ song (Live Your Life)

Amy Winehouse – F*** Me Pumps

Remember Amy not as a desperate addict who was hopelessly devoted to drink, drugs and dreadful men. Remember her as a feisty minx who sang this snarky little ditty about golddiggers, who told an interviewer that she’d ‘rather get cat AIDS’ than collaborate with middle of the road songstress Katie Melua, who had healthy curves and who looked, as my friend so perfectly put it, ‘really beautiful. Like a dinosaur, but a really beautiful dinosaur.’

See also: In My Bed; You Sent Me Flying; Cherry Wine (with Nas)


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