Fortunately for the average music fan, 2012 saw many R&B and hip-hop artists innovated the soulful and hip sounds of the genres that bore chart-toppers and instant classics. Check out the 20 songs The G-List Society ranked as the Top 20 R&B and Hip-Hop Singles of 2012 below.
1. “Adorn” by Miguel
The only R&B single of 2012 that instantly felt like a classic record, very similar to what Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” did in 1982.
2. “Lately” by Anita Baker
Talking about remaking a song into your own, when Ms. Baker debuted this song, it sounded so delectable with a fresh smooth jazz spin that made us forget that this was recorded originally by Tyrese.
3. “Go Get It” by Mary Mary
This California gospel duo knows how to create an uplifting and empowering anthem with each new album release, especially in this track as the sisters tell you to “go get your blessing.”
4. “Clique” by Kanye West, Big Sean & Jay-Z
The perfect hip-hop song of 2012 that embodies the perfect beat, the slamming rhymes and the most prolific ensemble of rappers to brag about how unstoppable they are.
5. “Bandz A Make Her Dance” by Juicy J (featuring Lil’ Wayne & 2 Chainz)
Strippers songs past and present cannot f*ck with this one because it is an instant classic playing in every club and every party, both ratchet and sophisticated.
6. “Love On Top” by Beyonce
This refreshing single boasts the vibrant live sounds of 80′s horns and percussion and a convincing voice that lets the world know how luckily in love she is.
7. “Climax” by Usher
Just as we thought this singer has abandoned his R&B roots for good, an unexpectedly electric soulful tune bursts out of nowhere featuring production from a beat maker who was mostly known for syncopated drum rhythms.
8. “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” – John Legend (featuring Ludacris)
Sexy, sophisticated and contemporary, no more can be asked of a stellar R&B and hip-hop collaboration.
9. “Mercy” by Kanye West (featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
This street-edged single competes victoriously with the poppier hip-hop tracks while is revives the languishing careers of three of its artists and solidifies the one of the newcomer.
10. “Rack City” by Tyga
The official debut from this California rapper brought out the light-hearted, fun debauchery that has been missing from rap music.
11. “Birthday Cake” by Rihanna
Forget the remix, the song’s one minute-plus original version contains more sex and sass that any standard 3-5 minute song heard on the radio.
12. “Think Like A Man” by Jennifer Hudson (featuring Rick Ross & Ne-Yo)
This not-so-formulaic R&B single put this sangin’ diva at the forefront of this tune; thus, her best single to-date was born.
13. “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” by Frank Ocean
After the hype of this singer’s sexuality died down, this soulful singer hits the airwaves becoming one of the few emotional dripping tunes of the year.
14. “Feelin’ Single” by R. Kelly
The lyrics may be a sad anthem that many people who have suffered a broken relationship, but once they get over it, they can dance to this kiss-off tune..
15. “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
This singer has a penchant for empowering anthems especially a timeless one as this for every woman in the world to claim as their own.
16. “Put It Down” by Brandy (featuring Chris Brown)
Finally, this R&B songstress released a single that packs the swagger that fans have longed for.
17. “Ice” by Kelly Rowland (featuring Lil’ Wayne)
As a follow-up to her long-running #1 R&B single, it is apparent that the chanteuse’s forte is a sultry, sexy single that takes us down memory lane to the Janet Jackson’s janet. era.
18. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar
This is one of the most addictive debut singles that has put California back on the map of quality hip-hop music.
19. “Diamonds” by Rihanna
After years of releasing pop and dance singles, out comes a winning and powerfully pure R&B single that finds the singer at her vocal best.
20. “Trust And Believe” by Keyshia Cole
This California songstress shines best on singles where sings her heart out and causes fans to sing along.