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Pitbull – Don’t Stop the Party

Released last September 25, 2012, Pitbull’s Don’t Stop the Party is the third single from the Cuban rapper’s seventh studio album Global Warming, and is one of his most popular songs to date, currently peaking at eighty-one at the Billboard Hot 100. The song became infamous due to its accompanying music video, which was banned from airing in the United Kingdom.

The song itself was originally written by house/DJ producer TJR as “Funky Vodka,” and was played heavily at the Miami Winter Music Conference, where it was heard by Pitbull. Taking a liking to the song, Pitbull asked TJR to work with him on a new version of the song and retool it for his Global Warming album.

Don’t Stop the Party already became a viral success even before the equally viral video was made, with the old school sample-based house tune proving to be as infectious and club-friendly as many of Pitbull’s hits. Majority of criticisms levied against the song consist of labeling it as repetitive, which is a non-issue as house and rap music, especially sample-based ones, are repetitive by nature.

As for the video being banned in the UK, it is because the entire video consists of Pitbull partying while surrounded by nearly naked women and tons of vodka. A “clean” version of the video has since been made and distributed in lieu of the bad one.

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Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You

Heartfelt and down-to-earth, If I Ain’t Got You is Alicia Keys second single from her sophomore album The Diary of Alicia Keys. Inspired by the tragic death of R&B Princess Aaliyah, Keys sings out her message of what really matters. She masterfully belts out the words perfectly accompanied by her piano. The result is a soulful almost desperate melody that conveys what she thinks life is about at the end of the day.

Grief-stricken Keys managed to create a beautifully written song which gives young audiences a lesson normally taken for granted. In the glamorous world of R&B, she stands out not only because of her incredible musical talent but also by her good intentions.

If I Ain’t Got You received positive reviews, after being released in 2004, it climbed the musical charts making it to #1 in the US R&B/Hip Hop Songs and #4 in the Billboard Hot 100.

The track has also endured through the years because it pushes the singer’s vocal prowess making it a favorite for cover performances in music talent shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and the UK’s The X Factor. Still, after all these years, no one performs the song better than Alicia Keys.