My Top 11 Favoritest Non-Rap Songs of All Time

I’m not a liar. I may be a bit forgetful, but I’m not a liar. I told y’all last summer that I was going to do a post about “The Top Most Greatest Non-Rap Songs of all Time”. I tweaked the title a little, choosing to violate both spelling and grammar rules rather than just grammar. But luckily, the list itself has been completed for a while and was just sittin’ around chillin’ cuz…well…I forgot about it.

About a year ago, I wrote this post about my confusing/disappointing/dying love affair with rap music. It spawned many music-centered discussions with people. Although I once considered rap my favorite genre of music, I’ve always listened to all kinds. Sadly, I don’t feel like ANY of the genres are as good now as they once were. But hey, that’s a whole nother post, right?

So, friends, these are my top 11 favoritest non-rap songs of all time. I tried to just do 10 for the sake of conforming to industry standards (whatever that means). But then I remembered that this is MY blog and I’ve never conformed to standards before, so why start now?

Here we go…

11) Bonnie Raitt – “Something To Talk About” (1991)

This is a cool bluesy, pop, country song. Bonnie’s voice is very relaxing to me. And this is one of those songs that’s easy to sing along with…which is important to people like me who can’t carry a tune, but still try.

10)  TLC – “Creep” (1994)

The video sealed the deal for me on this song. This was the first video that TLC had that was a real video and this was also the first time we saw them without all the condoms hanging off their clothes. I really liked the colors in the video, the choreography (which to this day, I can still do), and especially the horns.

9) [tie]  Otis Redding – “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (1965)

If you look up soulful in the dictionary, you would find a picture of this man singing this song. You know, if pictures in dictionaries did that kind of thing. His voice is so comforting and familiar to me, like I knew him. Sorta like he was my uncle or cousin or something. And it is interesting that he was so young (24 years old) when he recorded this song. He’d undoubtedly experienced a lot during his short life.

9) [tie] Aretha Franklin – “Natural Woman”  (1967)

The first time I can recall really paying attention to this song was when I heard it in a Chic commercial for some mom jeans circa 1989. Funny thing is that I didn’t really appreciate it or pay close attention to the lyrics until Mary J. Blige re-made it in 1996. Props to Mary – I love her, too, mind you. But I think even she would agree that no one can sing this song quite like the Queen of Soul.

8 ) Donny Hathaway – “Giving Up” (1971) and “A Song for You” (1971) 

I can’t decide which one because I LOVE them both. So I guess this is another tie. Mr. Hathaway’s cover of both of these songs is painfully beautiful and beautifully painful. This man is easily the best male vocalist ever. His voice is absolutely flawless and he is the only one whose voice does the lyrics to either song justice. IMHO.

7) Evanescence – “My Immortal” (2004)

I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it. It’s one of those songs where you think, “How did they steal all of the thoughts out of my head? And how can I get royalties?” I especially enjoyed that I could understand all the words in the song, which is not something I could say for a lot of their alternative/rock peers at that time.

6) Prince – “Kiss” (1986)

This song came out when I was 5 years old. I thought Prince was so awesome that my birthday cake that year (for my 6th birthday) had this picture from the Parade album cover on it. [Note: This is not a joke. There are pictures somewhere of me and this cake.] Sure, the lyrics were a little risqué (and by a little, I mean a lot) for a kindergartener.  Or I guess they were…most of the time I couldn’t really understand what he was saying. But back then I would make up my own words if I didn’t understand exactly what the singer was saying.  I’ve been known to do this as an adult, too, on occasion. There was a point during “Kiss” when I thought he was saying, “My love will be your food.” And later I learned that he was actually saying, “My love will be your food.” Sooo…maybe that wasn’t the best example. Anywho…

[Ok…so…Prince DOES. NOT. PLAY. when it comes to copyright protection. This video is very hard to find. But try this link: Hopefully, they won’t take it down before I publish this post!]

5) Michael Jackson – “The Way You Make Me Feel” (1987)  

Even at 7 years old, you COULD NOT tell me that Michael wasn’t singing this song directly to me. And only me. Despite the fact that there was some other chick who WASN’T me in the video. It took me years to stop hating Ola Mae (the girl from the Thriller video), so to deal with the heartbreak of again not being selected for one of his videos was not easy.

4) Aaliyah – “One in a Million” (1996)

I LOVE the irregular beat of this song. I can’t remember if it was a Timbaland or Missy Elliott beat, but the lyrics, combined with Aaliyah’s voice, style, and dance moves in the video = Perfection.

3) Al Green – “Simply Beautiful” (1972)

Another song I fell in love with the second I heard it. It was featured in the movie Disappearing Acts, but not on the movie soundtrack. Even though I had never heard the song before, I instantly recognized it as Al Green’s voice. At the time, I pulled one of those numbers where you go into Bob’s Used CD store and sing the song to the guy who works there to try to figure out what it is. I recall him kindly suppressing his laughter as he called his co-workers over to listen to me sing the song and help us figure out what the song was.  However, they didn’t suppress their laughter. None of them were any help. But I eventually found the song anyway.

2) Janet Jackson – “I Get Lonely” (1998)

Yet another song that was already great but made so much better by the video and awesome choreography. I recently realized (and by recently, I mean like last week) that, although I can do most of this routine, I learned it backwards because I do it in the same direction as she does it on TV! So I should have learned it on the reverse side. I mean, this might not seem important, but in the event I am ever asked to be a back-up dancer for Janet I need to be able to do the routine in the right direction. So I may be absent from blogging for a few weeks while I re-learn all this. Janet was, is, and will always be my girl!

1) Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo – “Nothing Even Matters” (1998)

I get tingles up and down my spine EVERY time I hear this song. The lyrics. The instruments. The snaps. The voices. Nuff said.

So I realize that this might be cheating, but after I compiled this list of 11 (ok, 13) songs I thought, “This was WAY too easy. 31+ years of listening to music (and obviously a couple of these songs are older than I am) and I came up with this list in about 20 minutes…surely there is something I missed!” And I was right—as I usually am. So here are some honorable mentions that missed my list by this much. In no particular order:

  • Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” and “My Love is Your Love” – Whitney Houston
  • “U Got it Bad” – Usher Raymond
  • “Uninvited” – Alanis Morissette
  • “When Can I See You Again?” – Babyface
  • “Do What it Do” – Jamie Foxx
  • “Come and Talk to Me” – Jodeci
  • “Early in the Morning” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” – The Gap Band (I can’t decide between these two…and honestly, they sound just alike anyway)
  • “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” – John Mayer (not the biggest fan of him when his mouth is talking, but when his mouth is singing, that’s a whole nother story…)
  • “Ribbon in the Sky” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Lady Marmalade” – Patti LaBelle (NOT the Moulin Rouge chix)
  • “Tell Me Something Good” – Chaka Khan ft. Rufus

 What are some of your favorite songs? And why? Share them with me in the comments section!


About Magnet for Foolishness

Resident of the DMV…and my incessant thoughts. Always hungry. Comedy craver. Ice cream freak. Reality TV show junkie. Slightly opinionated. Rarely wrong. Part Lisa Simpson. Part Sue Sylvester. Part Meredith Grey. Renowned chef and baker…avid gardener…pet lover…sometimes liar. Effortlessly forgetful. Always hungry. Blindly hopeful. Easily embarrassed (NOT). Eerily observant. Searching for something. Disregarding parallelism. Chronically tardy. Ruthlessly impatient. Surprisingly affectionate. Unnecessarily long-winded.
This entry was posted in Comedy, culture, Funny, humor, Life, movies, music, Personal, pop culture, random, thoughts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to My Top 11 Favoritest Non-Rap Songs of All Time

  1. Some of my non-rap faves are (I’d love to link Thoutube videos but that’s a no-no at my job):
    11. Bo Diddley – “I’m a Man” Whenever my ego is turned up to eleven this song plays in my head.
    10. The Rolling Stones – “Paint it Black” Still goes hard
    9. James Brown – “Hot Paints” I’ve heard very few things more sonically pleasing than when the horn section breaks it down three times.
    8. Prince – “She’s Always in My Hair” When a good woman has your back it’s a hell of a thing.
    7. The Black Keys – “Next Girl” This is an amazingly good rock song about a horrible woman.
    6. Jet – “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
    5. Marvin Gaye – “Stubborn Kind of Fellow”
    4. Johnny Cash – “Cocaine Blues” Johnny Cash gets kind of gangster on this track. He snorts coke and murks his cheating wife.
    3. Anthony Hamilton – “The Point of It All” This is how you sing a love song folks.
    2. Stevie Wonder – “As” See number 3 and multiply it by 100
    1.Sam Cooke – “A Change is Gonna Come” Sam Cooke masterfully packs 400 some odd years of pain into a three minute thirteen second package.


    • GOOD LIST!! Your #1 is another one that missed my list by “this” much. I always think of the scene in Malcolm X when Denzel is riding in the car and this song is playing. We all know his fate.

      I can’t wait to get home and look up #9 and #4…I’m intrigued. As for #5, I think one of my favorite Marvin Gaye songs is A Funky Space Reincarnation. The full track is like 9 mins long, so you need to block off some time for this one…

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. RP14_96 says:

    I don’t think I can do 10 or 11 because I am at work…but you’re number 1 is my number 2 and I remember learning the snaps!
    1. Fortunate by Maxwell and interestingly enough written by Robert Kelly
    3. Adore- Prince
    4. If I were you Girlfriend-Prince
    5. You Gotta Believe-Mary J. Blige
    6. Come Over-Faith
    7. Heaven-Tweet (Irony at its best both title and lyrics)

    The thing about favorite songs is they usually are associated with good memories

    There are so many more because I am more of an R&B Fan than Rap fan anyway


    • “The thing about favorite songs is they usually are associated with good memories” <– this is true. It is funny for me, though, some of my favorite songs are also associated with not-so-good memories :/

      For some reason, I'm not remembering your #7. I need to look that up to jog my memory…


  3. I think your entire list is in my most played on my ipod- it’s scary.
    Some more:
    Billie Holiday- God Bless the Child, Strange Fruit, and Pennies from Heaven
    Arrested Development- People Everyday
    Shania Twain- Any Man of Mine
    Mariah Carey- Hero
    SWV- Weak
    Michael Jackson- (Brain fart, can’t think of the name, but the one he recorded for that horrible whale movie)
    Mary J. Blige- Real Love


  4. Pingback: My Top 11 Favoritest Non-Rap Songs of All Time | | Music

  5. Chris Drummonds says:

    I’ll toss out a few.

    Prince-“I would die 4 U” and “Little Red Corvette”
    Johnny Mathis-“I’m in the Mood for Love”
    Smokey Robinson-“Tears of a Clown”
    Bobby Womack-“Across 110 Street”
    The Temptations-“My Girl,” “Papa was a Rolling Stone,” and “Just my Imagination”
    P.O.D.-“Going In Blind”
    Nirvana-“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
    Mya-“Fallen” and “Paradise”


    • RP14_96 says:

      Across 110th Street is a great song. I also like the more recent song/duet he did “No Matter How High I Get”


    • I like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. I also like Weird Al’s spoof of it!

      Besides some of their Christmas songs, “Papa was a Rolling Stone” is probably my favorite song by The Temptations. I like how they tease you for the first few minutes of the song with just music before they actually start singing. I have it timed just right now, so I know exactly when to start singing along, lol…


  6. Cardell J says:

    Ok, I was enjoying your list until I got to number #7-Evanescence. Really? I mean for real, for real? Like in all seriousness? I have no other comment on this one. Lol

    One in a million is not my favorite Aaliyah song, but I do love it and I agree with your sentiments. Im happy to see she is getting her due props. She is way under-rated IMO. I’m also happy about the TLC love-another under-rated group these days. And for the record, they have sold more records that Destiny’s Child! Lol

    I’m surprise to see that Usher did not get an official spot in the top 12, considering how much you love him.

    I’d have to seriously think of my top 12. But a few that come to mind for me are:

    -Janet Jackson- anytime any place (R Kelly remix)
    -Boyz II men- I’ll make love to you. I always said the first time I have sex, I’d play that song to set the mood. Well it never happened, lol.
    -Toni Braxton- Suddenly (German version of her Libra album). The lyrics are beautiful and her voice/tone makes this sultry. I melt like butter when I hear this song. Which is like once a week.
    -Babyface-when can I see you again. No explanation is needed here.
    -TLC-waterfalls. I love the message and I knew all the dance moves. Plus when I was 15 (when the song came out), I was excited that I made my voice sound like Tboz. Lol


    • Oh, Cardell J, my friend! What am I gonna do with you, lol? So as far as my #7 YES!! I completely stand by that choice. I love what she’s saying, I love the way she is saying it, and I love the piano she is saying it over, and I love the guitars and drums backing her up. I LOVE IT!! Since you don’t like that, go listen to this –> “Sparks” by Coldplay probably should have made my list but I didn’t think about it until I’d already published this post.

      As for Usher, he and I have an “on again, off again” kind of relationship. I like ALMOST all his songs (not this “Climax” stuff he has out now) but there are two that I love. The one listed above and this one–> “Superstar”

      Not surprised to see Toni Braxton on your list; kinda surprised to NOT see any Mariah Carey songs. I like Janet’s “Anytime, Anyplace”, too, but I like the original version more than the remix. But, generally speaking, R. Kelly remixes almost never fail! The “At Your Best” Aaliyah remix here–> is one of my favorites from that duo.

      And we all sound like TBoz when we first wake up in the morning, lol! :p


  7. Cardell J says:

    Oh, and let me clarify my comment “well it never happened.” I meant I never played the song to set the mood, not that I’ve never sad sex. Clearly, i have. Lol


  8. Sumer says:

    I LOVE THIS POST! OMG Sonya! And the fact that you added links so people could listen, kudos girl!


I want to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s