#21. Chris Brown - "Loyal" (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga)
Chris Brown needed a hit this year. "Loyal" was actually released mid-December of last year, with both an East and West coast "version," featuring French Montana and Too $hort respectively; both versions feature the same verse from Lil Wayne. This version with Tyga, instead of either coastal rapper, which would make it onto the album, came out soon after in early 2014. X, the album, finally came out at the end of August, and while it's one of Chris's better albums, it ultimately underwhelmed as four out of its five singles had been out for almost a year. But "Loyal" kept its heat through the album release, and scored Brown a top ten hit.
It's easy to see why. Despite all the notoriety attached to his extracurriculars, "Loyal" proves Chris still has the power to be one of the biggest hitmakers in the R&B crossover game. As the beat drops, no "Mustard on the beat," hoe? It could have easily been pulled from Mustard's harddrive. In fact, it's even more soft and sugary EDM than Mustard's typical fare, lacking the typical 808 rollouts. It actually belongs to Bay Area producer Nic Nac, who wrote the song alongside Ty Dolla $ign, before it was given to Brown (for a pretty check, I'm sure). Ty and Mustard are obviously close collaborators, but it should be noted that, however prolific, Mustard's sound isn't exactly inimitable. In that sense, this beat is his closest competition all year.
It's the content that really stuck with us, though. "These hoes ain't loyal," sure... But Chris and his two Young Mula buddies don't take the stance of the betrayed-- instead they're the unavoidable targets of the adulteresses. It's the ultimate triumph of money over love. What could be more stinging than this tongue-in-cheek apology on behalf of the victors? As we all know, Chris has had his romantic troubles in the past, and, at times, has appeared visibly scarred. He just knows it's more fun on the other side. With Rihanna, yes, but recent developments show that Chris has faced loyalty issues in his most recent relationship with Karrueche Tran. Sometimes love just doesn't work your competition is in a different league.