NEW YORK — The top 10 songs of the year by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu.
1. Jhene Aiko, “Triggered (freestyle)”: Jhene Aiko brilliantly captures so many emotions in one song on “Triggered (freestyle),” as she rapidly spits out lyrics in a raw way that range from “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW” to “Sup, you up?” She’s a ball of emotions, but she’s direct and honest, and those lyrics are piercing and appealing, and make for a great song — rather, the song of the year. She’s trying to move on, but she needs closure. She’s saying I hate what you did, but I can’t still be with anyone else intimately yet. She’s angry. And bitter. And hurt. And healing. Overall, she’s human. And she’s a beast of a songwriter.
2. Sam Smith and Normani, “Dancing With a Stranger”: Sam Smith’s recent songs have been a batch of dance-flavored bops, and we need more of it.
3. H.E.R., “Make It Rain — Live at Austin City Limits”: H.E.R. is one of the best live performers of our time, and her rendition of Foy Vance’s “Make It Rain” is heavenly. Her magical guitar playing mixed with her powerful voice — and the voices of her groundbreaking background singers — make this track one of the best of the year.
4. Lewis Capaldi, “Someone You Loved”: The award for the song most likely to make you cry goes to breakthrough singer Lewis Capaldi, who bares it all on “Someone You Loved,” one of the songs we loved all year long.
5. Daddy Yankee and Snow, “Con Calma”: Though the contemporary Latin music world has been dominated by young and emerging acts, Daddy Yankee has continued to shine brightly, and even outshined most of his counterparts. Long after blazing the charts with “Gasolina,” he’s still putting out hits, and this year it was with the anthemic “Con Calma.” And we’re talking about the original version featuring rapper Snow, not the gentrified one with Katy Perry.
6. Kehlani featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Nights Like This”: Kehlani and Ty Dolla $ign are the prom king and queen of R&B thanks to this hella addictive track.
7. Chris Brown featuring Gunna, “Heat”: Chris Brown’s “Indigo” has 32 tracks, but “Heat” is the hottest.
8. City Girls, “Act Up”: Wake up. Brush teeth. Wash face and body. Listen to “Act Up.” Leave the house feeling untouchable.
9. Rosalia and Ozuna, “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi”: Rosalia. Can. Do. No. Wrong.
10. Normani, “Motivation”: I probably account for 70 million of the 72 million views Normani’s fun, striking and eye-popping “Motivation” has on YouTube.