The 50 Best Songs of 2012

7. Chief Keef f/ Lil Reese "I Don't Like"

Album: Finally Rich
Producer: Young Chop
Label: Glory Boys Entertainment, Interscope
Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the most powerful. "I Don't Like" captured a mood, time, and place better than any intricate, nuanced, writerly affectations ever could. It was an emotional charge, at once shocking, addictive, and explosive. Its energy had a certain purity; yet-untouched by labels or marketing, the song and its accompanying video were the product of three teenagers and a 23-year-old videographer.

"I Don't Like" managed to transcend the sum of its parts to perfectly encompass a moment and a mentality and reinvent its obvious influences (Waka Flocka and Lex Luger) for a new generation and a new region.

It caught the ears of rappers across the country, most infamously those of Kanye West. While the remix is a tribute to the original's single-minded, concrete brick-hard bleakness, the original is what remains the most fascinating.

For many people, Keef's music remains a source of conflicted feelings, an understandable concern. But it's hard to be conflicted about this song's undeniable energy. There's something real here. — DD

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