Album: Careless World: Rise of the Last King
Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
This song technically came out during the last few hours of 2011. Releasing a party song on New Year's Eve is a no brainer, but "Faded" lasted far beyond its cash-in holiday drop. Plus, we like to use the argument that it was already Jan. 1 in some parts of the world at the time. That's because this song was fully and wholly a gem of 2012. It will resonate at this year's NYE parties much more than it did at last year's.
Tyga was riding the success of "Rack City" and this record proved that his winning formula wasn't a fluke. The newfound confidence in his flow remained intact, at the same time hilarious ("fuck a bitch in a peacoat") and brash ("vampire, fuck up your evening"). The production was an extension of the West Coast club sound Tyga found success with on his previous single, although less minimalist here, and to greater effect.
Then there's Lil Wayne's guest spot, a scene-stealing blend of aggression, humor, and wit. If Tyga's performance got the bases loaded, Wayne's is the grand slam that brings it all home. — EB