3/09/2013

Maroon 5's Top 5 Most Hip Hop Songs

Adam Levine featured in Hollywood Magazine (2012)
Maroon 5 and Adam Levine's top 5 most Hip Hop hits counted down 

How do you keep a band going for over a decade and make sure you keep things interesting? Sometimes, you venture out in to different genres. Maybe you'd switch out band mates and replace your drummer. Or maybe you collaborate with artists in which you'd never think your favorite band or artist would even ever come in to contact with. Las Angeles band Maroon 5 has found many ways to keep their fans up on the toes and expecting the unexpected. We are counting down the top five most "hip hop" songs in the Maroon 5 book. Let's check 'em out.

Adam Levine, more than others, has definetaly ventured out in to other artists' songs from Canadian rapper K'Naan to southern hip hop artist 50 Cent. Maroon 5 has always kept their main pop rock ground, but let's see how many times we've noticed the band make an effort for hip hop.

5. "Moves Like Jagger" (Remix)  by Maroon 5 featuring Mac Miller & Christina Aguilera from the album Hands All Over

At the turn of Maroon 5's new pop influenced sound, shortly after the release of the moderate commercially successful album Hands All Over, the band took a rather shocking turn in remixing their 2011 No. 1 Hot 100 single "Moves Like Jagger." The single was already very right in it's unexpected dance pop sound and featuring long time pop veteran Christina Aguilera, but Adam Levine reached out to indie rapper Malcolm James McCormick, or better known as Mac Miller, to help further promote the song and he lent a rap verse towards the beginning of the song's up beat and catchy introduction. Can we take a second to compare this intense mash up of a rapping remix to maybe Ke$ha's "Sleazy", which was already a hip hop influence to begin with, in which was later remixed in to "Get Sleazier" adding on rappers such as T.I., Andre 3000, Wiz Khalifa, and Lil Wayne, just to further more promote the song's sex appeal to the radio? "Jagger" was released in June 2011 in part of a brilliant Voice effort which involved Max Martin and Benny Blanco's genius pop production and lyricism in ode the the rock star Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. It peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100 and became Maroon 5's biggest selling single to date.


4. "Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West featuring Adam Levine from the album Late Registration

A little over a few years after Maroon 5 dropped their initial debut studio album Songs About Jane, in June of 2002, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine made his first guest appearance on another artist's single, and more specifically a hip hop single. Kanye West's classic R&B-esque "Heard 'Em Say" track featuring Levine, released in 2005. How did this seemingly impossible collaboration come about? In several interviews, we've heard Levine talk about his willingness to work with hip hop artists. On a plane flying from London to New York one night, the singer was writing material for what would be Maroon 5's second album when he realized he had a remarkable idea of collaborating with rapper Kanye West. West had worked with the band in the past on a remix of Maroon 5's breakthrough hit "This Love" in 2004, and featured a rap in the single as well as a new beat. In 2005, Adam went to Kanye with this verse he wrote and eventually featured it in the chorus of "Heard 'Em Say." The chorus was still used in an original Maroon 5  track called "Nothing Lasts Forever", from the album It Won't Be Soon Before Long released in 2007. 


3. "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine from the album The Papercut Chronicles Part II

Upon the release of Maroon 5's breakout hit single "Moves Like Jagger" and Adam Levine's appearance on NBC's The Voice, Levine part took in a Gym Class Hereos track called "Stereo Hearts." Although the pop rap fix was released weeks before the release date of "Jagger", "Hearts" took a while to up-the-ante on the chart's, eventually peaking at No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart and charting at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, becoming Gym Class Heroes' most moving and successful modern day single. Adam Levine lends his heavenly falsetto on the song's chorus singing My heart's a stereo / It beats for you, so listen close/ Hear my thoughts in every note. / Make me your radio / Turn me up when you feel low / This melody was meant for you / So sing along to my stereo." 


2. "My Life" by 50 Cent featuring Adam Levine & Eminem from the album Street King Immortal

It's 50 Cent's comeback single after years of committing "making music" suicide and he tried a more mainstream outlook for his return to the stage. "My Life" features Adam Levine's perfect and rather high pitched voice with a rough edge and Eminem's more edgier and rather lengthy rap. The hip hop track was on verge of climbing up the Billboard charts, however only succeeded to peak at No. 27 on the Hot 100 and charted at No. 6 on the Hip Hop/R&B Songs chart. The song however stirred up some controversy. 
In the first verse of the song, 50 Cent dissed former members of G-Unit, Game and Young Buck. He mentioned the facts of writing songs for them, and both former members being ungrateful. Game responded to 50 Cent's comments in an interview with American radio station Power 106, saying he might have to make a sequel to "300 Bars and Runnin", finally killing 50 Cent and G-Unit. 50 Cent later said the song was recorded two years ago and he no longer had any ill will towards Game.


1. "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa from the album Overexposed 

Well, here we are. I bet you expected the pop rap genius of Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa's single "Payphone" to top our count down of Maroon 5's top hip hop singles. If you did, you guessed right. It's pretty much the band's only song in which actually features a rapper in the bridge of a song without needing to be remixed by an indie artist, like Mac Miller, or multi-platinum hip hop rapper Kanye West. Upon the ease of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger's" success had begun riding downhill, the band announced they were releasing a new album in the summer of 2012 and may have a more initial pop influence. Well that's what you get when you work with Max Martin (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Inglasias), Benny Blanco (Gym Class Heroes, Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna), and J.R. Rotem (Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj, Machine Gun Kelly). "Payphone" features a very aggressive and rather catchy rap on the song's bridge which makes the song's pop appeal a more risky hip hop track.

No matter how out of reach Maroon 5 gets with their ability to turn pop in to something more, we will always be behind them. Adam Levine's multi-appearance on many celebrity magazines or gossip websites may continue, but we still love you. 


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