AP names Nicky Jam and J Balvin’s ‘X’ its top song of 2018

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - MUSIC - Mes­fin Fekadu AP Mu­sic Writer

The top 10 songs of the year by As­so­ci­ated Press Mu­sic Ed­i­tor Mes­fin Fekadu.

1. Nicky Jam and J Balvin, "X'': Nicky Jam and J Balvin's "X'' is not just the Latin song of the year — it is SIM­PLY THE SONG OF THE YEAR. A year af­ter the uber-suc­cess­ful "Des­pac­ito," comes "X'' — a fu­sion of Latin, reg­gae and dance­hall sounds and the per­fect song to lis­ten to while get­ting ready to go out, at a club or even while you're clean­ing or cook­ing. "X'' is ad­dic­tive and the beat will move your bones, even if you're not try­ing to move. Just don't fight the feel­ing.

2. Toni Brax­ton, "Long as I Live": Toni Brax­ton's R&B clas­sics from the 90's and 2000's still sound iconic to­day, and her lat­est sin­gle, "Long as I Live," al­lows you to feel nostal­gic, while not get­ting stuck in the past. Toni's still got it.

3. Jussie Smol­lett, "Ha Ha (I Love You)": This Quiet Storm an- them shows that while play­ing Ja­mal Lyon on "Em­pire" helped make Jussie Smol­lett fa­mous, he sounds even bet­ter when he's singing his own songs.

4. Joji, "Slow Danc­ing in the Dark": This burn­ing R&B num­ber is un­for­get­table.

5. Ella Mai, "Boo'd Up": The song of the sum­mer sounds good in the fall and win­ter, too.

6. Ken­drick La­mar and SZA, "All the Stars": The star of "All the Stars" may seem to be Ken­drick La­mar — and while he shines on the song — it's re­ally SZA's sing-a-long hook and killer sec­ond verse that makes this "Black Pan­ther" track one of the year's best.

7. Nor­mani and Khalid, "Love Lies": With all of the Fifth Har­mony singers go­ing solo, Nor­mani is the one to look out for. The proof: "Love Lies."

8. XXXTenta­cion, "SAD!": So many rappers died young this year, and it's sad to see so much tal­ent not live up to its full po­ten­tial. XXXTenta­cion's "SAD!" was al­ready a hit be­fore he died, but af­ter his death, the song, and his mu­sic, took on new life.

9. Drake, "In My Feel­ings": Don't front — this is your jam, too! Hey, Keke!

10. Lykke Li, "Sex Money Feel­ings Die": Hit play, and dance.

Honor­able men­tion: Zedd, Maren Mor­ris and Grey, "The Mid­dle"; Cardi B fea­tur­ing Bad Bunny and J Balvin, "I Like It"; Jorja Smith, "Blue Lights"; Dan + Shay, "Te­quila"; Lau­ren Daigle, "You Say"; Ty Dolla $ign, Khalid and 6LACK, "OTW"; John Mayer, "New Light"; Janelle Monae, "Pynk."

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