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Fifteen singular sensations: From Flirt to Underdog, it was "all about me!"

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By Chris Richards
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, December 30, 2007; Page M09

1. R. Kelly featuring T.I. and T-Pain: "I'm a Flirt (Remix)." Call him a freak, a genius, an alleged pedophile. Robert Kelly's retort: "I'm a flirt." Over a buoyant piano froth, the master of hyperbolic sex jams matches his colossal understatement with a colossal hook.

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2. Dirty Projectors: "Rise Above." Who has the gall to tamper with hard core's holy grail? Indie-alchemist Dave Longstreth, who transposes Black Flag's survivalist roar into a fluttery, folky thrill all its own.

3. Lil' Wayne: "We Takin' Over (Remix)." He dropped hundreds of songs on mix tapes this year, but Weezy went Weezeitgeist with a verse that captured the spirit of the Facebook generation: "Me! Me! It's all about me!"

4. M.I.A.: "Boyz." Maximalism ruled the dance floor in 2007, and M.I.A.'s global beat-grafting led the charge.

5. UGK featuring OutKast: "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)." Meet them at the chapel: Andre 3000 spits career-defining rhymes from the altar while Houston rap legends UGK get rowdy at the reception.

6. The Tough Alliance: "First Class Riot." With a giddy chorus of giggly synthesizers, the Swedish duo's "First Class Riot" felt like world-class pop music.

7. CCB: "Classy." This go-go anthem is more than a kiss-off to wannabe suitors -- it's a testament to the staying power of Washington's own indefatigable funk music.

8. Spoon: "The Underdog." Tambourines shimmering, Spoon-man Britt Daniel midwifes the improbable love child of Elvis Costello's "Alison" and Billy Joel's "Piano Man."

9. Bobby Creekwater: "Acid Reign." The Georgia rapper is still waiting on that midnight train to superstardom, but these cool-headed boasts make Creek sound like he's already arrived.

10. Miranda Lambert: "More Like Her." When this gun-toting country maven does heartbreak, you can bet the farm she's singing through tightly clenched teeth.

11. Omar Souleyman: "Leh Jani." Give Souleyman's boombox banger just one spin and he's sure to become your favorite Syrian techno-folk crooner.

12. Yeasayer: "Sunrise." NoDoz? Pffft. You're better off pulling an all-nighter with the help of these indie-rock mystics.

13. Tego Calderon: "Ni Fu Ni Fa." Puerto Rico's finest boundary-basher offers an intoxicating strand of mutant reggaeton.

14. Lil Mama: "Lip Gloss." The teen rapper's rally cry: Revolution starts in the aisles of Sephora!

15. Jack Ingram: "Love You." When a certain four-letter word isn't an option, this self-censoring country hunk reminds us that all you need is "love."


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