In a year where Frank Ocean opened a whole new world for R&B musicians with his blockbuster success, it was the smaller R&B artists like Cody ChesnuTT that really spoke to me. I had never really listened to R&B before, or at least not as religiously as I did this year. I don’t want to spoil the rest of my list, but this was a year of genre hopping and R&B really was a repeat offender for me.
I was first introduced to Cody ChesnuTT after I discovered his song, “The Seed,” was sampled by the Roots for their track “The Seed 2.0.” It was kind of an astounding discovery for me because I was under the impression that the Roots had been genius enough to come up with one of the most outstanding hooks I had ever heard in a rap song. When I found out someone else was responsible, my investigating began almost immediately. So I began to check out more of ChesnuTT’s work and I discovered that he was always that catchy. He really had that smooth feel that a good R&B artist needs. Landing On A Hundred really reinforced that idea about ChesnuTT for me. He just oozes suave swaging suaveness that makes you want to move your body and just get down. The compilation of horns, strings and piano all surrounded by the slickest of bass playing really shows how much he understands the nature of the genre he embodies. Not to mention, ChesnuTT’s voice compliments the entire ensemble perfectly. He is smooth and coarse. Charming but harsh. The knowledge that sometimes people can be terrible is something he shows quite easily with his music. But he also can show how powerful the emotion he sings about is. He understands love and the intricacies more than any wizened old man who has been through life. It truly is as if ChesnuTT has lived about 100 years and been through every kind of relationship possible. He understands the heartache and the joy that come from love and his songs embody that. Landing On A Hundred is definitely a must listen from this year for everyone: romantics and realists alike even though in all reality its all been done before. ChesnuTT is just attempting to put his own, 2012 based thoughts into the music.