The Way I Are

Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson

Shock Value (2007)

Bizarre grammar aside (actually, I typically sing the chorus as “the way I is,” because — why not?), this is easily Timbaland’s finest moment as a solo artist. Hip-hop is already pretty danceable in general, but upping the tempo and merging it with a more typical dance sound while still feeling fully grounded in its root genre is a difficult task. Although a tad on the short side (the song really feels like it needs one more chorus to close it out), this song is just plain excellent pop music. And kudos to introducing us to Keri Hilson, who has since released a few more great songs of her own (my favorite being “Turnin’ Me On”).

Also check out: “4 My People,” a similar take on hip-hop/dance from Missy Elliot and Eve