Don't you just hate it when a song you love is too short?
The internet may have crippled our attention spans (thanks a lot, Vine), but a great song will always hold our ears for longer than our impatient minds would usually allow. Except, of course, when the song is over just as you're beginning to enjoy it. It's the cock tease of music, and nobody likes a cock tease.
Without including intros, outros, interludes or snippets, here are 10 great songs under two minutes that should have been longer.
The Alchemist - “Chemical Warfare” ft. Eminem
After being his tour DJ for a few years and lending his talents to the Re-Up compilation, The Alchemist finally landed his first collaboration with Eminem on 2009's Chemical Warfare. Unfortunately, it was also the shortest song on his album. For just over 90 seconds, Shady rides every bounce in A-L-C’s beat while imagining smashing Sarah Palin (but he’d rather “watch Whoopi Goldberg scissor with Oprah” than snuggle with her after). Being the notorious perfectionist he is, however, Em soon realizes he said “Octo mom” twice in the same song and abruptly calls it quits. Sarah Palin wasn’t the only one left wanting more.
Childish Gambino - “Urn”
With songs like “Worldstar” and “3005,” Because the Internet was an album that had its eye on both the present and the future. But on “Urn,” Childish Gambino and his right-hand man Ludwig Göransson briefly transported us back to the soul-soaked past. Featuring a gorgeous flip of British rock band Sweet Thursday’s “Gilbert Street,” the song perfectly captures the scene from Glover’s accompanying script where The Boy bids farewell to his father’s ashes. If only that scene was, like, eight minutes longer. Despite its short running length, “Urn” is Bino’s favorite song off the album. Tyler, The Creator probably agrees.
Danny Brown - “Adderall Admiral”
Washing down Adderall with alcohol while his girl cleans her palate with Tabasco after giving him head—“Adderall Admiral” is everything that’s great (and fucked-up) about Danny Brown in less than two minutes. Paul White’s production is equally enthralling: for the most part, the beat lurches along like a crackhead zombie heading to an early grave, but every 20 seconds or so, a sample of This Heat's “Horizontal Hold” hits you like a medic jolting your failing heart with a defibrillator. At the midway point, Paul pulls out another obscure sample—Hawkwind’s “You Know You’re Only Dreaming”—only this one makes you feel like your heart has given out and you’re heading into the light... until Danny brings you crashing back down to Earth with something about fucking bad bitches to Stacy Lattisaw.
On second thought, I don’t know if my body could take it if this song was any longer.
Earl Sweatshirt - “Dat Ass”
Earl wasn’t the only Earl Sweatshirt music that kept his eager fans entertained during his storied sabbatical in Samoa. Almost a year before young Sweatshirt returned home to the circus of Odd Future fandom, the internet dug up this super early (no pun intended) track called “Dat Ass” from his juvenile days as Sly Tendencies. Despite clocking in at just over a minute, “Dat Ass” was further proof of just how talented this kid was, and only amped up the excitement for his inevitable return. A lot’s changed since “Dat Ass,” but two things have stayed the same: Earl’s way with words, and his habit of making tantalizingly short songs (see: “Inside,” “Off Top,” “Uncle Al”).
Frank Ocean - “Close to You”
“Memrise,” “Good Guy,” “Solo (Reprise),” “Commes Des Garçons,” “Higgs,” “Mine”—we could have picked any of half a dozen Frank Ocean tracks that need to be longer. But “Close to You” makes the biggest emotional impact in the least time. Clocking in at just under 90 seconds, the song features an interpolation and sample of Stevie Wonder’s talkbox cover of “Close to You,” the Burt Bacharach and Hal David-penned song made famous by The Carpenters, on The David Frost Show in 1972. While the original approaches love from a secret admirer’s perspective, Frank “runs his hands through what’s left” of a failed relationship, with only memories keeping him close to his lover. It’s no wonder “Close to You” almost brought Martez to his knees.
Jay Z - “Beach Is Better”
For all the legendary producers featured in the album's commercial—Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Rick Rubin—it was Mike WiLL Made-It who had the best (and shortest) beat on Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail. According to Hov, “Beach Is Better” is so short because, like any vacation, it’s over before you know it (*sigh*). However, those 55 seconds still gave us a glimpse at how good Jay Z sounds over contemporary trap production. Mike WiLL claims a full version of “Beach Is Better” exists, but that cruise ship has sailed by now.
Kanye West - “My Way Home” ft. Common
Common may have passed on a number of beats that ended up on Late Registration (“Heard ’Em Say” probably still hurts), but he still had a show-stealing cameo on Kanye West’s sophomore album. Over a slowed down sample of “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” Common gets his Gil-Scott Heron on and paints a poetic yet painfully vivid picture of the ghetto, where “hypes fightin’ for hits to heighten they hell.” The way Common was rapping here, you can’t help but wish he took a longer route home.
NxWorries - “Wngs”
Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge might just be the best artist-producer combo in the game right now, and “Wngs” is everything that’s great about their partnership in less than two minutes. Taken from their debut full-length album Yes Lawd!, the track combines Knx’s love for sampling (in this case, a slowed-down, souled-up flip of Ahmad Jamal’s “Ghetto Child”) with .Paak’s love for women into a groovy panty dropper. Your ears may beg for more, but these 97 seconds are enough time for the rest of your body (no, you stop it).
PARTYNEXTDOOR - “Break From Toronto”
Like Jay Z’s “Beach Is Better,” PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Break From Toronto” is a vacation that’s over way too quick. The song, which samples Miguel’s equally short “Girl With the Tattoo,” clocks in at just under one-minute-and-40-seconds. But when you have PND’s seductive voice, bouncy production and dashing good looks, that’s plenty of time to convince a stripper to leave Toronto and come back to Sauga with you.
Rick Ross - “Oyster Perpetual”
Rick Ross is like whiskey: he can either make you turn up, like on “B.M.F.” and “Holy Ghost,” or be a soothing nightcap, like on “Oyster Perpetual.” Over opulent production from Dav & Don, the MMG Bawse beats fed cases and counts laundered money with the calm, collected swagger of Frank Lucas. It doesn’t matter if Ross is slightly exaggerating here—it wasn't the first time—because a beat like this deserves nothing less than poetic license. Thankfully, Rozay’s Mastermind album produced more lush joints like this that actually lasted longer than two minutes.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.