Blue, The Misfit Goes Hard At No. 3.

Just as we have at the end of the last two years, the Central Track staff has once again spent the last week reminiscing and pouring pretty tirelessly over the best locally-tied songs of the year. By now, of course, most folks expect as much from their local culture publications. Unlike in previous years, though, we've decided to do things a little differently in 2014. For one, the influx of notable tunes this year prompted us to double the length of our list — from the Top 50 to the Top 100 local songs of the year. At the same time, we didn't want to overwhelm our readers with a huge list of 100 tracks to take in all once, either. To that end, we're going to roll the thing out in daily chunks, unveiling more songs every weekday through the end of the month. It should serve to make the thing a little easier to digest — and give you time to check out the embedded streams of anything you might have missed throughout the course of the year. Really, though, you should give each of these songs a spin. They all deserve at least that much.

Leading up to its May release, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding Blue, The Misfit's debut full-length record, Child in the Wild.

After establishing himself over the last few years as one of the area's most promising producers, releasing 2011's extremely well-regarded Numb EP and increasingly becoming respected for his skills as an emcee, quite a bit was expected from the highly anticipated project to say the least.

THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2013. // The Official Central Track Staff List.
THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2012. // The Official Central Track Staff List.

So, yeah, we were pretty sure before we even heard it that the thing was going to be fairly great. The bigger question, in our minds, was whether or not the thing could possibly live up to its own hype. Some seven months later, we can confirm the answer to that one is a resounding “Yes.”

While outstanding tracks like “Trillionaire” — which appeared at an earlier spot on this same list — were certainly a big part of what makes the album, as a whole, so terrific, it was “All Systems Go” where Blue really showed how he stands out from even the rest of Dallas' increasingly lauded hip-hop scene.

Wrote our own Mikel Galicia in his review of the Child in the Wild about the song's prospective radio potential: “[It could] very well could be one of the single strongest Dallas hip-hop tracks ever released. With its pulsing opening bass line and “Woos!” from A.Dd+'s Slim Gravy, the song is the album's most clear-cut certified banger. It boasts a rhythm that's hard not to bounce to and, much to his credit, Slim dances all over the beat with his kickoff verse. From there, the song goes through several progressions and transitions before offering up a sultry verse from Sam Lao and, eventually, returning to the bass-heavy end, which is where Blue finally shows up. It's here, on both the production and rapping fronts, where Blue shows off why he's one of Dallas' most touted hip-hop talents.”

It was some high praise, sure. But, over time, Blue's proven that it wasn't at all hyperbole.

The track kicks off with a clip from Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon and ends with another from Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous — two very different films, no doubt. By the time Blue takes you on an epic four-and-a-half minute trek through pounding, bass-heavy verse sections, multiple honeyed interludes and guest appearances from area heavy-hitters Slim Gravy and Sam Lao, though, the connection is one that somehow makes a lot of sense. A lot of musical ground is covered in the interim, making the thing feel a lot more like a lengthy, drug-fueled escapade than anything resembling a traditional, verse-chorus-verse pop song. Even still, this thing drips with widespread appeal.

Production-wise, “All Systems Go” is all over the map, built mostly over a deceptively simple, maddeningly aggressive bass drum beat. A couple of glossy interludes, including Lao's super silky R&B-inspired break, help break up the onslaught some. But they also help make the beat seem so much heavier each time it finally does come back in. Of course, Blue's been known for his super slick production abilities for some time now, even producing tracks for Top Dawg Entertainment artists like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul in recent years.

And, surprisingly enough, it's the sections of the tune that Blue himself raps over are our favorite aspects of this song: His delivery is charismatic and articulate; he' clever and oft-humorous, but doesn't take said attributes in clownish, Ludacris-like directions; his rhyme schemes are varied and interesting; and he's overwhelmingly confident, but not off-puttingly brash.

In short, he's a become a lyrical force to be reckoned with.

More than that, he's become the kind of breakout local star that's worthy of every bit of hype thrown his way. He's also the type that's more than capable of living up to — and in this case surpassing — said hype, too.

The Full List: The Top 100 Local Songs of 2014.

100. Blank-Men — “Mole-Man Therapy”
99. Snow tha Product — “1 Time”
98. Goodnight Ned — “50,000 Years”
97. Pageantry — “Spine”
96. Lou Charle$ — “RiCH KiD$”
95. iill — “Surface Friend”
94. Ghost Image — “The Way”
93. County Lines — “City Between Two Cities”
92. B. Anderson — “Peer Pressure”
91. Wesley Geiger — “As the Crow Flies”
90. Somebody's Darling — “Bad Bad”
89. Radioactivity — “Danger”
88. Bobby Sessions — “Buckle Up”
87. This Will Destroy You — “Invitation”
86. Final Club — “No Regrets (M.U.R.P.H.Y.)”
85. Vincent Neil Emerson — “Hesitation Blues”
84. Lecrae — “Say I Won't”
83. Luke Wade — “The Runaround”
82. Convoy & the Cattlemen — “My Window Faces South”
81. Centro-matic — “Salty Disciple”
80. Bad Mountain — “Union Hill”
79. Dorrough — “Beat Up The Block “
78. The Longshots — “Me or California”
77. The Paychecks — “Prison Bars”
76. Dead Flowers — “I'm Leaving”
75. Birdflower — “Bish at the Beach”
74. Bad Beats — “Floor of Love”
73. Rigor Mortis — “Flesh For Flies”
72. Yung Nation — “Molly on My Chest”
71. Black Milk — “What It's Worth”
70. Fishboy — “Bury My Body”
69. Sugarfoote & Co. — “Long Gone Daddy”
68. Sexual Jeremy — “Square Eyes”
67. Blessin' — “Green Song”
66. Mink Coats — “Another Notch in the Bible Belt”
65. -topic — “Pocket Dialed the Queen”
64. Unconscious Collective — “Kotsoteka”
63. Hot Coffins — “I H8 Black Magic”
62. Cashmir — “Numbers”
61. Fever Dreamer — “A Month of Sunshine”
60. The Fox & the Bird — “No Man's Land”
59. Street Arabs — “Maltese Falcon”
58. Power Trip — “This World (2014)”
57. Zach Witness — “Amen Love”
56. Terrence Spectacle — “Futon”
55. Nighty Nite — “Temporary Custodian”
54. Bethan — “Low Expectations”
53. Baring Teeth — “Mountain”
52. Sealion — “Heavy Fizz”
51. Various Artists — “Dallas vs. Everybody”
50. Bummer Vacation — “Aye Mas Tiempo Que Vida”
49. Moonbather — “Stars From Planes”
48. Kacey Musgraves — “The Trailer Song”
47. Catamaran — “Weekdays”
46. Buffalo Black — “Bad Seed”
45. Mountain of Smoke — “Wise Owl”
44. Chambers — “Inner Room”
43. The Phuss — “Straight Line Impala”
42.Dripping Wet — “Yearbook”
41. Sarah Jaffe — “Defense”
40.Madison King — “Saved By a Son of a Gun
39. Ish D — “Keep Moving”
38. Wild Party — “Chasin' Honey”
37. Gollay — “Fight or Flight”
36. Blue, the Misfit — “Trillionaire”
35. Old 97's — “Nashville”
34. Party Static — “Poor Baby”
33. TEAM* — “I Like It”
32. Nayah — “Let it Go”
31. Oil Boom — “The Sneak Tip”
30. Spooky Folk — “Disheveled”
29. Parquet Courts — “Instant Disassembly”
28. Blackstone Rangers — “Frozen Echo”
27. Cozy Hawks — “L.A. Girl”
26. Brandon Fxrd — “Everything On Me”
25. Daniel Markham – “Disconnected and Flying”
24. Mystery Skulls — “Magic”
23. Sudie — “Heartattack”
22. Leon Bridges — “Coming Home”
21. Analog Rebellion — “Hot Shit”
20. Eat Avery's Bones — “Proboner”
19. Lily Taylor — “Across the Hills”
18. Booty Fade — “It Goes Down
17. A.Dd+ — “INNISHO”
16. Old 97's — “Let's Get Drunk and Get It On”
15. Howler Jr. — “Oh Dear”
14. Son of Stan — “The Lady That's Around Me”
13. Natural Anthem — “Paranoid”
12. St. Vincent — “Digital Witness”
11. Lord Byron — “Posh”
10. Danny Diamonds — “Hot Summer”
9. The Cannabinoids ft. The Outfit, TX — “Spic & Span”
8. Sealion — “Automobile”
7. Alsace Carcione — “Juke Joint”
6. St. Vincent — “Birth in Reverse”
5. Picnictyme — “Lift Off (feat. Sam Lao)”
4. Seryn — “Disappear”
3. Blue, The Misfit — “All Systems Go”
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