Here's my take on the performers and songs to be featured at NBA All-Star Weekend:
"The Hardest Ever" -- With help from Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez, will.i.am raps above the spare, somewhat robotic backing track about the virtues of perseverance, summed up in the repetitive refrain: "You can go hard or you can go home."
"Good Feeling" -- Framed by a breezy rhythm track, Flo Rida's ode to feeling good exudes a fittingly sunny vibe.
"Starships" -- "Get on the floor/ I love to dance/ Y'all give me more/ 'til I can't stand." That pretty much covers the message in this infectious dance track, a solid foundation for the singer's chirpy delivery. The main attraction is still watching her odd antics.
"Give Me Everything" -- There's a dual personality to Pitbull's ode to having it all ? right now. The propulsive energy of the verses turns into a grander chorus that sounds like a hymn to the night. "We might not get tomorrow," Pitbull says. True dat.
Mary J. Blige
"One" -- If you don't know the expressive powers of All-Star Game anthem singer Mary J. Blige, well, where have you been? For a good example, check out her interpretation of U2's "One." You won't be disappointed.
"Everything" -- Canadian pop band Neverest, tapped to sing the Canadian national anthem at the game, specializes in melodic pop that would appeal to teen-pop fans. Check out the love song "Everything" for a good example.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun