The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Damaged Good$ and "Follow The Leader" Lead Off The Top 20.

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[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 20 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 20: Xrabit & Damaged Good$ -- "Follow The Leader"

Seems like forever ago that Damaged Good$ released its debut record with the help of London-based producer Xrabit, who discovered the North Texas rapping duo of Coool Dundee and Theodore Beard by scouring MySpace. In actuality, it's just been nine months; the collaborative release, Hello World, saw its release in March. Since then, Damaged Good$ has built up a reputation in the local scene as one of the liveliest, most entertaining performers around town. Of course, a couple mentions in Spin and Urb haven't hurt either.

Bonus mp3:

Xrabit and Damaged Good$ -- "Follow The Leader"

In a year in which Dallas radio rap saw a national audience line up to listen to its offerings, Damaged Good$ led local undergound hip-hop fans in a completely opposite direction, championing party rap and hipster-hop over the the club banging, dance instructional sounds of the mainstreamers.

And yet what stands as perhaps the duo's best offering comes in Hello World's second single, "Follow The Leader," a song with a little less danceability than some of the duo's other tracks. Indeed, Coool Dundee and Theodore Beard refuse to perform "Follow The Leader" in a live setting--mostly because, as they say, the song just isn't fast enough to keep the crowd as hyped up as its other songs do. But whereas most Damaged Good$ tracks shine because of their beats and the duo's ability to pair its wordplay around them, this one stands out as a track on which their lyricism must stand alone.

Boasting a futuristic-cum-retro beat, it's Dundee and Beard's vocal stylings that truly star on this song, showcasing each performer's punchline prowess and phenomenal flows. Whereas other tracks from the duo draw a line in the sand, asking audiences to join in on the party or get the hell out, "Follow The Leader" serves rather as a calling card to all crowds, offering up a taste of the duo's premise and inviting audiences to join in on the fun.

With an already-leaking new disc set for releaset in early 2010, Damaged Good$ has proven itself as leaders well worth following into the next decade and beyond.

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
24. Danny Balis -- "Tethered"
23. Sleep Whale -- "Cotton Curls"
22. PVC Street Gang -- "Cutlass" (video)
21. Air Review -- "Jura"
20. Xrabit & Damaged Good$ -- "Follow the Leader" (video)
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily

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