Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

"Holidae In"

So many throwdowns to choose from, in this, the most exciting St. Louis musical moment in at least 40 years. In 2003 and '04, Chingy, J-Kwon, Murphy Lee and (of course) Nelly bombarded the charts. The resulting coverage did wonders for St. Louis' national image, with Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Billboard and others coming to the local party. The four, and their dueling pairs of genius producers, the TrackBoyz and the Trak Starz, have the sizzle. The Starz hit with Chingy: "Right Thurr," "Holidae In" and "One Call Away." The Boyz responded with J-Kwon's grand romp "Tipsy." Murphy did it with "What da Hook Gon Be?" and Nelly -- accompanied by P. Diddy and Murph -- with "Shake Ya Tailfeather." But the best was "Holidae In," Chingy's ode to getting drunk, stoned and laid in a hotel room with Snoop Dog, Ludacris and at least eight ladies. The Trak Starz' hollow thump of a beat is great, and the lyrics -- dumb, yes, but this is pop music. "There's three girls on the elevator like, 'Wassup?'/I told 'em, 'Follow me,' they knew I had it cracking, B/One said, 'Ain't you that boy that be on BET?'/ "'Yeah, that's me, Ching-a-ling, equipped wit' much ding-a-ling.'" Let the party begin, indeed.