A blog about hip-hop, rap music, its trends, and an overall thought about the music an culture, without indulging in gossip. A real set of opinions and discussions, not based on the popular sentiment, but examining and challenging it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Album review- Wale- Attention Deficit

Here is to hoping the powers that be don't take down a freaking review. As usual I need to be honest about any bias before I start a review. I don't really like Wale. He strikes me as a real jerk and he is too early in his career to come across that way. Second, I have a problem with the DMV support, not because I don't like people from DC, but because I know there are a lot of people from Baltimore trying to support because they think the love is going to extend North but I'm not believing that it is going to happen. I have the nagging idea that the artists up here are still going to be ignored even after trying to promote in the interest of the region. Hopefully, i'm wrong. Let me tell you though, I was pleasantly surprised by this album especially after hearing "Nike Boots" and "Chillin'" which both were wack.


But he can't make good singles to me, screw it, let's get into the album which has a decidedly D.C. go-go feel to it. I'm not hard go-go fan but this is a good hybrid mix on the album. Early on in the album "Mama Told Me" draws me in after the opening salvo of "Triumph". Good start as Wale also shows more lyrical ability than on the two singles stated above. "Mirrors" is a good concept song about the fact artists don't tell the truth about themselves. Ironically, the song features Bun B who has of late put out lackluster material for the love of regular checks. He does fine on this song as he doesn't even use the word "Trill".



"Pretty Girls" which was performed on the BET Hip-Hop awards should have been the single. It bangs and features Gucci Mane which couldn't hurt when it comes to spins. "World Tour" is another solid cut that also shows Wale knows his hip-hop. Jazmine Sullivan also lends her unique voice to the hook. This should have been single number 2. Chrisette Michelle lends her talents to the powerful "Shades" which addresses the long overdue issue about the tension amongst dark and light skinned people in the black community.



I am torn about "Tv in the Radio". I like the break-beat and Wale does have one quotable line but K'naan actually kills the song and really saves it for me. "Beautiful Bliss" features J. Cole and me(?) and is a decent song but nothing stands out for me. Maybe it's because J. Cole isn't bringing me anything and he needs to. "90210" is a sort of cautionary song about a girl in the Beverly Hills zip code. It's cool but not for me. I understand the idea behind "Diary" with Marsha Ambrosius but I don't think the flow and style really works.

The three downs for me on this album are "Chillin'" the lead single which is wack, "Let it Loose" featuring Pharrell which is even worse, and to a lesser extent "Contemplate" because of the gimmicky rap style. The album ends with Prescription which is a strong finish.




I honestly came in expecting the worse, an arrogant mix of Kid Cudi and Kanye at the worst. The singles had me very wary and I don't care about mixtapes when it comes time to actually do an album. Wale did come through for me however and I have to give him his props. This rating is a little stretch upwards I think but this is a really good album. It's not about gangster shit yet it's real and honest. This one is going to be in the running for album of the year next year.


Rating: 4/5

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hip-Hop and R and B - Snoop Respects the Game

So after my first post about the new hybrid hip-hop and R and B, I had to sit back and think about some times when the two genres melded together well. One big instance brought to light was Snoop Dogg and Sexual Seduction (Sensual Seduction for those who are familiar with the video version).


Tell me that's not the greatest picture ever


See Snoop isn't your run of the mill rapper ternt sanga. Snoop knows his musical history and it is evident in all of his earlier releases. Who doesn't remember Doggy Dogg world?




Snoop is an iconic artist whose career and sound was shaped by such legends as George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Charlie Wilson and the Gap Band. Thus it was no surprise to see him end up singing and to a lesser extent using "auto tune" although he used much more creatively and more to it's original intent than most of the others. Look at the video, he has the keytar and tube just like the "Computer Love" originator, the late Roger Troutman of Zapp. (I'm dropping some history in here too.)




When i look at these new artists, trust me I am not talking about Snoop in any negative light because he knows what he is doing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

album Review- Stat Quo- Great Depression

Okay, so Stat is trying to show his intellect by titling his album something that could be taken deeply. Similarities to DMX aside, Stat was an artist that intrigued me from the moment he signed to Shady Records a few years back. Last year he got his release and has been building to this point, bringing out his own independent album.


So Stat starts off with a decidedly different sonic vibe than the average southern artist. with a voice that holds less bass than most and a thicker accent while rapping, Stat is truly unique. The first song, "Almost Home" sounds more like a Common album song than a southern artist but Stat is more than capable on the track. "In California" switches the tempo up immediately with the West Coast sound but Stat stumbles a bit by copping out and cursing when it's unnecessary. "Stylin" then takes the album to another sound with an extremely simple beat that Stat works rather well.



The varied sound continues until he returns to a hybrid of the soul and southern style on "Soul Clap" which is a real highlight on this album as Stat does his own "hip-hop" track. In fact, Quo shines the most over beats influenced from other areas more than the ones that sound more southern. "In God We Trust" and "How it Goes" are truly high quality tracks and though Stat does seem to run low on witty lyrics, he never loses the feeling in the songs. To a non-southerner, the heavy accent is something to work through but that can't deter you.

The low points aren't as many but "That's Me" and "Suck ma Dick" just seem like songs he felt compelled to throw in to relate himself to the bigger Southern artists. "Go Ham" just confuses the hell out of me, sorry.


(This is old but it rocks)

Overall, Stat is a guy you have to generally like. He took the time and showed the talent that got him signed to Shady records in the first place. With better direction and some more time spent tightening up and perfecting his verses he could have really put out something special and unexpected. As it stands, the album is more than worth the listen especially if you are looking for a more polished "gangster rap" type of album.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Album Review- Triple C's- Custom Cars and Cycles

So my regular followers know I'm not a Rick Ross fan. His music is a waste of time to me because it's the same old thing with little to no redeeming quality. Yes, i'm on a rant again because I think there is a need for people to know when I really mean what I put in reviews. The last album Ross put out I was forced to admit wasn't the worst thing ever created and was much better than Fab's. I even included that in the album of the year category. Thus I know what to expect from his crew, the Triple C's and it is a great marketing idea to call them that instead of the Carol City Cartel and to name the album something with three C's.


The production is exactly what I expect from Ross and the Maybach music crew. A lot of "Runners" and "Cool and Dre" and the assorted others that make up the new sound of Miami. The album starts out with "Custom Cars and Clips" where they make it obvious if you didn't know, that all of this is all for the money. The biggest question is how much will Ross need to carry this group. In fact I don't even know any other voices other than that of Gunplay who really shouldn't be rapping. I'm pretty sure someone is helping him most of the time though he is the "gutter" one of the group and the only other interesting personality.



"White Sands" and "Break it Down" are the best examples of what I just said about Gunplay. Especially "Break it Down" where his simple verse works by getting right to the core of who he is. Basically the album is one long song through the first nine songs, one long track about balling, stunting, and selling dope. Song titles, "We Gettin it", "Throw it in the Sky", "Customized", "Go" featuring Birdman, "Trickin Off" with Gucci, and "Erry Day" with Jeezy and JW.



The album suddenly turns left around track 10 when The Game shows up on "Gangsta Shit" (as a side note like every album I have heard recently has a song titled gangster or gangster shit where is the originality?). The album enters it's "radio friendly" mode then with Masspike Miles on two songs, "Finer Things" which is another Ross-style chick track about how much he flosses and can upgrade a woman, and "Huslta" which I think speaks for itself. There is more r and b flavor on "Diamonds and Maybachs pt. 2" featuring someone named Suede Royale. "Chickn Talkn" with Warren G and Mack 10 adds another dimension to the album, sort of, and the album ends with "Yams pt. 2" with Yo Gotti.



Look this is a take it or leave it album. There is no depth to it at all. The album is entirely about flossing and balling out of control and if you're like me, that's not enough. For most of the people whom this album targets, they will love it because it doesn't stray from the formula at all. The production does seem stale through the first two thirds of the album but thats more due to the track layout than production itself. The biggest drawback is that Ross is the only one who actually has rap skills and Gunplay's personality isn't enough to make up for his lyrical deficiencies. The rest of the group is forgettable for the most part which turns this into a duo more than anything else.

Rating: 2.5/5

Saturday, October 24, 2009

They thought 50 was dead

Then he comes and hits you over the head with this shit here:



This joint cannot be denied and I don't care where the beat came from. This is the type of shit Jay was supposed to have on Blueprint 3 if he was really tryna make a statement. It didn't have to be "crimewave" but he needed some hard shit to follow up "D.O.A." and "Run This Town".

This beat knocks, the song rocks and this is what Fif is about.

Album Review- Fat Joe - J.O.S.E. 2

So we all know that Fat Joe has had some sort of career resurgence (in his own mind) since he moved his operation to Miami and joined forces with the Southern movement. Unlike Rick Ross, Joe's beefing with 50 Cent hasn't led to anything positive in terms of attention and record sales to date. That aside, Joe will be known as one of the original NY gangster rappers and to that affect, he titles his latest album after his first album, for the second time.


Now Joe has decent beat selection most of the time, even though the constant use of Cool and Dre and The Runners over the past four or five years is starting to sound stale. The lead single which dropped months ago is "One" and features Akon on the hook. I really like this and thought it would have blown up major but for whatever reason it still remains under the radar.



Let me continue with the positives. "Joey Don't Do It" is right in Joe's zone, the beat bangs and it allows him to talk mad greasy as he is prone to do. the track also bangs on "Okay, Okay" even if the hook is only ok and the lyrics about fake killers and gangsters are as old as Joe actually is by the time you reach that point in the album. "Aloha" sounds like and is a really average song where Joe drops lazy lines like "me and my lady Madoff" .

That is probably the best of what I can say about the album. Now we know by now that Fat Joe isn't going to have but one topic, getting money being the gangster that he is. Truth is, if you can't at least sound like you believe it why should I?



Having a laundry list of no-name features none of which who stand out doesn't help. "Cupcake" features Benisour, Rico Love drops in for hooks on "Aloha", and "Congratulations" which also feature Pleasure P on the first, and someone simply named "Ta" on the second. Ta also shows up on "Ice Cream" that also features Raekwon which is a welcome surprise. "Put you in the Game" with T-pain and Oz reeks of being some left over track from Three Rings.

The three biggest features on the album however are three of the most disappointing songs on the album. "Porno Star" features Lil Kim using auto tune which really sucked and is a lazy attempt to brag about sexual prowess by Joe. "Blackout" with Swizz Beats and Rob Cash is just lame, and "Winding on Me" with an annoying hook by the terrible Ron Browz is made even more annoying by the fact that Lil' Wayne also cannot leave the auto-tune alone. Nothing could save that song ever.


Honestly, this album is another tired collection of boring boasting about his realness and bank account by Joe. This has been the theme of the last three Fat Joe albums and each one has gotten progressively worse as he has gotten less and less relevant. 50 Cent is pretty much right with his skits about this record.





Now a similar album I recently reviewed was Royc da 5'9 and his was way better. Cormega also has an album that reaches further into the psyche of the drug dealer lifestyle so you have to wonder how much Joe really cares at this point in his career.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, October 23, 2009

5 Star Chick

Now Im watching this lame video from Yo Gotti for his 5 Star Chick remix and I'm getting so annoyed. All of this new age music is about "stuntin" and showing how much money you have or waste rather. First of all, if these people are such ballers shouldn't they have more than a lame ass white background video? and second what happened to Nicki Minaj's verse. Trina's was way better as was her flow and delivery and her look. Nicki is a prettier girl in general however it dodn't come across in the video.



But even worse than the video is the song itself. What is a 5 star chick? Well according to Yo gotti. She is damn near anyone. However, in all verses what is mentioned is her carrying Louie or Gucci bags of some sort and spending too much money on her shoes. You see we tend to put all of our emphasis on things that we can hold in our hands or show off to our friends.



I mean just because a woman gets her weave done regularly, and keeps her nails done does not mean she is worth a damn. Maybe thats the difference between myself and other real adults who won't even acknowledge or pretend that those are the truly important things in life. It sucks and is very annoying to hear this useless crap being promoted primarily to a group of people who don't even truly own the basic essentials for life.

How about we promote education instead of taking trips. Instead of talking about your swagger, why can't we talk about how to make long term investments. We could keep buying whips but wouldn't it be better to invest in businesses that both improve the community and provide jobs and a sense of pride? That does not mean clubs, liquor stores, salons, barbershops, and bars. We have more than enough of those already. The same goes for rim shops when people don't even own homes but they driving in Donks.

The consistent and constant pumping of this garbage has totally undermined the credibility of hip-hop music as a positive force. We have gone from the days of "Ladies First" to the era where it is all about what you have on your bag at that moment and nothing else.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

As Is Hip-Hop Awards- Album of the year

So this is the big one in my own personal award ceremony. The Album of the year. The grand enchilada of all awards. Now my finalists are definately not the orthodox when you would look at most hip-hop publications/ sites/ broadcasters. Let's start:

Number 5:

The Last Kiss


I didn't like Jada's album at all and this shows how week the year's hip-hop releases are when a Kiss album is in the top 5 and it is legit. Dude has no variety what-so-ever and the three best songs are one with OJ the Juiceman, Ne-yo, and Letter to BIG and this guy is supposed to be a hardcore street lyricist. This was a disappointment but when looking at the other major releases, Jada still did better than most of them.

Number 4:

Deeper Than Rap



Ross' biggest push came from his beef with 50 Cent and some in my circle believe that a payoff was involved to get Ross over as a "face" in WWE style. The beats all followed the same basic style and Ross' lyrics aren't going to wow anyone but his flow is there and he does paint the vivid image of the glamorous Miami Dope life better than anyone else in the game.

Number 3:

Relapse



Em's long awaited album didn't bring the passion that I was hoping for but he did bring back some of that craziness and creativity that made him an underground legend. Still, I was hoping for some more social commentary and depth than I got. I'm still waiting on Relapse 2.

Number 2:

Blueprint 3



Woaaaaah, don't just scroll to see what I picked as the album of the year just yet. Read why Jay didn't make it to the number one spot. The album was good, the best as in being put together having radio friendliness but it was safe, too safe. Jay talked the entire time about changing the game and giving hip-hop the Blueprint on how to make it in the game and put out quality music. At the end of the day, the album didn't come out as anything new in a direction for hip-hop. At times, it seemed as if Jay wasn't sure what he wanted to do with the album or which direction he wanted to go in. Sometimes, you have to drop a Kingdom Come where the people might need some time to catch up to what you are doing, not dumb-down forever.


My Album of the Year Award goes to:








Crime Pays





That's right, Cameron Giles came out of retirement and basically nowhere to swipe this one. Let me explain. I don't like drug rap especially as most people like Fabolous, Rick Ross, or The Clipse present it. It's all fluff, artificial, and doesn't show any emotion either way. It is all just presented while the artists perpetuate hood tales and stereotypes. Cam put out an album that I didn't want to like, I was ready to tear it apart but I couldn't. The album put me into the eyes and mind of Killa Cam as he gets it in Ohio and unapologetically lives his life. I believe every word that Cam says on the album and cannot help but nod my head to a banging soundtrack that blends the best of East Coast, Southern, and Midwestern sounds with his rapid fire flow and constant abuses of both the english language and slang. While it isn't the most consistent overall album, it does what a good album should in my mind, bring me into the artist's world. Congrats Cam, you've pissed people off again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

As Is Hip Hop Awards - Lyricist of the Year

So as we look at hip-hop there is an understanding that all rappers are not created equal. The best way of giving recognition to an artist who may not be the best songwriter, or who showed up other artists on their own songs is to call them a lyricist. This can also sometimes be used as a detriment to an artists by saying "oh he's just a lyricist". For us over here at Yet Another Hip-Hop Blog Being a lyricist is one of the ultimate compliments. Let the countdown begin.

Number 5:



Jadakiss is not one of my favorite mc's. I think he is horribly overrated and lazy when it comes to content and concepts. However, there lays a natural talent and swagger which he conveys mostly through his delivery. Jada could be higher up my list if he attempted to make more "Letter to BIG" type of songs and less of his normal, average street fare.

Number 4:



Common was slept on this year. Universal Mind Control was another Neptune helmed creation so he wasn't able to ride the Kanye bandwagon to success but Common still has the lyrics no matter who screws up his album direction. The most recent example is how he murders both Ye and Kid Cudi on Cudi' "Maker 'er Say" single. You may be wondering just exactly what Common did this year anyway but he did have an album in between his new acting gigs.

Number 3:



Jay-z is one of the most consistent forces and a perennial contender because he can always make a good solid album and blend being radio friendly with getting it in on the lyrical side of things. He drops several jewels on the Blueprint 3 showing why out of all mainstream artists outside of Ludacris, no one really has more punchlines or subtle metaphors than he. Jay is the perfect MC.

Number 2:



Jumpoff Joe Budden has had his share of ups and downs over this past year. One thing remains true, everything that happens in his life will end up on a record and it will be very descriptive. Some of his lyrics are going to take more than one listen as he has almost as many pop culture references as my man NC-17 or Quentin Tarantino. Joe could have been the next big thing but label politics killed that. Though the Method Man beef wasn't official, check the Slaughterhouse D.O.A. freestyle and you will understand why Hot Nicks was skeptical about getting into a verbal battle with Joe. He also held his own on The Slaughterhouse album and dropped Padded Room and the Mood Music 3 mixtape which was real serious.

Number 1:




As much as I am a fan of Joe Budden's work, I was torn on the winner for this year. However. after hearing his mixtape Joell Ortiz does the classics, the Slaughterhouse album, and the various other projects he has done I had to hand this years crown to the heir to Big Pun's throne Joell Ortiz. Joell has lyrics for days, in the aforementioned D.O.A. Slaughterhouse freestyle, Joell took control of the beat for a good 6 minutes and strangled that shit while people watched. There aren't many ways for me to describe his raps that he hasn't used so you just have to check it out for yourself.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Album Review- Royce da 5'6 - Street Hop

Hot off of the heels of the successful Slaughterhouse movement, Royce da 5'9 readies his latest solo debut Street Hop. Royce has always been a love him or hate him kind of guy for me. I was never really impressed with his lyricism until recently and his persona isn't anything special to me, he's just from Detroit.

Street Hop starts off with the tried, true and traditional for Royce as the first song is called "Gun Harmonizing" which also features Crooked I who steals the song from under Royce. on "Soldier" which features a relative unknown in Kid Vishis, Royce spits energetically over some bouncing production. Those are probably the brightest spots until the end of the album.



Songs like "Dinner time", "New Money", and "Shake this" are all unnecessary as they don't add anything to the album and could have been cut as the LP is 17 songs deep. The production is excellent throughout but the lack of diversity from the normal "I'm gangster and I run the streets talk" is disappointing though not at all unexpected. That is Royce's basic formula.



Mr. Porter of d12 lends his vocals to "Mine iz thiz" where Royce goes in and raps in a more d-12-ish style. Trick Trick reminds everyone that Detroit is a No Fly Zone on "Gangsta", and Phonte from Little Brother guests on "Something 2 Ride 2". "Warriors" which features Slaughterhouse is one of the joints that should have made that actual album but finds itself here.

Like I said the end of the album is where it's merits are. "Street Hop 2010" features Royce spitting some of his best bars on the album with an impressive array of similes and metaphors. I'm not a fan of non-west indian descendants using the patois but Royce doesn't really disrespect it on "Bad Boy" which features a hook by Jungle Rock Jr. The Highlights are the three story tracks two of which are a continuous narrative that starts with the back end of the story then "flashes back" to the beginning in the songs "On The Run" and "Murder". Not the most creative titles but the songs are serious, especially "Murder". "Part of Me" is an unexpected tale of set-up and betrayal that you really have to hear. The album wraps up with "Hood Love" with Bun B and Joell Ortiz where once again Bun seems out of place with lyricists.

Overall, the album has superb production with a good balance of sounds. It is very crisp sounding and Royce shows that lyrically he may be at the top of his game when he is inspired. Unfortunately, for a part of the album, he settles in to the same bland coverage of street life without really adding anything to it. His lyrics are good, but the subject matter came up a little flat. Royce does save the album with the last four or five songs that elevates it a few notches.


Rating: 3/5 (it's a high 3 lol)

As Is Hip-Hop Awards - Single of the Year

This award right here is for the hottest single joint of the year. I can admit at least two of these songs annoy me to no end. However, the radio tells me something different and to a certain extent, I have to go along with the will of the people.


Number 5:

Heartless was the best song off of Kanye's 808's and Heartbreaks with a banging beat and a hook that actually didn't sound bad. The song fit right within the range that T-Pain normally occupies and took off, pushing the album's sales and giving people the perception that it was actually a hot album.



Number 4:

Run This Town might just be Jay-z's biggest single. After all of these years and work, he might have finally struck gold after telling everyone he doesn't usually have monster hits. This song gets played on at least 3 stations at the same at leats once a day and probably more. I still hate the chorus but I like Jay's verses on the song.

Number 3:

Drake may not have an album out but the "Best I Ever Had" had every girl swooning and dreaming that Drizzy was singing/ rapping about them. The song made since had the "I Need Love" feel and the great promotion to keep it in heavy rotation. The video however, made no sense at all when compared with the song, but it hasn't hurt Drake's momentum in the least.

Number 2:

Here is where the controversy will start. I cannot stand "Turn My Swag On" but that isn't why it's not the hottest joint of the year. "Turn My Swag on" is the official get money anthem for a lot of people this year. Soulja Boy raps about getting paper and showing off for the haters and he apparently inspires people by doing this. Personally I don't get it but the song blew up at a time when people thought Soulja Boy was dead in the water.



Number 1:

I'm not a fan of the Black Eyed Peas either but they made the biggest smash of the summer with "Boom Boom Pow". Not only did it play on top 40 pop stations since the spring in ultra-heavy rotation, but in late August, it moved to urban radio and is seeing regular spins. that is the most surprising aspect because the Peas never spin on urban radio let alone after top 40 has had it for months. They performed the unheard of, the reverse crossover.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

VH1 Hip-Hop Honors

Now I must say I have been a fan of the show and it's inception with a true highlight being the fact that new artists and other hip-hop icons perform songs that inspired them as they entered the game and occasionally by their contemporaries. In fact the entire show to me has always been predicated on that idea. This year, the format was slightly different because the show honored the label Def Jam and not individual artists. This wasn't bad at all. In fact, this was a great idea.




In execution, the show could have been pulled off better. The highlight or me was the opening where Black Thought and Eminem did "Rock the Bells" by LL Cool J. After that, things were solid, but not great. I was not excited to see the stars of Def Jam's era performing their own songs. This show is supposed to honor or pay homage to the songs. I'm sure vh1 could have found 6-8 artists who could pull off the various hits from the Def Jam catalog. Or even iller, they could have had the artists do each others songs. Imagine Red and Meth doing EPMD songs? That would be hot fire. Bring out Luda and X and have them do some Onyx with Red and Meth- crazy. Ross was dressed to do this song:


The second problem that I had was the lack of time spent with the golden period from the late 80's to the mid 90's on what made Def Jam great. How did VH1 get away with only doing one LL song? How do you not have "Bad" and "I Need Love" on the playlist? One Beastie Boys song and one joint from EPMD is just criminal. Then you look at the fact they didn't perform "This is How we Do It" from Montell Jordan, or anything from Slick Rick. Who was in charge of the playlist? Yet they had time to have Rick Ross fat ass come out and perform "Husslin'" .



I'm just saying I had come to truly expect some hotness from Hip-Hop Honors because they always represented for the artists that I came up listening to. It is always great to see the younger generation watch these guys because a lot of people tend to get forgotten, like Oran "Juice" Jones who got 45 seconds of time from Tracey Morgan. We have got to do better promoting our history people. VH1 I love what you do with the show, just keep that in mind for next year-and Trey Songs is never allowed to sing "Regulators" again.

As is Hip-Hop Awards - Biggest Disappointment

No one ever gives someone the hip-hop equivalent of a "Razzie", the award for being terrible. Until now, this is not the category you really want to be in because that means they hype didn't match the actual product. Let's start:

Number 5:

Jim Jones - Pray iv Reign. Now it's not that I expected much from Jimmy but he should be good for a club anthem or maybe two and some new "swagger" terms. However, "Pop Champagne" was wack- nah, terrible. At least "We Fly High" had the catchy hook and beat. But this entire joint was straight up ass crack.



Number 4:

Now since my "awards" are starting with last November, Kanye still qualifies for this year's award. I don't care what anyone says, this shit was terrible. Sure "Love Lockdown" had drums that killed, and "Heartless" overall was a tight song but that's where it stops. Ye should never have been so arrogant to think that he could just do anything and have the people eat it up...oh wait, a lot of people did but I'm not falling for it. I could applaud his "originality" but he just tried to jack T-pain for his whole gimmick.

Number 3:

Now Jada also makes the best albums of the year list because hip-hop was just that bad this year. Now a lot of people were feeling the Last Kiss. I am not one of them. The best song was "Letter to Big", the second best was the single with Ne-yo, and the third best featured OJ da Juiceman. That is not what I come to expect from a Kiss album. I am tired of hearing him rap about coke on the scales and how real he is compared to me. This was supposed to bring NY back all it did was hold it back.



Number 2:

Kid Cudi was supposed to be one of those "Next Big Thing" can't miss type of guys that was pumped heavily. Point blank he failed to deliver. His lyrics were garbage, his concepts were okay, and the tracks were all set up in some experimental manner. The album was a dud, but not the biggest just because he was a new artist.

Number 1:

However, Fabolous doesn't have that excuse. "Loso's Way" was supposed to be the second album to bring NY back all leading up to the Blueprint 3. This was a failure. staid beats and lazy rhymes on un-original topics helped to shoot down all of Fab's prospects of having success. After all this time, we needed to really learn who Fab was and he only scratched the emotional surface on one song. Otherwise I was bored to death listening to this album "Throw it in the Bag" didn't even have the normal verve that Fab's singles normally possess. Congrats Fab you won something this year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

As Is Hip Hop Awards - Best Collaboration

This is a category that you can say was created primarily by Method Man and Mary J. Blige with "You're All I Need" which might be the greatest collaboration of all times and one that showed this format could really work. Now the majority of songs you hear on the radio are going to feature a rapper and a singer, and even now, multiple singers, one of whom is always off-key or flat (ex. Sean garrett and Mario).



Number 5:

This is the most boring song on the radio right now to me. Hearing "Successful" with Trey Songs and Drake makes me want to dig my ears out as they whine about their hardships. However, this song isn't the normal flossy bubblegum that dominates the airwave and it gets major airplay so I have hope that more original music can get exposure.



Number 4:

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon may think I'm stupid but I'm not. I know this song is about Eminem and his scathing disses of the Pop diva. But "Obsessed" rocks and it is no real surprise to hear Mariah getting gully with Gucci on the track. This guy was everywhere in 2009 after his release from jail and the work paid off with a huge single.



Number 3:

The Blueprint 3 isn't the opus it was intended to be but "Run This Town" is a huge single for the boy Hov. The beat bangs both in the club and as a hard hip-hop song. The verses are straight even if Rihanna's hook is the worst thing I have ever heard. I will never understand why she is allowed to be an artist with a voice like that. But the song is hot.



Number 2:

This one is 2 guys singing and one rapping so it doesn't count as a posse cut, but Jamie Foxx put out one of the hottest remixes of the year with this version of Ne-yo's single. That some ill "new industry" working for you. Fabolous spit his best verse of the year and the joint went crazy.



Number 1:




Those songs have all been in heavy rotation but not like "Turnin Me On" . Keri Hilson and Lil' Wayne killed radio for the first 4 months off of this one song. The beat from polow the don banged off seriously and Wayne actually thought about his verse a little bit. Keri did her thing and made the single that "energy" couldn't be.


Hope you weren't looking for Lil Wayne

Monday, October 12, 2009

As Is Hip Hop Awards - Best Video Beef Moment

Now this is an exciting category thanks to the likes of Onsmash, RealRapNY, and Worldstar Hip-hop which all have had a major role in promoting hip-hop "beef" and entertaining vlogs from artists over the past year. Some of what I saw this year was incredibly ridiculous but the biggest thing that I would say is 50 Cent and Joe Budden were the kings of online media in 2009.

Number 5:

Ransom's homie punches Joe Budden's homie's brother

Exactly. I hope I'm not the only one confused by this convoluted altercation. This is why rap beef cannot exist, idiots take the shit too far involving other folks getting emotional and violent when in the end it doesn't matter.




Number 4:

Joe Budden gets snuffed by one of Raekwon's goons.


Now Joe is my dude and on occasion he flaps his yap too much. But this annoyed me because it all started over the fact that he had an opinion about another rapper. It then excalated to Raekwon and some goons going and stealing on Budden while he was online chatting with fans with Mickey Factz present. A black eye on hip-hop for real.



smh @ Joey - Fail!

Number 3:

Now the 50 Cent Rick Ross beef sparked the year off right. I'm still not sure why Ross was so mad. Was it because he was holding down Joe Crack? Was it because 50 didn't speak to him at an award show? I will never know. What I do know is I believed Ross for a long time, especially while his goons on the side remained silent. Them niggas look grimey...now it's a different story as Torch and Gunplay as they are called now are rappers and blah blah blah. I must admit the archival footage of Gunplay getting layed out was a surprise. Not because niggas don't get knocked out, but who the hell was recording six years ago and how the hell did Fif get the footage?



Number 2:

Okay, enough with the snuffings in hip-hop. Here is the icing on the 50 and Ross cake. The crazy thing is that Ross survived this next assault. This tells me hip-hop ain't bout shit no more because after this exposure, someone supposed to get snuffed, or someone's career should be over.



First Baby momma #2 here is seen getting it on as a call girl with a sex tape.

Then there is the shopping spree in NY with Tia, Baby Momma #1. I can;t find that video but here she is yapping:



number 1:

This is another reason I respect 50. Thisis50 was just another record label run artist website before all of this beef happened. Then it became the place for breaking videos. My favorite was the "Pimpin' Curly" series because it showed another side of 50 and let him manipulate someone else's portrayal of him.




Saturday, October 10, 2009

As Is Hip-Hop Award Independent Release of the Year

So this is a category for the albums that didn't get that major label push even though one was in fact released by DefJam. Independent is now the way to go for a lot of artists who aren't going to get signed to a Universal where the label is going to make beaucoup money off of them. Once just the haven of Rawkus and then Koch records, the independent scene is very big because artists from NY are now taking the cues from their Southern cousins and doing it themselves. Let's get into it.

Number 5:



Red and Meth or Meth and Red have been very low-key since their television show was canceled by Fox and the sequel to "How High" was shelved. I was excited about their return to rapping with Blackout 2. They had a couple of strong singles for guys who probably no longer get the star treatment at the Universal building anymore. My favorite song is "Go Zulu" a great club banger that you don't normally expect from this duo.

Number 4:




Now I have never been a big fan of KRS-One or Buckshot but in this hip-hop climate, these wily veterans are necessary to provide the gritty bump to hip-hop's smooth out emo-soul vibes. While the album falls victim to the same sound and a lack of variety in the subject area, it still provided a strong sample of what NY hip-hop used to be and a glimpse of what some artists need to get back to to provide some balance in the game.



Number 3:

The Slaughterhouse album was a little bit of a disappointment if only because the hype preceding it on the underground scene was so tremendous. Crooked I, Joe Budden, Roycem and Joell Ortiz brought the heat when it came to the lyrics but could use just a little bit more on the creative side. The album was too short as well because with four emcees, the album seemed a little short on bars. However, there was still enough material for me to get a new appreciation of Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5'9.




Number 2:



Raekwon was supposed to drop the sequel to Cuban Linx on Aftermath records about 1 year ago at the latest. It took a few listens for me to get into the feel of the record but Rae's lyrical darts are as sharp as they have ever been as is his descriptiveness. The one thing that I could say I wished, was that Rae was more pronounced and energetic at times to bring something different to the album. I would also have loved to hear some of Dre's production to add a change of pace to what can be monotony if only because Rae fits so much into the bars you start to blend together songs. However, lyrically this joint is solid and where it needs to be.

Number 1:



However, the biggest surprise would have to be Ghostface who swooped in at the last minute with his "Wizard of Poetry" album. Now I'm not going to say that it is appreciably better than OB4CL2 however, it is definately more unique as Ghost takes on the hip-hop/r and b mash up genre and wins. Not your typical LP, Ghost basically dedicates the entire album to showing you fellas how to sweet talk the ladies while keeping your manhood with this collection of songs. This is some good music that you can play with your lady in the car and not feel a certain kind of way. This album is a must have.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Newcomer of the Year

The Rookie of the year often has to overcome massive expectations as the hype from their debuts normally overwhelms them and underwhelms the public. This years nominees have had vast power pushing them all more than any class ever before. The stakes have never been higher for these new artists as they attempt to make waves in the game.

Number 5




Wale is the hope not only for D.C. , but the entire Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area is hoping that Wale can put out an album that brings the spotlight to the area if not like the South, then at least that of the Midwest. Though the hype has been immensem from what I have heard, Wale is wildly inconsistent and though the push has been put forward the results have been middling. Hopefully the potential he flashed on his mixtapes and the song with Yong Chris and put it together on the full album.


Number 4:



Kid Cudi actually dropped an album this year unlike anyone else on this countdown but he would have been better off not doing it because it was straight trash. Thats not nice but it is the harsh reality. I still don't understand the appeal of day-n-nite where Cudi "sang" his way through the song but some people loved it. Too bad that was all he had worth hearing.


Number 3:



The West Coast is like a seperate entity from the rest of hip-hop right now. The East Coast is flailing in the water and anything from the South makes the news, the West, not so much. At the very least it is it's own animal with artists having the ability to make sales amongst their peers is an advantage. Nipsey Hussle has emerged as one of the most polished left coast acts as well as one of the most talented. His songs and mixtapes all give off the true West Coast feel better than anyone since Snoop. One major debut I am totally waiting for.

Number 2:



This might not seem right as Drake has one of the biggest songs on radio right now, is part of the hottest young stable, and is fresh off the teen hit Degrassi in Canada. All of this is why I dont think he should be rookie of the year if you will. He has too much help. Everything is being put on his plate for him from his record deal, to songs with Jay-z and Mary J. Blige. Not to say he isn't a hard worker but when you have that much white collar muscle behind you, and the next man doesn't yet has just as much buzz, I have to give it to him, no matter how much it pains me.


Number 1:



You may laugh because of my disdain for Gucci Mane but I have to respect this guy's hustle. We all laughed at So icey when it came out. That had to be one of the worst songs ever to hit the radio. Then Gucci had a hit with Freaky gurl but went to jail before he could reap the benefits. Finally, Gucci got free this year and managed to drop like 6 mixtapes and develop and launch another person's career in OJ da Juiceman. Then he went on to feature in songs by Mario and Mariah Carey amongst all of the other rap songs he was on. I don't have to like it but 2009 was the year of Gucci.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

B.E.T. has too many award shows...

I was looking at the site because I saw a post by Black Canseco over at his blog and I said let me see what buffoonery this "network" is promoting now. Of course for their annual "rap" awards show, there are like four nominees overall in 15 categories. Okay I am exaggerating because there are video director of the year, dj, and producer of the year categories that they couldn't find a way to squeeze Jay-z, Lil Wayne, and Drake into, though Kanye West made the producer category as well as damn near everything else.

I don't expect much from B.E.T. so I might actually break down the categories at a later date, hell B.E.T. is such a good fodder for traffic because they are so asinine, I could get several blogs out of this debacle. I hope they let 50 give Kanye an award.


Who Am I?

What kills me is categories like "People's Champ" which means what exactly? Shouldn't Paul Wall get that every year since he claimed that title years ago? I am assuming this category is for a song as the nominees are "Ice Cream paint Job" by Dorrough, "Throw it in the Bag" by Fabolous, "Turn My Swag on" By Soulja Boy, "Day-n-Nite" By Kid Cudi, and "Amazing" by Kanye. All of those songs are ass to me but would go with Ice Cream Paint Job over all the rest of that trash.

Then they have the "Made-You-Look" style award with Jay, Cudi, Kanye, Soulja Boi, and Wayne being the nominees. I'm pretty sure Jim "Swag" Jones is gonna be upset about that one. Truthfully they should re-name this award after Puffy but that's
just me.


One Eye Willie Isn't Happy

The biggest issue I have is with people who haven't even put out albums. How can you really get all these award nominees and you didn't actually have any material. I looked at the rookie of the year category: Wale- no album, Drake-no album, B.O.B.- no album, Kid Cudi- album just came out last week, and Dorrough- who should win by default.

LOL- Look at his shirt

The other categories are just as bad. No nominations for Kiss, Rick Ross only has one, Jim Jones has one, Cam has none, nothing for Slaughterhouse, KRS-one, Raekwon, Freeway, Gucci, OJ da Juiceman, Ludacris. This is abysmal. Who will speak up and truly create an award show that truly holds our music in a high regard and that isn't going to just look to the same names because there are some dumbasses who refuse to think.

B.E.T. ought to be ashamed for purporting this offense as an official glorification of hip-hop. And I better not here one person go "Let's shout out some support to my man Kanye".

So- be on the look out here for our own as is hip-hop awards.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Riding the beat too much..

I have noticed the hot trend right now with rappers is that all of them are riding and attacking beats the exact same way and only picking tracks that already go with their voices/ styles. Now it can be a useful technique in the artist's arsenal but by no means should it be the only, or even main trick in my opinion.


Let's looks at some of the popular artists of today. T.I. for one uses hardly any similes and metaphors. Yet he is considered decently lyrical by today's hip-hop standards.




His verse wasn't the most lyrical but sonically it fit in well with the beat. Ludacris on the other hand, is extremely clever and is able to both ride the beat and come with clever lyrics to support.



Now I am not trying to insinuate that an artist has to go against the beat in order to have hot lyrics. I think Luda is evidence of that, however, we have gotten to a point where all you have to do is "not disturb" the beat and people are hailing your greatness. Even some of the greats can get tripped up by attempts to ride the beat too much.



I am always going to be a fan of lyrics and I take every aspect into consideration but as long as these artists are ignoring the actual words and just focusing on their delivery a la Tupac, I am going to be disappointed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What Happened to Cassidy?

I was listening to a compilation of Cassidy joints the other day and I really had to wonder where he went and why did he fall off so fast? This guy had hit singles galore and made albums of a decent quality. He also had street rep and battling skills for anyone who wanted to test his validity as an artist.










Apparently there was a G-unit beef? I never knew that. In any regard, it seems amazing to me that Cass is now relegated to trying to bounce back while being signed to Carmelo Anthony's record label.

The biggest problem I have with him is that after his car crash and subsequent murder trial, he never seemed to learn and kept the gun talk very much evident in his rhymes, though the claims still rang hollow. I think as a listener I wanted to hear more from Cassidy than what I could get from everyone else. He showed potential but you can only get away with saying you will still kill me but you go to church once before it gets real annoying.

This is my favorite example of how good he could have been though I think the last verse shouldn't have been about himself.