Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of December 2011 - Presents...David Thompson by Kooley High

This dude Mistah Fab has to be the hardest working man in the rap game. What's so cool about this dude is you see the improvement of his skills and production with each effort which includes two albums this year and several mixtapes.

Not content with following the trend of very lazy rhymes and copycat beats of his peers Mistah Fab actual takes chances because of his ear and innate creativity. I am sure he wants lots of downloads and cd sales but he doesn't seem willing to sacrifice his voice and sound to make a knockoff Drake, Lil Wayne or Rick Ross album and I for one appreciate that.

Mistah Fab, I love you my ninja but I can't give you the pick for rap album of December with your new joint I Found My Backpack 2. Extra special shout out to Boog Brown and her outstanding album The Brown Study Remixes. Amazing work my love big things to you in 2012.

The Best Rap Album of December 2011 is Presents...David Thompson by the group Kooley High.

2011 was the year that North Carolina pulled down its pants and showed its ass in this hip hop game. Rapper Big Pooh dropped two albums, Fat Boy Fresh Vol.1 and Dirty Pretty Things, both of which are destined to be classics, Phonte made noise with the excellent Charity Starts At Home and for December the rap group Kooley High Released the brilliant new album titled Presents...David Thompson. Which prolly should be titled, Kooley High Presents...David Thompson but I can only go by how it is labeled by the major distributors and you should search by bold title to make it easy to find. And you must get this album.

Kooley High is comprised of six members all of whom met on the campus of North Carolina State University some of whom are from NC and others NYC. Presents...David Thompson is their second album released this year also and in my opinion better than Eastern Standard Time which was released in March of this year but check it out for yourself.

Staying with the roots of rap music, R&B and Soul music respectively, Kooley High did an amazing job of giving post pubescent hip hop listeners exactly what had been missing from rap music for about a decade except for a scattered few artists who actually love the sound and stay true to the melodies and boom bap that make your head nod. Presents...David Thompson takes its rightful place in a long line of real hip hop albums we can all enjoy and be proud of and what a great way to end 2011. Thank you Kooley High, much respect.

Other Outstanding Albums in December 2011 
**** Special Shout out to Boog Brown and her album The Brown Study Remixes****
Mistah Fab  I Found My Backpack 2 
Futuristic The Fly Trap 
Brand Nu Leather & Kush 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Best Rap Album of November 2011 - Lincoln Way Nights by Stalley

I know this month's posting is a couple days late, sorry. But between my job and life I had other things to do. You'll be okay.

This month saw second albums released this year by Rapper Big Pooh and Jae Millz, very interesting stuff from Europe and Brazil as well as some very lazy beats and rhymes from southern artists but I'll get right down to it.

Finishing just ahead of Rapper Big Pooh's new album Dirty Pretty Things this month's selection for the Best Rap album of November 2011 goes to the rapper Stalley for his work titled Lincoln Way Nights.

Refusing to be pigeonholed into a very narrow sub-genre Stalley incorporates influences from both coasts, down south and classic soul music all while sharing his very personal feelings and problems. It is the real artist that goes beyond his fears and allows us a glimpse into his insecurities, weaknesses and family issues as they are usually the real inspiration for great works and it shows here. This is one of the most musically creative and lyrically believable albums of 2011.

Other standout albums this month were:  
The Rose Tint Deluxe by David Dallas
For the Record by Torae
Take Care by Drake
 Potent Music by Jae Millz.

They will all make good stocking stuffers so cop'em.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of October 2011 - Population Control by Statik Selektah

When I first discovered the album Red Dot Plot by the rapper Smoovth I expected to be as disappointed with it as I was with the other albums I listened to this month. I just knew it was going to be more of the same old lazy beats, lazy lyrics and mediocre production I had been hearing for the past 30 days. I had never heard of this cat and figured he was probably some other dude living out his dreams on some low budget rap record he cobbled together between shifts at White Castles that I'd have to plod through just to maintain my integrity on this blog.

Well, I was wrong. Red Dot Plot is an amazing, melodic jazz tinged masterpiece. Smoovth's lyrics won't induce any epiphanies about the meaning of your existence on this planet or give the definitive answer to the economic crisis the world is facing but they are clever enough to be neither boring or insulting and work perfectly with his musical arrangements. This is a wonderful album and I am glad I found it. You absolutely should add it to your collection.

However, it is not my selection for album of the month.

No, the best rap album this month is from a guy who doesn't rap at all.

Using his years of experience as a DJ, his love of 70's soul music and employing diverse rappers from around the country who have the skill to take advantage of his beats and production DJ Statik Selektah has crafted the amazing album titled Population Control.

I am so tempted to give a song by song break down of this wonderful album but I won't. I'll leave that to the "writers" who get paid by the word to review albums for magazines and websites. It's just my job to steer you in the right direction and allow you to decide for yourself which songs are your favorites. My readers simply know that I am knowledgeable about hip hop music and we share similar tastes. They are certainly intelligent enough to make up their own minds about their favorite songs. And on Population Control you are sure to find many you like.

So there you have it, The Best Rap Album of October 2011 is Population Control by Statik Selektah. Enjoy



Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best Rap Album of September 2011 - Lost Scriptures by Tha Connection

After listening to more than 1700 songs I came to the conclusion that there were several very good rap albums released in September 2011 and only several unfortunately.

On those very good albums the production was extremely tight, the music well thought out with deft rhyming skills by the rappers. The problem was there was nothing new, different, particularly artistic or clever.

At least that's what I thought until I got my hands on a late entry which became this month's choice of best rap album. 

Hailing from Hempstead Long Island and comprised of the rappers Hus Tha Kingpin and SmooVth Dude the rap duo called Tha Connection released their album titled Lost Scriptures and it is my selection for Best Rap Album of September 2011.

It is very easy to tell that Tha Connection was weened on hip hop's jazzy age when groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, and Organized Konfusion ruled the streets and the clubs when you listen to Lost Scriptures but the group isn't stuck in the 90's as their rhymes attest. These cats keep stride for stride lyrically with current groups like MellowHype, Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt but instead of random scratches, clicks and beeps passing for music that those groups have embraced Tha Connection is well at home with Post Bop as the musical foundation holding up the walls of some good old boom bap.

I loved this refreshing album and you may not but you'll be okay. The Best Rap Album of September 2011 is Lost Scriptures by Tha Connection.
Other September Releases I Dig  Phonte, Charity Starts at Home  9th Wonder,  The Wonder Years  Strange Fruit Project, A Dreamer's Journey Brenk, Gumbo II (Pretty Ugly)  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of August 2011 - Watch the Throne by JayZ and Kanye West

First I’d like to say thank you for viewing my little blog. I apologize for the delay of the August post but I wanted to listen to everything I possible could to give all artists a fair chance. Although some of the “artists” certainly don’t deserve it for the trash I was forced to listen to last month.

A couple of “artists” asked me why their albums weren’t mentioned in previous months and the reason is quite simple. I refuse to speak negatively about a specific artist unless they really annoy me. It’s not my place to publicly diss someone who really did their best and are attempting to live their dreams. I applaud that. So if I didn’t mention your album just be thankful that I didn’t put your garbage on blast for the entire world to see and I do mean the entire world.

I have been very fortunate to see my readership reach almost every country on the planet except for Argentina for some reason. I guess they have no taste for hip hop there but whatever. Shout out to the Dominican Republic and Jose Lee, the Philippines, Serbia, Haiti, South Korea, the U.K. India, Pakistan, Algeria, Nigeria, Germany, Australia and every other country. I thank you all.

Now, let’s get down to business.

Allowing Kanye West to reference more playful aspects of contemporary rap music while he stayed true to his harder lyrical inspiration Jay-Z creatively and brilliantly I might add, allows Kanye West to be the opposite side of the same coin for a masterpiece of an album that appeals to all demographics that enjoy hip hop. It’s a slick move that works and I hope continues on future songs if not entire albums.

Musically Kanye West and Jay-Z sprinkle in enough elements of Houston chopped and screwed, Mid-West soul, and East Coast flavor from Rza and Pete Rock that every song is damn near flawless. There is not a single person that I turned on to this album that doesn’t enjoy more it each day. You must BUY this album. Support your favorite artists folks, steal something else but let’s pay these cats for their work. Isn't it time to start considering yourself a patron of the art that you claim to love?

The Rap Album of the Month for August 2011 is Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The album is genius and JayZ is brilliant.  Purchase it today.

Other Albums I Enjoyed
Lil Wayne, The Carter IV
The Cool Kids, When Fish Ride Bicycles
Median, The Sender
Verbal T, Self Less
Nu Jersey Devil, Mr. Red Bottoms
Consequence, Movies On Demand 3
Rasi Caprice, Loud Pack

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of July 2011 - Game Tested, Streets Approved by Black Rob

July was an excellent month for rap music. Three were many hidden gems to be found. But I am not going to bore you with a long winded analysis of the state of rap music. Let me give you a few hot albums and quickly get into my selection.
From the U.K. the rap group Contact Play dropped an amazing album in July titled Champion Fraff. It is one of the best rap albums of the year from purely a musical standpoint. The lads lyrics are clever and whimsical in a very British way. Nice to see artists not attempting to mimic American rappers. I enjoy hearing unique voices of the hip hop culture from around the world. Check that album out.

Jay Rock released his album Follow Me Home paying homage to the West Coast but not in a screw everyone else I gang bang perspective you heard in the past from a lot of west coast rappers which honestly became derivative or played out as you might say. However, judging from many west coast artists releases this month that lesson has fallen on deaf ears.

Also from the Bay Area, Mistah F.A.B. dropped his second album of the year, The Grind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste, and was very close to being my pick this month. This cat gets it but he's not the young boy I thought he was. Not a knock because I'm not the young boy I used to be either, just an observation. His album is still worth more than a listen. Buy it.

Other decent albums to listen for are BlackenedWhite by MellowHype, Born to Win by Skit Slam, the group Black Folk, Inc and their Ode album and the artist The Fatboy with his self titled and frustrating album. To The Fatboy I have two suggestions for you homey. First, change your name your current tag is a killer on search engines and YouTube. No one can find you dude. Second, put a foot in the ass of the dude who produced the first five awful songs on your album. And if you produced them yourself kick your own ass because one more song the quality of the last nine and you sir would have been my choice of album of the month. Please take my advice to heart homey.

With that out of the way. My selection for Rap Album of the Month for July 2011 is from Black Rob with the album Game Tested, Streets Approved.

After doing a seven year bid for grand larceny former Bad Boy recording artist Black Rob hit the streets in May of 2010. Wasting very little time Black Rob got back to the lab and started working on singles and mix-tapes to get his sound back on the streets. One year later Black Rob surprisingly released an album not filled with bitterness or hatred.

Black Rob could very easily have made an album filled with blame and anger towards Sean “Diddy” Combs, the system or the streets for his circumstances. Black Rob however took a different path for the material on this album. He clearly missed his family as much as the streets, both of which he has profound love. But this love hasn't made him soft, it has made him grateful and it shows on every song.

In the song Celebration, Black Rob is celebrating the return to both his immediate family at home and his extended family in the streets of Harlem.

The Black Rob flow and word play that penned many a Bad Boy hit, many rapped by Diddy himself, not only holds up but is a breath of fresh air from the over simplified rhyme cadence of many rappers who became prominent while Black Rob was in the pen. Black Rob does however seem less concerned with staying on beat now and more focused on getting his point across. There is no lamp camp scamp bamp here. His lyrics have meaning and illustrate the story of an ex-con still ready to do battle on the mic with anyone but now values his freedom with a new sense of appreciation.

Not every song on this album is a masterpiece though. The fourteen song album is about four songs too many and more artists should really listen to legit A&R's when it comes to selecting tracks for their albums.

The songs that are good are really outstanding and should put Black Rob back on the map and maybe even a bigger star than he was before he was sentenced to jail.

The Rap Album of the Month for July 2011 is Game Tested, Streets Approved by Black Rob. Enjoy

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Best Rap Album of June 2011 - Weekend at Burnie's by Curren$y

June 2011, it was the best of times it was the worst of times. I listen to no less than 50 rap albums this month. A lot of garbage and a few nice surprises.

One of the most pleasant surprises this month was the release of what I believe to be the first hip hop musical documentary whose subject is the legendary Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest. The album The [Abstract] Best Vol. 1 produced by J. Period is amazing for its musical production and fresh takes of Tip's music in addition to being a historical record for this genre. You absolutely must get a hold of this album.

The worse piece of trash came from an "artist" calling himself N.A.P. with his contribution titled Define Me. I have never been so insulted in all my life. You people really should be paying me to listen to everything in order to be fair and objective about my selections. I see why other critics and award selection committees are so lazy. It really is painful to waste one's life listening to "music" like this. But when you find some gems as I did this month life is worth living again.

This month's selection for best hip hop album of June 2011 was hard people. We got blessed with some extremely creative and entertaining albums and I have been flip flopping more than John Kerry over my choice.

The south really did it big this month with albums like Big Sean's Finally Famous, C.O. Tha! Bad Black with Themi-God and Curren$y's Weekend at Burnie's. The east coast was represented strong by the new Smif-N-Wessun joint Monumental produced by my man Pete Rock, Vast Aire dropped OX 2010: A Street Odyssey and the new group Random Axe released the self titled album Random Axe. There is not a bad one in the bunch. Even Bad Meets Evil, with Femi uh I mean Eminem and Royce Da 5'9 was pretty decent. I am not an Eminem fan but I have to speak the truth. It's not bad but I only liked five cuts therefore it won't be winning so dislodge any suspense you had for it from your mind.

The choice came down to two albums, Weekend at Burnie's by Curren$y and Monumental by Smif-N-Wessun and I am still going back and forth even as I write this post but let's break it down like this.

These two joints, both destined to be classics and should make both acts some serious scrilla this year, are listened to for different reasons.

If you want to smoke one and lean back while listening to some hip hop with steady beats and lyrics that pay homage to the good life, chilling and living a laid back life style then Weekend at Burnie's by Curren$y is definitely your album.  This is burn one music for the 21st century but clever, imaginative and entertaining without resorting to Tom Foolery and buffoonery like some other weed head albums that came out about a decade ago. The subject matter gets serious occasionally but not enough to kill your buzz.. Curren$y did an amazing job and should be proud of this album.

For that street, head nod music you bang in your car or turn up to piss off your neighbors there was nothing better released in June than Monumental by Smif-N-Wessun featuring Pete Rock. With Pete Rock's ever flawless beats and production along with guest appearances from Black Rob, Raekwon, Hurricane G, Freeway, Sean Price, Memphis Bleak and Styles P the lyrics are not for the faint of heart. This hard New York City street music at its finest and excellent I must say. Smif-N-Wessun chosing Pete Rock to produce this album was a stroke of genius and hopefully will continue on future albums bot only after Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth bless us with something. Does it sound like I'm begging? Good because I am. Pete Rock we need that reunion album homie. For real.

You know what I'm not going to declare a tie. I am going to be a fucking man and make an executive decision. As much as I love that street shit my selection for best hip hop album of June 2011 is Weekend at Burnie's by Curren$y. Only because I know that I will be listening to it slightly more than Monumental and for no other reason. If you have the money get both albums dammit and enjoy the summer right.

As a matter of fact I gave you a bunch of great albums to discover and enjoy. Just stay away from that N.AP. cat and his rubbish and you'll do very well.

I want to also add that Big Sean's album is outstanding yet some people will attempt to say he is imitating Drake, that's bullshit. This cat is actually from the south and had this sound and flow since he was 16. Drake is from Toronto and his mom is well you know. You tell me whose southern flow is genuine. I'm not saying....but I'm saying.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of May 2011 - HeartBeat by Pennjamin Bannekar

My initial choice for the rap album of May 2011 was a bit controversial with some friends. They thought I was crazy for even thinking about naming Tyler, the Creator's album Goblin but I found his lyrics very entertaining and unique. However, a late entry into the race came out of nowhere and won by a nose.

Tinnie Tempah's album Disc-Overy was awful to me. I thought that JadaKiss's album I LOVE YOU, Killer Mike's album Pl3dge and Still On The Hustle by Neek the Exotic and Large Professor crushed that garbage. People, please don't believe the hype.

The album that won was dropped by a dude that I have to say in all honesty, I'd never heard of before and almost decided not to bother listening to it. But if I am going to do this blog each month and be honest I have to put in the work and listen to everything which brings me to another point.

Just because I didn't mention a release doesn't mean I didn't hear it. Everything that was released on iTunes or Rhapsody I heard and if your stuff isn't on one of these digital services then that's on the artist and his or her company. I have a job and bills to pay I am not about to runaround chasing down every loose mix tape and 12”. Just not doin' it.

From a hot new artist coming out of Chicago, Illinois I present to you The Best Hip-Hop Album of May 2011- heartbeat by Pennjamin Bannekar.

Although this cats style is nothing like Common who is also from Chi-town there is a respect and appreciation for soul music that is shared by these cats which is so appreciated in this current age of not so clever synthesized beats and out of tune hooks.

The dopest song on the album in my opinion is Illwrite. The chord progressions of the horns chosen as the central tone work perfectly to create a modern day “player” feel as his lyrics performs the obligatory brags and boasts but at the same time subtly crushes all the foolish Illuminati slick talk being bandied about regarding successful rap artists.

There are a couple of misses on the album like Counterfeit and Worlds Apart but the songs that do work are outstanding and are sure to be heard bouncing in the cars and jeeps this summer.

The Best Hip-Hop Album of May 2011 – HeartBeat by Pennjamin Bannekar, for real.

 *******Honorable mention goes to Square Off and their great album Moet Money and Memories*******

HeartBeat: 3 stars
Is It Too Late: 4 stars
Show Business: 4 stars
Counterfeit: 2 stars
Illwrite: 5 stars
Keep Goin On: 4 stars
Worlds Apart: 2 stars
Point Em Out: 4 stars
Fast Cars: 4 stars
Go: 4 stars
Lights Go Off: 3 stars
Acceptance Speech: 3 stars

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Best Rap Album of April 2011 - Fat Boy Fresh Vol.1 by Rapper Big Pooh

This month Rapper Big Pooh released what is actually his third solo album and has really found his sound and does it big for what I chose as the best album of the month.

The Best Hip-Hop Album of April 2011 is Fat Boy Fresh Vol.1 by Big Pooh.

With a tremendous ear for beats and a clear love for old hip-hop Big Pooh does an amazing job producing a simple yet driving sound that stays true the genre without electronic gimmicks, out of tune hipster sung hooks and odes to tight jeans wearing punks looking for something cool to play while doing tricks on their skateboards. This is straight grown man hip-hop, like or hate it. I love it and can't get enough of it.

Big Pooh really made a daring move by only putting out a 42 minute 12 song album. Three or four bad songs could have really put an end to his career but the cat comes through like a champ and bangs from start to finish.

The song that I only give three stars out of five is titled Access and although its not a bad song it just seems to over produced and created to appeal to the popular southern sound as if he's looking for a hit instead of maintaining his integrity as an artist. Easy for me to say since it isn't my responsibility to sell his album but I have to be honest. Maybe it'll grow on me but it prolly won't. The rest of the songs are far and away the best hip-hop released in April.

Fat Boy Fresh Vol.1 by Rapper Big Pooh, get it today and take pleasure in people stopping to ask you “Who dat is?!?” when you bang it in your trunk.

Fat Boy Fresh Vol.1

Zone Out: 5 stars
Get It In: 4 stars
State of the Union: 4 stars
Special: 4 stars
HVAC: 4 stars
Fortune & Fame: 4 stars
Wooden Wall Silverware: 4 stars
Let It Be: 5 stars
I'm the Man: 4 stars
Freebasin': 5 stars
Access: 3 stars
RapperPooh-a-lude: 5 stars

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of March 2011- Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme by Reks

March saw some very disappointing releases such as Snoop Dogg's Doggumentary which is as corny as the title and I'm a Snoop Dogg fan so don't get it twisted. E-40's Revenue Retrievin', I never got this cat at all and nothing is going to change that with this album. Bizzy Bone's Mr. Ouija, we'll I'm glad the dude has a job there's not more good I can say about that album.

This rest of the March releases were pure bullshit.

Many people claim that my ear has an East Coast bias and I wouldn't attempt to completely refute that but I have no problem acknowledging great hip-hop no matter where it is from.

With that said, I am going to have to go with another East Coast artist for this month's choice of best hip-hop album of the month and I am going to chalk it up to a resurgence of outstanding rappers from the East and the fact that the West has simply gotten lazy with the beats and rhymes. Just the cycle of things I suppose.

With no further ado the best hip-hop album of March 2011 is Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme by Reks and he won by a mile.

Straight out the box Reks hits you over the head with a joint produced by DJ Premier titled 25th Hour.
Embracing the era gone by Reks hangs ten on Premo's sonic Tsunami of cuttin', scratching and sampling.

The rest of the album brings the same force with production by Statik Selektah, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Fizzy Womack, Blaze P and Mike Frey making for an album that is in my humble opinion an instant classic.

My favorite songs The Underdog produced by Blaze P and Cigarettes produced by Fizzy Womack and featuring lil' Fame from M.O.P. And should be the next releases if the folks at Brick Records really know what's good and want to make this cat a star.

The Best Hip-Hop Album of March 2011 is clearly Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme by Reks and needs to be in your collection today.

Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

25th Hour: 4 stars
Thin Line: 4 stars
Lime Light: 4 stars
Kill Em: 4 stars
This or That: 4 stars
Why Cry: 3 stars
Face Off: 3 stars
The Wonder Years: 4 stars
This is Me: 4 stars
Mr. Nobody: 4 stars
The Underdog: 5 stars
U Know: 4 stars
Cigarettes: 5 stars
Mascara: 3stars
Like A Star: 3 stars
Self titled:3 stars

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Best Rap Album of February 2011-The Greatest Story Never Told by Saigon

2011 started off great with the release of Talib Kweli's album Gutter Rain which received my best album of January pick and it was tough because Mistah F.A.B. From the west coast came in at a very close second.

This month's choice was more difficult but not because of the quality of Hip-Hop albums released but the quantity. A lot of straight bullshit was dropped in February. I guess the record companies were doing their spring cleaning. It was painful having to listen to all that garbage but I dig in the crates so that you wouldn't have to.

Clear the award of The Best Hip-Hop Album of February 2011goes to Saigon and his released titled The Greatest Story Never Told.

Only time will tell if its a classic but it is clearly the best album of February 2011.

Joined by an all-star cast including Jay-Z, Marsha Ambrosius, Raheem Devaughn, Faith Evans, Bun B, Fatman Scoop and Q-Tip, amongst others. The Greatest Story Never Told succeeds in not sounding like so many albums that are nothing but duets. These artists add their talents respectively to elevate Saigon's craft and enhance each song rather than dominating them and that in itself is a feat worth praising.

Is this a perfect album? By all means no. The songs Better Way with Layzie Bone and It's Alright fell kind of flat to me but hey, they might be perfect for you. Several others fell just short because I heard potential not realized either musically or lyrically but they may be perfectly acceptable to you.

Back to the point of it all, there are enough songs that are winners that provide more than an hour worth of head nods guaranteed to produce a stiff neck if you aren't careful.

The Greatest Story Never Told

Station Identification: 3 Stars
The Invitation: 5 Stars
Come On Baby: 4 Stars
War: 3 Stars
Bring Me Down Pt.2: 3Stars
Enemies: 4 Stars
Friends: 4 Stars
The Greatest Story Never Told: 4 Stars
Clap: 4 Stars
Preacher: 4 Stars
It's Alright: 3 Stars
Believe It: 3 Stars
Give It to Me: 5 Stars
What Lovers Do: 4 Stars
Better Way: 3 Stars
Oh Yeah: 3 Stars
And the Winner Is: 3 Stars
Too Long: 4 Stars

And there you have it The Best Hip-Hop Album of February 2011 is The Greatest Story Never Told by Saigon, get it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of January 2011 - Gutter Rainbows by Talib Kweli

After blessing the planet with what was in my humble opinion the best Hip Hop song of the year, “In the Red” on the second album Reflection Eternal ( Reflection Eternal being the group comprised of super producer Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli.) album Talib begins 2011 were he left off with the release of his solo album “Gutter Rainbows”.
The first part of this album sounds as if the producers were channeling Willie Hutch and on the deepest, dopest Foxy Brown type shit and it worked immediately to reflect the fact the Talib is a very soulful cat on some serious grown man b'ness with this joint and it was appreciated. Especially in this age of Barbie Doll figures and fake gangsters posing for rap artists, to hear someone who appreciates the music take it back to the soul of this genre so early in 2011 was refreshing to say the least.

It's not a complete love fest, there are about three songs that I don't really care for but ain't that what play lists are for?

The song I like the least is “Uh Oh” featuring Jean Grae. Since I really can't take Jean Grae's voice the song missed for me instantly but you may like it so give it a shot. “Tater Tot” and “Wait For You” aren't necessarily bad I'm just not feeling them. Maybe some time this year I'll revisit the entire album with a Zig Zag and some Cognac and give those tracks another shot. Right now I updated my Talib Kweli play list with everything I rated four stars and up as seen below.

With eleven bangers out of fourteen tracks I have to give this album a solid A and name it the Best Hip Hop Album of January 2011.

Honorable mention goes to the album “I Found My Backpack” by Mistah Fab. Bay area cats I feel the most of west coast artists so I am partial to his flow and sound.

Check on this blog at the end of each month to peep my selection for Hip Hop album of the month and feel free to leave your comments but remember it's just my list I don't have the final word on taste nor am not the Grand Puba of Hip Hop....yet.

It is time for Hip Hop music lovers to grow up and vote for music we like with our dollars and not just head nods.

Gutter Rainbows

After the Rainbow: 4 stars
Gutter Rainbows: 5 stars
So Low: 4 stars
Palookas: 4 stars
Mr. International: 4 stars
I'm On One: 5 stars
Wait For You: 3 stars
Ain't Waiting: 5 stars
Cold Rain: 4 stars
Friends and Family: 4 stars
Tater Tot: 3 stars
How You Love Me: 5 stars
Uh Oh: 3 stars
Self Savior: 4 stars