Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of December 2012 - O.N.I.F.C. by Wiz Khalifa

Pardon the delay with the December and album of the year postings. I was down with a very bad case of the flu but I am back and 100% so let's get it in.

I understand that Timbaland has invested in 50 Cent's company SMS Audio and now sits on the board. Big up to him and I look forward to this partnership dropping a lot of hot music in 2013.

The new Raekwon album comes out early January, I know it's going to be fire and can't wait to hear it.

This month saw some highly anticipated releases from artists such as T.I., Chief Keef, Big Boi and Wiz Khalifa to name several.

T.I.'s album Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head was solid and will please his fan base but he won't win over any new fans in my humble opinion.

Big Boi has a following somewhere I am sure, his album didn't really do anything for me.

The Game released his album Jesus Piece this month and I really respect The Game a lot for his love of hip hop from its inception as reflected in his style that incorporates heavy influence from his favorite rappers on both coasts. His fans won't be disappointed with this album but I didn't hear anything that made me go WOW.

Masta Killa dropped his yearly contribution to hip hop in December with his album Selling My Soul. I enjoyed four songs a lot but the rest was a bit redundant for me. Give it a listen if you like that East Coast/Wu Tang flavor.

If you are into compilation albums that go out of their to not offend you might dig DJ Nu-Mark's album Broken Sunlight. I have no use for it but squares find something to like about it.

I have to be honest. This month's selection of best album is from an artist that I never had much use for. Never liked his cadence, style or subject matter but I think that age and fatherhood and changed this cat's perspective on life which directly affected his music.

Now, I didn't like everything on this album but his seven strong joints beat out his closest competition by three songs.

I won't continue to beat around the bush. The Best Rap Album of December 2012 award goes to Wiz Khalifa for his album O.N.I.F.C..

Not falling back to his familiar rave music sampling, Wiz gives a more ethereal vibe to his music on O.N.I.F.C. to make a very interesting album sonically.

The subject of his rhymes has also moved away from the pure weed head bragging and boasting on his previous work but the blunt is still never far from his lips which can be heard in the more laid back flow. He is much more contemplative about life and his responsibility to do better for himself and his new family. Let's just hope he isn't really smoking weed while he drives while we drive and enjoy his album.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Best Rap Album of November 2012 - Wu-Block by Wu-Block

Sorry for being late with the November post, I had a lot of music to go through and the holidays to deal with but let's get into this thang right now.

I am not going to list every album that was released in November, that's not what I do. There are plenty of websites that you can get that info from. 

The reason you are here and the reason why I write this blog is because I am a hip hop old head and you appreciate my honesty and style. I don't disrespect any "artist" trying to live their dreams but I won't lie for anyone either.

If you don't see me mention an artist it's not because I haven't listened to their album, its because I prolly think it was a poor effort but refuse to add to the negativity.

I stated all of that because a lot of major artists released albums in November and many of you will be surprised that your favorite isn't mentioned. Well, now you know why they weren't made note of on this blog but trust and believe I heard their music.

A very close second this month is from a relatively new artist, this being his second full album Roc Marciano dropped the album Reloaded. Not to be confused the Nikki Minaj's Roman Reloaded this album is actually pretty good.

With the help of some pretty dope producers such as Q-Tip, Ray West, The Arch Druids and Alchemist, Roc Marciano was not afraid to ride his East Coast flow over some very experimental tracks while staying true the boom bap. I really appreciate skilled lyricists who go out of their comfort zone and take bold chances.

There are no ground breaking themes and subjects however the music chosen for his rhymes do paint a surreal background upon which the stories play out in the mind's eye giving a new interpretation to what would have been very common urban tales.

Check out Reloaded by Roc Marciano and see for yourself.

This month's winner is the Wu Tang Clan but not really the Wu Tang Clan. I'll explain.

Wu-Block by Wu-Block, which is an amalgamation of D-Block and the Wu Tang Clan is the best album of November and in my opinion the best Wu Tang album in about a decade.

Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch are the featured artists and they are at their best but members of both camps lend their talents to this joint making a very enjoyable album from start to finish.

Since Rza is off doing his thing making movies and soundtracks hopefully the other members of the group will now see that they have the formula for more outstanding albums instead of waiting around for this cat to make another half weak album. But I digress.

The Best Rap Album of 2012 November - Wu-Block by Wu-Block

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of October 2012 - ?

You'll have to excuse this month's post for being a little late. We had a minor hurricane come through and kill a few people, take out the power of millions of people and shutdown New York City but fear not we all know that the most important thing in the world for you fucks is this month's choice of best rap album so here you go.

Meek Mill dropped his long awaited album and although it's decent its just slightly better from the almost copycat sound on Ca$his' album The Art of Dying. That producer must have had a two for one sale going or something I don't know.

Craig G dusted off the mic and dropped an album this month too, Ramblings of an Angry Old Man. If you are a Craig G fan get that, if you don't know who he is then don't bother.

Basically everyone and their grandmothers dropped an album this month so look to see if your favorite artists released something. None of them are worth a darn to me but you might like the stuff.

All was not lost in October. There were two very amazing albums that should be on your must hear list.

After listening to the first four songs of the Kendrick Lamar album good kid, m.A.A.d city I was beginning to agree with Shyne that this album did suck but fortunately I continued to listen. Those songs must have been his payment to the devil for the brilliance on the remaining 11 tracks.

good kid, m.A.A.d city will quite possibly go down as one of the most creative rap albums at the start of the 21st century. 

Lamar is a weird little bastard who enjoys bending soul and classic rock around his very strange voice, rhyme style and harmonies. The guy is very comfortable being a nonconformist and taking chances with hiphop to express his vision and creativity. This dude is one of the few truly talented artists in rap music today.

Some of you will listen to this album and conclude that that I have absolutely lost my fucking mind but I am betting on the majority of you really getting this and being as impressed and entertained as I was. There is very little in the way to believe that he was so influence by Tupac and Dr. Dre who appears on the album. Dre appears not Tupac. Either way you must listen to this album if you are a fan of rap music even if you don't buy it. This one is going to change the genre just delete the first four songs from your playlist.

Coming off the heels of his EP Theo VS. J.J. Skyzoo took a huge chance with his main release A Dream Deferred.

I've actually heard a few clowns criticize him for wearing a jeans jacket on his album cover and not sticking with the same of tired stereotypical East Coast music tracks. Not that the songs don't have that boom bap that I love, because they do. He doesn't go out on a similar sonic limb that Kendrick Lamar does, Skyzoo just doesn't sound like he is on a 9th Wonder compilation album shelf that I guess that "critic" was used to. But the jean jacket thing came off a little fagela to me. The kid is still a lyrical Tsunami.

But I digress.

Skyzoo took a chance that worked by bring on same of his famous friends to add their flavor to his album. You will hear: Jill Scott, Talib Kweli, Raheem Devaughn, Freeway, Jessy Wilson and Jared Evan but don't let that scare you it works like a charm making A Dream Deferred a beautiful album

There isn't a bad song in the bunch but Jansport Strings, an homage to his sneaker fetish, Pockets Full with Freeway, Range Rover Rhythm, The Rage of Roemello and Drew & Derwin with Raheem Devaughn are my favorite joints on the album but like I said they isn't a bad song on the album and I am sure yours will be different.

I spent a great deal of time going back and forth trying to decide which of these albums is the clear winner but to be honest, I can't say either is the definitive choice. I will probably go with Skyzoo because of my East coast bias I'll probably listen to it more but I think for this month I am going to make you fuckers decide for yourselves.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Best Rap Album of September 2012 - Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer by Kanye West

This post was a little late this evening because I was reading up on all the tomfoolery that went on at the BET Hip Hop Music Awards last night.

I will not dignify the idiots buy stating the names of those people involved in the fighting and shooting but I do hope that this show was the last.

Let's see if BET has the intelligence and responsibility to do the show virtually on the internet in their studios and tape the winners accepting their awards and playing pre-recorded performances. Since these idiots can't control themselves the event must be taken away from them.

Now let's get into what you came here for.

Several old heads in the game released albums this month. We had new albums from DMX, Undisputed and Freddie Fox aka Bumpy Knuckles, Ambition. Neither of them will be on anyone's "classics" lists but at least Bumpy Knuckles' album is palatable.

The two major disappointments were from Homeboy Sandman, First of a Living Breed and Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II. I don't know what these cats were thinking but it is clear that these two very talented dudes have too much creative control over their work. Someone at the companies need to check them before putting stuff like this out.

Big up to the group Dtmd for dropping a dope ass album titled  Makin' Dollas. Many people will argue this joint beats my choice of album of the month and I couldn't even say they were wrong because the more I listen to it the more I think about changing my winner this month. If my pick isn't your taste and you like that J Dilla kind of vibe you owe it to yourself to get a copy of Makin' Dollas by Dtmd.

Now, to be honest before I listened to the winner of September album of the month I did clown it with several friends.

First because Kanye West produced a compilation album with 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Chief Keef, Jay-Z, Common and Raekwon and second....Kanye West produced a compilation album with 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Chief Keef, Jay-Z, Common and Raekwon.

All we could think of was "hot mess" but to my surprise I really liked it.

Now all the songs aren't gems of course especially the ones on which Kid Cudi is most prominent. I'll admit it I have a problem with the guy. I don't like anything about him as an "artist". However, it's Kanye's production and direction that save the day and make this a solid rap album.

This album won't be remembered for anything special in years to come except maybe for the fact that I did select it as the winner this month.

The Best Rap Album of September 2012 - Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer by Kanye West

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of August 2012 - Theo VS. J.J. (Dreams or Reality) by Skyzoo

As the summer winds down, the mornings get cooler and the days get shorter the record companies of the world thought that they could hoodwink us with over-hyped BS artists while we felt sentimental.

Well, it didn't work. I will never call a rappers name and diss anyone or step on their dreams but some of these cats need to save some of their per diem for trade school and not think of buying more chains than the couple they have right now.

This month came down to the wire. I was afraid of having my first blank posting since the inception of this blog but two Brooklyn rappers bailed us out and turned in some very special efforts.

Old school MC Masta Ace blessed us with his album dedicated to the memory of his mother titled MA_DOOM:Son of Yvonne. I haven't always been a Masta Ace fan, seems that once he made Cali his state of residence he got very, how shall I say, west coast in his music and subject matter. I don't hate west coast rap music I just prefer the sound coming out of the Bay Area more than Los Angeles. I don't know what inspired Masta Ace to do so for this album but he got back to his traditional east coast flow with the good old boom bip that I love so much. He is now comfortable reminiscing about old soul music and childhood friends when rap music was still about having fun and being a raw creative outlet for underprivileged kids who grew up in a school system that provided no materials for creative expressions in music and art.

MA_DOOM:Son of Yvonne is not flawless mind you. A couple of songs including the one with Big Daddy Kane did nothing for me but the rest of the album is classic east coast and made me very sentimental to the way rap music used to be and that was a good thing. Normally this is where I would declare the album of the month but not so fast. Another dude from Brooklyn dropped a project and takes Masta Ace's album head on demanding consideration for the title as well.

Also, shout out to Rapsody and her album The Idea of Beautiful, she and the producer 9th Wonder did the damn thing on that album. Get that for real. I would pay to see Boog Brown and Rapsody in concert.

Skyzoo has mentioned Theo Huxtable and J.J. Evans on past records usually as a one line synopsis comparing the life of a young well off black man growing up in Brooklyn with two parents family to that of the young black man growing up in an inner-city project building in a single parent home with few options and opportunities in life. Once you see the title of Skyzoo's EP and listen to the album you quickly realize that these two sitcom characters really played a significant part in shaping his perspective of the world as he navigated from childhood to adulthood. All the while hoping to turnout like Theo while he grew up in Brownsville Brooklyn in a home much closer to J.J.'s. Skyzoo's album, Theo VS. J.J. (Dreams or Reality) is for lack of a better phrase, fucking amazing.

This is kind of hardcore so I can see why lots of people would rather listen to Masta Ace's album so I won't feel bad at all if you disagree with me when I say that Theo VS. J.J. (Dreams or Reality) is the best rap album of the Month of August.

The complexity of the word play on this album has really been taken up a notch however, what I appreciate the most are the nuggets of information he drops about his ex-girlfriend and her very famous brother. That took a little courage and was a lot of fun to hear. But he doesn't go cornball at all. This is street truth in a very raw but extremely creative form and it works to perfect. I can't wait until the full album is released later this fall however these 8 songs will suffice until the main album drops.

Once again, The Best Rap Album of August 2012 - Theo VS. J.J. (Dreams or Reality) by Skyzoo 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of July 2012 - God Forgives, I Don't by Rick Ross

His street cred might be fake, his moniker maybe phony but I'll be damned if Rick Ross, aka Ricky Rozay ain't on a roll and isn't the hottest rapper in the game right now.

Don't get me wrong here, I really liked Nas' new album Life Is Good, it's excellent and on my daily playlist but Rick Ross has taken the game to a new level.

Def Jam is really throwing its money and weight behind Rick Ross and it shows clearly in the exponential increase of the quality of production and the level of real musicians playing behind Ricky's flow and creativity on each new album. 

God Forgives, I Don't is Rick Ross' classic album that will go on the shelf with the greatest releases from Def Jam.

There were several other albums I enjoyed this month such as Vintage by Timothy Rhyme, REBELutionary by Reks and Del Odio Al Amor by Farina but the is one definitive winner of my choice for best rap album this month.

Some people will still be turned off by all the dope boy talk but I think we all know by now that officer Ricky is just speaking through the Rick Ross character he developed over the years.

One month following the great compilation album with the Maybach Music Group and recently with a judge stating the results of a DNA test in a paternity suit "Rick Ross, you are not the father!" Ricky Rozay is hotter than a cheap pistol in Brownsville on a Saturday night.

The Best Rap Album of July 2012 - God Forgives, I Don't by Rick Ross

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Best Rap Album of June 2012 - MMG Present: Self Made, Vol. 2 by Maybach Music Group

There were a great many epic failure albums released this month. So much so I was contemplating leaving my June album post blank as a sign of protest.

However some late arrivals saved us all from the drought of June 2012.

There were a couple of albums that showed a great deal of potential but didn't meet my discriminating tastes.

For example, the album Satellite Kite by the group Beautiful Eulogy is sonically a masterpiece but as you know by now if you have been a follower of this blog that I am very particular about rhyming skills.

Flow and word play may not be as important to you and therefore you might actually enjoy this album so I would encourage you to check it out but I can't big up this album.

I think that Satellite Kite rates a 10 for music and a 2 for the emcees but feel free to judge for yourself you might find it appealing.

If you need some background music to nod your head to in the car or in the crib you'll love the album Beats for Brothels, Vol. 2 by The Doppelgangaz. They bang those old school hip hop beats with a contemporary twist but there is a fatal flaw with the album.

Of the 18 tracks there are only 4 songs with rapping, the rest are instrumentals. Had they put the same quality of rapping on three more tracks this would have been my choice for the rap album of the month. I can't honestly state that Beats for Brothels, Vol. 2 is the best rap album this month with very little rapping going on but I do have put it in my playlist so take that as a resounding endorsement of the album.

Special shout out to the young group Brothers From Another with their solid EP Taco Tuesday. These cats from Seattle are this generations Souls of Mischief in my humble opinion and will be a force to reckon with in the future in the hip hop game. This is one for the collection.

Following up last years collaboration album the Maybach Music Group added Omarion to the group for the new album and my top album MMG Present: Self Made, Vol. 2.

I must admit I had, for some reason, disdain for Rick Ross. Maybe it was the three hundred pounder's need to perform shirtless or the subject matter of his songs which seemed to glorify the most base elements of the black community I don't know. I dismissed him and all his albums until I realized that I can't honestly review rap albums if I refuse to listen to artists that I may not like personally.

I can admit now that this flaw in my character has prevented me from listening to some of the dopest hip hop of the past five years and I mean in particular Rick Ross albums.

I am no more co-signing drug selling, drug use and prostitution by listening to Rick Ross anymore than I'd be condoning selling drugs and murder because I watch the Sopranos. Both use criminality as a device to tell stories about life in very creative and artistic ways. Now, I honestly can't go a single day without listening to my Rick Ross playlist. Sonically the music is incredible whether you like him or not.

Rick Ross has honed his craft and used everything he has learned to create the album MMG Present: Self Made, Vol. 2 and with the help of Wale, Stalley, Meek Mill and Omarion cranked out a great album but not one without flaws.

As you may or may not know I really dig Stalley. His solo album Lincoln Way Nights  was my choice of rap album of the month for November 2011. On the new MMG album Stalley's flow seems a little forced when attempting to keep his cadence up to the pace of music tailor made for Ricky Rozay and he never hits his stride the way he did on his single Chevys and Space Ships.

Omarion really did nothing for me either but he didn't necessarily hurt anything.

Although Wale and Meek Mill turned in solid work Rick Ross is the star of this album and he shines like new money when he hits his mark. His flow is crazy right now and he has learned to keep the whooping and barking to a minimum.

Beats for Brothels, Vol. 2 by The Doppelgangaz was a close second to this album and could easily have won had there been more vocals and Shabazz 3's late release Where We From... almost caught them too but I can say with all confidence that: The Best Rap Album of June 2012 - MMG Present: Self Made, Vol. 2 by Maybach Music Group.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of May 2012 - The Sound Of Low Class Amerika by I Self Devine

May was a very...interesting month in rap music.

We ad lots of techno and trip hop stuff labeled incorrectly which only makes my life a bit more difficult but please don't shed any tears.

The most disturbing thing about rap music this month was hearing some amazingly produced albums not getting a favorable review by me all because the emcee just didn't have the skills to pull of what was other wise a great effort.

However, I can admit to being super critical about my rap music so you may want to give a listen to the following artists and their albums and judge for yourselves.

The Close but no cigar list.

Amiri Vinyl Ritchie
Sene Brooklyknight
Glory Celebration
Infinito 2017  Conquest of the War: Volume 2

The runner up to my selection of best album this month is Melodious Monk with his new album Slangin Nouns. I think this is his third and it's pretty tight. Good production and solid professional lyrics.

My choice for best album of the month is no pretty swan. It's a little hard on the ears and no one is dressed in tight shirts or made up like Bratz dolls on the album cover or in the videos.

No, this album hearkens back to the time when rap music really was the CNN of the streets. where middle America could take a peak into urban America and marvel yet be repulsed at the same time.

This album is about life, death, power, politics and the mentally enslaved denizens of the city who pretend to have theirs lives together.

This is street truth and it doesn't care if you like it or not which is why I love it.

The Best Rap Album of May 2012 - The Sound Of Low Class Amerika by I Self Devine

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Best Rap Album of April 2012 - Chimera by Homeboy Sandman

You pop hip hop fans will be happy with April's releases from B.o.B., Nikki Minaj and Obie Trice. But I must be honest, their albums did nothing for me.

A rap album has to mean something, be clever and show real creativity on the rappers part.

Those aren't just signs of maturity I have always felt that way about the music that I allowed in to my consciousness.

I was very disappointed with the first half of Reks new album Straight, No Chaser which came off as a Statik Selektah posse album more than something from the mind of Reks. The six really good songs weren't enough for me to give my nod for Best Rap album of the Month of April.

Coming off his outstanding and first commercially successful album The Good Sun the University of Pennsylvania graduate and Hofstra Law School dropout hit us over the head with an EP that won my selection of best rap album this month.

I can't even imagine how brilliant the full album will be but for now you can pick up the future classic EP to place on your shelf.

The Best Rap Album of April 2012 - Chimera by Homeboy Sandman.

I won't even attempt to use my limited intellect to describe each song I will just ask you to put down your hip hop pacifiers and stop sipping your similac long enough to have your mind expanded. If you dare.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of March 2012 - Self Sacrifice by Mello Music Group

Rap music is really beginning to pick up steam now. March saw the release of some very solid albums.

Ja Rule's album Pil 2 was surprisingly good and the group People Under The Stairs dropped Highlighter which was a mixed bag but very good effort from the West coast.

Comprised of some of the best underground rappers you most likely have never heard of the new crew Mello Music Group produced in my opinion best best rap album of March.

The album titled Self Sacrifice, for reasons unbeknownst to me, is a daring adventure lead by rapper/producer Oddisee who has a number of solo albums and is a member of the Washington D.C. rap group Diamond District.

Oddisee used some of his old gang for this album but he also brought in the avant-garde singer Georgia Anne Muldrow, who I am certain comes from another planet and is here to share her intergalactic funk and soul.

Speaking of soul music, Oddisee does not skimp on the soul roots of hip hop music for this album. Some of the tracks are beautifully produced and could easily be the soundtrack for the latest versions of The Mack or Shaft.

So there you have it, The Best Rap Album of March 2012 - Self Sacrifice by Mello Music Group.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Best Rap Album of February 2012 - Careless World: Rise of the Last King by Tyga

I am so disappointed with rap music so far this year that I have very little motivation to do this blog.

I have never witnessed such a lack of talent, lazy production and weak copycat beats in all my life. It just sucks.

There was one album that wasn't great but stood out like a classic because of the poor albums released in February.

The Best Rap Album of February 2012 - Careless World: Rise of the Last King by Tyga


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Best Rap Album of January 2012 - Thr3e by Theory Hazit

Honestly, I wasn't crazy about albums released in January 2012 but for the sake of the blog I'll name the "best" one. Let's hope the February's releases are stronger.

The Best Rap Album of January 2012 - Thr3e by Theory Hazit