Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Best Rap Album of August 2013 - La Vie En Bleu by MadKem

A lot of highly anticipated albums were released in August and I have to say that I was disappointed quite frankly.

The huge names that promised these amazing borderline classic albums for the most part fell way short of the mark.

Maybe it's due to everyone sharing damn near the same flow, subject matter in their songs and production that it just all blurs together and nothing really stands out from the so called stars of rap music right now.

Of the dozens of albums I heard this month only five stand out as music I would want to hear again. Let's get into it.

Jon Connor released a very solid album titled Unconscious State. Connor coming from Flint Michigan flashes that hard driving Mid West flow that is the most influential style in the rap game right now and he does it well. The question these cats must now ask themselves: is the sound becoming too derivative? I think it is but Jon Connor pulls it off well. I just don't know how long it's going to last if it doesn't get more creative.

You definitely need to check this album out. I liked it a lot.
Unconscious State - Jon Connor

Hailing from Detroit Michigan Big Sean also released his much anticipated album Hall of Fame this month.

The biggest rap controversy of the summer came from a song on this album in which Kendrick Lamar declared himself the king of New York which a lot of New York rappers didn't appreciate. To me calling other rappers out is just a part of the hip hop culture. A culture that taught young black and hispanic men to act out their aggression through music, dance, art and literature.

The noise drew a lot of attention to this very solid alum from Big Sean. It's not the masterpiece I was expecting from all the hype but he definitely doesn't let his fans down with this effort and it's worth checking out.
Hall of Fame (Deluxe) - Big Sean

I know that some of you have probably passed out because I didn't make Big Sean's album my pick for album of the month. After you have picked yourselves up from the floor please keep reading because my job isn't to co-sign what's most popular but to bring you what I truly believe to be the best rap album dropped each month. It's OK to be pleasantly surprised sometimes. Are you OK now? Good, let's continue.

You ever come across a low budget album or CD cover and chuckle because you know the music has to be some straight garbage? Well the same thing happened when I saw the cover of the album titled P.M.S. (Passion Soul Music) by Kid Called Quest and Golden. If these two young ladies are reading this I really do apologize because your bullshit graphics had me laughing me ass off.

To my surprise though this is one of the dopest albums out this year let alone by a female MC. The flow of Golden and the essence of the boom bap that I can only guess were the contribution of Kid Called Quest, lol, was refreshing and outstanding. I'll be listening to this more than Big Sean the rest of the year and I am dead serious about that. The album is no masterpiece but there are enough very good songs to not disappoint you if you happen to but it. you definitely have to check out the samples on iTunes. My favorite track is Ready For Me but get your own damn favorite.
P.M.S. (Passion, Music, Soul) - Kidd Called Quest & Golden

Keeping up with what seems to be the theme of August this next cat also comes from Detroit. I had never heard of this dude and saved this album for this evening to listen to and I really did myself and disservice because this joint is pretty darn good. The artist is Nextale Nailze and the album is The Most Incredible.

The second the first song, The Moment, began to play I knew I in for something pretty damn good. Nailze' flow is more east coast in flavor than the rapid fire stuff coming out of the mid-west right now which makes it a bit more appealing to my ear. I told you people countless times that I have an east coast bias and not ashamed to admit it.

The entire album is very heavy on soul music and I appreciate cats from Detroit leaning on their city's musical heritage and incorporating it in their expression of rap music. It would be nice to see artists from other area of the country doing the same. Why artists from the south don't lean towards that Stax sound is beyond me but the first one that does is going to be major in the game.

Nailze also manages to toss his hat in the singing of his hooks by way of auto-tune and I ain't mad at him. the entire album was well done. If you haven't picked it up by now I like it a lot and I think you will too. It's certainly worth a listen.
The Most Incredible - Nextale Nailze

Now, this month's album came from a rapper that I didn't even know was from New York City so don't try to say that I only pick albums from east coast artists because that is not true. To be perfectly honest I might be leaning more towards Nailze or Golden's albums as my favorites in the weeks to come but at this moment, the best rap album of August 2013 is La Vie En Bleu by MadKem.

With nine heavy hitters on this album MadKem simply has more good content on his album than the rest of my picks this month. My two favorite songs out in August appear on other albums but this is the best individual album of the month and that is what this blog is about. MadKem's flow is super tight, clever and it takes no prisoners. The use of hooks from old music from the 60's along with that boom bap that I like so much MadKem uses his music like a clean recently discovered antique canvas to paint his 2013 street portraits on. Well done sir. I know you'll like it too.
La Vie en Bleu - MadKem