VIDEO: Chris Brown “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” one take dance performance.
VIDEO: Chris Brown “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” one take dance performance.
Mirage | Chris Brown & Nas
One of my favorites off of Fortune.
B.I.G. x ego trip
P + H | Dom Kennedy
Peace and Happiness. We could all use it.
Dom Kennedy’s Son Chip Watching Him Perform. Great Moment.
Anonymous asked: I like your rant posts. You write really well, and the way you explain yourself is easy to understand as well as relatable.
Essential Albums of 2013: As another year comes to an end, it’s time for my latest list of noteworthy albums. As I always say, the list reflects my personal taste in music, so it’s not an assertion of what’s absolutely the best music of the year. We all have different tastes in music. With that said, here’s the list.
1. Doubleback: Evolution of R&B by Joe
Joe’s latest album is a great example of traditional R&B. It features a balanced mix of upbeat tracks and ballads. In addition, Joe’s song topics aren’t limited to sex. He speaks on love and relationships in a way that allows for many people to relate. In addition, his vocal performance is on-point throughout the album. His voice sounds as strong as it has in previous decades and his falsetto is a nice complement to it. For all those concerned about R&B, please check out this album. Don’t depend on the radio and TV to give you great R&B. Go find it and support it. It exists.
2. Anything in Return by Toro y Moi
For those unfamiliar with him, Toro y Moi is the artist name of Chaz Bundick. He’s a producer who sings on his records and plays his music in concerts with a band. Earlier this year, he released his third album and the album reflects both his progression and the progression of music in general. Anything in Return features some of the best production of the year. Chaz fuses the electronic sounds of his debut with the instrument-based sounds of his sophomore effort. His singing on the album isn’t impressive by traditional standards, but it blends perfectly with the beats that he crafts. With these elements, Chaz creates an album that displays the fusion of genres that has been a theme in music for the past few years. However, Chaz’s album stands out because its level of experimentation matches its level of quality.
3. Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe
On her sophomore album, Janelle gives a fresh take on the classic sounds of R&B and Soul music. She makes calm ballads that show genuine feeling and energetic songs that can make anyone feel like dancing. She unites these songs with the theme of afrofuturism, a theme that has been present in her previous projects. With this theme, she not only provides music that anyone can appreciate, but also speaks to the feelings of those that share her gender and/or ethnicity.
4. My Name is My Name by Pusha T
Variety has been one of Hip-Hop’s strongest qualities for many years. However, this variety has not been easy to recognize in the genre’s mainstream scene. The popularity of Hip-Hop artists experimenting with singing, flow, and production has helped this variety gain visibility. However, this effort also needs raw lyricism and substance, and Pusha T delivers these elements on his solo debut. From start to finish, Pusha displays his lyrical prowess and signature delivery. Some listeners criticize his continued focus on drug dealing, but such criticism displays a misunderstanding of Pusha T and his predecessors, such as the Notorious B.I.G. There are rappers who simply glorify their experiences with drug dealing, but Pusha isn’t one of them. He does boast about his reputation, but he also dissects the circumstances and thoughts that persuade people like him to sell drugs. Pusha also displays how his past profession affected the relationships with people close to him. The depth of his album should be recognized, not dismissed.
5. Three Kings by TGT
Tank, Ginuwine, and Tyrese deliver another strong R&B effort. Their project includes a few strong ballads, but most songs are fit for the bedroom. Regardless of their song topics, the members of TGT display good vocal skill and prove to work well together, despite being long-time solo artists.
6. Black Radio 2 by Robert Glasper
This sequel falls short of the lure possessed by its predecessor. However, it’s still a great album. The combination of Robert’s band and his talented guests provides great singing and instrumentation. In addition, Glasper creates cohesion in the project that one might not expect due to the wide range of artists on it.
7. ESGN by Freddie Gibbs
Freddie Gibbs’ latest album was primarily lost in the shuffle of summer releases. However, this lack of awareness among fans was due to label politics and hype around other artists rather than the quality of Gibbs’ music. ESGN is one of the few recent Hip-Hop projects with both good music quality and street energy that’s authentic. Gibbs provides a mix of tracks that you can blast from your speakers, cruise to in your car, or zone out to with your headphones. Despite the large number of them, the album’s features don’t bog down his songs. In addition, Gibbs’ rhymes reflect his trademark aggression. He samples a shoutout from Young Jeezy throughout the album, alluding to the label dispute that sparks his energy throughout the album. The standout track is the outro, “Freddie Soprano.”
8. Born Sinner by J. Cole
Cole’s second album pushes him closer to his potential, but not all the way there. J. Cole creates a cohesive project with a lot of substance and well-crafted songs. However, his lyricism falls short of the skill shown by him on recent features and past mixtapes. Despite these shortcomings, Cole’s creative control is obvious on the album and results in a few great songs and an overall decent album.
9. The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience by Justin Timberlake
There was a lot of hype around Justin and his music this year, but he delivered some great songs with his two albums. The extended song formula of JT and Timbaland worked well on some songs, but seemed unnecessary on others. Yet, Justin still delivered 9 good songs with soul and feel-good energy: “Pusher Love Girl,” “Strawberry Bubblegum,” “Tunnel Vision,” “Spaceship Coupe,” “Mirrors,” “Cabaret,” “Take Back the Night,” “You Got It On,” & “Pair of Wings.”
10. 3ChordFold by Terrace Martin
Terrace Martin is a musician and producer who has provided a lot of great artists with jazzy tunes over the years. He released a project of his own this year that’s pretty solid. Martin falls short of the cohesion achieved by Glasper. Yet, like Glasper, Martin manages to create some great tunes with a diverse group of artists. Some artists featured are Kendrick Lamar, Musiq Soulchild, Ab-Soul, and Glasper himself.
Honorable mention goes out to Beyoncé, Dom Kennedy, St. Lucia, Danny Brown, and Run the Jewels. They all released albums with good music this year. For everyone who reads this list, please give the albums a listen if you haven’t already. More importantly, continue to support the music you like and look for more talent. Peace.
Essential Mixtapes & EPs of 2013: There’s always focus on the albums of the year, but artists in Hip-Hop and R&B released a lot of good mixtapes and EPs in 2013. The efforts from Chris Brown, Sevyn, Emanny, Adrian Marcel, & Eric Bellinger are particularly pleasing since they good, young talent in the R&B genre. Aside from the ones shown above, I enjoyed the projects released by Sean Price, The LOX, August Alsina, Fabolous, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and CJ Fly. Expect a more in-depth list of albums of the year from me very soon.
PASSING SUBWAY BY SBAGLIATO IN PIZZO, ITALY.
Boogie Oogie Oogie | A Taste of Honey
The definition of groovy.
Nosetalgia | Pusha T & Kendrick Lamar
My favorite Hip-Hop song so far this year. Straight raw. MNIMN - 10/8/2013.
Nahright - Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts
This is a really dope feature done by Nahright. It includes gems from Biggie’s mixtape material, like the original version of “Dead Wrong” and the origin of his verses on “Can’t Stop the Reign.” Check it out.