Reason being the albums I have brought have been good as in every track good so I do not mind paying as opposed to bootlegging because the LAZY S.O.B. decided he wanted to pass off a bunch of ring tones off as an album thus STEALING from me!
This was a good year for me in terms of R&B and Hip-Hop.
So I am going to share what I brought because the artists put some work in. In no particular order.
Both of us have good reasons to.
It's all formulae.
Every one is a knock off of the old Mary J. Blige.
Keisha Cole, Sunshine Anderson, even F#$8% Jill Scott sold out!
I am tired of N#@^% did me wrong so all N&%^@ are the same music that feeds off an army of BBW's, (Bitter Black Women), dating issues and thus blames everything with a melanin full penis instead of the ass in the mirror.
The blogosphere is full of S.O.R.,
(Snake Oil Remedies, [sites that prey on the insecurities of people with the "answer" to there problems])
(Hey if they can come up with color full terms why cant I?),
I would like the radio air waves to stay out of the business.
Enter the sweet, keep the drama to a minimum, Chrisette Michele with "I AM".
A strong jazzy voice, that blows the roof off a club in a wall to wall of hot fire of an album.
I cant just pick one track.
When I listen to her I hear class and maturity beyond her age.
When she says a man did her wrong I believe her!
As opposed to the others out there that make me say you had it coming.
Just plain old love angst.
No soap opera drama here.
It doesn't work well she will "Be Okay" Because she gave you the "Best Of Me".
She know she is a "Good Girl" and the next man she comes across will know she is "In This For You."
Honey is just bad period.
The total package.
Voice, talent, looks, sweet personality, she has it all.
And of course that means in this day and age jack SH@#$ to the army of Zombies,
(and another one! [see mindless followers]),
that are buying music.
That's alright baby I got your back!
I love Hip-Hop but at heart I am a soul man.
That's the reason I can barely stomach R&B now a days.
I know B.S. when I hear it.
Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Sam & Dave, Stevie Wonder, you here all in this dude.
It is as if some one in a time machine went to the 60's and 70's and snatched the kid up before he blew up there.
This is not Neo Soul this is Retro Soul, it is exactly what you would hear from those artist today.
And the kid does it with respect, This Is Ryan Shaw album is a time machine giving you the most accurate look of a by gone era. I have not heard any one come close.
Lookin' for a Love, I Am Your Man, Nobody, We Got Love, Over and Done, I Found a Love, there all just plain old love songs. The dance tracks are just that, Do the 45, I Do the Jerk, light hearted fun no hidden porn messages there.
Jay, Jay, Jay, what can I say about Jay-Z that he has not said about him self?
The definition of professional.
Rhymes may lean but never fall, beats always choice cut, personality present on every verse.
One word to describe Jay's music SWAGGER.
Swagger that turns you into a Zombie and makes you want to get some for your self.
American Gangster is oozing with it.
It is supposed to be his second coming of Reasonable Doubt, but in that he missed the mark.
But the movie gave him a chance to spit shamelessly about drug raps and street angst.
No one does that better.
The choice cuts on here are Hello Brooklyn 2.0, Fallin, Roc Boys, and Blue Magic.
A great album to make up for the middle of the line Kingdom Come.
Now I know what you are saying Clef?
That's right Clef, Hip-Hop has become stagnant with the pollution of Uber-producers.
You want a hit that doesn't make you think, see the short list of producers/stars that constantly rob each other of sounds.
With Clef there is no stealing.
You cant steal a Lamborghini and drive through the hood and think the cops wont see you.
That's too flashy, they know you up to no good.
Same thing with Clef's production and collabos.
Who else is going to put Paul Simon, Sizzla, Norah Jones, Mary J. Blige, Melissa Jimenez Will.I.Am, Machel Montano, Daniela Mercury, Black Alex, Djkout Mizik, Chamillionaire, T.I., Akon, Lil Wayne, Serj Tankian on one album and have it work?
Hell the average rap head could not tell you who half the names on that list are, let alone name one of their tracks.
But Damn if those artist's own fan base do not know and they now know Clef.
And they know every one who got on the album with him too now.
Some people talk about pushing the envelope music wise but Clef mails the damn thing around the planet.
Because of that I can forgive his sub par vocals
His rhyme skills are average but compared to the garbage that most spit he gets the title of MC.
The man can most definitely write a song though, evident with Fast Car, Sweetest Girl, What About The Baby, and Any Other Day.
So Yeah Clef.
Truth be told I did not think Common could out do his last album "BE".
That album was as close to perfect as pretty boy was going to get in my eyes.
Well jokes on me, Finding Forever is deep.
Track like Misunderstood, (he used a Nina Simone sample, I LLLOOOOVVVE Nina),The People, Southside, The Game, U, Black Maybe, So Far To Go, are deep conscience track delivered over smooth sit down and vibe beats.
There are hidden messages in every track so playing it over is a must.
One of Hip-Hops best albums of the year.
It's almost impossible for a conscience rapper to come out with a hot album.
Something always holds them back.
Monotonous flow (Talib Kweli), poor focus (Mos Def), zero star power (Jean Gray), weak beats (see every one else).
They either hit or miss their tracks never really putting together a solid album.
Dead Prez came close, Talib and Mos Def's collabo Black Star came real close, Mos Def's Black on Both Sides just missed it at the buzzer, that one hurt.
Well worry no more I have the "answer", (lol), to you problems.
It is called The Cool, by the ever so geeky Lupe Fiasco.
Rhyme skill wise he is a fine tuned instrument, very few can come close.
The way Biggie was so smooth with the ish talking that you wish you did sell crack is the way Lupe is with the conscience lyrics.
You can tell that on tracks like Little Weapon about children and guns, or Dumb It Down the way Hip-Hop is treated by the masses.
Lupe comes swooping in this album like one of those Japanese anime character on some Here I Come To Save The Day ish.
He has it all, great story telling "Hip-Hop saved my Life", love angst "Paris, Tokyo", it's all there.
AND THE BEATS ARE TIGHT.
The best album I have bought this year.
It takes a Nerd to save Hip-Hop.