Drive-By Bloggin’ “OUTKAST”

outkast1-832x1024

I’m not exactly  sure what is going on here but I don’t like it. People have been trying to make the lack of a Outkast album into a beef. Sure, friends fight all of the time. Business partners have disagreements. With Big Boi and Andre 3000, you can see they are doing there best to avoid any controversy.

I personally feel that this would be a perfect time for the ATL legends to drop an album but all signs say NO.  Big Boi just released his second solo album to little to no fan fare, and Andre 3 stacks is making a Jimi Hendrix movie.   Also, Andre has expressed his disinterest in making music in several interviews.  Though he does peak his head out for a guest verse here and there.

Which brings me to his latest appearance(s). Andre used a verse on T.I.’s new album to address the lack of Outkast music. It was dope (first), and it also came across as sincere/remorseful for the lack of new Outkast material. Big Boi’s reaction was positive…but I still felt there was something more. Well Big Boi decided, with the consent of T.I. and Andre 3000, to add his own verse to the song. A remix basically…but not an Outkast remix says Andre. What?

In his words:

It’s important for me to be clear about the origins of my contributions to ‘Pink Matter’ and ‘Sorry.’

I was approached as a solo artist by both Frank Ocean & Tip. I discussed musical direction with each artist and completed my verses. It was after that when Big Boi’s name came up.

I never want to mislead our audience – I worried that some would think these were Outkast collaborations. These songs are not Outkast collaborations. I discussed this rationale with Big, Frank and T.I. and everyone agreed. That is why I was surprised to read about these remixes.

I understand that anyone can put out an unofficial remix to any song but I have an obligation to be honest with fans about what this is … and what it isn’t.

I truly understand the concern for the fans but toss them a bone. We know it wouldn’t mean that an Outkast album was on the way. It was a good idea for Big Boi to add a verse. Hey, maybe it would help his sales. I sure he did for the Kast fans. I don’t know about you guys but this is starting to get uncomfortable…

S/O SPIN.COM

 

 

Re-Release Tuesdays “85”

This was my sh*t. I still listen to it today. Never heard the album, but since I’m all over Spotify… I might as well give it a go. This week’s Re-Release is Youngbloodz feat.  Jim Crow & Big Boi “85“.

At Atlanta’s Miller Grove Middle School, two young wannabe rappers met up with each other, left their individual rap crews, and joined forces to become YoungBloodZSean Paul, who claims that rapping is second nature and easier than conversation, and J-Bo, the DJ of the two, were heavily tied in with the Atlanta rap/production posse known as the Attic. While they honed their skills and showcased their talent for various record labels, opening the door for the Attic crew to get noticed, it took only one meeting with LaFace A&R executive PA to sign theYoungBloodZ duo. The 1999 album Against da Grain was their full-length debut. Three years later, the highly regarded Drankin’ Patnazfound the group on Arista while 2005’s Ev’rybody Know Me returned the duo to LaFace. - Allmusic.com

2011’s Best Albums/Mixtape(s)

2011 is done. It was a fantastic year for hip-hop! For all the “hip-hop is wack” talk, I’d say LOOK CLOSER. This year provided a lot of inspired material from artist. I have 5 albums/mixtapes that stood above the rest. It would have been easier for me to do a top 10 but top 5 is more interesting in my opinion.  Plus, I like putting the pressure on myself. Lol! I can say without a doubt, THESE WERE THE BEST FOR THE YEAR 2011

Here is MY top five  hip-hop albums/mixtape(s) of 2011:

Kendrick LamarSection .80

“Talk about slept on. I heard the snippets and was completely uninterested. Then I decided to give it a full listen after hearing so many people talk about it. Needless to say, I came away extremely impressed (snippets are never a good idea).  I wasn’t only impressed by Kendrick’s various flows but the consistency at which this mix-tape album moved.  This is the type of young mc that old heads say doesn’t exist (fix ya glasses old head). This is a “throwback” album. Well placed skits, hard tracks, flows, and a conscious tone/concept. Just take a listen to the track “Keisha’s Song” and you’ll realize he’s just not here to spit. Kendrick Lamar is a force to be reckoned with in 2012. Believe it. I do.”


Elzhi & Will Sessions
Elmatic

“How do you do that? How do you remake one of the greatest albums in hip-hop history? It has to be a recipe for failure. Right? NOT AT ALL. (Not to be compared) Elzhi & Will Sessions’s Elmatic is a classic in itself. I know. How is that even possible? This tribute was sooo on point. First, Elzhi does an excellent job of paying tribute without trying to imitate Nas. He actually builds upon the classic lyrics by providing his own perspective (i.e. Detroit State of Mind). It works well. I tried to hate but COULD NOT FRONT. On the beat front, the band Will Sessions does a superb job of keeping the essence of the original tracks and injecting the original sample in most cases. It is a masterful job that doesn’t draw comparions (or shouldn’t) to the original classic…Illmatic. This was in my top 5 from day one. If you don’t feel this…well…hip-hop is not for you. WORD.”


Big K.R.I.T.
Return to 4eva

“I knew absolutely nothing about this dude going in. I caught wind of his name a couple of times but thought he was just some dude the internet hyped up. I saw how much people were anticipating his mix-tape so I figured I’d give it a listen. I love when I get “pleasantly surprised” in hip-hop. While some fans tend to invest all of their energy in the anticipation of their  favorite artist, we miss out on the dudes coming up.  Big K.R.I.T. is yet another example of a young artist who cares about his lyrics. This mixtape is NICE! Think young Outkast/UGK. Not only does he do a decent job lyrically, the production is perfect. This doesn’t feel or sound like your average mixtape, and that alone leaves me excited for his debut album in 2012.”


Phonte
Charity Starts At Home

“I didn’t even know this was coming out. Serious. I was so busy looking at lesser albums, when my favorite mc from one of my favorite groups (Little Brother)” was about to drop an album.  Talk about total package. While others were a little disappointed with Drake’s album (not I), I was still listening to one of Drake’s inspirations. Not only is Phonte a waaay better rapper, he is a waaaaaaaay better singer. Really. This album contains the perfect balance between the two (though heavier on the hip-hop side). Reuniting with 9th Wonder on a couple of tracks feels like Little Brother all over again (sorry Big Pooh). Phonte’s clever lyrics combined with dope beats, and his familiar comedic monologues make this album an easy choice for my top 5 of 2012.”


Common
The Dreamer, The Believer

“As far as I’m concerned, if it dropped before the New Year’s Ball… it’s a candidate for 2011.  I couldn’t have done this list without hearing this album.  Three hot singles, and re-teaming with NO I.D.  could only mean good things.  THIS ALBUM IS F@CKIN’ HOT!  Not only does he make up for that dud of a last album, he proves that he is still relevant on ALL fronts. Is it a classic? I don’t know. Only time will tell, but right now I’ve listened to it several times. I can’t move on to anything else right now.  This album is so satisfying. This is a case where the supply exceeds the demand. Like all the other players on the list, you can tell that there was a goal in mind. Kanye and Common have a dope chemistry together but it has nothing on Common and No I.D. With features from the likes of Nas, John Legend, and even Maya Angelou… Common closed out 2011 just right. “


Honorable Mentions:

Saigon “Greatest Story Never Told
Raekwon “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
Game “The R.E.D. Album
Pharoahe Monch “W.A.R.(We Are Renegades)
The Roots “Undun” 

Peace….

2010’s Best Albums/Mixtape(s)

2010 was another good year for hip-hop. Most projects felt like artist cared more about artistry and lyricism. While there was still a handful of bullshit released this year, 2010 was inspiring and makes me wonder what’s next for 2011.

Here is MY top five albums/mixtape(s) of 2010:

The RootsHow I Got Over

“This album was a must buy when I first heard it was coming. After a critically acclaimed album like Rising Down, I was patiently awaiting the follow up. It didn’t disappoint what so ever. Though some felt there were too many features, I thought all the guest appearances complimented the feel of this album. The sound quality is what makes this project shine. The crispness of the vocals and instruments are right up there with those of a live show. Add this to your collection. One of 2010’s best for sure.”

Freeway & Jake OneThe Stimulus Package

“This mixtape hit early in 2010. The timing was perfect. It was the 1st of many dope mixtapes of 2010. I was caught off guard by it. I downloaded it not expecting much, and came away rocking this on a regular basis. Sh*t, I’m listening to it now as I type. I wasn’t always the biggest Freeway fan, but his lyrics/delivery with Jake One’s beats are a match made in hip-hop heaven. Though the sales didn’t mirror the acclaim, I think any hip-hop fan should take they hard earned money and support this dope example of -the emcee & the producer-.”

Big BoiSir Lucious Left Foot:The Son of Dusty Chico

“To be honest, I’m a Andre 3000 fan first. I’m also an Outkast fan first. I was curious, but not really looking forward to Big Boi’s release. When I heard that Andre 3000 wouldn’t appear on the album, I was even more less interested. I decided to support anyway and I was more than happy that I did. Big Boi’s solo debut (not counting Speakerboxx) is a excellent album. It maintains the tone and feel of an Outkast release and showcases Big Boi as an underated lyricist. While eveyone in hip-hop went one way with there music, Big Boi did what him and Andre do best…go left. Put this in heavy rotation.”

EminemRecovery

“Let’s be honest. Relapse was a little bit of a disappointment. After waiting a long time for a new Eminem release, Relapse was just more of the same. Recovery on the other hand was something I hoped Eminem would be capable of. A more personal album performed by Marshall Mathers and not all that serial killer sh*t. This album is hot! The music and lyrical skill of Eminem has never been in question. The content was always the bolder holding him down as an artist. Eminem grew on this project, and now he is more dangerous than ever as an emcee. For people who stayed away from him because of the “kill my baby moms” music in the past….this is one of the reasons why he is one of the best to ever do it.”

Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

“Hate him or Love him, Kanye West is the best doing it right now. Sorry. Who else can make Obama and the whole country refer to him as a Jackass, and still come out with one of the best albums of the year. F*ck what you heard, this album is classic! Why? It’s more than a hip-hop album….but it’s a hip-hop album (if that makes any sense). Everything is handle with perfection in mind. From the guest appearances to the beats, to the lyrics. Kanye has crafted an album that achieves what I think most artist like Diddy(LTTP) and Jay-Z (BP3) were aiming for. An album that combines sounds and influences from many genres and maintains the artists’ integrity. The singing may not be for everyone, but it is well placed and tolerable in most cases. 2010 was a good year for Mr. West.”

Honorable Mentions:

J. ColeFriday Night Lights
Joe BuddenMood Muzik 4
Rick RossTeflon Don
David Banner & 9th WonderDeath of A Pop Star
Ghostface KillahApollo Kids

Peace….

In My Rotation 7-20-2010

Here are the albums/mixtapes in my heavy rotation:

The Roots- “How I Got Over

“There is something special about quality music. It’s easy to hear the time and hard work a artist/group puts into their projects. This album is excellent! Totally different from the last release. The overall album is mellow. This release easily separates itself from the rest of the bunch. Heavy Ro Fo Sho!”

Rick Ross- “Teflon Don

“As much as I try to tell myself liking this dude is a faze, he puts out something I like. Lyrically he is the same as ever….corny. But that’s not why I listen. The production level is always superb. It’s like Group Home’s first album, and Diddy’s entire catalog. Forgettable lyrics with dope beats and good features. This album is nice. Don’t be afraid…Officer Ricky‘s album is aight.”

Capone-N-Noreaga- “The War Report 2: Report the War

“I can’t front. When I heard there would be a War Report 2, I laughed. Here’s another sequel that won’t come close to the original. I just ate those words for lunch. Though there are some skip-able tracks, the majority of the album is dope! With guest appearances from Nas, Raekwon, The Lox, and more; this album is a keeper. Word.”

Big Boi- “Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty

“I was always a Kast fan, but 3 stacks was my favorite. In recent times I’ve become a bigger Big Boi fan. This album is some more of that Outkast flava. Big Boi does his thing on this solo release. I wish the labels weren’t on that bullshit, so that him and Andre’ could get down on a track. Even without his partner in rhyme, Big Boi does an excellent job of providing his own brand of hip-hop musick. Support it….it’s fresh…”

Jay-Z & DJ Green Lantern- “Creative Control

“This one is hot off the presses. DJ Green Lantern does his thing creating mixes that make old Jay verses feel new. There are a lot of tracks on this one (36 total-not all songs). The mixtape contains new, old, and unreleased music. This will hold me down until we get a new album. One of the better re-mixtapes out right now…”