Re-Release Tuesdays “Hate It Or Love It”

I wasn’t the biggest Game fan when he came out.  The name dropping was a problem for me.  This is your debut album and all you have to talk about are other rappers? I couldn’t deny the fact that some of the beats and songs were hot. I agree with the notion that he helped to bring that West Coast style of Hip-Hop back.  This week’s Re-Release is The Game ft. 50 Cent “Hate It or Love It“.

Once the Game surfaced as a force in hip-hop, a big deal was made of his dance with death. Apparently he was shot five times. If you’re scoring at home, that’s four times less than label mate and executive producer 50 Cent. After the altercation that nearly took his life, the Game took a crash course in hip-hop and studied up on the master MCs from both coasts. Within a year of rapping for the first time, Dr. Dre took notice and was compelled to offer an Aftermath contract. the Game is also from Compton, just like his mentor, so guess where the allegiances fall? An N.W.Amedallion hangs from his neck, an N.W.A logo is inked across his chest, and an image of the late Eazy-E is on his right forearm. If none of this makes it clear enough, the Game name drops beloved heroes — including just about everyone ever connected to N.W.A, save for CPO — with great frequency” – Allmusic.com

SPECIAL DELIVERY: The Breaks

kurtis blow

We all need a break from our individual worlds.  My breaks are spent playing sports video games (PS4 tag Veguss2001) and watching everything crowding the DVR. Hip-Hop usually takes a break after the ball drops for the new year. Not this year though. Albums/Mixtapes dropped all over the end of 2013 and the start of 2014.  I couldn’t keep up at one point.

Needless to say, I’m back on my sh*t.  What does that mean? Well, given the fact that I just celebrated my 5th Anniversary here at HipHoPolitic Blog… Live a little… read old post.  There are some gems dating waaaaay back to the year 2009.  Ol school!

Seriously, expect more of my honest take on all things hip-hop.  Don’t forget to check me out LIVE EVERY FRIDAY ON STRICTLY HIP-HOP WEAA 88.9 Streaming via http://weaa.org and apps like Tune-In and the Public Radio app for all mobile devices.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: The Voice

Gangstarr

Gangstarr had a song that spoke about how the uniqueness in your voice is one of the things that got you attention in hip-hop. A distinct voice is just as important as a distinct style (i.e. Q-Tip, B-Real, Kendrick).  Sure there have been rappers with similar vocal tones but, in 2013/2014, I feel like there are waaay too many.

Each rapper brings something to the table that separates him or herself from the other.  It’s just hard to tell when they sound so much a like.  They target the same audience.  Somebody’s not going to eat. It  doesn’t matter who came first, they all came up together.

I was listening to Childish Gambino’s new album when this became ever so clear. Nothing against him but he sound/feels like Drake, Big Sean, & Lupe Fiasco all rolled in one. Maybe that’s the hook? IDK. It becomes increasingly hard to tell the difference for the uninformed.

Nobody has bass in their voice? Only in interviews? I don’t understand. Unfortunately, it all comes down to the marketing of this style. Everybody wants what is charting. Once upon a time artist would get signed because they had a  unique sound.  Now they get deals because they sound the same.

I will always remember Russell Simmons saying he didn’t sign Nas back in the day because he sound too much like Kool G. Rap.  If that were today, not only would he have signed him, he probably would have a roster full of them.

It all just sends a uninspired message to the up and coming hip-hop artist. “Why be you when you can be them?”

Here is that Gangstarr song I talked about (side bar- I didn’t like it but it’s the truth. Lol!):

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Forgettable

20131205-145004.jpg

With all the hip-hop music we get over the course of a year, a lot of it is forgettable. I’m not just talking about the wack sh*t. There are a lot of solid releases that I have all but forgotten. It’s this time of year when we begin to reflect on all that has happened. My process for selecting albums/mix tapes of the year is simple.

I put the remarkable ones on my phone and who ever survives the daily, weekly, monthly rotation…comes out on top. Then I think to my self, for example, “Oh sh*t. I forgot about that Czarface album.” Not to single them out but I was big on that album when it came out. It just got lost in the shuffle.

Or like, that Game mixtape. It was really good but, others overshadowed it. Sh*t, Pusha T. I forgot that even came out after a while, and that wasn’t half bad. So you see what I’m saying? None of the mentioned projects were wack. They just didn’t have a profound impact on a brother.

I go back and listen to everything to see what impact it has on me now. Some still rock, while others don’t sound as good. It’s a crazy process for a fan like myself who listens to it all. The worst (or good) part of it all, is the fact that there are STILL some dope releases this month.

Yes, I consider everything that actually drops in 2013. Look out for my Top Albums/Mixtapes of the year on New Year’s Day!

In My Rotation 9-24-2011

We are in the midst of a hip hop overload, and it’s ALL good! Here is the music I’m currently riding to:

J. Cole “Cole World: The Sideline Story

“I have to say my expectations were a little high on this one. 1st listen, I felt it missed the mark (musically). I’m just not a big fan of these movie soundtrack beats. It’s not every track, but enough to take me out of my zone. 2nd listen, I settled in and listened to J. Cole’s lyrics. He sacrificed nothing lyrically. His lyrics are what make this album worth the support. Though I favor the Friday Night Lights mixtape more, this is a solid debut. J.Cole is a dope lyricist with a future…”

Phonte “Charity Starts At Home

“This is one of those albums that reminds you about artist who know exactly what they are doing. They don’t do it for trends nor gimmicks. It’s just who they are. Phonte as a lyricist has always wore his emotions on his sleeve. This album is dope! Rhymes, Beats, and more. The more being the fact that Phonte is a very good singer. This album contains a nice balance of rapping and singing (more rapping though). Reuniting with Little Brother alumni 9th Wonder on a couple of tracks that make you yearn for more LB music. The album’s length lends to the perfect flow. MUST HAVE. PERIOD.”

9th Wonder “The Wonder Years

“I haven’t been a fan of past 9th Wonder albums. I always felt that most of the music was for those “under” the underground. This album is different. With a more aggressive sound, and a better blend of mcs and singers… It makes me wonder what took so long? Guest include Erykah Badu, Phonte, Kendrick Lamar, Raekwon, and more. The album flows very similar to Phonte’s. Hip-Hop starts the party, then R&B/Soul takes over….and back to Hip-Hop. I hope you brought enough cash because you’ll need this album too.”

Evidence “Cats & Dogs

“Remember when Primo produced Group Home’s debut album “Livin’ Proof“? Cats & Dogs is kind of like that, but with better lyrics. The beats steal the show. Evidence is a decent mcs but he can be seriously monotone. The beats match that monotone sound perfectly, a la Guru (R.I.P.). Though Primo doesn’t handle all of the production, producers like Alchemist come thru with bangers. It’s like all of the producers were trying to out do each other. We all win. The album is a little too long for Evidence’s sound and subject matter (17 tracks). It’s still a dope album that screams REAL HIP-HOP! I’m not mad at all. Support it!”

Game “The R.E.D. Album

“Still banging this joint. For all of the naysaying that people do regarding Game, his music still bangs. Treat yourself to “Born in the Trap“. That track gets me every time. Check it out if you haven’t already.”

In My Rotation 8-22-2011

I’ve been enjoying a lot of hip-hop lately. The Summer is starting to wind down and soon we’ll be deep in the 4th Quarter music rush. Here’s what I’m currently banging:

Kendrick Lamar “Section.80

“Still banging this album like it came out yesterday! This album represents all the things we say we want from new hip-hop artist. It represents everything we say we miss from hip-hop. The album is arranged in excellent fashion. Varied flows, thought provoking lyrics, and tight production all make Section.80 an album you SHOULD already own at this point. Support! HiiPower!”

Game “The R.E.D. Album

“When I heard the snippets to this album, I thought it was complete garbage. I’ll never do that again. This album is really not that bad. 1st…there is name dropping. Lol! It wouldn’t be a Game album without it. The good thing is that it’s not as excessive as it’s been in the past. Tracks like “Ricky” and “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” show Game at his best. He does West Coast Gangsta sh@t well. The Primo produced “Born in the Trap” is dope! There are a couple of R&B joints but, he is a Platinum artist…what do you expect? Check for this one…”

Jay-Z & Kanye West “Watch the Throne

“It wasn’t what it should of been, but that’s what the skip button is for. Right? The songs that are hot…are HOT (New Day, Welcome to the Jungle, No Church for the Wild), and the songs that are wack…are WACK (That’s My B@tch, Why I Love You, Gotta Have it). I feel some who say Yeezy is starting to “out-rap” Jay. Jay’s verses aren’t wack, Kanye just sounds hungrier (Rightfully). This feels like a Kanye album featuring Jay-Z. That just makes me thirsty for a new Jay-Z album. Invest if you want.”

Willie the Kid “#TheCrates

“This joint was one of those stumble upon moments. I saw it on a couple of sites and decided to give it a crack while working at my desk. Original Rhymes over Original Samples. That’s exactly what it is. While Willie the Kid is a decent emcee, the sample selection is perfect. Though the idea isn’t as original, this is a well put together mixtape. Sometimes special music doesn’t have to scream…SPECIAL. Check this one out.”