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!

The Year Was 1999

On my first thought I wouldn’t of told you that 1999 was a great year for hip-hop. Now that I look back at it, hip-hop was looking pretty good. Jay-Z & Roc-A-Fella reigned supreme, Nas dropped two albums, and Ruff Ryders/Swizz Beats were in their prime. 1999 also saw a sequel to ‘The Chronic‘ with Dr. Dre’s ‘Chronic 2001′. Not bad. Check out this list of hip-hop albums (for better or worse) that came out in 1999:

1. Dr. Dre- 2001
20011

2. The Roots- Things Fall Apart
the-roots1

3. Mobb Deep- Murdah Muzik
"While their 2nd album was good, Murdah Muzik rivals their debut."

4. Busta Rhymes- E.L.E.
busta

5. Pharoahe Monch- Internal Affairs
pharoah

6. Method Man & Redman- Blackout
"Talk about a blueprint on flows..this is pure energy."

7. Snoop Dogg- No Limit Top Dogg
snoop

8. Ruff Ryders- Ride or Die Vol. 1
ruff-ryders

9. Jay-Z- Vol. 3: Life and Time of S. Carter
jay-z

10. Nas- I Am…/Nastradamus
i-amnastradamas

Peace…