by Kanye West: I consider myself one of Kanye’s biggest fans and have argued numerous people down about the finesse he brings to any track. I thought this album would have been named The Real World or First Job to follow his previous college related themes. Alternatively, he named the album 808s & Heartbreak and I can admit that when I first heard it, I was not impressed. You won’t be impressed at first either if you are stuck in mainstream and expecting the usual Kanye. This album will require you to accept Kanye dropping the occasional club bangers for singing while using the Auto-Tune for his voice and the TR-808 for beats. It took me a good 3-4 listens for the tracks to grow on me and I really like the album now! For some reason, I favor all the tracks with featured artists: Paranoid ft. Mr. Hudson, See You in My Knightmares ft. Lil’ Wayne, and Amazing ft. Young Jeezy. I like Heartless and Robocop too, although they do not feature any artists! I rate the album a 8/10 not because I like every song – because I don’t – but for being unique and Kanye stepping out of the ordinary and setting a new standard that I’m sure others will follow.
I had to come back and add to this post because I am watching a Kanye West interview. He said someone asked him why he was singing instead of rapping on this album. His response was “because I want too!” I will support him ANY day because of his independent thinking. He will do what he wants regardless of what anybody says to him. I respect that!?!
by Beyoncé: I’ve debated posting this because I have never been the biggest Bey fan. Now, I love her music and home girl is a fierce dancer but as a person she has always posed several questions in my head like…why was it necessary to kick Kelly and Latavia out of the original Destiny’s Child to make Beyonce and Friends with Kelly and Michelle. I have a little more respect for her as a solo artist because that is what she wanted from the beginning. Anyways…time for the music. I have had this album for a week now and today was the first day I listened to I Am… because Sasha Fierce is that hot! Let me break it down for those who may not have the album. Beyonce’s two dic album, I Am…Sasha Fierce, was released this Tuesday. I Am features mostly ballads and the tracks are calm. I also think Beyonce has tapped into some new genres with I Am. I wouldn’t expect a few of these tracks from her, such as Disappear, but I really like the songs. I do not necessarily like every track on I Am, but that is when I click through to Sasha Fierce which features the more upbeat club bangers. BOMB from beginning to end. I’m jamming at work singing “I’m in love with my radio” and “I’m a Diva best believe”….It is hard for me to choose a favorite song and I would have to say it is a tie between Sweet Dreams or Hello. Then again, depending on how I’m feeling my favorite track may be Diva. I obviously can’t pick a song as my favorite to play a video below. However, I have been watching this fierce video for the last week. All I can say is I need to call him for dance lessons!
by Q-Tip: With Election Day being yesterday, less important news was overlooked. One of those things included albums that were scheduled for release on Tuesday. The Renaissance was one album that was released and I really like it. I’ve been listening to this album for about two weeks and it is hip-hop thru and thru. You won’t find that weird voice machine people have been using, nor will you find T-Pain on a single track! However there are some brilliant collaborations on this album such as songs that feature D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Amanda Diva, and Norah Jones – who happens to be the artist featured on my favorite track on the album, Life is Better. The album is a good mix of slow, upbeat, and chill music. The sounds are unique also. There are some old tunes sampled, but very modern. This is a great album and I doubt it will get the praise that it deserves since Jay nor Weezy are on the album. Although, I suggest that you take a good hour and jam to this musical creation that highlights lyrical expression without vulgarity.
by The Foreign Exchange: My boss mentioned that I get this album last week. I was trippin and waited until today to obtain this wonderful, magnificent creation! If you have never heard of this group, let me school you real quick. The hip-hop duo consists of a Dutch producer, Nicolay, and an American rapper, Phonte Coleman. Imagine you and someone else creating an album, but you have never met and the person lives on the other side of the world. The two guys never had a phone call nor did they meet face to face to create their first album, Connected; they communicated on Okayplayer and sent files over instant messages to create the album. That is CRAZY to me! Now, Nicolay lives in the States, but the sound is still unique and very different than mainstream. The sound consists of soulful, dance, electronica, house, hip-hop tracks with a touch of jazz. This sound is real different, but I haven’t met a person yet who heard the album and disliked it! I couldn’t decide which track to post, so I put the whole album
by T.I.: Today is the official release date of Paper Trail, T.I.’s 6th studio album. I will tell you this man has come a long way from I’m Serious! People have made comparisons of Weezy’s album to this one, and in my opinion you can’t compare the two albums. T.I. is on his grown man while Lil’ Wayne can continue to record for the kids. Not to mention, T.I. is hood with swagger. He continues to stay true to his roots and can rock a 3-piece suit with it all staying true to himself. Or, maybe that can be attributed to his split personalities, T.I. vs. T.I.P. This album is a good one and my approval was determined by the lyrics and guest appearances. Never am I a die hard Ludacris fan, but the track, On Top of the World, that features the artist is bomb! My Life, Your Entertainment reminds you how much we as fans turn into fanatics and follow people’s lives and idealize them, yet forget they are regular people who want privacy. Porn Star is the only sexually inspired song and rather good in my opinion. If I could only figure out who’s on the chorus!?! Anywayz, What Up, What’s Haapnin is his tribute to the haters (i.e. Shawty Lo) and is currently my riding music. I can’t review every song without ruining the package. Just get the album Happy Listening!
by Ne-Yo: As predicted, I’ve been listening to this album non stop. Although Ne-Yo comes through on the slow jamz, mostly relationship inspired, I can admit I expected more. From his interview on the radio a few weeks ago when he stated his album would have a mix of different genres, I thought these would be some off the wall sounds. NOT! Year of the Gentleman is filled with predictable Ne-Yo tracks. Don’t get me wrong – this album is good! My only requests are 1. the track She Got Her Own (Miss Independent Remix) I posted a few days ago be on the original album and not a UK iTunes pre-order and 2. the album be longer. Twelve tracks is whack! Especially when I heard 5 before I received the album. Other than that, the tracks are catchy, smooth ballads that will be played and repeated by many. My fave tracks would be So You Can Cry and Part of the List.
I first became aware of Raheem Devaughn a few years ago with his track You. He has released a few singles and each gains a little more popularity than the previous. I heard one his most recent tracks, Customer, yesterday and it immediately clicked in my head that I never uploaded his album to my iPod – which means that it gets no play! I made sure I synched my iPod this morning so I could listen. Time I pressed play I knew I would love the album! Raheem’s first words were “Some people make music for a moment. I make music for a lifetime.” I preach this all the time, so I’m glad there is an artist whose thoughts parallel mine. This album is amazing and such a great one to listen to. It even includes interludes, which are rarely heard on other artist’s albums that have been released. His upbeat songs are ok, but I think he has mastered the slow jam. He has a natural soulful sound that can’t be made in a studio! Track #7, Mo Better, is my favorite and it gave me a few chills First, the song is 7 minutes and 39 seconds. That equals about 2+ “regular” songs these days. I think I have listened to it about 20 times already. I have been known to continuously repeat songs so I’m sure it will continue to be played. I hope you like this track. If so, purchase this album and support this artist who has yet to gain the recognition he deserves.
I never considered myself a Nas fan(atic). Per the suggestion of someone special, I decided to get an advance of Nas’ controversially titled album, Nigger. Now the name has changed to Untitled, but on this blog it will continue to be titled Nigger as Nas originally wanted. After listening to the first few tracks, Nas has a crossover sound to me. He can flow and rhyme like a rapper from up top. Yet, his beats beat hard like he’s from the south. Memorable Tracks…
Queens get the Money…sounds like a loop in a Kanye beat. The lyrics are powerful and a good intro for the cd. The two together, the beat and the lyrics, don’t go together in my opinion.
Breathe…my favorite song on the CD! I love how the song first starts off like its about to be a fast song but it slows as though a beat is skipped and part of the hook is drawn out.
Make the World Go Round….my guess is this will be the second single. With Chris Breezy on the track, it is guaranteed to be a hit!
There are some songs that make fun of normality within the African American culture such as fried chicken and roaches. These two tracks are more like interludes than songs, yet they still have a presence on the album.