I've been slacking again.. I know. I've been legitimately kind of busy though: developing a new class, grading, coaching, etc... but I'm trying.. anyway...
So everyone hates hip-hop now... and can you really blame them? After Cam'ron's idiotic rantings on 60 minutes, it's no wonder that people think our music is the worst thing since crack. (The funny thing is that people thought the same thing about jazz way back when..."Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?") Hip-hop hasn't been in the news like this since C. Delores Tucker was telling the world how bad "gangster rap" was for your soul.
Ultimately the real concern, as with Jazz way back when, is that hip-hop is now infecting all those young, impressionable middle class white kids, and that is a big no no. We can't have them learning all the ills of ghetto, or adopting it's beliefs (i.e. 'Stop Snitching').
All this being said, there is still some good in the music... (this not being it... besides the fact that Knowles family is a bunch of hustlers, anyone else mad at the kid named Juelz? I mean honestly, comeon... that's just wrong.)
So onto the good... I've been working on a list of the top 25 hip-hop albums of all time, which is extremely hard, but its coming. But for now, I wanted to put you on to some of the quality music that I've been enjoying:
W. Ellington Felton - Outrospective: Me Then, Me Now - A nice little mix of hip-hop, soul, funk, etc. And he represents DC... Definitely feeling this one. It's not new, but it's probably new to you.
Black Milk - Popular Demand - This cd is great. A protege of the late J. Dilla who is also from Detroit. He's a producer that can actually flow pretty well without being too backpackerish. This is definitely a nice mix of "mainstream" and underground.
Eric Roberson - Left - A real chill and soulful album. Another guy that reps DC, he's been hustling on the underground scene for a while. It's not as good as this cd (which I had been looking forever, and finally found), but its pretty damn good.
Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel as Schoolchildren - I know it's poppy and such, but you know what? It's actually pretty good. It's hard to classify, but I guess alternative hip-hop fits. They get compared to The Roots a lot, and they do play their own instruments, but that's where the similarities pretty much end. The lyrics are fairly humorous and the poetic interludes are great.
Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth - A real deep, passionate, and very personal album. He definitely doesn't hold anything back and its refreshing to hear someone talk about things that hold true significance in their lives and that people can relate to.
Alrighty... hopefully I'll be back with my list soon... cause everyone loves a list.