Yeah it’s that time again.
Too often do we sift through the predictable media cycle of artists yelling how “crazy” their album is or even fixing their lying ass mouths to utter the other “C” word — classic. How about these C’s: cut the crap. Each year, the allure of the album continues to decrease thanks in part to overhyped, superfluous projects that only possess a handful of good songs. Not to mention the legion of stans that will stick by anything short of a satanic message their favorite artist puts out. Not I. Air ’em out like spring laundry.
It’s not about sales or favoritism. It’s about skill and viability, consistency and visibility. What side are you on?
Ballin’ with a budget…and blowin’ it.
Big names, even bigger busts…
The last Roc-A-Fella album, last Kiss entry; the latest turd from J to tha Muah proved to be more bust than blockbuster. Contributions from Young Jeezy, Jasmine Sullivan, Swizz Beatz, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell, Lil’ Wayne, OJ Da Juiceman, the entire Lox, Nas and zilch on the classic front? Top 5 dead or alive? A-ha!
In 2006, Busta Rhymes created a track called “Legend Of The Fall Offs.” In 2009, he saw his own words start to eat at his flesh by dropping a B.O.M.B. that fell to detonate with the Hip-Hop heads. A million different versions of “Arab Money” and “Respect My Conglomerate” didn’t help matters nor did big-budget beats from The Neptunes and Cool & Dre no one remembers. Since we are the best and you agree with me right, no need to debate…debate? Bullshit.
Remember how Killa Cam’s glorious return to the scene was the talk of the net and the rumors of Dipset reuniting were at an all-time high? Of course you don’t. Because one listen of Crime Pays and the buzz went missing just like the artist in question did a few years prior. Words to the wise: “Silky” is suspect no matter how many “no homos” you throw after it.
If you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife, then a suit and tie won’t do much for a crusty lipped goon either. Whether he was looking scruffy in the posh clubs with Usher or pouring 5¢ “Lemonade” for the kiddies, Gucci’s Warner Bros. were fixiated on making him into something he wasn’t: a polished artist. Time will tell if he’ll get on that level but aside from concentrating on dropping the soap, he needs to focus on dropping the shit to make the dope boys go crazy again.
Instead of having an allotment for Amalgam Digital to throw some D’s on that bitch, Joey should have been clamoring for some better production as the music on Padded Room caused similar effects to those horse tranquilizers served in the crazy houses. Songs named “Adrenaline” was anything but and the pairing with The Game was among the worst ever. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em–which he did with Slaughterhouse.
Sidebar — Not a totally burnout but Escape Route wasn’t too hot either.
Leading up to this release, Boosie Boo had the opportunity to catapult his career to the next step on that food chain. Sadly, sharing his mic with Lil’ Phat, Lil’ Trill, Lil’ Lil’–whoever, forced Superbad to be simply superaverage. At least we got “Better Believe It” out of the whole ordeal.
Slim Shady’s regression was a welcomed clinical analysis but this half-ass trip back to the pharmacy did nada to treat his diagnosis. An EP full of throwaways was the equivalent of taking rat poison for an headache.
Nah TC, those were tight son!!! (Fuck that).
When our hereos are less than super…
The thought of these two Left Coast legends uniting on a long play invoked visons of classic California chronicles layered in beaming, unforgettable G-Funk that would return the West back into the powerhouse of old. Instead, we got Kurupt & Quik draped in aloha shirts, toasting Bahama Mamas to b-sides from The Birdcage. “Quik’s Grooves” and Crip walkin’? Hell nah. They told the girls to “Cream In Their Panties” while strumming on sitars. Expansion is always welcomed but Red & Meth were the only duo who were “lights out” in ’09.
What’s more common than catching the Spirit in church? Falling asleep, of course. And street pastor/poet Brother Ali served his loyal devotees up a Hip-Hop ambien with his jaded zebra print album. Instead of red-hot “Crown Jewels” and wisdoms to go by, we were served up zzzz’s in the form of camping trips and lover’s quarrels. The congregation deserves better.
If SK is a solid MC and Nottz, Just Blaze and 9th Wonder’s reputations precede them, how can such a project fail to be salvaged? Well, when you narrate tales of straight misses (“The Shooter’s Soundtrack”) and or fail to make Homecoming court (“Popularity”), there’s not much to save from a sewer spill. The off-and-on nature of the album proved to be a “Beautiful Decay” which ironically, was the album’s best track.
A leading candidate for Loser of the Year, Beanie Sigel made the most noise to Jay-Z’s deaf ears, claiming to expose him and put boots on his neck like a S&M junkie. Even worse, he released this compilation of scraps prior to his mini-circus act. Bang Bang Sigel St. obviously felt the pressures of a depression, seeing no one cared to inquire any further on his allegations.
Was 2009 the year for old head rap? Is any year? Regardless, Sadat X didn’t help the Nubs pave a new foundation with this shoddy attempt of a comeback. With so much time spent in the bing, you’d assume he would have ample time to write a “Concerto in X Minor” or something. Guess not.
Smells like shit. Looks like shit. It’s obviously a rose.
You already know what it is…
What to say about this hasn’t already been said before? When the label shelves you for a project that cost them less than a vial of heroin (oops), you know you were better off recording and pressing your last porcelain session.
A couple of years ago (dot com), the keys to (dot com) the game seem destined to fall (dot com) into the hands of the über-youth. A couple years later, the game (dot com) is fed up with new aged nursery (dot com) rhymes masking as (dot com) Hip-Hop singles. Ben J and Legacy hoped to take the world by (dot com) storm with their fashion sense and (dot com) Jerk movement but the only thing the (dot com) people saw was (dot com) nuthuggers and masturbation references (dot com).
Yeah, Raekwon, Jigga and Red & Meth won with sequels to storied albums but Joe Crack couldn’t convince the people to envy his new record. When 50 Cent causing an Internet spectacle is the peak of your promotion…then yeah. Time to cook up something else.
Even with G.O.O.D Music’s stellar year, Really Doe couldn’t get any of the magic (or Kanye for that matter) to rub off on his project First Impressions. Seeing that not too many outside of Chicago checked for it, maybe a second chance is in the cards. But then again, lyrics like “You my pen pal, I accept your friendship…” maybe indicating otherwise.
Even with a stable of solid beat contributions from Tha Bizness, Kane Beatz and Bangladesh, nothing short of trumpets from heavens could conceal the fact that Willy Northpole couldn’t rap his own songs with precision during karaoke.
Well he got your attention with a ridiculous title and even more absurd album cover, but music-wise, Crooked I had nothing to offer on this side venture. Actually it was so uninspiring, let’s switch the subject. How about those Crimson Tide? The Clippers recently beat the Lakers for the first time in nearly three years and Chris Kamen might actually make the All-Star team for the first time in his illustrious career. And Michelle Obama’s birthday is January 17th. With that being so close to MLK Day, wonder if she’ll double up on the celebration?
Rappers wanna be comedians and comedians wanna be rappers. When you can’t decide which path to choose, you’re Mike Epps and you release Funny Bidness. Only thing humorous about this album was how he convinced Koch Records E1 Music to cut the check to distribute the garbage. Unless he used that Janky Promoters straight-to-DVD $$$, then all is forgiven.
While the Wu capos enjoyed success and critical acclaim throughout the duration of 2009, Cappadonna was left in the slums to slang his nouns and verbs like a lady of the night. Only problem was, that lady was a 300 lb. gorilla harlot because Cappadonna was kickin’ that poo-poo, scummy shrimp scampi that you find in the bottom of taxi cabs. With tracks names like “Pistachio,” “Grungy” and “Da Vorzon,” you think anyone was checking for 12th member of the Clan? You thought right. Nope.
Koopa was wise to push back Venom and not get sprayed with the wack juice these three were spilling all over the I-45. Mike Jones lost his weight and gave it to Paul Wall while Thugga cut his hair and spent most of his time arguing with gay people on Twitter. 2005 is gone and tragically never coming back.
Caught in the middle of Cam’ron and Jim Jones’ sibling squabbles, Ruger Rell still had no issues finding studio time. Finding his niche, proper production, creative inspiration and purpose in life was another challenge, however. Three albums reviewed with an average of 2.75 Cigs. He released a fourth at the tail end of the year but TSS Crew ran out of synonyms to rewrite the same review.
You know it’s a travesty when the perception is you took a year off and you were highly active. There were mixtapes (Project Pat & Juicy J’s Play Me Some Pimpin’ & Cutthroat, Juicy J’s The Weigh In ) albums (DJ Paul’s Scale-A-Ton, Project Pat’s Real Recognize Real) and more lolli lolli for the radio (“Lil Freak” with Webbie, “Shake My,” smh). No need to fret, though. All this was just a warm-up for the comeback album Laws Of Power which is sure to earn them more Grammy nods for years to come. Riiiight.