Ok if you knew what a year GOOD hip-hop had last year, you would think I was crazy for makin such a statement as that above... Yes its bold, its crazy somewhat & its largely (unless I can somehow go further into the future 2 see how this year ends) unfounded! I mean 2008 brought us real classic masterpieces such as Q-tip’s ‘Renaissance’, Black Milk’s ‘Tronic’, Elzhi’s ‘Preface’, Johnson & Johnson (Blu & Mainframe), Murs & 9th wonder hooked up again to bring us ‘Sweet Lord’, Nas took us on a politically laden lyrical journey with his Untitled album & of course, that Atmosphere duo came good & strong with ‘When Life Gives You Lemons...’. Not forgettin ‘Emeritus’ which if is to be Scarface’s curtain call was jus beautiful music, T.I’s ‘Paper Trail’ (his most personal work to date), Theatre of the Mind (Ludacris) and The Rising Down (The Roots)... How then could (or would) I honestly & with such conviction aswell, say 2009 will trump all of the above...
... Well here’s why I say what I say lol!!!
Oh I hate numbering so I’m just not gonna bother but here we go... Off the jump & most importantly for Hip-Hop, more than 2009 being the year of GOOD Hip-Hop... It is the year GOOD Hip-Hop returns to Detroit!!! Alright Alright I know what you’re probably thinking... You’re thinking ‘Can He really bring it?’... Can Marshall Matthers come back to the throne? Will The Real Slim Shady stand up on ‘The Relapse’? Well my answer to all those questions and any others you doubters might be having is YES, YES, YES He can & he will... Just go take a listen to ‘Crack A Bottle’, the rumoured first single and you’ll
under overstand and we hear from our lil bird at Interscope that Dr.Dre is at the helm of Eminem’s fifth studio album (cos let’s face it, Slim is an aite producer but we need him strictly as an emcee for this one plus Dr. Dre!!!) Jheeez!!!
... And while I’ve got you here, I might aswell ask you to say this lil prayer with me (and in all seriousness please), Lord please if you let Dr. Dre drop ‘Detox’ this year (or in my lifetime for that matter), I promise I’ll never (insert your bad habits here please)!!! We’ve waited 8 years for this album... 8 years yo so you better have taken that prayer seriously! He says it’ll be in stores later on this year, that it’ll be 12 or 13 tracks long and that he’s got around 18 tracks all done & ready to go! Our fingers are so crossed on this on but I suppose we’ll believe it when we see it lol!!!
I love Jay-Z! Infact I dare you to make a ‘top ten emcees’ list & exclude Jay-Z from it! YeS I dare you lol!!! Well the last record we got from the Iceberg Slim was the undeniable ‘American Gangster’, yes ‘Kingdom Come’ before that... hmmmm not so much (but I reckon Kingdom Come was just too grown-up for y’all)!!! But if you heard American Gangster... which if you are a hip-hop ‘head’, you most definitely should OWN... you heard 15 more reasons why Jay-Z should be on your ‘top 5 emcees’ & that’s real talk yo! Fast-forward 2009 and the third instalment to the Blueprint franchise is upon us... there is obviously some reason for concern because the last Blueprint volume suffered from too many fillers & in my opinion, far too many guest appearances (the only thing we Jay-Z
STANS fans hold unto is that atleast it was better than Nas’s most hip-hop double discs lol!) but you only need to take a listen @ Brooklyn (Go Hard), Jockin Jay-Z, Swagger Like Us, When The Money Goes & BK Anthem to know that the Kid still got it & everything is gonna be alright!!! BROOKLYN WE GO HARD!!!
Ok I kinda got carried away there wiv my Jay-Z
dickriding expose lol! But alas I digress...
Lupe Fiasco (ok don’t get excited yet lol) is quite the talented emcee. ‘Food & Liquor’ and ‘The Cool’ will go down in history as two of the best hip-hop albums of this decade! I personally don’t like Lupe too tuff & it’s nothing against his music, I jus find his whole persona full of bulls**t! From when you cannot take the time out 2 learn the lyrics of ‘Electric Relaxation’ for a tribute performance to one of the reasons we fell in love with Hip-Hop... A Tribe Called Quest & then have the cheek to say you’re not apologising! Oh please!!! Anyway now that I’ve gotten that outta my system (lol), the Fiasco has decided to hang up the mic on his 3rd album and it is with a bang! ‘L-U-P-End’ will be... wait 4 it... a 3 DISC opus!!! Yes it’s three discs long (Everywhere, Nowhere & Down Here) & yes you can say it with me... DISASTER!!! Ok I should stop hating for a minute & speak objectively! Can he pull this off? I dunno but I doubt it!!! The biggest emcees in the game have tried and failed at even double disc albums, with only very few successes!!! Lets hope he appreciates the near impossibility of what he’s tryna do but we can only wait & see! Who knows heh, he jus might be on POINT on every track, on every disc on what is one of 2009’s most anticipated releases!
Idlewind, back in 2006, was the last we heard of arguably the best hip-hop duo ever to grace the mic and rumours of a split between Big Boi & 3 stacks have been rife since then! So it was a welcome development when sometime in November of last year, it was reported that a new Outkast album would be released in 09’, shortly after solo records from both members of the group!!! I love Outkast! They epitomise what GOOD music is all about & don’t even get me started on Benjamin Andre... His verse on ‘International Player’s Anthem’ was the best hip-hop verse of 2007 and his verses on ‘Royal Flush’ & John Legend’s ‘Green Light’ were among the top 5 verses of 2008! The fact of the matter is this... when Ice Cold spits on a track, he brings it everyTIME! And we cannot wait for the new OutKast album! And before all you Big Boi fans start sendin in hate mails and stuff, I was just getting 2 that dude! I like BigBoi and on Stankonia, I preferred BigBoi. I think He’s dope as f**k! And that is why we’re excited about ‘Sir Luscious Left Foot’, it’s set for a Summer 09’ release date and we have track listings and everything so this is a definite! The first single ‘Royal Flush’ featuring 3000 & Raekwon was straight fire so boi!!!! Did I mention Andre’s solo project was droppin too? I’m sure I did lol!!!
Who can deny that ‘Black on Both Sides’ is one of the best hip-hop records ever made! That is why we get overly excited at news that Mos Def is comin out with a new record! YES ‘The New Danger’ and ‘Tru3 Magic’ were sorta BIG let-downs compared to Mos’s debut although I quite enjoyed ‘The New Danger’ cos it was much more than a hip-hop album, it was a musical album and we couldn’t jus take it for what it was! Alas I digress again... Well 2009 ushers in Mos Def in true lyricist mode! Remember Blackstar? Lyricist Lounge? Remember Soundbombing? Yeah you remember all that? And if you heard him on The Roots ‘Rising Down’ and in what should be the first single of the new album, ‘Life in Marvellous Times’, you will know that the Mighty Mighty Mos is Definitely back (Lord please lemme be right on this one lol) & you will be accordingly excited! The new album is called ‘The Ecstatic’ if you were wondering!
We’ve waited near enough 9 years for a new Rakim album and when he signed to Dr. Dre’s label in 2000, jus the thought of two of the greatest names in Hip-Hop comin together 2 create music made you drivel at the mouths, well it certainly did me... & we were laced with guest appearances (the 8mile soundtrack, Truthfully Speaking & Blueprint 2) from the lyrical genius to wet that appetite & feed those desires! But imagine our disappointments when in 2003, Rakim leaves Aftermath and well it’s all been pretty much downhill from then on for the avid Rakim enthusiast anyway! There was that ‘Classic’ track for Nike Records & a compilation album ‘The Archive: Live, Lost & Found’ which dropped last year to help us along with our wait (lol) but it seems as though 2009 is the year the Lyrical Innovator aka god MC returns to the mic with his 3rd solo effort ‘The Seventh Seal’!!! QB STAND UP!!!
The Funk Doc & Mef Tical are back baby! They’re soo back as well! If you haven’t heard ‘Broken Language 2008’, I pray you to go & listen NOW! Like right now! Its been 10 years since one of Hip-Hop’s unofficial duos blessed us with ‘Blackout!’ which I thoroughly enjoy till this day! Jus the energy that Johnny Blaze & Reggie Noble bring on that album & on anything they appear on as a duo for that matter is for the lack of a better word jus WOW!!! The sequel to ‘Blackout!’ aptly titled ‘Blackout 2!’ is due to hit the shelves any day now and if ‘Broken Language 2008’ and the feature on KRS One’s ‘Self Construction’ are anything to go by, then all I’m gonna say is WOW!!! And if we are to believe everything we hear on the streets, then we should also look for ‘Muddy Waters 2’ and ‘Crystal Meth’ to drop this year as well!!!
What do you get when you mix the creators of two of the best hip-hop albums of last year with one arm of the hip-hop collective Boot Camp Clik? Well you get ‘Random Axe’ as brought to you by Black Milk, Guilty Simpson & Sean Price and you only have to listen to ‘Run’ off of Guilty’s ‘Ode to the Ghetto’ to get a lil feeling of what could (and hopefully will) happen when three distinct voices of the future of Hip-Hop come together and speak together!!! I should also mention Sean Price’s ‘Mic Tyson’ due out in 09’ here aswell!!!
This next album has been on every most anticipated albums of the year list since 2006, the hype surrounding this record is unbelievable which leads me to pray it delivers! Ever since 1995’s ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’, The Chef aka Lex Diamond has been trying for 14 years and two unsuccessful attempts along the way to restore the feeling we had on ‘Cuban Linx’ and on ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II’, Raekwon has enlisted GZA & Inspectah Deck to play his co-stars in a supporting role that Ghostface Killah perfected in the original ‘Cuban Linx’. With production from RZA, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, J Dilla, Erik Sermon & Marley Marl to mention but a few & ofcourse with Tony Starks & Iron Lung both blessing the record with their presence... Raekwon might just be unto something here!
And the honourable Mentions...
Well we’ve got Joe Budden following up his 2003 self-titled opus with the eagerly awaited ‘Padded Room’... I mean after hearing ‘Who killed Hip-Hop’ last year, i was like a drug fiend waitin 4 this album (I find that Joe Budden is the only emcee who will hold my audience for 10minutes on one track TWICE) and well we heard the album & it’s nice! Not spectacular or nothing! Jus NICE!
Jadakiss has always had that potential to be one of the greatest emcees 2 come outta NY, ever since we heard him on Main Source’s 1994 LP up until hearing him own everyone at last year’s BET cipher but it’s never really materialised, has it? His debut ‘Kiss the Game Goodbye’ was enjoyable (even if it was only to my brother & I lol) and his last album which was 2004’s ‘Kiss of Death’ looked more like what a resume for a ‘Look @ me, I’m the future of N.Y’ should be... & with ‘The Last Kiss’ scheduled for an April 09 release, we’re hoping against all hopes that Jada *Mwuah* can live up to the hype!
And to close this one out.... Other notables for 2009...
Common – The Believer (what one blogger calls the inevitable make-up album for dropping the abortion of a CD, U.M.C! I Laughed)
Rhymefest – El Che (March 2009)
Buckshot & KRS One – Conflosations
Royce Da 5’9 – Street Hop
50 cent – Before I Self Destruct
Chamillionare – Vernom
Clipse – Till the Casket Drops
Guru – 8.0: Lost & Found
M.F Doom – Born Like This
So until the next time... I wish ‘The Year of Hip-Hop’ brings you all that you wish for!!! Me? I get my Jay-Z record and I’m all peaches!!!