What has happened to hip hop music? I have seen a disgraceful turn for the worse on my tv screen, but let’s review some real hip hop music.
We will stick to only albums dropped recently. Of course, I highly recommend of all of these albums. I’m not going to criticize any of the albums. Simply because there is already a million people who have done so – with or without justification.
Let’s get started with the “Conscience Rapper” Common. I wish we didn’t have to use that particular terminology to categorize the rapper because all rappers should be conscience. It is basically the definition of hip-hop.
Common – Finding Forever
From the incredible “unforgivable” all the way to the radio smash hits, “The People” and “The Game” (no similarity to the west coast rapper at all) “, this album is worth your purchase.
Common puts together rhymes like a puzzle. Each piece being essential as the last. He uses intricate rhyme schemes, but still gets his point across in the most immaculate manner.
Common exchanges punchlines with Kayne West on “Southside”. My favorite collaboration between the two; up until this point. Kayne also produces this track as he does most of the album. West spits at the top of his game while spitting lyrics e.g. “I know you must be thinking its armorall flow because it never gets rusty”. Common on the other hand spits amazing lyrics himself, for example: “Your career was a typo, mine was written like a haiku.”
Though Common never comes out and blames the south for hip-hops decline ( that he mentions a multitude of times) the following lyric from “Start the Show” could be subject to misinterpretation, “You sing along wit it, inside you knowin it’s wack, Young who? I don’t need a openin act”. Common never backs down from a fight. He also mentions the lack of hip-hop spirit in the song “The Game”.
Is this Common’s best work? I don’t know. I personally like it better then his last album. Be had a completely different ambience to it though. I guess, we should give credit to Kayne.
I know this album could be perceived to have a few lackadaisical songs. Unlike fox news, I do give the other side. A counter perspective is available at Nobodysmiling [http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/album_review/87760.php]
Talib Kweli – Ear Drum
Talib’s recent effort has sixteen tracks that will fulfill any fans need for another album from the rap superstar.
He spits some of his most intellectual and deep thinking lyrics to date in “Ear Drum”.
Electrify one of the most soulful tracks on “Ear Drum” is perfectly titled as it does electrify you. Especially your mind as most of the album does.
The guests help the momentum of the album more than they hurt it. Demonstrated in songs like “Hostile Gospel” with Bun B and Pimp C, who seem to fit in very well in the banger by Just Blaze.
If Talib had to take it back to square one. I’m talking about the hip-hop classic “Reflection Eternal”. He definitely took a few paces in the right direction.
I’ll finish the review by saying that the album isn’t perfect, but perfection is in the beholder.
Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth
Brother Ali probably would get his mic cut off by Bill O Reilly with his very open minded views on America. Actually more times than less, pessimistic views.
A “Letter From The Government” basically denounces the entire war. Ali blatantly states in the chorus, “I got a letter from the government the other day I opened and read and burned that man, The way that I live don’t concern that man, We gon’ have to settle this another way”. I guess he might also be talking about any possibility of a draft and his reaction. Maybe just a letter asking him to join the military. Nevertheless, one of the most intriguing songs that has been released this year.
The underground artist doesn’t stop there with his attitude towards America. Yes, his home country. On the track “Freedom ain’t free”. He annihilates our foreign policies. Especially when it comes to people who are starving in other countries. “So I use blood and sweat to butter my bread, Cos this cold world couldn’t give a fuck if I’m fed”.
If you are a liberal, you will probably take well to this album. He doesn’t like the war, he doesn’t like our foreign policies, and he doesn’t like how Muslims are being treated. He claims to be a devout Muslim in a few tracks.
If this album doesn’t make you sit back and think. You might want to get your brain examined.
El P – I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Honestly. What can I say about this album that hasn’t been repeated a million times. This is a monster underground album. One of the biggest in the history of hip-hop. You haven’t heard of it? Funny, isn’t it? If you like Mike Jones, I suggest you don’t check out this album, if you’re a real hip-hop fan, it’s a must!
Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead
I don’t think anyone else has said this, but hip-hop needed this album. Not because it has the best work by my man Nas, but because we needed the history lesson. I learned a lot from this album, I didn’t even know.
It also gave me the motivation to go back and play some of those old albums. How much dust does your “Mc Shan” records have on them?
We need to remember our roots, which is a perfect segway for my next album.
The Roots – Game Theory
The Roots put together an album that flows together like Rakim and Eric B.
You won’t skip a track on this cd. I can guarantee you that. Black Thought’s not even at the top of his game. Am I the only one who finds that unbelievably scary?
The Roots are breaking ground in hip-hop. Although it’s underground in general, It’s ultimately refreshing.
Ghost Face – More Fish + Fishscale
I am absolutely exhilarated to get all this new Ghostface material. Though he has never been type to take a break from rapping. He comes back, probably full fledged with these two near classic albums.
Still spitting as mean as you would expect. If you want to learn to be an emcee. Study every move of Ghostface.
Killah Priest – The Offering
Though the album isn’t officially out. It did leak. I have heard nothing but positive reviews. I think this might be his best work to date.
The album also features some great artists like Canibus, Ras Kass, Kurupt, and Immortal Technique.