To start, long time fans will recognize that "Back In Business" is a direct reference/homage to EPMD's 5th album of the same title, so after somewhat of a hiatus, loyal readers, I'm back!!!!! I hope all is well with you as the summer of 2015 is upon us, complete with fast moving time. As usual, I want to say thank you for your continued support of the blog since 2012, it's greatly appreciated! Before I continue, I want to address my whereabouts, so to speak, for the last few months. My schedule during the week has been very busy since late February, necessitating the hiatus. I do recall saying that if I wasn't able to update my blog daily, then I'd rather move on, but after thinking about it for some time, I miss the work and I don't want to end something out of nowhere that I've put so much hard work, time and effort into. So with that being said, I hope you understand where I'm coming from, and towards the end of this post, I'll detail where the blog will go from here! Now that was got this intro out of the way, let's get to the music!!
Events, purchases and upcoming releases
*Pardon me for being late, but I finally got my hands on an iPod (Touch). It took me a while to come to the conclusion that I don't have to have my ENTIRE collection "on the go," but as long as I have "the essentials," I'm good.
*My feelings on hip hop in its current form haven't changed, still largely the same, nothing more or less.
*Coming back with another album a few weeks after "36 Seasons" in December of 2014, Ghostface Killah dropped "Sour Soul," a joint album with BADBADNOTGOOD. It was very good for the most part (around 3.5 - 4 stars). I'll be revisiting it again.
*I did check out Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly," and I will say this: he gets credit from me for doing something "creatively different" and I understood what he was going for, however, for as good as the album is (4 stars), it's not my cup of tea and I don't see myself revisiting it at any point going forward. I noticed it has received unanimous praise across the board, and while that's commendable, this album will not grace my collection.
*Sadat X's "Never Left" (3 stars) was decent, nothing more.
*The way I feel about about Sadat's album is the same way I feel about Black Rob's "Genuine Article" (3 stars). I'm not sure what I was expecting going into it, but it's certainly not on the level of his first two albums, and the 3rd album for that matter.
*Camp Lo's "Ragtime Hightimes" (3.5 stars) confirmed that Sonny Cheeba and Geechie Suede still have it and their unique yet fly style still works in 2015.
*eMC's "The Tonite Show", while not the album that 2008's "The Show" was, is a very good, 4 star album in its own right. I also recently checked out a review of this album, courtesy of rapreviews.com, and all bias towards Masta Ace aside, I feel the reviewer was somewhat harsh, especially with his final rating; the album is much better than the "4 out of 10" rating he gave it. Interesting enough, his review left me wondering the following: even though it's clear to me that the three MCs will follow up this album, is it time that all involved try something different and not go the "concept album" route or should they stick to what they know and do best? Personally I'll say go with the latter. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
*Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Bush" was decent (notice a trend here) and while I get the sound and style they were going for, it's nothing I'm going to revisit (only being honest here). I think it's safe to say that Snoop's last good/great album was "Tha Blue Carpet Treatment."
*Ludacris' "Ludaversal" was very good, clocking it at about 4 stars. I feel this was a return to form for him, but I'm afraid that this album likely be the least selling album of his career. It seemingly had a small buzz prior to its release, but after that, whatever buzz it may have had just disappeared. I don't know if this is due to a lack of interest or if Luda has peaked as an artist and he should focus more on his acting career. As it stands, the album is probably #4 or #5 in his discography. (I may do a project on him at some point.)
*Sadly, I didn't even bother to check out Raekwon's "FILA" album. I know you're not supposed to base things on the tracklist, but it's not interesting to me and as a long time Rae/Wu fan, I can't even bother to tell you why he decided to go this route and said tracklist looks like any other tracklist we have seen from "mainstream/commercial" artists over the last 5 years or so. I'll just wait patiently for "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. III."
*New and upcoming releases from Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge ("Twelve Reasons To Die II"), Geto Boys ("Habeas Corpus"), Czarface ("Every Hero Needs A Villain"), Large Professor ("Re: Living"), Capone-N-Noreaga ("Lessons"), Skyzoo ("Music For My Friends") and possibly Apathy's new album are all on my radar.
Although I'm sure I've missed a couple during the hiatus, the Hip Hop Nostalgia sessions will pick up where they left off. I would like to take the time to acknowledge the following albums that celebrated their 25th anniversaries that were missed on the blog:
Ice Cube - Amerikkka's Most Wanted
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive and the Paths of Rhythm
Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Funky Technician
X-Clan - To The East, Blackwards
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
Poor Righteous Teachers - Holy Intellect
As far as which album will resume the sessions, that's to be determined as of this moment, but I'll keep you posted. Other than that, it'll be the same as it was, even with somewhat a renewed focus on revisits and projects. The "Wu-Tang Clan Journey" will not be continuing unfortunately, however, I will be doing a revisit of GZA's "Legend of the Liquid Sword" and the "Grandmasters" album with DJ Muggs, possibly a "2 in 1." Speaking of revisits and "2 in 1," my first post in almost 2-3 months will be focused on Mobb Deep's "Hell On Earth" and "Murda Muzik," plus there will be an upcoming Big Daddy Kane project as well!
Overall, I'm glad to be returning to my blog, I just ask that you understand and respect my timing and how often I post due to my current schedule. Other than that, I look forward to everything and again, thanks for the support!!!