Monday, May 16, 2016

Present Day 2016

What's going on hip hop world! I know it has been quite some time since my last hip hop related post, but I'm still here, alive and well! As usual, I want to thank each and every one of you who continues to check out my blog. My current schedule has me away from the blog, however, I haven't forgotten about it and the content will continue! So, with that being said, allow me to talk about some recent things, I would say from the time I posted the Ludacris project up until now.

*To start, I really don't have too much to talk about in terms of recent hip hop news, other than acknowledging the recent passing of the legendary Prince (talk about a true loss in the world of music). Outside of that, in my view, nothing much is happening in hip hop and the, ah, headlines continue to get more forgettable each day.

*Masta Ace dropped his latest album on 5/12, "The Falling Season", and as you may know, by the time you read this, it should be part of my collection! (I believe he's currently overseas on tour promoting the album.)

*I have an interesting story about Raekwon's "Fly Luxurious International Art" album and Royce Da 5'9's "Layers". I listened to both of them within days of each other via Spotify. Previously with the Rae album, even as a long time fan, I wasn't interested due to the tracklist, so one day several weeks ago, I was like, "let me go ahead and check this out." And to my surprise, it's a very good album, no doubt (about 4 stars). Granted, it's not on the level of his best work, but at this point in his career, it's acceptable. Royce's album arrived days after he dropped his "Trust The Shooter" mixtape (which I still haven't fully listened to yet, lol) and I liked what I heard there, leading me to order it from along with the Rae album. Now here's the "interesting" part of the story, lol. I had to order both CDs from two different Best Buy locations, smh+lol. There's one right in walking distance from where I work, the other was across town. When I went to pick up the "Layers" album, something told me, "go check and see if the Rae album is here", and what do you know, one copy was on the shelf (my luck I tell you, lol). I went ahead and bought the Rae album, but was able to cancel the order I had at the other store and receive a refund.

*Continuing with Royce for a moment, man, he has really showed that he's the most consistent member of the Slaughterhouse collective. "Layers" is a 4 star album, definitely one of the best albums of 2016 thus far. I also went back and checked out his 2009 album, "Street Hop", which is also pretty damn good. I haven't bumped "Death Is Certain" in such a long time as well, and chances are I'll be checking more of his solo material going forward. Speaking of Slaughterhouse, Crooked I released his joint album with Statik Selektah, "Static KXNG", another 4 star album, dope stuff.

*Big K.R.I.T. has really grown on me as well. I always thought his mixtapes, which I recently downloaded (again, and by the way, if you can direct me to physical copies of those it would be greatly appreciated), were pretty damn good, which leads me to his two studio albums. I initially bought "Live From The Underground" on its release date. I'm not sure what happened, but even though I bumped it at least two or three times at that time, I didn't think it had too much replay value, leading to me selling it months later. Going back to a few weeks ago, I revisited this and man, this joint hit me in a way that it didn't back in 2012, and it's back in the collection. I also checked out and bought "Cadillactica", another great album. I appreciate this man's talents behind the mic and the boards and I hope to hear more material from him going forward.

*And lastly, everyone who knows me truly knows that I'm a "hip hop head" through and through. There was one point when I was coming up that, outside of Ms. Mary J. Blige and having what I now consider a strong nostalgic vibe with Frankie Beverly and Maze because my dad listened to them a lot back then while turning me on to hip-hop in the process, I really didn't give R&B the time of day (and please don't get me started on how I felt about R. Kelly back then, lol). Continuing on, when it came to R&B, I was exposed to a lot of GREAT stuff in real time, and while I didn't make it clear for obvious reasons, I knew deep down I liked what I had heard. It wasn't until the summer of 1997 (still my best summer ever) that I began to fully embrace R&B. So, with all this being said, to go along with the first two Mary J albums, I'm going to began adding some classic R&B albums to my collection, joints I've heard before but never owned. Even a hip hop head like myself can listen to some good R&B from time to time. I know my lady will be happy, lol.

Just thought I'd give you a few updates as we head into mid 2016. I'm still thinking of what I will come up with next on the blog, especially in terms of projects. Stay tuned and again, thanks for your continued support!!

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