Archive for Wale

Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by letterlbeats

Ladies & Gentlemen of Hip Hop,

With the end of the year quickly approaching and this beingĀ  the last 1st Friday of 2009, it’s time for Top 5 Fridays Hip Hop Albums of the year:

5. David Banner Death of a Pop Star

Actually, this album hasn’t even been released yet but thanks to 9th Wonder’s YouTube series called De Blog Jam (Filmed and edited by 9th’s keyboardist E. Jones) I witnessed them create almost the entire album. Even better is the fact that the album is free. Its quality far surpasses many records that you had to pay for this year. By the way, did I mention that 9th Wonder produced it? It features many of 9th’s homegrown N.C. talent plus a smoother more mature flow from Banner. Google it.

4. Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse

I was having a random Twitter conversation one day and this dude was telling me that he prefers a brand of emcee who spends more time actually rapping than he does talking about how good he is. Slaughterhouse is definitely not that brand of emcee but these guys back up everything they say. They are lyrical beasts that grew tired of the usual bureaucracy of major labels and took their careers in their own hands. Comprised of Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9″ & Crooked I, they crafted the blueprint for today’s independent artists. During the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards Show cipher Joe Budden said, “I never needed my A&R my A&R needed me.” I guess he doesn’t need an A&R.

3. Wale Back to the Feature

This wasn’t even an album, it was a mixtape! (See Drake below) Another free venture produced by 9th Wonder and mixed by Nick Catchdubs, its stacked with guest features including Jean Grae & Freeway. This was really something special because it’s not everyday you find quality hip hop like this.

2. Jay-Z Blueprint III

What can I say about this (See archives for song by song review of Blueprint III) except that my grandmother was singing Run This Town. Another classic Jay-Z album with the hottest everything in the game; guest features, beats, verses…everything.

1. Drake So Far Gone

If I need to explain this to you, then just navigate away from the page because you don’t know hip hop.

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by letterlbeats

Good morning Hip Hop!

During the last year, I started doing something that I hadn’t done since about ’01 or ’02; reading The Source, XXL and other hip hop publications, online and in print. Because I consider myself someone who wants to be in the industry, I have to pay attention to what’s going on in the industry (that reminds me, I have to get Jason a subscription to those mags for Christmas).

During this past year, I have also seen a lot of names come up as “the next.” I have noticed an interesting trend. The faster these guys go up, the faster they go down. Let me clarify down: this word speaks to their Q rating: (a scale measuring the popularity of a person or thing typically based on dividing an assessment of familiarity by an assessment of favorable opinion).

I haven’t heard Asher Roth’s name mentioned in the last three months. Whereas the first three months of the year you couldn’t turn on a TV or radio or open a magazine without hearing about or seeing this guy.

Charles Hamilton started off the year coming off a dope mixtape and had a very nice single with Brooklyn Girls and its video in rotation. I haven’t heard his name since June or July.

Kid Cudi has managed to maintain his relevance although it seemed for a few weeks there when Day & Night was starting to get old and the spins were that he was losing steam.

Drake seems to be the exception here because he did blast off, although in fairness, I’d been hearing about Drake since late ’07.

There is one guy who seems to have kept some perspective and is careful to take a steady long term approach to his career. If the rule holds true that the faster you rise, the faster you fall, he has been on a steady rise this year and may crescendo pretty nicely by next summer. Not to mention his material is dope and he is soooo true to hip hop.

I am talking about Wale. That Back To The Feature Mixtape was the best album I’ve heard all year. It’s so fresh and so new, yet it’s so reminiscent of a better time in hip hop.

As a footnote, one guy who is mimicking Wale’s approach is J. Cole. However in my opinion, the jury is still out on his ability.

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