Monday, August 29, 2011

If I Executive Produced The R.E.D. Album...

By now everybody who was going to check for it has already had a chance to listen to rapper Game's disappointing fourth studio album, The R.E.D. Album.

During the ridiculously long buildup to the album's release -- including a delay of nearly two years and countless songs that he declared would be its lead single -- Game apparently lived in the studio, churning out mixtape after mixtape filled with quality material, leading listeners to believe more of the same would be included on the actual studio album.

However, in this case, the levels of letdown that I am still experiencing with each consequent listen -- it is barely tolerable -- is something I haven't experienced in some time.

With this new album, he completely dropped the ball and released what almost amounts to a throwaway mixtape filled with fake gangsta fluff facilitated by too many attempts at pop singles aimed directly at the radio and video outlets, ignoring his core fanbase who helped him attain his quickly-fading superstar status.

There are too many negatives with this album -- including a misguided stretch of three songs that each feature an R&B singer -- for me to list them all.

Instead, I decided to take a different approach, sifting through his enormous catalog of material released over the past 18 months and culling together a more comprehensive presentation of his songs to form what I believe should have been the retail version of the R.E.D. Album.

In other words, I'm doing what the executive producers for this album (namely Dr. Dre and Pharrell) should have done, ultimately coming up with what I call The R.E.Done album.

Monday, August 22, 2011

NaS & AZ Reunited; Aiming for the 'Throne'?

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when I saw the above image -- tweeted yesterday by the rapper AZ -- my mind was flooded with way more than that, busy contemplating all the implications behind this one photo.

Namely, what exactly are NaS and AZ doing in the studio together?

Are they just working on a song to be featured on one or both of their future albums?

Is this just a mixtape track they're working on?

Did they just happen to be in the same studio at the same time and came together for a chronic break?

Or, the most obviously glaring question -- have they come together to record a collaborative album as a response to Jay-Z and Kanye's most recent effort, which has some Hiphop traditionalists disappointed at its alternative approach?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vado: Celebration (Video)

VADO : CELEBRATION from wolph creation on Vimeo.

Nearly a year after releasing the critically regarded Slime Flu mixtape, Cam'ron's latest protege, Vado, has released the corresponding video for his song Celebration.

It's a well done video, edited around footage of various Vado interviews in which the rapper looks to be humbled by the accolades thrown at him, a prominent theme within the song's lyrics that indicate a celebratory toast to his impending success is due.

And I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dirty Martini -- Troy Ave Feat. Prodigy: The Guilty Pleasure Edition Vol. II (Video)

If anybody read Prodigy's recently released autobiography, they probably remember the multiple passages in which he remorsefully writes about his negative past and his pledges to change his life in order to set a better example for his family and live a righteous existence.

Well, if his lyrics from this [and many of his other post-prison releases) are to believed, you can throw all of that out of the window.

From the first moment we see Prodigy in the video, his face is flush with his signature fed-up-looking scowl, waving and pointing his right hand around in a gun-like motions toward the camera. Wasn't his three-year bid because of gun possession? But I digress...

Friday, August 12, 2011

An Analysis of Jay-Z & Kanye West's Otis Music Video

New videos are popping up left and right, with Kanye and Jay finally coming through with the visuals for Otis, their first single from Watch the Throne.

If anything, the video -- which shows the two Roc stars laughing and enjoying the spoils of success by driving around a vacant parking lot in a one-of-a-kind Maybach while trading verses -- makes me like the song even more.

With that said, I'm still not sure what exactly the song is about, nor do I understand why two veritable musical geniuses would work so hard on an album only to reward its lead single with a lazy, unimaginative title that, again, apparently has nothing to do with the song's enigmatic subject matter.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Common Debuts Video for Ghetto Dreams

Keeping with the theme of new videos, Common drops the accompanying visuals to go with Ghetto Dreams, his upcoming album's lead single that he debuted early last month. Featuring NaS.

I've already said what I had to say about the actual song but the video helps to put their lyrics into perspective.

Or maybe Common always wanted some video vixens in his videos and this was his excuse to make that happen.

It's tough to tell in which direction Common plans to take this new album but I will admit that I'm intrigued. This is a side of Common we haven't seen in nearly 15 years when he and MC Lyte parodied the pastime of pimping from the 1997 album One Day It'll All Make Sense.

Maybe he had this song in mind when he coined that album title (which, by the way, is also the name of his autobiography, scheduled for release next month).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Music Videos That Deserve to Be Seen

My Sunshine | Blu feat Nia Andrews from aaronisnotcool on Vimeo.

A gang of new music videos have recently been released by an assortment of artists who may or may not get the shine that they rightfully deserve for their particular brands of Hiphop and overall musical contributions to the culture.

As seen above, the rapper Blu (a/k/a B) basks in the enviable southern California weather for the appropriately named My Sunshine, the lead single for his upcoming album NoYork! This is an interesting choice for visuals considering this track sounds nothing like what I've heard from the rest of the album, which is a smorgasbord of different genres of music not necessarily associated with a traditional Hiphop album. Sa-Ra's own Shafiq Husayn is the track's producer. Fun fact: The cute vixen featured in this video was also his DJ during his tour last year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jay-Z & Kanye Watch the Throne: [Hasty] Album Review

For years (decades even) rap artists have been hard at work pushing the genre’s musical envelope in new directions in hopes of adding on to what can sometimes [rightfully] be perceived as a somewhat stagnant art form.

Despite an ever-diversifying array of Hiphop producers who are seemingly eager to break up the monotony of mainstream rap by incorporating new sounds and styles into their music, it has been the rappers for the most part who are reluctant to test the unfamiliar waters of nontraditional Hiphop production, opting instead for the safety of formulaic 16-bar verses and a hook.

But today’s release of Watch the Throne, the highly anticipated collaboration album from Jay-Z and Kanye West, more than crushes the above stereotype of the lazy rapper and the producer(s) who enables him or her.

More specifically, Jay-Z, the flawless lyricist and revered elder statesman of rap, and Kanye West, the boastful wordsmith and accomplished beat-making producer who is known for bending the rules when it comes to rap, have created as close to a genre-busting masterpiece as we have seen in quite a while.