HIP HOP (HOORAY!)


In case you have been living under a musical rock, November is a hip hop month for the ages. Seriously, it’s like there was some sort of underground convention and everyone decided November was 2010’s Month of Hip Hop. If it felt like there has been a draught in urban bangers, you are right. It’s like the phrase When it rains it pours. Well, here comes the deluge. Recently, we’ve not only seen some outstanding releases, we’re also anticipating some of the biggest hip hop releases of the year–NAY, OF OUR TIME–in the next couple weeks.

Let’s go over some of the strong releases you can run to Amazon, iTunes, or your local disc-seller, to cop. If there’s one record to go out and buy today, it’s Lil Wayne‘s I Am Not A Human Being. This much is clear: Mr. Carter, you are a crunked beat-manipulating machine capable of mass-slaying. The title track is strong, as are the Drake guest spots, the Nicki Minaj jam, and the YM Salute and YM Banger, where the whole Young Money crew shows up to rock the mic. If your cashflow is strong, you might as well go ahead and pick up the Kid Cudi joint, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. The man got Mary J., Kanye, St. Vincent, Cage and Cee Lo to show up in the studio. Impressive, Kid. On the indie hip hop tip, there are a couple releases worth digging for, namely Pigeon John‘s Dragon Slayer and Zion I‘s Atomic Clock.

Now, there are a few others worth mentioning that are pretty much purely for fans only: Cee Lo Green‘s The Lady Killer, N.E.R.D.‘s Nothing, and Lyrics Born‘s As U Were. I’m not trying to hate, but in terms of a purchase, you should probably pick up some of these artists’ other records if you’re not a fanboy (or girl) already. Which is disappointing, especially with Cee Lo, because after his Gnarls Barkley records and the ridiculous success of Fuck You, we were ready to be blown away by some neo-soul. Like we were by Janelle Monae. Nah, it’s just a little too corny, and the production is so throwback it feels a little disco-whack at times.

Now, what I’m absolutely pumped-out-of-my-mind for is November 22nd. Not only do we get an Akon record (Akonic), a Lloyd Banks LP (H.F.M. 2 = Hunger For More 2; there’s gotta be at least two radio hits on there, right?), a Ne-Yo disc (Libra Scale) but the two impending titans of the hip hop world finally release their secret work to the world: Nicki Minaj and Kanye West. Nicki’s Pink Friday is going to be everywhere, even though she’s already everywhere. The weirdo emcee and baddest bitch is poised to be the next biggest female in the rap game. And Kanye, well, are you not impressed by Power and Runaway? Do you have a pulse? My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy could be just that. And we’re all giddy to see what it really looks like.

Oh, and before November’s over, we get releases from the Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida, Chrisette Michele, Soulja Boy, and Jazmine Sullivan. Goodness me! December’s going to feel a little warmer with all these beats to work up a sweat to.
–BILL CHENEVERT
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