Monday, December 21, 2009

My Top Albums of 2009

I've done this for a couple of years now so i suppose we shall call this annual. I will rundown the 2 rules that i have.

-The albums are selected from what i have personally heard.

-There is no need to argue because my opinion is what i deem to be the total after tax, its nothing else to add.

Shout out to Maxwell by the way.

5. Kid Cudi- Man on The Moon
I have to give this album a large measure of valor for its audacious stance. One of the best things to come out of Kanye's wake is the liberty that some artist are afforded because of him. Cudi makes a contorted hip-hop album that teeters on the line of simply being a harmonius album; tracks such as "Make Her Say" save it from that label. The album is very emotional, but not in a traditional emotional kind of way. Its a journey of the heart and if you have any sympathy or empathy then you will at minimum find it intriguing enough for it too keep your attention. Good songs with good melodies, and if you're open-minded enough to listen to music without checking over your shoulder to see if people are watching then you should enjoy it.


4.Wale- Attention Deficit
What a change-up, although its right down the middle some still cant hit it. An album that holds true to hip-hop values at its core. Its so traditional (as far as hip hop is concerned) that it threw many people for a loop. The thing that puts distance between this album and others though is the wordplay of Wale. There aren't that many artist with lyrics that are so pertinent to everyday life and conversations. A pinch of 'go-go' makes this album very special. The most important part of this album is the issues and real life concepts that Wale tackles on songs like "90210" and "Shades"; handling anorexia and social insecurites. He indeed has the honesty and credibilty to make these songs hit home.


3. Jay-z- Blueprint 3 Alright, what do we expect from a Jay-z album? Alright then. Jay has a flow that most rappers would kill for and he sprinkled that all over the album. The production is always upper-echelon. However the gift and the curse of being Jay is this: he is so far removed from most of his peers and fans due to his incredible business ascension. So at times there is a little bit of feeling missing. But as a upper echelon emcee he has the art of song making down and he's essentially more than a rapper. These days its hard to come across a bad Jay song, let alone album.


2. Clipse- Til the Casket Drops
The return of the duo made a huge splash. One of the weirdest phenomenons in hip-hop is that duos often get glanced over when it comes to emcees. But these two are the perfect compliment to each other (perhaps because they are brothers). There is a whole lot of relatability in this album, when Malice talks its hits home. Their silent 3rd partner for this album, Pharrell plays just as big a role on the production (he did not do all). The Clipse have elevated beyond the drug talk and taken it to another level, a level that most didn't think they would see. Great maturity and growth on the album.

drake so far gone-front-large
1. Drake- So Far Gone
I don't know how many superlatives to use for this mixtape (its technically not even an album). Musically this tape is head and shoulders above other hip-hop acts. Drake is an artist that posesses dual talents ala Lauryn Hill, you see where im going with this. That alone sets him apart from many. Its very rare...scratch never find an elite emcee that can sing quite well. He understands the concept of making "music" not necessarily traditionally sounding hip-hop, which is something that most emcees don't. Most rappers pigeon hole themselves into making music that sounds a certain way. And with that said he stepped outside the box to make universally great music the same way that Mike Jackson was accepted by all walks of people. Alright we all know he's not Mike, but the idealogy is similar, not the results. But Drake created more than music, he created his own sound. Just listen to some of the piano's he mixing into some of the beats. Who has done a nationwide tour off a mixtape, with enormous anticipation and nice size venues. His efforts dwarfed everything that dropped this year and he gets the #1 slot easily.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brown & Jackson: A Re-creation

I figured everyone would get a lot of entertainment value out of this. I think C.Brown is probably the best known re-creator of Michael Jackson artistry. Ive always admired the young mans talent in the dance arena. Thanks to silly BET and Jay-z (see previous post) we didn't get to see something like this at the network awards immediately following M.Jackson's death, the timing could have been impeccable for C.Brown.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

@Twitter Etiquette

The social network "it-girl" @Twitter has expanded too fast for servers (@Twitter is often down with maintenance) but it has also overwhelmed the general public; so much that people have no etiquette and tact within the micro-blogisphere. There can be no civility in a forum without rules, correct? Today i think establishing some rules are in order.

Twitter by nature is polarizing, with lingo such as "follow" and "unfollow". It already makes everyone take a vain premise by referring to their friends as "followers". And to make @Twitter even more strenuous on personal relationships people use the new social networking behemoth for different reasons and its not always blatantly discernable. Perchance i get on @Twitter to keep up with local professionals/businesses, i may be bombarded with friends (probably associates) asking me why im not following them on @Twitter as they have decided to follow me. Truth is i may not be on there to keep up with friends. But they may be there to simply laugh and chat with friends, thus they would like to laugh with me. Some people treat @Twitter like Facebook and that is a definite folly. For @Twitter the fact that i "know" you doesn't merit a "follow" or what Facebookers would call a "friend request".

Also you cannot take an "unfollow" personally, the person is simply not interested in reading your 'tweets' or 'twits'. This doesn't mean that they no longer like you in real life or they don't respect you; it simply means that they would rather not have you help saturate their timeline. I have to digress for a moment and note that it is very interesting to realize that your friend is someone that you really can't stomach in pure form. Once one has the realization that you and your friend have completely conflicting and dueling ideologies on life. Then there are those that just talk too much via @Twitter. You feel as though you cannot even get an honest glance at the rest of the people you would like to hear from because one omnipresent user is dominating your timeline, usually with emotional updates.

The Golden Rule of @Twitter: You cannot force someone to follow you. It is highly recommended that you follow people simply because you want to follow them, not because you want them to follow you back. This wreaks havoc on the resisting party. As a matter of fact there is a term used by a few lads i know, #twitterrape, which refers to the action of forcing someone to "follow" you.

Remember people, @Twitter is not real life and you will be ok.

P.S. what did we use the "@" symbol for before the Internet?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Somethin About Her

You are really going to have to follow me on this one. I was sitting and thinking about women-as it relates to looks. I have realized that there is no such thing as a "good looking woman", from a mans perspective. What IS available though are women that we perceive will raise our status.

Here's my premise, have you ever heard a guy say "i don't know what it is about her but i like her" about someone who isn't mainstream cute or attractive. Basically its an effort to point out the notion that she isn't what i should like, but indeed I do like her, thus im afraid to blatantly say it. Im concerned with how did we get this way. In a subtle way i think we have learned to be afraid to like what we truly like and that goes for more than just women. A pertinent example would be: If I were to like listen to toads and frogs croak. That would make me weird right.

Now there are some features that us males are attracted to regardless but its usually in sexual nature, but as complete beings there is more to be fulfilled than just sexual desires. But for some reason we consistently neglect the other aspects that need to be tended to as well. Also there are some women that we genuinely enjoy all around but we refrain from making a commitment to them in a monogamous relationship (women do this too). But if we thoroughly enjoy a compatible friend, then what reasons do we have to keep a measure of distance? The inverse of that argument is that we find what are deemed to be "good looking" women and dive into relationships without any regard for how deep the water is. We may barely know the person's last name but she looks good and that settles the bill, we may have very little in common but it doesn't seem to matter. Ive concluded that we do it because we feel like we are gaining something or elevating our perception. Its actually quite weird that this is how we operate.

I don't really have a solution for the proposed perplexing scenario but i would encourage people to engage in relationships that are truly happy and healthy for them. Also this is something interesting to think about as you sit on the 'Sofa.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Renaissance State of Mind

This is an endeavor that im involved with that i am quite proud of. For those that are presently unaware this is "Renaissance State of Mind" by Ro Spit, which is a native spin of Jay's "Empire State of Mind". The quality is phenomenal all the way around. Check it out if you are currently unaware. If you would like to get more familiar with Ro Spit, visit or

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ice Cream Man

I got wind of this through Hypebeast, and i was caught up in the draft. This is a mobile retailer that has borrowed he idea of "the ice cream man" (not Method Man & Raekwon). But i found it quite interesting and if done right on a consistent basis can be epic. There is a similar high end version of this in The Hamptons.

Parra, an underground star in his hometown of Amsterdam, drafts art with much spice; he frequently does collaborations with Nike and other ingenious brands. Stones Throw is a few things merged down to one lane, but primarily a record company. The two companies, Parra x Stones Throw collaborated with this idea. They drove around the metro Los Angeles area with product and virtually came to the customer.

I think its a solid business idea and can create quite a demand. Initially i thought this could only be wise as a one time gimmick until i gave it more thought. But think about how much zeal the ice cream creates in the neighborhoods when he comes creeping down the street. People lose their mind. With this idea you have the opportunity to create exclusives and you increase the demand because the potential shoppers don't know when or where they are going to see you next. In the current atmosphere of retail and instant availability i think a regressive approach could be refreshing and profitable in the form of money as well as brand equity.

I think its an interesting occurrence to learn from. Im going to try be more forward thinking in my approach these days.