Real Talk Award: Sadat X on “Back To New York”:
“They sayin’ New York don’t hold it down that slot no more – we ain’t make people get up on the dancefloor/We rhymin’ like other niggas, dressin’ like other niggas/using other niggas slang when that ain’t our thang!”
Best Thing About Music Blogs in 2005: Demos! Everything from the Artifacts demo with Brand Nubian, Organized Konfusion‘s Simply II Positive tapes to old Alkaholiks shit was ripe for the picking if you kept your eyes open. Plus a few folks stepped up the game by offering video clips and even complete mixtapes.
Worst thing: Having a lot of garbage 90’s shit heralded as “slept on classic” material when it wasn’t even good when it came out, plus a lot of boring-ass indy records that don’t really deserve a mention.
Best “2005 Music Round-up”: Noz knocked it out the box.
MVP Comments Award: Despite being MIA for the last few months, I’ve gotta give it up to Brian Beck From Wisconsin, who not only managed to piss a few people off with his on point observations, but produced these jewels:
“When Jeru advised girls that “tight jeans cause yeast infections” on “ya playin’ yaself” rap music died a little inside.”
“Little Brother are little more than a 2nd rate Slum Village, who were little more than a 5th rate ATCQ circa their last two albums.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Records that made the year a little more bearable:
“Serious” – Nas & AZ back to back over a raw breakbeat? Absolute destruction.
“Scriptues” – Smiley The Ghetto Child brings the realness over one of the year’s hardest Bronx bangers – courtesy of the UK’s P Brothers. The track with Milano was also a winner.
“Buck, Buck, Buck” – Despite hailing from Yonkers, D-Block have their moments. This was one of ‘em, due in no small part to it’s dope loop. Sheek did his thing as well.
“Safe 2 Say” – While it falls short of the chemistry between Diamond D and Joey Crack, this Fat Joe team-up with Just Blaze was still a good combination.
“Gilla House Check” – Redman finally gets a great beat to flex on.
“Jeans & Sneakers” – DJ Sickamore dug up an old verse from Biggie (from a radio spot for a store I think) , and put some dope Black Rob verses on there to make a song that shat on the entire Duets album from a great height. I still haven’t caught Rob’s new one, but dude’s sounding great at the moment (nullus).
“Brokest Rapper You Know” – Sean P doing what he does best – self-depriciating humor.
“Talk of NY” – More white label gold from Mr. Kelis.
“Poet’s Comin” – Despite being a couple of years old, this song finally got an official issue thanks to Beatdown. Definately the best Preme and Poet track since “F.A.Y.B.A.N.”
“Tools of the Trade” – The Beatminerz were in top form when they delivered this head knocker to Smif ‘N Wessun’s return to the game.
“C What I C” – Troy Slugz and Eyeslow provided this addicitive stand-out from the suprisingly enjoyable Mathematics LP.
“King of NY” – A timeless MF Grimm masterpiece that finally saw the light of day.
“Kilos” – Ghost & Rae’s duet was not exactly incredible, but catchy as hell.
“State of Grace” – Raekwon prepares to hit us hard next year with this new effort.
“The Great Diamond D” – Sadat and them bring that old feeling back without sounding outdated.
Albums that were worse than I’d predicted:
Capone‘s LP was just horrible in terms of beats and hooks. He deserved better.
Common‘s album was just as boring as his last few, save for a couple of decent tracks. I might listen to it when I’m about 80.
Little Brother produced another safe, “feel-good” record for everyone who missed out on the Native Tongues and doesn’t care about good drums.
Tragedy’s latest Thug Matrix installment found him just going through the motions, with the exception of “Lyrical Calesthenics”. Hopefully he was just trying to clear out some old songs out of the vaults.
Show’s Street Talk. Too much Party Arty.
MF Doom & Dangermouse – I’m hoping not to hear another Doom LP for at least four more years.
Albums that were better than I thought they’d be:
ED OG and Pete Rock actually hit the mark on about half of My Own Worst Enemy. Not exactly essential but if could have been really boring. I also appreciated the fact that they didn’t make “I Got To Have It 2005″.
Black Market Militia – I had my doubts about this project, but it had some nice moments. Hopefully they’ll follow-up with something even stronger.
Worth buying: Sadat X’s Experience & Education and MF Grimm’s Scars and Memories were the two essential purchases. Oh yeah and that SBX! DVD, despite my complaints. The new Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings was great as well.
Best CD Reissue: Krown Rulers – Paper Chase. Keep ‘em coming.
MTV’s Worst “Hip-Hop” related shows:
1. Wild’n Out! – Nick Cannon = teh ghey. Funniest Kanye moment: His entire appearence on this show, especially when he got mad during the “battle” segment and spat a vexed 20 bars instead of the usual two. It must have been that “chipmunk” comment that set him off.
2. Mack or Wack – “Hip-Hop” stylists are to blame for everyone dressing the same. Seriously, who the fuck needs helping getting dressed past the age of three?
3. Pimp My Ride US – If you’ve seen one episode, you’ve seen ‘em all.
4. Cribs - See above. How many Scarface posters do we need to see? Also, why was Vinnie from Naughty By Nature on there?
1. The episode of Made where C-Rayz Walz wears a bunch of “zany” hats, takes the kid to NY to meet Tony Starks (who gives him a Theodore Unit jacket!) and lose a battle to an 8 year old girl.
2. Making The Band 3 – Diddy‘s dummy spits = classic.
3. Pimp My Ride UK – The Big Dawg Timmy holdin’ it down.
Best fad I was involced in: The Salute To Weed Carriers blog was a good one. Shit blew up really quick, but I got bored of it after a couple of months, as did my contributors I guess. It was also indirectly responsible for helping to spark the whole Bol/Krispyexgate thing, which was funny as fuck.
Hulk Hogan Award: The whole Rap = Wrestling theory is confirmed as Jay-Z and Nas make nice.
Hopes for 2006:
Rap from the South will forget about keyboards and drum machines, and go back samling church organs and harmonicas like on the second Geto Boys album.
Indy groups will give up trying to make records like the Pharcyde and Tribe Called Quest and stop sending me to sleep at the wheel.
MF Doom will stop flooding the market with music, and make something as good as Operation Doomsday again.
M.O.P. will make a great album, with only one G-Unit feature and beats from Fizzy Womack, DR Period and Premier.
Sadat X will record an album with only Diamond D, Minnasotta and P Brothers behind the boards.
Neek The Exotic, Royal Flush, Large Professor amd Mic Geronimo will make an album together as was rumoured a while back.
Rick Rubin will produce more rap records.
9th Wonder won’t.
The Future: The Beck-O-Meter. Undoubtably the best thing to happen this year, it’s effects will be felt well into 2006.
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