My 10 Favorite Songs of 2019 So Far (Easter 2019)

So far 2019 has been a fairly good year for music especially when you count many great album releases from artists such as Boogie, 2 Chainz, and Kevin Abstract so far. Here is a list of my ten favorite songs to come out so far in 2019!

10. ON GOD – Juice Wrld ft. Young Thug

Juice Wrld has been on a streak recently with releases and Death Race For Love is no exception. This 22 song album has some notable hits such as “Robbery” and “Hear Me Calling”, however, I believe the best song on this album is “ON GOD”. The song “ON GOD” features Young Thug and shows the insane chemistry that the two have together. With the two interweaving together they form a meticulous yet infectious song that ranks at 10 for this year’s list so far.

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9. Rainy Days – Boogie ft. Eminem

Boogie’s album Everythings For Sale is one of my favorite album’s to come out this year and I cannot wait to see what else the Compton rapper has to offer. But, for now, we are gifted with “Rainy Days” featuring Eminem. “Rainy Days” is a smooth song that Boogie glides over until the Eminem verse starts. Eminem hijacks the track in order to provide us with some typical Eminem wordplay that we’ve all come to either love or hate, but, it ultimately compliments the song and Boogie’s performance. Boogie already has my attention in 2019 and I cannot wait to see what his next project will be.

ETFS

8. Numb Numb Juice – ScHoolboy Q

In less than two minutes ScHoolboy Q made one of the hardest, catchiest, and energized songs of the year. With his album release right around the corner, I think “Numb Numb Juice” was the best choice to be this album’s lead single. If CrasH Talk is anything like this song, I believe we are in for an unparalleled treat from ScHoolboy Q.

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7. Venom – Little Simz

I’ll admit that I’m new to Little Simz and British rap overall, aside from Skepta, however, I regret sleeping on her and this style of rap. “Venom” has one of the most intimidating beats of the year as the strings and drums intrude your ears. Little Simz holds nothing back when it comes to “Venom” and it shows. This song is full of aggressive lines that match the intrusive beat. I really enjoyed her 2019 album GREY Area and highly recommend it the same way it was recommended to me by one of my closest friends.

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6. Sanguine Paradise – Lil Uzi Vert

Release issues aside, “Sanguine Paradise” is one of the most enjoyable songs so far this year. While we wait for the eventual release of Eternal Atake we have “Sanguine Paradise” to listen to in the meantime. The beat is so pleasurable and Lil Uzi Vert’s lyricism and delivery compliment it so well in every way. I love this song and would rank it higher if 2019 wasn’t already so stacked with hits. Until then, we wait for Eternal Atake and hope for its eventual release in 2019.

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5. MIDDLE CHILD – J.Cole

J. Cole came out swinging in January with the release of his song, “MIDDLE CHILD”. J. Cole stops at nothing to say what is on his mind and how it the entertainment industry makes him feel. With the powerful horns and gratifying beat, J. Cole sets the standard for hip-hop hits in 2019. I really hope we see another album from him besides his anticipated Revenge of the Dreamers III album that will be coming out this year. Until then, we are gifted with “MIDDLE CHILD” to tide us over until his next release.

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4. Old Town Road – Remix – Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

Lil Nas X is perhaps the greatest rapper to emerge so far in 2019. The mixing of country with rap wasn’t easy as we’ve seen with other attempts in the past, however, he not only did this but got Billy Ray Cyrus to come on for a feature. Billy Ray Cyrus presumably joined the song to protest Billboard and their classification of “Old Town Road” as a non-country hit. No matter what it’s genre is considered by Billboard, “Old Town Road” is one of my favorite songs so far in 2019 and I cannot wait to see what else Lil Nas X has for us this year.

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3. Trap – SAINt JHN ft. Lil Baby

SAINt JHN is one hell of a vocalist and his newest song “Trap” only reaffirms my point. “Trap” has what might just be favorite beat of the year so far and paired with SAINt JHN’s vocal range creates a beautiful sound that is only further perfected by the inclusion of Lil Baby. The feature by Lil Baby is brief and a nice little touch to add more character to the already wonderful song. I really hope his next album has songs that mimic this vocal range and beat so that I may fill my lists with more SAINt JHN songs.

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2. Momma I Hit A Lick – 2 Chainz ft. Kendrick Lamar

To say that “Momma I Hit A Lick” is 2 Chainz’ s best song would be an understatement. “Momma I Hit A Lick” is the ultimate 2 Chainz song. This song features 2 Chainz giving some of his best lines but above all else, the Kendrick Lamar feature makes the song a classic. Kendrick Lamar hits hard with his voice changing abilities that compliment the beat so well one could assume that these two were made for each other. 2 Chainz really goes all out in terms of lyrics, vocals, features, and presentation to deliver my second favorite song of 2019.

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1. Georgia – Kevin Abstract

Kevin Abstract is a musical genius whether it’s his involvement in Brockhampton or his solo work, he is a genius in all sense of the word. “Georgia” is a simple yet satisfactory song that can connect with anyone and everyone. Kevin Abstract brings back his iconic vocal modulation for “Georgia” in order to paint the landscape with vivid and familiar images that we can all relate to. I cannot wait to see what Brockhampton and Kevin Abstract have in store for 2019 but if this is any indication I think it will be an incredible year for music.

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The Road to the Endgame Part 3: Hulk – The Last Transformation

Bruce Banner is an interesting character in the MCU. With the rights remaining to Universal for a solo Hulk movie, Disney had to develop the character in their Avengers movies instead. In doing so they created a character who’s wise, intelligent, and strong. Bruce Banner has an interesting dilemma of sharing a body with the Hulk which results in a constant fight over control. In this fight we see different instances of Bruce and Hulk taking over, however, they refuse to work with each other. This has even led to a suicide attempt by Bruce which resulted in the Hulk stopping him. Overall, we haven’t seen Hulk in his full form until Thor: Ragnarok.

In Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk took over for multiple years and lived as Hulk on the planet of Sakaar. Being a champion gladiator on the planet earned him notoriety and rewards that incentivized him to stay. Since Hulk isn’t fully mentally developed his intelligence is rather low. This leads to an easily impressionable and manipulative character, however, in Thor: Ragnarok Hulk has developed more and can formulate more words than ever before. However, there is a catch to Hulk remaining as the one in control.

With the Hulk being in control for many years, Bruce Banner doesn’t think that he can turn into Hulk when he needs to if at all. With this option on the table, Banner must change as a character. Taking away the strength from one of if not the strongest Avenger means that the team will suffer from a lack of power. Instead, Banner must rely on his intelligence to bolster the team and give them a winning chance against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. With Banner being a Dr. in multiple fields of science, his brain combined with the mind of Tony Stark can produce endless ideas like they have in the past with Vision. While Banner has the brain and sometimes the brawn, it is pertinent that they rely on his brain for now.

By taking the strength of Hulk off the table, the Avengers must get creative in finding a way to take down Thanos. But, one last option remains for Banner when it comes to fighting Thanos again. If Banner can potentially turn into Hulk one more time before it is a permanent transformation he could attempt to merge with the inner-beast. In doing so would create Professor Hulk, who is a notable character in the comic books. In the comics, Professor Hulk is a combination of Hulk’s strength and size along with the brilliance of Bruce Banner. With Banner in control of the Hulk, they could form an unlikely alliance to help in the battle against Thanos.

Within Banner/Hulk’s five appearances in the MCU, we’ve grown to love and appreciate the awkward scientist and the monster that lives inside of him, however, it might be time that we see these two finally make peace for the greater good. With Avengers: Endgame drawing close, we will see how Banner lives with or without the Hulk in his life when the movie hits the big screen. Until then, the trials and tribulations of Banner and Hulk remain. With Hulk refusing to come out in Avengers: Infinity War, it is crucial that we see the beast come out of his cage for one last fight against the Mad Titan in Avengers: Endgame.

 

The Road to the Endgame Part 2: Thor – The Last Son of Odin

Thor is a character that never interested me; much like Captain America, however, where Captain America was able to grab my attention in the first film, I was never a fan of Thor. I found Thor and Thor: The Dark World to be my least favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor to me was a character who always seemed to be missing some sort of personality outside of Chris Hemsworth’s great portrayal of the God of Thunder. This missing trait would eventually be found in Thor: Ragnarok where Taika Waititi decided to take Thor in a new direction while still keeping his heroicness. Turning Thor into a comedic and charming God in Thor: Ragnarok was an absolutely wonderful choice, however, this would all change with Avengers: Infinity War.

While Thor’s comedic timing and overall silliness worked for Thor: Ragnarok, he would suffer the most at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. After using Surtur to kill Hela, Thor ultimately lost Asgard as a result of the destruction. With Asgard being “the people” and not “a place”, Thor leads his civilization to space in order to find a new home. It is at this point that Thor has taken the throne and title of Ruler of Asgard since he is all they have left to look up to. However, the tranquility and peacefulness are very shortlived moments because Thanos quickly arrived to collect the Tesseract. When Thanos arrives he beats the living Hulk out of Bruce Banner and holds Thor hostage. This is the weakest and most helpless version of Thor we’ve seen throughout the MCU. While normally Thor could break out of this situation with his powers, he is hopeless and fully at Thanos’ will. With the Power stone torturing him, Loki decides to surrender the Tesseract to Thanos in exchange for Thor’s life. Once Thor is set free, his life is about to change forever because of Loki’s actions.

Loki has always been a trickster, seeing as if he is the God of Mischief himself. While Loki has faked his death numerous times, it is here at the hands of Thanos where we see him take his final breath. Because Loki tried to stab Thanos, Thor would become a changed man moving forward having finally seen his brother actually die. With this tragedy, Thor must team up with a group of strangers to create a weapon strong enough of taking down Thanos. So far within the span of one movie and an opening scene of another, Thor has lost his father, Mjölnir, his sister, his home, and his brother. Within these two movies, Thor has suffered and lost more than any other character in the MCU and yet he still keeps a smile on his face when working with the Guardians of the Galaxy. 

After having a hilarious conversation with Peter Quill, Thor decides that he has nothing left to lose, and therefore, has nothing to lose by facing Thanos. When Rocket hears this, they form a close friendship out of their shared hatred of Thanos. This is where we see Thor, Rocket, and Groot go on a trip to Nidavellir to craft the Stormbreaker. Thor crafting Stormbreaker is a tough challenge that includes him taking a dying star to the chest, but nonetheless, he accomplishes his goal because of his determination to kill Thanos. When Thor arrives in Wakanda he saves the Avengers and the Wakandan fighters by wiping out a good fraction of the Outriders. Thor’s arrival in Wakanda wasn’t expected and is absolutely the best part of Avengers: Infinity War.

After entering Wakanda, Thor meets up with Captain America as they take down the rest of the Outriders with the remaining members of the Avengers. Once Thanos arrives shortly after, each Avenger puts up a fight against the Mad Titan himself. With Thor being the last chance at defeating Thanos, he ruins it by not immediately killing him. Since Thor failed his only task, Thanos is allowed to use the “Snap” to eliminate half of all life. Thor failed his task because he was obsessed with revenge rather than the mission itself because behind Thor’s smile and newfound comedic energy lives a man who has nothing left to live for except revenge. Thor giving a speech to Thanos as he attempts to kill him is all he has left to do in life. With Thor failing his only job, it is up to him to put aside his feelings and do the right thing in Avengers: Endgame.

The Road to the Endgame Part 1: Captain America – The Last Soldier

Welcome to my short series on the MCU in preparation for Avengers: Endgame! This series will cover some of the original members of the Avengers and where they’re at in terms of character development and overall existence in the cinematic universe. This series is filled with spoilers but I hope you enjoy this series and stick with it until Avengers: Endgame comes out in April!

Steve Rogers is a character who I was never a fan of in his comic, video game, or cartoon iterations. The star-spangled hero was never someone I could connect with until Disney and Marvel created Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. Steve Rogers was shown as a weak and scrawny kid who wanted to prove his worth and serve in the military during World War II. This unlikely hero soon became an icon amongst kids and adults as he became a main character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Disney finding success in the franchise, Captain America would eventually become one of the most important characters in modern film.

Ever since his first portrayal in 2011, Chris Evans has embodied the role of Captain America completely. It would be hard to see anyone else play one of the greatest film heroes of all time. Captain America succeeds as a character because he is a hero before and after having the super-soldier serum. Steve Rogers is never one to back down from a fight and would do everything he could to save the lives of others which is seen in Captain America: The First Avenger with the alley fight and grenade test. Steve Rogers only furthers his righteousness when he gains his abilities through the serum. Captain America is a pure character hence why he is able to budge Thor’s hammer Mjölnir in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Captain America isn’t the one to change his ideology as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where he actively goes against the government when he realizes how they plan to deal with possible threats. But above everything, Captain America officially stays true to himself when the Sokovia Accords are introduced in Captain America: Civil War.

When we see Captain America as a character we see someone who is the ideal moral compass for the MCU. He continuously represents equality, accountability, and honesty throughout the films while the settings and characters change around him. Captain America: First Avenger Captain America is the same hero we see in Avengers: Infinity War just with a different suit and beard. Throughout his run in the films we never once see him change mentally. That sole reason is why Captain America stands as a hero to myself and many others. Seeing a respectable role model on the big screen gives inspiration and hope to the audience. However, Captain America’s time as our hero is coming to an end on April 26th with the release of Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame marks the final contracted role of Chris Evans as Captain America in the MCU. If this remains the same, this could potentially be the last time we see him on the big screen. With this information on the table, it is imperative to see how Avengers: Endgame wraps up the story of Steve Rogers. With Thanos completing his task at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, we will see Captain America in a way we’ve never seen him before. This was the first loss for the team and it was the biggest tragedy of them all. Captain America and the Avengers failed as a team to stop Thanos because of the split that occurred in Captain America: Civil War.

At this point in the story, Captain America has no family, buried his love interest, and watched his best friend turn into dust. Captain America now fights to keep his ideology preserved so half of the world still has a moral compass out there to believe in. If this is the last appearance of Captain America, one thing is clear: Captain America will be Captain America until the very end. His loyalty to the world and remaining friends will surely be a key factor when attempting to fix the “snap”. While all of our questions will be answered when the movie comes out, it is crucial that Captain America completes one last task before being able to finally rest in Avengers: Endgame.

Gorgeous: The Complications of Tenacity

How simple is it to convey messages about hate, racism, proving oneself, and success? The answer here: is not simple at all, unless you’re a genius. Kanye West conveyed these messages, broke social barriers, and created a memorable beat all in one song. “Gorgeous” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of Kanye’s greatest songs to date.

The Intro/Kanye

At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Gorgeous” due to the distortion effect added onto Kanye West’s voice, however, after focusing on the lyrics, sample, and chorus I have come to appreciate this song as my third favorite Kanye West song of all time. The distortion effect gives a special layer of emotion to Kanye’s voice as it matches the sample from Enoch Lights and the Glittering Guitars song “You Showed Me” which samples the Turtles song of the same name. With the guitar sample and effect in full, Kanye is able to dig deep into this song, especially when he recruits Kid Cudi for the venomous chorus. Kanye starts his verse by highlighting the racial injustice and blatant discriminative actions that plague the country. Kanye understands these problems but he takes it upon himself to warn others of the corrupt system and how they’re all a part of it whether they want to or not.

Kanye Pt.2

In this section, Kanye points out the necessity of hip-hop for teens as they need role models to follow similar to a religious practice. Kanye West has often proclaimed himself to be a god throughout his career and this verse seemingly shows that he wouldn’t mind leading the new generation as their God, going so far as to compare himself to civil rights leader Malcolm X when he says “Malcolm West had the whole nation standing at attention.” However, Kanye goes on to claim that being a role model isn’t the full extent of his goals and that he wants to be the greatest rapper that there can be. Kanye will stop at nothing to be the best but there are always going to be forces against him every step of the way.

Kanye Pt.3

In his final verse of the song, Kanye decides to talk about how he is determined to be the successive icon that he truly wants to become even if it has its problems. He even shows this by stating how his problems won’t leave him, referencing a Beatles track in the line “I was looking at my resume feeling real fresh today, they rewrite history, I don’t believe in yesterday.” This is Kanye stating how no matter how far he comes, history can be rewritten and it can all be taken away from him. He continues this sentiment with the now iconic line “What’s a black Beatle anyway, a fucking roach? I guess that’s why they got me sitting in fucking Coach.” This is Kanye continuing his Beatle reference from the previous line, and showing how even as a musician who’s accomplished as many musical feats as the Beatles, he will never be shown the same amount of respect, and that’s why he’s seated in Coach, behind First-Class. Kanye knows he’s back on the rise at this time in 2010 and doesn’t plan on stopping soon. Kanye seeks a lot in “Gorgeous” and whether it’s fame, success, or worship he is always set on achieving his goals. Kanye ends this verse by reaffirming his tenacity of becoming the best rapper in the world.

Raekwon

The last verse in Gorgeous is a guest verse from legendary Staten Island rapper Raekwon. At face value, one might mistake Raekwon’s appearance on this politically charged track to be redundant to the themes in the first three verses, but as a whole, it actually adds value to and perspective to verse three, as well to the themes of the album as a whole. Kanye spends his time on Gorgeous addressing America’s twisted views on African Americans and how it’s affected him personally. Raekwon uses his verse to paint a different picture, a black man who has risen above the racial injustice and become an icon himself. Raekwon starts off with “I done copped Timbs, lived in lenses, kid, Armani suits, fresh fruits Bally boots and Benzes.” Right away we can tell that Raekwon is somebody who’s successful. He lives a life of designer clothing and luxury cars, he also references his time in the spotlight, being followed by paparazzi and the media with the “lived in lenses” line. He would then go on to rap about Louis bags, and red Jaguars, to truly show the extent to which he has succeeded in his life. The tone of this guest feature changes and circles back to the themes addressed before when Raekwon calls back to his own time at the bottom of the pyramid with the line “Throwing dice for decimals the older head, bolder head, would train a soldier head, make sure he in the right field, not a soldier dead.” grimey, right? This is Raekwon making callbacks to where he would shoot dice for small amounts of money, and how the elders in his neighborhood would “train” the youth to know the ins and outs of the streets because a mistake could get them killed. Raekwon closes out his feature with this: “Keep grinding, keep shining, to every young man, this is a plan, learn from others like your brothers, Rae and Kanye.” This is a beautiful message to send the listener off with, a message from two prolific cultural leaders that if they keep at their passions, they will rise above the injustice in America and be okay.

Kanye West attacks the idea of racism, racial profiling, and racial inequality while bringing in his own experiences into the light. With Kid Cudi giving a ghostly chorus about being afraid to lose and a feature from Raekwon, Kanye West once again brought a wonderful trio together for this masterpiece. The song itself is a great piece of social commentary and gives those who don’t have a voice a way to be heard. While Kanye West isn’t a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or a Malcolm X, he still knows where the problems are and isn’t afraid to point them out to the world on “Gorgeous”.

 

Runaway: The Proof of Excellence

Very rarely does a song guide one through many emotions in less than 10 minutes. These songs do exist but they are often hard to discover and listen to endlessly. “Runaway” by Kanye West is an example of a master-class song that still stands tall to this day. Nine years ago this song was considered to be a beautiful masterpiece that highlighted the best things that Kanye West had to offer, and all of that remains true to this day and then some. Nine minutes and eight seconds is the amount of time that Kanye West has to take you on a spiritual adventure throughout verses and autotune to deliver his message. “Runaway” is Kanye West’s second best song in my opinion and that says a lot when you look at his portfolio spanning 15 years. “Runaway” truly is a perfect song and one that I believe all can enjoy whether you’re a fan or not.

The Intro/Kanye

“Runaway” begins with the famous piano intro featuring heavy use of the E key which then transitions into the grand beat of the song. This slow start is a great way to build up excitement and tension as each key is pressed. This intro quickly turns into a ballad as Kanye begins his first chorus of the song. In this chorus Kanye discussing a fictitious toast to all those who doubted him, those who gave up on him, and his inner-self. Kanye’s life had become shrouded in drama at this time and this chorus is his first attempt to redeem himself by revealing his true nature. After this catchy chorus, Kanye decides to spit some truth about his love life and how he consistently fails to find true love. Kanye takes this time to assert his arrogance and how he blames everyone for his mistakes because that’s all he ever does. After another chorus section, fellow collaborator Pusha T is recruited to perform the next verse of the song.

Pusha T

Pusha T enters the scene with a short but sweet verse about the lavish lifestyle and the trials and tribulations that come with it. Pusha T’s verse is quite particular when you consider he is referencing Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow to Rolex watches. However, Pusha T details his issues with being rich and famous by showing off an ignorance similar to Kanye’s first verse. This verse is great from Pusha T because not only does it paint a picture of the jerk that he views himself as but also the self-realization aspect that comes with it. Pusha T isn’t afraid to flex his wealth and will surely make sure you see his bling before he gives the song back to Kanye.

Kanye Pt.2

This second verse from Kanye is very short but is a great way to pick up where Pusha T left off. Kanye is afraid of losing his partner and simply doesn’t know how to live without her. Kanye knows he’s done wrong and he knows he’s hurt her but he truly loves her deep down inside past all the ignorance. Kanye wants the one thing he can never buy, Kanye West wants to love.

The Outro

The outro of “Runaway” is honestly something that cannot be put into words. Using a vocoder, Kanye sings the chorus of the song in such a beautiful way that I cannot help but have a tear in my eye. This nonsensical section is perhaps the most powerful part of the whole song as we see Kanye ending the song in an absolutely different way than he started it. This beautiful outro is what makes the song for me and I think Kanye really outdid himself on this track especially in the film. The film features Kanye performing which a multitude of ballet dancers perform until just a few remain for the remainder of the outro. I am thankful that this song exists because it induces many thoughts and feelings for people to ponder as they listen to this piece of art unfold around them. This song is a must listen to as it is so poetic yet beautiful that describing it is nearly impossible to someone who’s never heard it before. “Runaway” is the perfect song and I am thankful that we have this song in the world and I hope you feel the same way after you listen to this masterpiece.

 

Fixing the 2019 GRAMMY Awards

Every year the GRAMMY awards fail to give those who deserve an award an award. This year after some outrageous decisions, I decided to fix the nominations and winners for this year’s GRAMMY awards in the shape that I think it should be. I will only be making revisions to major categories in which I don’t agree with the winners. Also, I would like to say congratulations to Childish Gambino for all of his well-deserved wins.

Best Rock Album

Real Winner – From the Fires – Greta Van Fleet

My Winner: Artificial Selection – Dance Gavin Dance

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Real Winner – Everything Is Love –  The Carters

My Winner – The Kids Are Alright – Chloe x Halle

Best R&B Album

Real Winner – H.E.R. – H.E.R.

My Winner – Good Thing – Leon Bridges

Best Rap Song

Real Winner – “God’s Plan” – Drake

My Winner – “Lucky You” Eminem featuring Joyner Lucas

Best Rap Album

Real Winner- Invasion of Privacy – Cardi B

My Winners – Swimming – Mac Miller & Redemption – Jay Rock

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Real Winner – Woman Worldwide – Justice

My Winner – Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides – SOPHIE

Best Dance Recording

Real Winner – “Electricity” – Silk City & Dua Lipa

My Winner – “Crab Rave” – Noisestorm

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Real Winner – “Shallow” – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

My Winner – “Audio” – LSD

Best New Artist

Real Winner – Dua Lipa

My Winner – Chloe x Halle

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Real Winner – Pharrell Williams

My Winner – Kanye West

Album Of The Year

Real Winner – Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

My Winner – KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

 

 

 

 

 

Detox: The Fabled Album

In the 2000s and 2010s, there was consistent talk about an album called Detox. Detox would have been Dr. Dre’s third album following his prior two classic albums. The name Detox was throughout a plethora of songs and interviews since the 2000s. The album was supposed to be a huge event that would have featured many artists in an attempt to make one of the world’s most hyped albums. But alas, this album never came to be. However, the album has an interesting history spanning at least a decade since it’s announcement. Detox may have never been made, but we can ponder about what could have been and why it never came out.

Dr. Dre was at the top of his game in 1999 when he released his album 2001. This album was a followup to his 1992 classic The Chronic and stood as a testament to the skills and sounds that Dr. Dre could bring to the table as a solo artist. With both albums being a success, it was pertinent for Dr. Dre to campaign for his third album as being a big deal. In doing so rappers such as Eminem, 50 Cent, and Dr. Dre himself would continuously promise that Detox was on its way. While this never happened, we did see some singles from the album. Songs such as I Need A Doctor and Kush were surefire indicators that the album was coming soon, however, those singles never amounted to anything other than being quality releases from Dr. Dre. Supposed work on Detox was also done during a busy time for Dr. Dre due to him producing for major artists and eventual Beats Headphones involvement years later. Seemingly, Dr. Dre wouldn’t have an ample amount of time to produce the album and thus each year the release date was pushed back another year until it was indefinitely delayed.

With the album’s release date nowhere in sight, fans wondered what Dr. ordered. With Detox being postponed, Dr. Dre continued to work in the background doing production and guest features here and there until 2015. After no word of Detox or any other albums, Dr. Dre surprised everyone when he announced Compton was coming out. Compton was released on August 7th, 2015 and serves as Dr. Dre’s true third album. The album was made in conjunction with the N.W.A film Straight Outta Compton. With both film and album being overwhelmingly received well by critics Dr. Dre seemingly proved that 16 years later he still had his touch. Compton is said to be a derivative of the original Detox album thus potentially ending the search for the lost album. With Detox never coming to fruition we were gifted with Compton instead.

16 years of waiting led up to a stellar album in Compton, however, it wasn’t Detox nor was it what Detox could be. Detox had the potential to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time with Dr. Dre’s production and his connections. While we never got Detox and probably never will, hip-hop has a legendary tale of the mythical album. I do hope one day we get a taste of what else Detox was supposed to contain but until then we must wait once more. While it may or may not ever come out, Detox will always serve as hip-hop’s greatest fabled album.

Favorite Song Friday #7

2/1/19

“Me and Your Mama”

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Donald Glover, better known as Childish Gambino is a man of many talents. In 2016, Childish Gambino showed us a new side of his talent with the release of Awaken! My Love. This album is 11 songs long and is a mixture of R&B and Soul music. While there are some standout songs like “Redbone” on the album, there exists one song that I believe stands above the rest in terms of quality, emotion, and dedication. “Me and Your Mama” features Gambino at odds with himself and the woman he’s with as he battles it out throughout the powerful and loud track. Being the first song on the album, “Me and Your Mama” digs deep into one’s feelings immediately and sets the perfect tone for the album.

After the short intro, the song explodes into screams of anger, love, and hate as Gambino battles his inner thoughts regarding the situation he is in. With Gambino pleading for his woman to take him back while the world wants to tear them apart there is a powerful message to be heard. Gambino only wants to present his love to her above everything else even if it’s the wrong choice. I personally love this song because of the rock influence and screaming that Gambino includes but also the failing relationship aspect as it’s all too relatable for myself and many others. I really enjoy what Donald Glover for the album and hope to see more similar work on his next release.

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Hip-hop’s Greatest Debut Album/Hip-hop’s Greatest Tragedy

How would you feel if you lost everything you worked for in an instant? This was the case with The D.O.C. in 1989. Shortly after releasing his debut album, The D.O.C. was involved in a car accident which resulted in the loss of his voice. The D.O.C. is arguably one of the greatest rappers and wordsmiths alive, however, when he lost his voice that all changed. Only one album was made before the accident and in my opinion, it is hip-hop’s greatest debut album. No One Can Do It Better is a classic but above all else serves as a reminder of how well The D.O.C. could perform before the accident.

No One Can Do It Better was released on August 1, 1989, under the production of Eazy-E and Dr. Dre. Ironically, for an album produced by members of the N.W.A the only “moderately explicit” song on the album is the one that actually features N.W.A. The D.O.C. took a very clean approach when it came to making this album and decided to showcase his prowess in rapping rather than gloating about his life. The D.O.C. also notably wrote every song on the album himself which compared to today’s standards is extraordinary. Not only could he rap elegantly and quickly, but The D.O.C. was also great at his delivery skills. Every line spoken feels powerful as he glides across the beat and not only highlighting his skills but also the work of Dr. Dre. Songs such as “Portrait of a Masterpiece”, “The Formula”, and “Whirlwind Pyramid” are just a few of the many songs where the beat and lyrics match perfectly to create some of the most impeccable works of art. However, while No One Can Do It Better is one of my favorite albums it’s success could never be duplicated.

In 1996, The D.O.C. tried to return 7 years later with the release of Helter Skelter and then 14 years later with Deuce. Both albums are valiant efforts for someone with a damaged larynx, however, the vocal damage set The D.O.C. back in terms of ability. Recently, The D.O.C. has revealed that he’s working on another album and has regained more of his voice than he used to. If this album ever comes out it would mark approximately 30 years since his debut album in 1989. Given that The D.O.C. has the writing, lyricism, and production all taken care of, this album could be miraculous. But until then, The D.O.C. remains as hip-hop’s greatest tragedy. The man who lost his career and who had the smoothest and swiftest voice in hip-hop will one day rise again, however, this time it’ll be just a little different than it was in 1989.