This year started out ok but ended with a bang. No need for fluff and circumstance or havoc and melee, I will just give you my top 10 heavy, heavy hitters for 2013. This is my list of favorite CD’s that came out so if you disagree you can just add yours to this blog and we will celebrate your tastes a well.
10. Ariana Grande, "Yours Truly"
What a debut by a young woman that my 5 year-old daughter calls Cat from the Nickelodeon sitcom Sam and Cat. At first glance you would not even think that this slender teen has the swag for R&B let alone the chops to belt out Mariah Carey-esque high notes. This CD is tops from beginning to end. It has a couple of guest appearances including Big Sean and Mac Miller. Overall I was thoroughly impressed by this debut CD. FYI she had a ridiculous performance on the Jimmy Fallon show with the ROOTS. Check it out here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBCP89PM97M
09. Hiatus Kaiyote, "Tawk Tomahawk"
I talked about this group earlier this year in the blog so I don’t have to go back into why I love this group but I will. They are music personified. They brought back that real music sound and their debut reminded me of the, “Brand New Heavies”, or “Jamiroquai”. There is more music and less singing on their debut as they let the instruments speak out loud and clear. This CD did my weekend house cleanings wonders.
08. Foreign Exchange, "Love In Flying Colors"
Phonte, Nicolay, et al brought us another classic Foreign Exchange CD. Imagine that! Faster pace grooves with Phonte singing and rapping while Nicolay provides them funky ass beats. A must if you are a fan and a get your ass a copy if you have never listened to a minute of the Foreign Exchange.
07. J Cole, "Born Sinner"
His voice catches you from the beginning and his metaphors are the bizness. I love Hip Hop stars that get introspective and allow themselves to put their emotions and feelings on paper and record no matter what others will say. One of my favorite songs of all times is, “Big Brother” by Kanye. J Cole gives me some of that humility by giving Nas his due with the song, “I let NAS down”. A must CD for hip-hop heads and a sign that there is hope for that real hip hop music.
06. Chance the Rapper, "Acid Rap"
Chicago is in the building with that ACID RAP. Chance put it down with this ish. This intelligent brother has a mission to let all know that Chicago is a place for that real Hip Hop. He didn’t even wait for the major release his mixtape put him inline for greatness. I love that Chain Smoker. Great song with an even better performance on the Arsenio Hall show. Chance even gives us some Michael Jackson moves and B-Boy Stances. Check out his performance here. http://www.arseniohall.com/video/music-performances/3248_Chance_The_Rapper_Performs_Chain_Smoker/index.html
05. Eminem, "The Marshall Mathers LP2"
Do I even have to tell you why I like this CD? Eminem can take off 3, 4 even 10 years and still come back and heat your ass up. This brother flows like he is on his period; PERIOD! Every song is hot and if you really want to hear why Eminem is in the top 5 rappers of all time you can just get the CD and listen to, “Rap God”. He took the track back WU-TANG style and took the verses to another level.
04. Mayer Hawthorne, "Where Does This Door Go"
I had never even heard of this guy. My wife put me up on him. Thank you wifey. This brothers debut reminded me of, “Jon B”. All of the songs on here are radio worthy whether its Adult Contemporary, Hip Hop, Urban, or Pop. That’s right, his CD can stand up to any genre. Pharell gave Mayer Hawthorne some hot beats and Mayer provided the rest. He gives you that 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s R&B vibe. FOR REAL. Took me back. “Wine Glass Woman” and “Crime” with Kendrick Lamar will make you keep this CD in your rotation for a long time.
03. Jose James, "No Beginning No End"
This is the best CD that I had for a majority of the year. Smooth as silk, this CD gives you the opportunity to make your wife happy, or apologize to your significant other after a dinner and a movie. Everything on this CD is smooth. I am listening to it right now as I write this blog. THAT IS HOW SMOOTH IT IS! If you have that long drive to make, or, if you are experiencing cabin fever because of all this snow, this is the CD to have.
02. Childish Gambino, "Because of the Internet"
You all may know how I feel about Childish Gambino. Smart, intelligent, creative, a comedic genius and now we must add, a top 20 rapper. His CD title, “Because of The Internet”, explains why he had to make and release this CD. His fans were feeling everything he made so putting out a real CD to the masses was the next step after his successful mix-tapes and his host of guest appearances. I suggest after you get this CD go out and get Royalty. Then go online and watch all of his performances. He is just different and that is what makes him similar if you understand what I mean. Thank you Donald Glover for this CD. I NEEDED IT! If you want to see his performance on Arsenio check it out. http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid2602660246001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAB5INfSFk~,ZA-2riSxYYS8qGqj3GalE8eOivjd5wF8&bctid=2833111577001
Are you surprised that Jay-Z’s Magna Carta is number one? You shouldn’t be. This CD from top to bottom was the best CD release this year. Every song was different from the other and the fact that he released it the way he wanted added to the number one slotting on this list. (His wife did it her way as well with her release but her CD wasn’t in my top 10. It was number 18.) I could go through all of the songs on his CD but, “Oceans”, featuring Frank Ocean was my favorite song of 2013. The song served so many purposes and reminds me of the topics that Chuck D and Public enemy use to rap about. Jay-Z is one of the artists that can rap about any subject he wants, yet, he chose to speak about the slave trade and how our ancestors lost their lives. OUTSTANDING Mr. Carter.
As I mentioned early it was a great year for music and I think I captured the essence of it with this top 10 list.
Just my thoughts man…