Well damn. That was fast. No more ’09. No more aughts. Here’s to hoping that being in your 30’s is really the new being in your 20’s. Otherwise, the prime of my life was wasted in one of the all-time lamest decades (at least according to Paul Krugman).
Oh well. The economy and my investments might have suffered through the decade, but I certainly had my share of fun. And I listened to some great music. December 2009 was no exception, with shows from Jay Reatard, the Roots, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, as well as some fine albums dropped by the following:
- Souls of Mischief – Montezuma’s Revenge: A surprisingly nice return to form from a group with undeniable talent, but that last dropped an album I liked over 16 years ago. The lesson here: get Prince Paul to produce your albums.
- Clipse – Til the Casket Drops: I was a bit disappointed. I think it’s more to do with having heard most of these songs over the past several months. Hearing songs early takes away the “wow” factor (especially since I really liked all the songs I heard early), and it then seems weird hearing those songs in the context of the album.
- G-Side – Huntsville International: I was a bit disappointed. I think it’s more to do with having heard most of these songs over the past several months. Hearing songs early takes away the “wow” factor (especially since I really liked all the songs I heard early), and it then seems weird hearing those songs in the context of the album. Yes, I just copied and pasted on purpose.
- G Mane – Sunday on da Porch: Wow. I had heard some good G Mane tracks before this dropped (see July Vol. 2), but I wasn’t expecting him to drop such a quality album. G Mane’s laid-back, wise-old-man raps work perfectly with Mick Vegas’ soul samples.
- DJ O-Dub – Love Me, Love Me, Love Me Or Leave Me, Leave Me, Leave Me: A fantastic mix of female soul heartbreak from the man who almost was going to DJ my upcoming wedding.
- The King Khan & BBQ Show – Invisible Girl: Good album. Incredible cover art.
As always, let me know what I missed.
3) Gnonnas Pedro et ses Dadjes – Dadje Von O Von Non
While most fans of African music were tripping over the new (and overly long) Ghana Special comp, the boys at Mixtape Riot were looking to Benin to find the good stuff.
5) Clipse – Door Man
Yeah, the Clipse can rap their asses off. Nobody’s got more interesting and clever ways to talk about moving weight. And yes, they get the craziest bangers that the Neptunes can create. But let’s also give credit where credit is due: these guys consistently pump out the greatest hooks in hip-hop. “I put my money on the roof then crush this bitch.” (see also “Popular Demand”)
7) G-Side – Muffins
I finally got around to buying G-Side’s 2007 debut Sumthin 2 Hate. Speaking of great hooks: “N!99as smellin’ blueberry, thinkin’ that I’m cookin muffins / got that bubble kush for the low, come and spend somethin’.”
8) Fabolous (ft. Magno & Paul Cain) – Smokin n Sippin
The third verse is wasted on this Paul Cain dude, but fuck it. You’re listening for the CHOPS beat rather than the lyrics.
10) Animal Collective – On a Highway
I often refer to Animal Collective as the most overrated band this side of Grizzly Bear. And yet here we have an Animal Collective song benefiting from some great vocal melodies…the very thing that Grizzly Bear is best known for. Yet I like this song anyways. I think that’s what the kids these days refer to as “irony.”
11) Real Estate – Beach Comber
Speaking of overrated bands. Not that I don’t like these guys. The potential is there. But I think we should all heed the words of Winston Wolf and hold off on sucking each other’s posicles just yet.
12) Blakroc (ft. Mos Def) – On the Vista
I liked pretty much every song on Blakroc, but it has yet to really grab my attention. Definitely an album I need to spend more time with. But I’ve been on a Mos Def kick lately.
14) G Mane – Light Up
“Back on the block again / it’s like you’re listening to Biggie and Tupac again” — more like a poor man’s Scarface. But poor man’s Scarface just made my favorite album of the month (even though the first line of this song is breathtakingly terrible).
15) 14KT – My Heart & I
Yeah, 14KT’s clearly a Dilla disciple, but he’s an extremely talented Dilla disciple. I had to check into his stuff after he impressed opening for Mayer Hawthorne last month.
16) The Emotions – As Long As I’ve Got You
DJ O-Dub is Santa Claus for soul fans.
17) Courtney John – Lucky Man
Modern singer kicking it over old reggae tracks. I’d like to see someone like Bilal (or D’angelo!) steal this idea.
18) Lady Margo – This Is My Prayer
Wait a minute. If O-Dub is Santa, what does that make Numero? I’m terrible at analogies.
19) Freeway – Majestic
Goddammit. What other (probably obvious) hip-hop song uses this same sample?
20) G Mane (ft. PT & Pocahantaz) – Boyz in da Hood
As Cam’ron would say, “no Eazy E.”
23) The King Khan & BBQ Show – Tryin’
I hate to complain about a group that I really like, but if they just added a real drummer, I’d like them a lot more.