Posts Tagged ‘Brother Ali

04
Jan
10

25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in 2009

25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in 2009

I’ll be rolling solo for this list, and we’ll be back to the Writers Build segment soon.

Here are my choices for 25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in ’09. These were either under-appreciated, didn’t sell well (blame it on the consumer), or were under the casual listener’s radar. Don’t worry, that’s what bloggers are here for.

Do your part to support these albums by clicking on the covers or titles to buy or download your copy, Enjoy!

The Salvation

1. Skyzoo – The Salvation

Let me just say this up front – this is the most complete album on this list. My first introduction to Brooklyn’s own Skyzoo was Cloud 9: The Three Day High, his collab with producer 9th Wonder. Rumored to only take 3 days to make, I was unimpressed by its lack of vision or cohesiveness. It felt rushed, most likely because it was. I shrugged off future mixtapes and features because I held a grudge against Sky for essentially wasting my time.

The Salvation turned out to be the exact opposite.

Set out to make his “most personal” piece of work to date, it is evident Sky brought his heart and soul into the booth with him this time around. It’s the type of album that, due to its density and subject matter, I had to replay it entirely over again the instant it ended. Whether it was the intense imagery of “The Beautiful Decay” or poignant revelation of “Necessary Evils,” I found myself focused on every line to extract as much as I could about Sky’s unique story.

I haven’t even mentioned that The Salvation is backed by some of the game’s most consistent producers.  In addition to 9th Wonder (whose Jamla Records distributed the disc alongside its owner Duck Down Records), the line-up remains stellar – Just Blaze, Illmind, Black Milk, Nottz, and Needlz produce the majority. I can’t even choose one that stands out among the rest, even lesser known Best Kept Secret, Eric G, and Cyrus the Great flipped heat-rocks.

Sky’s opus was one of the few times this year that I connected with a record for longer than the album’s duration. It’s times like these that I am thankful we demand more from today’s MCs, as only a select few are fit to rise to the challenge.

Days Chasing Days

2. Blame One – Days Chasing Days [MP3 Download]

I admit that even I slept on this at first. However, after revisiting it recently, the San Diego native’s no-bullshit approach to rap is appealing on many levels. Blame One is a working man’s MC (a la Talib Kweli or Brother Ali), which makes Days Chasing Days a blue-collar ode to struggling to maintain one’s family and reputation. I mean, with a heavy cosign from Exile (who produces 6 cuts) and beats from Black Milk, Oh No and Kan Kick, how could you not listen?

Ridin' High

3. Keelay & Zaire – Ridin’ High [MP3 Download]

I’ve been upping this one since I posted the sampler at my old blog. Cross-coast production crew Keelay & Zaire crafted an album of smooth tunes and smokey soundscapes ideal for MCs like Phonte, Planet Asia, Emilio Rojas, and Blu to slay verbally plus singers like Darien Brockington and Femi to let loose. “Addicts for Real” featuring Tunji is a true hip-hop anthem amidst cookie-cutter wannabes. 

The Truth Is Here

4. Brother Ali – The Truth is Here EP [MP3 Download]

Brother Ali had one hell of a year. Between touring nationwide with Evidence and Ali’s DJ BK-One during the Fresh Air tour, he not only recorded a Top 5 album (Us) but churned out a 9-track EP that was more thought-out and well-developed than most artist’s full-length efforts. “Good Lord” and “Palm The Joker” are among the realest shit he’s ever wrote. No T-Pain.

Crime Pays

5. Cam’ron – Crime Pays [MP3 Download]

Easy now, purists. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. If you don’t take Cam too seriously, this album is actually pretty good with its comical one-liners and relentless rudeness. I’d much rather listen to Cam’s seasoned ignorance than the nonsensical grumbling of Gucci Mane, premature trap-rap of OJ Da Ju’man or off-key rantings of Lil’ Boosie.

6. Beanie Sigel – The Broad Street Bully [MP3 Download]

7. Tiye Phoenix – Half Woman, Half Amazin’ [MP3 Download]

8. DJ JS-1 – Ground Original 2: No Sell Out

9. Blakroc – Blakroc [MP3 Download

10. Lushlife – Cassette City [MP3 Download]

11. Tanya Morgan – Brooklynati [MP3 Download]

12. Slum Village – Villa Manifesto

13. Marco Polo & Torae – Double Barrel [MP3 Download]

14. DJ Quik & Kurupt – BlaQKout

15. Finale – A Pipe Dream & A Promise [MP3 Download]

16. k-os – Yes! [MP3 Download]

17. Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract [MP3 Download]

18. Donny Goines – Breakfast Club

19. Diz Gibran – Soon You’ll Understand (Presented by Crooks & Castles)

20. Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

21. Fresh Daily – The Gorgeous Killer (In Crimes Of Passion) [MP3 Download]

22. William Cooper – Beware of the Pale Horse [MP3 Download]

23. Nickelus F – Heathen

24. Saigon & Statik Selektah – All In a Day’s Work

25. Sene & Blu – A Day Late and A Dollar Short [MP3 Download]

 

We’ll be right back to Writers Build after these messages..

29
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2006-7)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

*Sinatra voice* When I was 21 (2007), it was a very good year..

Click the covers or names to boost my Amazon affiliate cred buy your own copies of albums that will be remembered. Forever. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2006

1. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

2. J Dilla (Jay Dee) – Donuts

3. T.I. – King

4. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

5. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead

6. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

7. Cam’ron – Killa Season

8. The Roots – Game Theory

9. Jay-Z – Kingdom Come

10. Rhymefest – Blue Collar

Honorable Mentions: The Coup – Pick A Bigger Weapon, Cunninlynguists – A Piece of Strange

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2007

1. Kanye West – Graduation

2. Talib Kweli – EarDrum

3. Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens

4. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool

5. Jay-Z – American Gangster

6. Little Brother – Getback

7. Black Milk – Popular Demand

8. Redman – Red Gone Wild (Thee Album)

9. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth  

10. UGK – Underground Kingz

Honorable Mentions: 50 Cent – Curtis, Common – Finding Forever, Pharaohe Monch – Desire, Hell Razah – Renaissance Child

Only 1 more year left, then we’ll close it out with a treat ’09. Stay tuned..

25
Sep
09

The Freshest Kids

Evidence just liberated “The Freshest Kids,” featuring Brother Ali and Toki Wright producd by Ali and BK-One. This is the official anthem for the Fresh Air Tour, coming to a city near you soon.

Don’t forget to scoop your copy of Brother Ali’s new album Us. Rhymesayers Entertainment doin’ big things this year, Enjoy!

Download: Brother Ali, Evidence & Toki Wright – The Freshest Kids

22
Sep
09

Cop Today: Brother Ali

Scoop up one of the year’s realest & most complete albums, Brother Ali’s Us by clicking the cover above. It drops today on Rhymesayers Entertainment.

You won’t be disappointed!

Sneak Peak: Breakin’ Dawn

16
Sep
09

Babygirl

Us

I wasn’t there babygirl, but I’m here
I dunno what to say, I just hear
If there’s one wish I could make true
I would shoulder that pain and take it all from you

Don’t run babygirl, don’t run
You gotta face what you’re fighting head-on
Only one thing I could say in truth
Gotta deal with the demons before they deal with you

I’m feelin’ this cut off the advance for Brother Ali’s upcoming album Us. Called “Babygirl,” it addresses the past demons haunting a special female and Ali’s solution to overcome them.  Backed by smooth production by Ant, this is a typical heartfelt track from the Minneapolis MC.

Pre-order your copy of Us now at Fifth Element, the album drops September 22nd. Enjoy!

Download: Brother Ali – Babygirl

05
Sep
09

Here I Am (Full Lyrics)

BK-One

Here’s a fresh collab for your Saturday afternoon. Brother Ali’s DJ BK-One is hopping behind the boards for his upcoming LP Radio do Canibal, and “Here I Am” is the first leak off the project featuring Phonte, Brother Ali & The Grouch.

If this is any indication of the album, I’m dumb excited for it! Here’s the release:

Better known as Brother Ali’s DJ, BK-One takes his years of experience as a DJ and puts on his producer hat joining forces with up and coming Twin Cities beatsmith Benzilla to craft a Brazilian musical bed for some of Hip Hop’s most engaging MC’s. Rádio Do Canibal features appearances by Scarface, Slug (Atmosphere), Black Thought (The Roots), Brother Ali, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Murs (Living Legends), Phonte (Little Brother), Haiku D’ Etat (Aceyalone, Myka 9 & Abstract Rude), Blueprint, P.O.S. (Doomtree), The Grouch (Living Legends), I Self Devine, Toki Wright, Aby Wolf and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

This one’s got a fresh summer BBQ feel with a groovin’ bassline and sparkling chimes. I hooked up the download link and typed up the full lyrics below.

Shouts to the homie BMUSE at Always Hustle for the heads up, Enjoy!

BK-One ft. Phonte, Brother Ali & The Grouch – Here I Am

Lyrics:

Phonte

Back in the day, they used to say I was a man-child
Moms looked at me, was like “Oh you a man now?”
Taught me to walk like a warrior, eyes up, shoulders back
Lookin’ like a aggin ’bout to stand trial
Made me exactly who I am now
It made me one of the livest aggins walkin’ and realest aggins spittin’ hands down
Taught me to stand down
And always man up
‘Cause then I’d never give in to a hand-out
One man army slash rhymer martyr
Don’t need a little guac, I need the whole avacado
That bullshit they play ain’t got nothin’ to do with ‘Te
That’s Maury Povich rap, homie I am not the father
And I am not to bother
With those who don’t do the real
I be on that Sugar Hill, no business with a Carter
My purpose is to separate the classic from the fodder
‘Te bring it, and make you sing it like the alma mater
Let’s go!

Chorus:

Like the way I move, like the way I groove out on the floor
Like the way I walk, like the way, yeah it’s all yours
Make the fellas rock, make the ladies sing, girl that’s my jam
Except nothin’ less ’cause if you want the best, then here I am

Brother Ali

Yeah baby, here I’m is
They say Ali bout his, he’ll never be outdid
Fuck bein’ half great, I got to be five-fifths
Everybody clap your hands to the beatbox kids
I believe in this shit
Could never be opposite
If I didn’t, I would not and try to eat off of this
They talkin’ bout the greatest MC’s ever lived
Tryina’ give ’em good reason to put me on that list

Shit, you ain’t in this discussion
You simply interruptin’
I’m as good as gone, y’all ain’t good for nothin’
My stomach grumblin’, isn’t it?
Man we eatin’, y’all are just bitin’, that’s inconsiderate
Quit your nibblin’, nobody’s feelin’ it
You beatin’ a dead horse, that’s not killin’ it
We livin’ this, y’all are visitin’
Get a grip, it’s never too late for you to fix your shit
It ain’t set in stone ’til you dead and gone
Don’t want ’em sayin’ stud walked tough but could’ve flown
So when the sun rise, the shine get on his grind
He could look down and smile and see that I’m on mine
.. Phonte, out, yeah!

Chorus

The Grouch

Have you ever seen a dreamer lock his dreams up?
Sabatoged himself like his thoughts don’t mean enough?

Well I ain’t tryina’ be that, you got me cleaned up
Can mix the yellow with the blue and get the green stuff
Ain’t no time to be scared and sad
What I gots much rarer and that
I do care but in fact
I don’t care what you think
Though I been there before, I now know more
I more know me
I’m livin’ to my full capacity

Tryina’ spill a little game and soak a splash or three
Focus past the obvious, ask of me
More than ya average, half a G
‘Cause I could hear the birds chirpin’ and feel the words workin’
Whether curb surfin’ or smokin’ herb surfin’
Today you’ll catch a wave
Let your guard and be free or that’s a slave
.. And this is true!

Chorus

30
Aug
09

11 Ultimate Hip-Hop Trios

New Wu

With the dream-team of Ghostface, Raekwon & Method Man forming like Voltron possibly even before ’09 kicks the bucket, heads everywhere should be drooling over the possibility of an album from the Wu-based trio.

Similarly, the three-headed monster Random Axe comprised of Black Milk, Sean Price & Guilty Simpson leaking “Monster Babies” off their upcoming collab album this year was monumental.

These combos really are dreams come true. So I got to thinking, what other combinations of MCs would hip-hop heads like to hear? Here are my choices for 11 of the ultimate hip-hop trios:

Jay-Z, Nas & Eminem

Jay-Z, Nas & Eminem

Group Name: Greatest of Our Time

Rakim, Kool G Rap & KRS-One

Rakim, Kool G Rap & KRS-One

Group Name: Veteran’s Day

Kanye West, Talib Kweli & Pharaohe Monch

Kanye West, Talib Kweli & Pharaohe Monch

Group Name: Guerilla Monsoon

Scarface, Bun B & Slim Thug

Scarface, Bun B & Slim Thug

Group Name: Anti-Confederacy

Q-Tip, Black Thought & Common

Q-Tip, Black Thought & Common

Group Name: Rewind Power

Snoop Dogg, B-Real & Redman

Snoop Dogg, B-Real & Redman

Group Name: Smoke Break

Posdnuous, Phife Dawg & A-Plus

Posdnuos, Phife Dawg & A-Plus

Group Name: Under Rated

T.I., Ludacris & Big Boi

T.I., Ludacris & Big Boi

Group Name: Bottom’s Up

Black Milk, Royce Da 5'9 & Elzhi

Black Milk, Royce Da 5’9 & Elzhi

Group Name: Motor City

Brother Ali, Jay Electronica & Blu

Brother Ali, Jay Electronica & Blu

Group Name: Add Verbs

Wale, Lupe Fiasco & Phonte

Wale, Lupe Fiasco & Phonte

Group Name: Fresh Breath

 

What about you? Who would be your choices for hip-hop trios?





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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