Posts Tagged ‘Keri Hilson

07
Aug
09

12 Albums You Should Look Forward To More Than Thank Me Later

Ouch!

Unless you’re sleeping under a Dwayne Johnson [II], you’ve caught wind that Toronto, Canada’s golden boy Weak Knees Drake is buzzin’ more than his Martian-like mentor before going, well, anywhere.

With the extravagant amount of jock-riding coverage dedicated to Wheelchair Jimmy, one might be under the impression that his album was the only upcoming release that mattered. Fret not, hip-hoppers, there’s plenty of illness to look forward in the remainder of ’09 to if Auto-crooning makes your ears bleed.

Here’s a list of 12 upcoming albums beyond what Young Money fan-boys and Stan-girls would want you to think. You’ll Thank Me Later.

(In alphabetical order)

Big Boi

Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

The world flipped upside-down when OutKast released Speakerboxxx/A Love Below in ’03 as two completely unique individual projects by Big Boi and Andre 3000 packaged together, eventually going platinum (though that’s open to debate). Late in ’08, the ATLiens promised a solo LP each plus a ‘Kast disc – high aspirations for two cats we haven’t heard much from in years. Sir Luscious Left Foot will be the first of the three projects, yet it doesn’t have a definitive release scheduled. Critics have mixed feelings about the leaked tracks – “Ringtone” is a Autotune-infected flop while “Royal Flush” featuring 3 Stacks & Raekwon and the snippet of smokers anthem “For Your Sorrows” are wet dreams for purists. I’d still rather listen to Big Boi on an off day than be subjected to the torture of “Best I Ever Had” repeatedly on a certain New York radio station.

Sneak Peak: For Your Sorrows (Snippet)

Bobby Ray

Bobby Ray (B.o.B.) – The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

Name change aside, Decatur’s Bobby Ray is at the top of the freshman class essentially due to his versatility. Not only is dude capable of spitting relentlessly unconventional rhymes, he plays multiple instruments and isn’t afraid to go way outside the box, drawing comparisons to fellow ATLien Andre 3000. Boasting a solid mixtape effort in B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray that was as much neo-soul and rock as it was hip-hop plus entertaining on-stage theatrics, Bobby will draw the attention of OG heads and hipsters alike to his debut The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The only question that remains is when we’ll actually hear it.

Sneak Peak: Put Me On

Us

Brother Ali – Us

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

If you don’t know about Minneapolis’ Brother Ali, you’re truly missing out one of the industry’s most naturally-gifted MCs. Rhymesayers Entertainment signee Ali has been hard at work for almost a decade telling personal stories of discrimination, coming-of-age difficulties, societal setbacks and spirituality, making it clear that staying true to yourself is the only real definition of real. His The Truth Is Here EP was better than most rappers’ full-length efforts this year plus he pleasantly surprised fans last week by announcing the details his fourth disc US. Teaming up with soul-hop producer Ant (of Atmosphere fame) and enlisting Chuck D, Freeway and Joell Ortiz for guest spots, Ali is setting us up for a disc that could be ranked among the year’s elite projects. Close-minded listeners need not apply.

Sneak Peak: Us produced by Ant

Clipse

Clipse – Till The Casket Drops

Scheduled Release Date: October 20th

Malice & Pusha T are no strangers to struggle. From hustling white girl growing up in Virginia, grinding their way up the food chain and fighting various record labels before releasing a tepid sophomore album back in ’06, the Thornton Brothers are long overdue to begin anew. Some would complain that the duo has always been a critics’ favorite but has failed to register widespread recognition due to lack of support from their previous labels. Till The Casket Drops will be backed by Columbia and the brothers’ own Re-Up Gang Records, showcasing a top-notch production cast including The Neptunes, Rick Rubin, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and DJ Khalil. Let’s hope the lackluster “Eyes On Me” featuring Keri Hilson doesn’t make the cut and lead single “I’m Good” with Pharrell generates the type of hype that Clipse deserves. Yughck!

Sneak Peak: I’m Good ft. Pharrell

BP3

Jay-ZBlueprint 3

Scheduled Release Date: September 11th

There’s not much I need to say about why the best rapper alive Shawn Carter’s third and final Blueprint installment should be highly-anticipated, it speaks for itself. Regardless of your opinion, “Death of Autotune (D.O.A.)” was the most hyped song out of New York in the past few years. Hov’s live performance of the album’s intro taking shots at various personas piqued interest and a semi-decent radio single “Run This Town” with Rihanna and Kanye West will hold us over until we get more leakage. With ‘Yeezy & No-ID primarily handling production duties and limited guest appearances (only Nas, Kid Cudi & Mr. Hudson plus the aforementioned), it will be interesting to hear the direction Hov takes sans Auto-tune and independent, as BP3 will be newly-established imprint Roc Nation’s first release. I pray “History” makes the cut, but seeing the track list, I doubt it. Either way, Hov is a living legend that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper looks up to. How could you not be excited?

Sneak Peak: Run This Town ft. Rihanna & Kanye West

Melanie Fiona

Melanie Fiona – The Bridge

Scheduled Release Date: August 18th but Amazon says September 22nd. Also, I think it came out overseas already.. Confusing? Yea, I know.

Regardless of what genre you place songstress Melanie Fiona in, there’s no doubt girl can sang better than her light-skinded, caterpillar-eye browed T-Dot brethren. The 26-year old possesses star qualities –  she’s already toured alongside Kanye West in Europe and her single “Give It To Me Right” has been in heavy rotation, at least in the Tri-State, which is an extremely difficult market to please. Expect Fiona to showcase her multiple-octave vocal ability plus a spellbinding knowledge of R&B, soul, reggae and hip-hop on The Bridge well beyond her years. Don’t believe me? Check out her mixtape with Roots drummer ?uestlove for a small taste of what’s to come.

Sneak Peak: Ay Yo

Kamaal

Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract

Scheduled Release Date: September 15th

Tribe frontman Q-Tip led a team of talented musicians back in 2001 for Kamaal The Abstract, a cornucopia of jazz-hop grooves and organic pop tunes that has yet to see the light of day.. Until now. A lucky few have already heard a rough copy before the Abstract’s suffered from industry rule #4080, so all heads should be excited that Battery Records is publishing the final version later this summer. For the impatient, any bootlegger seasoned internet technician should be able to get their hands on it. I still say cop this when it drops next month.

Sneak Peak: Abstractions featuring Kenny Garrett a.k.a. Truth (Link coming soon, Word Press buggin’ right now)

7th Seal

Rakim – The 7th Seal

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Arguably the best MC of all time, Rakim Allah’s third solo effort competes with Detox with respect to giving hip-hop fans blue balls, year in and year out. A decade after The Master, Rakim will craft The 7th Seal utilizing his spirituality (“G” is the 7th letter, stands for God, 7 continents, etc.) and veteran microphone mastery. Lead single “Holy Are You” dropped last month, giving hope to those of us who’ve been waiting since Kanye dropped out of college and Fitty was calling out wankstas rather than being a video prankster that the R would reclaim his throne from a bunch of fradulent characters (I’m looking at YOU Weezy. Best rapper alive? You must be joking.).

Sneak Peak: Holy Are You

OB4CL2

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2

Scheduled Release Date: September 8th

Once again, this is a prime example of a long-delayed album. Sharp-tongued Wu-Tang Clan representative will finally drop the sequel to mid-90’s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to a generation of anxious admirers. If the leaked material is any indication, we may be witnessing history. “New Wu,” “Criminology ’09” and the J Dilla-produced “House of Flying Daggers” are all rawer than George Jung’s product not to mention Rae’s mixtape Blood On The Chef’s Apron is better than most rappers’ albums. Combine legendary producers RZA, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, and Marley Marl with the Chef’s mafioso rhymes alongside Wu-Tang clansmen plus Slick Rick, Busta Rhymes, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss and Styles P, and we may be witnessing history, people. That’s today’s mathematics, knowledge God!

Sneak Peak: House of Flying Daggers ft. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface & Method Man

The Roots

The Roots – How I Got Over

Scheduled Release Date: October 15th

Sneak Peak: How I Got Over

The hardest working band in hip-hop, if not all genres, is finding time between Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and their residency at Highline Ballroom to record their ninth studio album. Black Thought describes the LP as “more positive” than Rising Down and Game Theory, paralleling America’s shifting political atmosphere. Though it’s difficult to replicate The Roots’ energetic live shows in the studio, lead single “How I Got Over” is still a soulful ode to overcoming life’s toughest obstacles. Implementing original instrumentation courtesy of ?uestlove, Captain Kirk Franklin, Kamal Gray and the rest plus featuring talented lyricists like Pharaohe Monch, Phonte and Blu, How I Got Over should be an intriguing listen. I’m particularly excited to hear the crew cover eclectic composer Frank Zappa’s instrumental jam “Peaches en Regalia.” Just don’t count on Def Jam to promote this disc, as they have more important things to worry about.

Slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse

Scheduled Release Date: August 11th

At this point, including this is merely a formality as most of you have probably heard it already, multiple times if you’re anything like me. Billed as a supergroup, Slaughterhouse may be the closest thing we have to a modern-day A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul – as my homie Rizoh points out, there is absolutely no weakest link in the group. Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz & Crooked I all bring something to the table while simultaneously avoiding stepping on each others toes. There is debate about who is the least impressive, but those types of arguments are futile when you’re dealing with such high quality hip-hop. This will easily be in most critics Top 5 of 2009, if not numero uno. For those that want to support, you can pre-order a copy of Slaughterhouse on iTunes now. Prepare yourself for audio massacre.

Sneak Peak: Microphone produced by Alchemist

Wale

Wale – Attention Deficit

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Although the most promising freshman of XXL’s class of ’08 has yet to drop an official album, Wale has consistently put out fresh material with The Mixtape About Nothing and Back to the Feature while holding down various guest appearances and headlining his Attention Deficit tour. The Capital City verbalist and proud sneaker fiend’s debut will comment on the music industry’s haphazard approach while infusing cunning witticisms over funky rhythms & go-go style beats from Mark Ronson, David Sitek and Glitch Mob – picture Camp Lo meets Chuck Brown. I’ll forgive for recruiting Gucci Mane for his latest single, since it’s not half bad. I’m also not ashamed to admit I still bump “Chillin’,” which most of you know is uncharacteristic as I’m an outspoken Lady Gaga hater. Hopefully Attention Deficit is the dose of Ritalin that cures rap’s unfocused, ADD-plagued modus operandi.

Sneak Peak: Pretty Girls ft. Gucci Mane

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22
Jul
09

Royal Court & Sound Table 7/22/09

Bitesize Lauren

Today’s New Jersey Beauty: Bitesize Lauren of Glen Gardner, NJ

Royal Court:

10 Butter Face Women We’d Probably Still Bag [via Complex]

Mr. Chi-City vs Keri Hilson [via TSS]

Piano-Playing Cat Makes Orchestral Debut [via YouTube]

R.I.P. Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuaha [via USA Today]

Three Things Guys Hate To Hear [via Fly Guy Chronicles]

Sound Table:

Amerie ft. Rick Ross, Cain, Jadakiss & Nas – Why R U Remix

Bun B, Talib Kweli & Colin Munroe – Don’t Die prod. Beatnick & K-Salaam

Fabolous ft. Drake – Throw It In The Bag (Remix)

Ghostface ft. Raheem Devaughn – Baby

Guilty Simpson – Coroner’s Music prod. Madlib [Shouts to Khal]

MC Lyte – Rocking With The Best

Red Cafe ft. Ray Lavender – Them Lips

Slaughterhouse – Cuckoo

Termanology – Nobody’s Smilin prod Statik Selektah

18
Jul
09

Review: Fabolous – Loso’s Way

Cover

First I’d like to introduce the newest contributor to HTT, Mookie! He used to run a dope blog over at Def Sounds until the evil blog provider Blogger discontinued it. No worries, though. He’ll be cooking up some fire for my blog now, starting with this review of Fabolous’ new album Loso’s Way. *Slick Rick voice* Heeeere we go:

Review: Fabolous – Loso’s Way

By Mookie

Fabolous has yet to have that one breakout album that puts him into the discussions for the best rappers in the game right now. Almost all of his albums, although commercially successful, have been critically regarded as mediocre or just above. Fab is hoping that this album, with a concept based on the movie Carlito’s Way, can put him into that circle of the elite.

Before you listen to this album, understand that it is very loosely based on the actual film. Lyrical references are scarce if any and even the Mafioso-style you might have expected only appears occasionally on tracks like “My Way” and “Lullaby.”

The majority of the album is actually pretty upbeat, danceable tracks with an R&B guest spot – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Fab is known to make some of his best music with a singer by his side.

Kobe (no Black Mamba) kills his guest spot on “Imma Do It,” same with Keri Hilson on “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere”. But some features just should have been left off. For example, The-Dream on “Throw It in the Bag.” I understand the need for a single that’s gonna get radio play and essentially move this off shelves. I understand that everything The-Dream touches right now turns into gold. But this track is a misplaced disaster. It’s essentially just a variation of the same beat that The-Dream always uses, with Fabolous spitting basic rhyme schemes about how his girl can have whatever she wants. Skip.

Fab’s rhymes were actually my main problem with this album as most of the production was on point. Too many simple metaphors like, “I’m so fly they should put me in the skies/ My shits tight like they put me in the wrong size“. Too many lines that straight up don’t make sense, like, “Nursery, rhyming, hickory, dickory/ Blowing that siren, the hood call it pickory, biggie, puffy, busta, victory“. And WAY too many, “Loso, you already know so” lines.

That’s not to say that there weren’t some good songs along with the skippable ones. Lil’ Wayne features on “Salute,” a mean-muggin’ head banger where Fabolous actually drops some lyrics that made me think twice like, “I’m not a boxer, I’mma be brief nigga.” And other than the aforementioned tracks, a couple more like “Stay” featuring Marsha Ambrosius and “Feel like I’m Back” were pretty good.

The truth is, not much about this album is very exceptional. The pros and cons round it out to be just about average. I wouldn’t shell out the full price; maybe pick out a couple tracks.

Rating (Out of 5 Crowns):

Crowns

Best Tracks:

“Imma Do It”, “Everything, Every time, Everywhere”, “Salute”

Worst Tracks:

“Throw It in the Bag”, “There He Go”, “Last Time”

13
Jul
09

Royal Court & Sound Table 7/13/09

Jessenia Vice

Jessenia Vice of Elizabeth, NJ

Royal Court:

Arturo Gotti, Boxer Known For Relentless Violence, Dies at 37 [via NY Times]

Jell-O Puddin’ Pop Shots: A Review of Not The Cosby Show XXX [via The Smoking Section]

Introducing: $port

Sample of the Day: Donny Goines Edition (My favorite track off Breakfast Club) [via Kevin Nottingham]

Slaughterhouse Reveals Album Cover, Release Date is August 11th [via illRoots]

WYDU Half Way Report Day One: Top 10 EPs [via Wake Your Daughter Up]

 

Sound Table:

Blue Note Street (Remix of Blue Note Records Songs by Japanese Producers) [via Freestyle Madness]

Fabolous ft. Lil’ Wayne – Salute [via Destination for Hip-Hop & R&B]

     Bonus: Fabolous ft. Ryan Leslie & Keri Hilson – Everything, Everyday, Everywhere

     Bonus: Fabolous ft. Ryan Leslie – The Fabolous Life

Jaydiohead Encore (Jay-Z + Radiohead Mash-Ups) [via Max Tannone & The Rap Up]

29
Jun
09

Royal Court & Sound Table 6/29/09

Royal Court

Royal Court:

Fathers of Rap Volume 3: Michael Jackson (In Case You Are Sleepin’) [via HHIR]

7 Best and 7 Worst Moments from the BET Awards [via TRU]

Big Boi Pimp Slaps NYC [via Dallas Penn]

Lady Gaga’s Maxim Spread [via The Amajanese Blog]

 
Miss Armour

[Miss Armour reppin’ Union, NJ]

Sound Table:

Clipse ft. Keri Hilson & Pharrell – Eyes On Me (CDQ) [via Splash]

DJ Premier’s Michael Jackson Tribute Mix [via HypeBeast]

Lupe Fiasco – Ladies & Gentleman (Snippet)

Lupe Fiasco – 2 Ways (Snippet) [both Lupe snippets via LupE.N.D. Blog]

Styles P – The Ghost Sessions (Mixtape) [via Steady Bloggin]

18
Jun
09

Royal Court & Sound Table 6/18/09

Royal Court

Royal Court:

RZA Talks (The Wu Album That Appeared Out Of Thin Air) Chamber Music [via Nah Right]

Speaking of Wu.. U-God Has An Album Coming Out? ..*Crickets* [via Freestyle Madness]

Olivia Munn’s Playboy Cover Revealed [via Andrew at TRU]

A History of Nike Lawyers Giving Sneakers The Axe [via Complex]

PETA’s Mad That Obama Harmed A Fly [via TSS]

Tribe Vibes Volume 2: Original Samples from ATCQ [via TROY Blog]

Ten Nas Songs That Should’ve Given Kelis Hints

 

Sound Table:

Clipse ft. Keri Hilson – All Eyes On Me (Tagged)

Emilio Rojas – Nothing Like It

Royce Da 5’9 – D.O.A. (Redemption) (After recycling a verse on Green’s show, Nickle Nine goes back in with brand new rhymes)

The Game – NBA 2K10 (Snippet)





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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