Saturday, January 12, 2008


The thing I'm most looking forward to in this new year is variety and a continuation of solid, progressive releases out of "underground" artists. To me, most of the dudes I rock to are still a mixtape or two away from an actual album--if it's a major they're looking for.

I'll remember 2007 for changing my favorites. Most of the music from the last year was completely new to me. But one scary thing is apparent to me: of all the newbies I gained, very few were unheard of, i.e. I was slow to catch on to them. So... I didn't hear any new cats that have started their careers in 2007. It takes a few years for rappers to improve, gain some love and become their own. However we may not feel the affects until 2009 or later but still it's not a good feeling.

With that said, 2007 seemed to see rappers finally get back into their grooves. Like rappers who had taken a year off or been delayed for some reason or another, got back on track; see Joe Budden or Royce.

Trends will continue. Alas, the push backs will surmount. Nas and 36 Mafia should have already dropped. What gives? Saigon's just released his album cover and track listings... should we believe he'll drop by summer? Just because Joe Budden released a mixtape, it doesn't mean he'll follow with an album with in the next 10 months. I mean he might but we've been through this before. Joell Ortiz and Papoose signed deals but both careers are in serious limbo. Six random Southern artists will claim airwaves all year long; watch for Rocko and Trapstarz to do so in the next few months (although I haven't seen them garner that much play yet--which is a good thing). And the R&B world will give us new faces and some old ones too. Yet the form of R&B will continue to mesh with Pop and lose it's true essence.

Not to side with Joey again but as of 2008, Rap has a lot of old motherfuckas still rapping. It seems the age for retirement keeps on getting pushed back. Older rappers still find ways to entertain yet they think the game needs them. I don't conquer with that and believe that if Snoop left, there would be an urgency to find a West Coast replacement--some new blood. With the industry and the fans relying on these elders to produce, it takes the spotlight away from cats who deserve recognition/push. It's not a bad thing but I wouldn't mind if they left gracefully.

As for Major Label artists, who's still left? Nas, Fat Joe, Snoop, Weezy*, Game? And what do they really have to offer? From what I've learned from 07, I'd rather find cats on my own, i.e. mainstream rappers didn't offer much. Mixtapes are still the most appreciated form of a release to me and I don't expect that to change.

I've always thought that there's only 6 albums worth buying every year and sure enough, I've stuck to that presumption every year and haven't missed out. Right now I can only bank on two releases: Rhymefest's El Che and whatever Outkast or their solo shits provide (and that's not even assured).

I fall back on what I learned in 2007 and realize that 2008 will provide more good music but not anything great. Remember too, Rap music didn't get going until July last year and the 4th quarter was surprisingly great. So many releases crowded the last few months that I still haven't given Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams or Beans' Solution a fair listen (not that it mattered though for Beans). 2008 will see average releases until summer and it may get interesting come fall if say, Jay announces a new release.


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