1999: A Small Grammy Miracle
In the past week, a lot of venom has been aimed at the Grammy’s, and I am generally in full agreement of Todd and Wes’ remarks. But, I must give credit where credit is due and recognize that The Grammy’s supplied me with what was a fantastic primer in hip-hop at a pretty young age. Here is a little background.
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Tha Carter IV
One listen into Tha Carter IV, several elements of the album had me pretty excited. Between two tracks, “Interlude” & “Outro”, Lil’ Wayne employs a murderer’s row of Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes to basically give the album a complete break from anything Wayne. Conceptually, I love this idea. Get a bunch of extremely talented rappers to team up on a couple songs, completely removing the focus of the album (Lil’ Wayne) from the equation. It actually seems somewhat selfless. And it works. “Interlude”, with Tech and Andre laying verses over the same simple paranoid drone of a beat as “Intro” and “Outro” could not be more thrilling. In fact, I didn’t even find it particularly lazy to use the same beat three times on the album. Tech N9ne lays down what may go down as one of the best verses of the year, on “Interlude”. Andre 3000 follows him up with a very solid verse, pretty much just doing his thing. It is hard to pick out one guy who shines the most in “Outro”, but with a gun to my head I would have to say Nas’s verse challenges Tech’s as best verse on the album, and likewise some of the best material I have heard all year. Busta manages to make a serious impact in his appearance, grabbing our attention with his fast pace as well as his Luda-like delivery in portions of his verse. Finally, Shyne’s verse is absolutely street, and Bun B has a solid verse, but is overshadowed to some degree by the later verses of Nas, Shyne, and Busta on the same track.
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