This NOT That: Defeating Relentless Radio-play

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The car that I have recently been driving these days unfortunately does not have a good way to play an iPod. Thus, I have gotten back in the routine of listening to the radio a bit more regularly. And I use the word routine very intentionally. Radio stations are nothing if not routine. They have simply just become a cesspool of the same stinking few songs with their insignificantly tiny and terrible playlists. It is hard to find any sort of real variety or anything of real substance on the air at all. Although this does come in handy when I am in my Ke$ha, T-Swift, Katy Perry moods (which let’s face it, I’m always in the mood for these ladies), the rest of my times on the radio seem to be confusing and frustrating. Even classic rock stations have such small playlists, that it makes them unbearable to listen too regularly. So, in an effort to rid us of these stale, repetitive tunes, I will now direct my frustrations into another segment of “This NOT That”.

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This NOT That: Defeating Relentless Radio-play

The Legend of John Legend

Who ever decided John Legend should be featured on every major hip-hop release to come out, and when was this decision made?  God, that’s who.  It is true God rested on the seventh day, but in all actuality he spent the majority of that seventh day contemplating the creation of singer/songwriter John Legend almost 8,000 years later.  Hit the jump for the main talking points of why John Legend was actually not a gift from God, but a curse.
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The Legend of John Legend

“F*ckin’ Problem” Song Review: A$AP Rocky (ft. 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, & Drake)

I began writing some sort of weird farcical review for A$AP Rocky’s upcoming album, LongLiveA$AP.  The premise was the album has already been delayed twice (the first time for a month until October 31, and most recently to early 2013), and I was ultimately going to bitch and complain a lot about delayed albums and how that typically doesn’t bode well for the album.  In particular, it doesn’t bode well for an artist who hasn’t released a studio album yet and is the musical equivalent to a rookie quarterback in the NFL.  Sure, you saw him dominate in the lower ranks, but the jury’s out until we see where the big label influx of production money lands our Fabergé egg talent.

I decided to scrap above premise because I couldn’t exactly figure out what track to take with the whole thing.  Instead, I decided to do a big ole’ boring song review of a track that gives me hope that LongLiveA$AP  still has a legitimate chance to propel my favorite young unestablished hip-hop prospect into superstardom.
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“F*ckin’ Problem” Song Review: A$AP Rocky (ft. 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, & Drake)

You Can Catch Me & My Crew Listening To “Hot Cheetos and Takis”

Hot Cheetos and Takis music video with yn rich kids

Time to get your face melted. Not from some wicked guitar lick or an outrageous drum solo, but from the crazy heat of all these Hot Cheetos and Takis. A northern Minneapolis YMCA put together a local Beats and Rhymes program for kids in the area. Not only has this program seemed to have taken off in the community, but it just helped launch one group of kids into the world of viral stardom with one song. After only 2 weeks of being uploaded to YouTube the video is garnering over a million hits, and I have a feeling that number will drastically increase within this next week.
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You Can Catch Me & My Crew Listening To “Hot Cheetos and Takis”

2 Chainz Review: Based on a T.R.U. Story

2 Chainz

Based on a T.R.U. Story

2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story, true story, album, cover, art, two chainz, chains

This is about as money, drugs, and hoes as it gets people.  There are two tracks called “Money Machine” and “Crack”, which respectively cover the money and drugs categories by their titles.  Beyond that, the chorus for “Birthday Song” features a hook which not only covers the “ho” aspect of T.R.U. Story, but also pretty accurately describes every adolescent boy’s birthday wish when blowing out the candles, “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho”.  So that’s something relatable I guess.

This not to say Based on a T.R.U. Story lacks in occasionally being quality entertainment.  I just think that a few hot guest verses created a set of unrealistic expectations for 2 Chainz.  Everyone seems to look good working with Kanye, like 2 Chainz did on “Mercy”, and his verse on Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” was a breath of fresh air on a somewhat painful record.  Because of these and other nice guest spots, something between hope and legitimate expectation developed for 2 Chainz to release what Rick Ross, David Banner, and Young Jeezy haven’t been able to this year:  a fancy-packaged big-box rap album that delivers on all fronts.
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2 Chainz Review: Based on a T.R.U. Story

Dirty Projectors Review: Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors

Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan album cover art

Simple honesty often goes far beyond any high concept or dramatization ever will. Dave Longstreth, frontman and creative force behind the ever-changing Brooklyn indie rock band Dirty Projectors, has seemingly figured that out on the band’s seventh album, Swing Lo Magellan. Longstreth has never had a shortness of ideas, with the Dirty Projectors being known for albums chock-full of interesting and elaborate concepts, from an entire album of reimagined and reinterpreted Black Flag songs in Rise Above, to a “glitch-opera” about Eagles frontman Don Henley that also tackles ancient mexico, post-9/11 America, and oil in The Getty Address. However, Swing Lo Magellan finally shows Dirty Projectors in the glorious height they have been building towards; a beautifully bombastic yet direct pop record bursting with creative touches around every corner.
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Dirty Projectors Review: Swing Lo Magellan

Nicki Minaj Review: Unique Doesn’t Always Mean Good

Nicki Minaj

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

 nicki minaj, roman reloaded, pink friday, cover, album, art

I think most people would agree that while Pink Friday was a supreme disappointment, bordering on unmitigated disaster.  Featuring a wide array of terrible samples and unnecessary guest spots, Nicki’s debut was bland by her frenetic standards.  Not only was Pink Friday bland, it also revealed her greatest flaw as an artist: self-awareness.  I believe this flaw is why Nicki has shined more on tracks with other established artists than on tracks where she is the focal point (Kanye’s “Monster”, Lil’ Wayne’s “What’s Wrong With Them”, Young Money’s “F*** da Bullsh**”).  And in fact the one track from Pink Friday that spoke to her potential was “Roman’s Revenge”, which had the creative imprint of Eminem all over it. 

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Nicki Minaj Review: Unique Doesn’t Always Mean Good