Top Ten Thursday: In Memory Of …

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in-memory

So maybe Memorial Day is really to honor solely fallen servicemen and servicewomen in the United States.  But we wanted to make a list of the top ten songs memorializing just about anyone to give us a little more to choose from.  So whether it be a fallen loved one, fellow musician, fictional character or national figure, all songs about the deceased are fair game.  So in the words of everyone’s favorite dead collector, “Bring out yer dead”.

Editor’s Note: This list was originally posted in 2012 for Memorial Day.

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Big Boi Review Royale: Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors

Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

big boi, vicious lies, dangerous rumors, album, cover, art

Todd’s Take:

For many years, Big Boi was the slightly lesser half of one of my favorite hip hop acts, Outkast. It’s not that he wasn’t a crucial part of every Outkast album; he just seemed to be a little more one-sided than Andre 3000. Big Boi focused more on dominating the rap game with a strikingly smooth and original flow, all while incorporating his tack-sharp wit. Andre, on the other hand, covered a lot of the musical bases and focused more on fusing genres by incorporating elements of jazz, funk, and blues into the hip hop world.  This contrast was exemplified on their 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in which each album belonged to a different member; Speakerboxxx was Big Boi’s project and Andre’s was The Love Below. Although Speakerboxxx was very enjoyable, Andre’s efforts on The Love Below cast a shadow over Big Boi’s work, essentially leaving Speakerboxx in the dark.

After Andre’s 6 year absence, Big Boi has stepped up his game, continuing on with what he does best but also taking over Andre’s role of fusing additional elements of music into his own brand of hip hop. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is Big Boi’s third solo album (if you inlcude Speakerboxxx, which you should) and further proves to show us that he can very well hold his own, and not just in the rap game. Big Boi manages to branch out musically, blending multiple genres together in a new way.
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Top Ten Thursday: In Memory Of …

picture of memorial day activities such as fireworks and parties

So maybe Memorial Day is really to honor solely fallen servicemen and servicewomen in the United States.  But we wanted to make a list of the top ten songs memorializing just about anyone to give us a little more to choose from.  So whether it be a fallen loved one, fellow musician, fictional character or national figure, all songs about the deceased are fair game.  So in the words of everyone’s favorite dead collector, “Bring out yer dead”.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: In Memory Of …”

Top Ten Thursday: The Sophomore Slump

The sophomore album.  There is almost always exponentially more anticipation and expectations for a band or artist’s second album.  We at LxL thought that those expectations would lead to a lot of massively disappointing second efforts.  Interestingly enough, after a lot of research, we were pleased to discover that the sophomore album failure rate is really not all that high.  Despite this welcome discovery, there were still enough clunkers to make a list of the most disappointing follow-up albums.  Note that this list does not contain the worst all-time sophomore albums, but instead the albums that did not live up to the expectations brought on by a great or promising debut.  As always, fill in the blanks with any albums we may have left off the list, or call us out for albums you think should not have been included.  Enjoy!

10. Raekwon – Immobilarity

raekwon, album, cover, art

So your two best friends are RZA and Ghostface Killah, and you’ve just released your debut smash, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.  What should you do next?  I’ll tell you what you don’t do.  You don’t bypass one of the greatest hip-hop producers since the genre’s genesis (RZA).  You also don’t fail to utilize a rapper that fits snugly between Biggy and Jay-Z in the holy triumvirate of New York rappers (Ghostface).  Fail.

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1999: A Small Grammy Miracle

1999:  A Small Grammy Miracle

grammy rap nominees, 1999, album, cover, art

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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LxListening: All Hail the Queen

Queen Victoria, Picture, Portrait, Music
Queen Victoria...she had a really nice personality.

With the explosion of the internet, it is somehow hard to believe that I don’t hear much of the good music that originates in ye ole’ England.  Even some pretty big pop acts still have to be sought out, due to an absurd lack of exposure in the states.  This week, I’ve decided to share a couple of acts from our cousins across the pond that are particularly striking my fancy right now.
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