Two days after Thanksgiving, Austin and I strapped on our gold watches and chains and headed up to Motown to see the two biggest acts (egos) in hip hop today, Kanye West and Jay-Z, join together to put on one massive show. As the marquee would suggest, the show was quite simply two and a half hours of unadulterated Jay and Ye, meaning no opening act, no guests, and an almost non-existent backing band, though there was plenty of flash and flair in the duo’s stage show. Continue reading “Jay-Z and Kanye Show Review: A Heavyweight Bout”
There has been this absurd narrative floating around, basically lauding Wale for resurrecting from the dead to release a second studio album. It’s not like the guy completely shat the bed on his debut or anything, it was just an utter commercial failure. In essence, this narrative is propagating the theory that the only hip-hop albums of any value are those with mass commercial appeal. Continue reading “Wale Review: A Breath of Hip-Hop Fresh Air”
So, I have been traveling the past three weekends to various weddings in St. Louis and Omaha, and thought that after all the weddings I have been to this season, that we could do a list of top wedding songs. Now, you may question lack of slow songs on this list. That is because weddings are for party-dance, and if you are not the one getting married, emotions should be left in the dust.
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. Continue reading “Lil’ Wayne Review: Tha Carter IV”