I watched The Wackness, delved back into Illmatic, found a tape of 3 Feet High and Rising in my new room, bought skateboard with Slick Rick on it, but really this year I didn't listen or seek out enough new hip hop. I thought maybe that wasn't too huge a bummer because I had read somewhere that there wasn't really that much great hip hop to come out this year but I'm pretty sure there was, so Rose Quartz asked someone who would know, our HOMIE in Sydney, Gervin Puse. Here, in no particular order, as his fav hip hop jams from this year. It's okay, you can trust him; he can be yr go to guy, too, when you need more street cred and things to play from yr boombox.
Kid Cudi - Day 'N' Nite My favourite hip hop song to come from Cleveland since Bone Thugs N Harmony dropped Thuggish Ruggish Bone all those years ago. Though whereas they were relegated weed carriers for the late, great Eazy E, Cudi's receiving a helping hand from the most melodramtic man in hip hop, or music in general at the moment in Kanye West. Where most people prefer the more upbeat "Crookers" remix, I dig on the original version a lot more. I think the spaced-out downtempo feel is not only a little bit of a nod to Kanye's production style at the moment but his lyrics come through on a personal level for the listener. Though it could just be me being unemployed at the moment and staying up til 3 listening to music when I really should be doing something more productive. Nah, fuck that.
Killer Mike - Grandma's House I don't think there's a been a rapper who's been a more poignant and entertaining social commentator since Chuck D than Killer Mike. What I'm trying to say is that when he has something to communicate, he'll make sure you not only get the message but that it's shoved in front of your face to the point where you can't really ignore it. Look no further than "That's Life" on I Pledge Allegiance Volume 1 where he made mince meat of some of rap music's most outspoken and visible critics. On this track however, we see a different side of Mike as he shows he's more than capapble of introspective storytelling. Bill O'Reilly and Oprah can rest easy for the time being.
Jay-Z feat. Santogold - Brooklyn (Go Hard) This is the only new track Jay-Z has released this year and will be featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming film based on The Notorious B.I.G.'s life "Notorious". It slays. What we witness is Jay-Z switching up his flow to an almost reggae-like cadence, 2008 hype queen Santogold giving us a simple but memorable verse while here voice is sampled throughout and holding it all together is Kanye West's production. The dude has come along way from his trademark sped-up samples and string section stabs. We get a beat that's dense, textural, and featuring some of the hardest drums this side of Dr. Dre.
Shawty Lo - Foolish This beat is outlandish, over the top and unnecessarily "epic" but when it comes to a majority of southern artists, particularly those who used to be in D4L, I'd be a fool to expect anything less. Lo can bearly rap, I mean he pretty much "whispers" all the lyrics, which are simplistic at best, but it all comes together and I can't help but love this. It makes me want a ridiculously expensive car. It makes me want to put 26s, hell, 28s on that ridiculously expensive car and be seen. Ladies and gentlemen, The Greatest Driving Song of 2008.
Sheek Louch - Good Love This song make me think of summer in the 90s. This song never fails to put me in a good mood no matter what and a lot has of it has to do with Sheek. He comes across as playful, witty, cool and just the kinda dude you wanna have a beer with while watching the Celtics. Fuck all the stress, he's just out for some "good love". Aren't we all?
Lil' Wayne feat. Bobby Valentino - Mrs. Officer If you've ever had a fetish of women in police uniforms, this is the song for you.
Scarface - Forgot About Me ft. Bun B & Lil' Wayne Scarface is one of the greatest and a prominent fixture in many a "Top Five: Dead or Alive" list. Listen to him school Lil' Wayne on a Cool & Dre beat trying to sound like a Just Blaze beat.
Big Boi - Royal Flush (Feat. Raekwon & Andre 3000) Would sound at home on any 90s Outkast record and Andre raps - that's an event in itself.
Wale - The Kramer Wale writes a song about how Michael Richards has ruined Seinfeld reruns forever. Well, not really but it's still pretty good.