When I look back and compare this year’s first quarter crop of albums to last year’s crop, and this year blows last year out of the water. I’ve been a little more pickier and choosier as I’ve aforementioned earlier about what I listen to, but all ten of these albums on this first quarter list have gotten consistent plays. In my older age, I’m mellowing out and what a more “musical” performance, or if not that, just some straight up old school, slap ya in the snot box, boom bap hip hop. So in some ways, this list is kind of all over the place when it comes to what I’m listening to.
And remember, this is strictly MY favorites, so it would fall under the opinion label. I realize that cats aren’t going to listen to what I listen to all the time. But you do read this blog, so obviously we have some similar tastes.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 10 albums of the first quarter (Albums, meaning no EPs, Mixtapes, or instrumental projects)
I’ve been kind of late arriving to the party when it comes to both Declaime & Georgia Anne Muldrow. Both have been somewhat critically acclaimed, but for some reason, I haven’t really gotten into neither of their musical prowess in the past. My introduction to Declaime aka Dudley Perkins, was on Tha Alkaholiks’ Coast II Coast album, but he’s been kind of “out there” for my tastes whenever I checked him out since then. Georgia Anne Muldrow has been good when I have listened to her solo material, but I never got too deep into it. Well, on SomeOthaShip, they both sound on point. Declaime has either dialed it down, or I’m just more open to his creativeness and Georgia Anne handles a handful of production, sings and spits, and she does them all well. Strong effort from this duo.
9. Statik Selektah - 100 Proof: The Hangover (BUY)
I’ll come out and say it: Statik Selektah might just be the hottest producer in the game currently. And I’ll come out and say that I wasn’t really feeling the majority of his joints until this year. Dude has been on a roll. It took me a little awhile to sit down and listen to 100 Proof: The Hangover, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised. A large portion of the beats found on the project are good or better, the guests are all giving effort, which you don’t always find on compilations such as this. Tracks like “Critically Acclaimed”, which features some of the best NYC has to offer, are just straight off the rocker. He’s got some of the hottest artists out, and not a lot of B.S. artists that you may find on some of the other compilations out there. You can’t argue with the quality of the album, as there is something for everybody, and probably a lot more for a lot of us.
8. Meth, Ghost & Rae - Wu-Massacre (Buy)
Yes, it’s short, there are several “skits” and tracks we’ve heard before and maybe I just really want to like this project, but I do dig Wu-Massacre. Could it be more polished and better put together? Probably, but regardless, the tracks they have used are all tracks that were banging the first time I heard them and the are banging this time around. Method Man continues to impress lately as he sounds like a hungry pitbull in a butcher shop. Ghost seems to be holding back still, but he’s still better scaled back than most emcees going all out. Could it be better? Again, yes, it could, but I don’t see/hear any glaring (read: wack) efforts to be found on here. Needless to say, I’d rather hear 10 dope tracks on a short album such as this than I hearing 10 dope tracks on a twenty track album, so while it’s a quick snack, it’ll hold me over until the next dope Wu project (which hopefully isn’t too far off).
7. Intuition – Girls Like Me (Buy)
For some reason, Intuition seems to get some hate on the internets, not sure why. Sure, he’s not going to be mistaken for the best emcee in the game, the hardest or the cleverest, but he makes good songs and good songs result into a good album. His second album, Girls Like Me, shows a lot of improvement on the emcee tip and song writing skills from the LA artist. If you aren’t a fan of introspective, female problem having, drink too much to escape ones problems type of albums, then you probably won’t feel this. These things remind me of my personal life, so I have no problem relating to the topics found on Girls Like Me. The beats are all pretty much on point, as they fit the mood and the track subjects well and just add to the overall feel of the project. It’s a very well constructed album, with the only thing that could be knocked for is the subject matter by some of the knuckle heads that can’t let hip hop grow and diversify.
6. Obii Say & Sinitus Tempo – The Vinyl Proxy 1965 (FREE DOWNLOAD)
For two relatively unknowns throwing out a free album to the masses, The Vinyl Proxy 1965 is probably the surprise album of the year so far. And I don’t see this falling too much in the future neither. Emcee Obii Say teams up with fellow D.C. resident, Sinitus Tempo on the boards. They create an album that is deep in soulful, driving, and even somewhat psychedelic sounding beats and creative and on point rhymes. It’s deep for a couple of young cats, as they both sound like they have been doin’ they thing for awhile. The chemistry is also on point, which makes for a very cohesive album, something that you don’t find on free bandcamp offerings very often. What is even more rare, this album keeps getting better with time, so I can see this being on the iPod rotation for months to come.