I can’t front, Drake’s “So Far Gone” was “everyday” music for me in the summer of ’09. With the arrival (*ahem*) of Drake’s HIGHLY anticipated “Thank Me Later” I was hoping for more of the same to get me through this summer. Even though Swizzy remarked on Twitter that the initial leak wasn’t the “actual” album, it sure as hell sounded finalized to me! To hell with Swizzy anyway for knockin’ up one of my favorite girls. Imagine an album full of “Fireworks”? I believe that “Fireworks” initially leaked nearly two weeks prior to the release of “Thank Me Later”, yet I avoided all of the leaks from this album prior to it’s proper release, or rather, I just didn’t care.
I don’t give a damn if you’re a hardrock that goes to the club and posts high on the wall all night long or so tied up in the Golden Age that you can’t get past 1996 (I see you Jaz, I still love ya’ maaan!) “Fireworks” is that knock. While I’m not to fond of Drake’s “one-liners” or lack thereof, Drake’s boy “40″ killed it on the production tip and Mrs. Beatz’ sultry vocals gimme’ the goosebumps. Quite honestly, I probably bumped this track 30 or more times in the whip the first day I heard it. As for the remainder of “Thank Me Later”? Well, I’ll leave that up to Dart….
Dude, the first time I peeped the video for Shad’s thunderous debut single from his “TSOL” LP, I was thoroughly impressed! I can even recall stating “to hell with “Exhibit C”! This jawn right here!?”. However, I wish I could have shared the same sentiments with the majority of Shad’s LP. Unfortunately, that was not the case, as I expected more of the same boisterous energy and production that could be found on “Yaa, I Get It”. And while some would go on to say that the Oddisee remix of the track was even one step up on the EOM-produced O.G., I’ll stick with the first take! The homie Muneshine even took a stab at it, but it would still take a backseat to the Oddisee version.
78. “Sync-In City” – Panacea
For those readers who’ve remained loyal to When They Reminisce over the last 3 years, you already know just how “big” I am on Panacea. Truly one of a kind, the production styling of K-Murdock and lyrical musings of one Raw Poetic don’t really “grab you” per se upon first listen to the duo. Yet, they are both so damn unique and original that it’s almost impossible not to revert back to albums like “The Scenic Route” and “A Mind On A Ship Through Time” for a refresher on just how talented this oft-overlooked duo truly are.
With the proper-U.S. (the album was initially only available for purchase overseas, I believe) of the “12 Step Program” May 5th, Panacea compiled their finest piece of work to date. While K-Murdock’s production on the LP featured his signature melodic style, it’s tracks such as this, the nearly 120-BPM “Sync In City” that ventured off the usual path of what you can expect from Panacea. And while Raw Poetic has remained as consistent and potent on the mic as ever, Panacea’s forward-thinking on this LP elevates this album to an instant classic in the minds of Panacea’s die-hard following.
77. “Reasons” – Grey Matter
My favorite cut from the Grey Matter’s “Self Titled” LP, “Reasons” finds Illustrate recounting a tale where he was offered to catch a ride in the back of a packed Isuzu Rode0 (you remember those “deathtraps”, right?) to a local KRS-One show. Opting out at the last minute, Illustrate arrived to school the next morning only to find out that the cats whom he was supposed to catch a “ride” with, where killed in an accident that night. Even though the instrumental to “Reasons” will have you humming the Howie Tee-provided backing to the Special Ed classic, “C’mon, Let’s Move It”, the lyrical content will have you thinking “Thank God, He Didn’t Do It”.
76. “All I Want Is You” – Miguel Jontel f. J Cole
Drake? Now, Miguel Jontel? Damn E, WTF?? Yeah, I know, but you didn’t have to hear this jawn as your wife’s ringtone for nearly 3/4 of 2010. Yo, this jawn “All I Want Is You” by Miguel (whom you’ll recall from his show-stopping vocals on the Blu & Exile CLASSIC “Below The Heavens”) with raps by Roc Nation’s rising (aww, uff it, he’s here now!) lyricist J. Cole, is quite possibly my favorite R & B cut since Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall In Love?”. And the production? Yeppers, courtesy of none other than Salaam Remi (Nas, Fugees, etc.) is simple, yet undeniable. Propers to the Fam-A-Lam Potholes In My Blog for the initial linkage. Matter of fact, you can get Miguel mixtape “Mischief” HERE (link courtesy of Fresh Selects).
75. “Let ‘Em Know”-Bun B
Yeah Preem!! Now, this was vintage DJ Premier!! Arguably, one of his most potent tracks in quite some time. Damn, and he saved all the good stuff for Bun B, you can find “Let Em’ Know” on Bun’s long-awaited “Trill O.G.” I’ve never been the biggest Bun B “stan”….errr, fan, yet can you only imagine what a proper, full length, collaborative LP from the two respective legends would sound like? Good Lawd!
74. “Electric Company” (J57 Remix) – St Joe Louis
I gotta’ say, J57 of the Brown Bag All-Stars killed it on this remix! As if St Joe Louis weren’t impressive enough on their free EP, “Almost There”, the trio re-emerged with a revamped version of the well-received outing. The only thing that kills me about this trio is their moniker, hailing from Jersey, their name indicates Nelly’s home state. You will find this track on the forthcoming “Old To The New II” blended with a certain Rakaa (Dilated Peoples) track, courtesy of yours truly!
73. “If I” – Trumaine
No, “If I” cannot be found on either of Trumaine’s “Beats by Trumaine”. Lucky me, Tru’ sent this over last summer, after much begging and pleading from myself and Dart. Lucky for you, you know have entered the Trumaine experience. Hailing from Waukegan, Illinois Trumaine’s production have been featured on nearly every #Scrunchface show, but it’s “If I” that has got me banging my head against the desk as I type this. Don’t tell me that Tru’ isn’t on his “Rocky” sh*t with this one! Good Lawd!
72. “Freezing World”- Collective Efforts f. Dillon
Yo, C.E.’s “Freezing World” just make a brother feel good! Also, just in case you missed out, be sure to peep our “B-House Approved” review of “Freezing World” HERE. Even though 1/3 of the crew sounds EXACTLY like Charlie 2Na, these cats, Dillon included on the title cut, have truly kept it real. A true throwback to the days when we had groups, Collective efforts have proven that we your crew is comprised of cats whom all have the same musical goal in my, the end result can be eye-opening.
71. “LiSTen!” – TzariZM
Following on the heels of first single “Let You Go,” from the Doxside Music Group and Bloggerhouse presented “Dare Iz A Doxside” LP, “LiSTeN!,” found TzariZM proving that he, also, is one of the more capable dual threats in Hip Hop. Also, the Oddisee-laced production on this uptempo banger only enhanced your listening experience. As 1/2 of the Heart & Brain, TzariZM is also partially responsible for one of the year’s finer LPs with “Mbodiment”.