Stealing a page from Trav’s book (great to have you back brother!), I thought I’d put all the “THOUGHTS” that have been swirling around in my pea brain for the last “x” amount of days, weeks to paper. Please, bare with me….
Don’t front on Drake. Take it from me, when it comes to the Golden Era and my noted inability to branch out into “mainstream/overground” music, Drake’s “Take Care” is a very good listen, IMO. The album starts with a bang, with what is my favorite track from “Take Care”, “Over My Dead Body”. A brash, cinematic opener, much in the fashion of “Fireworks” from “Thank Me Later”, “..Dead Body” is simply addictive and unavoidable. While the majority of Drake’s metaphoric verses on “Thank Me Later” were lazy, unmemorable and somewhat lame, this native Canadian delivers punchlines and one-liners that are even, at times “rewind worthy”. Quite honestly, there are a ton of moments found on “Take Care” which transported me back to the days when I enjoyed one of my favorite R & B albums of all-time, Jodeci’s “The Show, The Hotel, The Afterparty”. Also, another highlight is delivered via Kendrick Lamar with his “Buried Alive Interlude”.
Mello Music Group is the new Def Jux/Rawkus…you call it! Michale Tolle has grabbed the helms and assembled what is quite possibly the most consistent, talented roster in all of Hip Hop right now. Things don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon with the release of my brother Has-Lo’s “Conversation B” this coming Tuesday, the 15th and yU’s “The Earn”, just in time for X-Mas, dropping the December 13. Has already knows this, but with production from the likes of J-Zone (seriously J? Seriously? Good Lawd!), Exile, Small Pro, Exile, Eric Lau, Apollo Brown, etc., “Conversation B” has a much “lighter” feel than the O.G., “In Case I Don’t Make It”. Often, when you get this many producers on one album, it often comes off rushed and uneven….not the case with “Conversation B”. I must mention though, my favorite production from the album is delivered from Scrunchface Show originator, ST/MiC who brought the house down with the melodic, bass-heavy, “One For Nana”. I know what you’re thinking, “of course” you’re gonna‘ be biased to the ST/MiC production, Eric”. Well, you’re gotdamn right, just take my word for it “One For Nana” bangs and the remainder of “Conversation B” is a better listen than “I.C.I.D.M.I.”, which is easily one of the year’s best as it stands.
As for yU’s “The Earn”, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic, “Before Taxes” from 2009? Well, I literally have a shit-eatin’ grin’ plastered across my face as “The Earn” blares through my office speakers. My Gawd (CL Smooth voice), GAME OVER ya’ll!!! I thought “Before Taxes” was ill, but yU has topped his last output, which was a difficult task within itself. Make no bones about it, Has and yU are two of the most overlooked, under-appreciated emcees in the game. yU’s tongue in cheek, confident delivery matches the confident swagger of the toothpick gnawing gentleman depicted in the photo to your left. Lyrically, yU’s delivery and content is flawless, couple that with production from the likes of Unknown (Jazz Addixx), Slimkat78, Kev Brown, Kokayi, Charlie Ross and yU himself, “The Earn” does the Chocolate City proud! If you long for the days when A.T.C.Q., De La and L.O.N.S. where crafting some of the best music in Hip Hop, be certain to set aside a lil’ X-Mas loot to cop “The Earn”!!!!!!