Monday, April 22, 2013

Best MC/Producers


This is the cousin to my the other post of best Producer-MC combos. The ideas are cut from the same cloth but not identical. I've said before i got tons of respect for the guys that can make dope beats and spit ill rhymes over them. That's like being a player coach taking it back to them Pete Rose days betting on himself. These guys can lay a plan out and execute it the exact way they want it. If you're just an MC you're at the mercy of the producer's beat and if you're a producer more often than not i'm a say more often than not they feel the MC doesn't do the beat justice. But when you can do it all it's like your baby that you seen grow from a loop then along the way a snare was added here maybe some drums are sprinkled there. Then you get to decide the words to go with it and your pushing your baby's life just the way you want it. That some special stuff if that record can be successful because no one else touched that except you. Well enough of me talking let's get into me talking some more. Here we go...

Black Milk

Honorable Metnions
I'm going to get a lot of shit for only having these guys in the honorable mention but i'm not trying to pretend like i know their work when i don't. That being said i know these guys are among the best at what they do and i need to check their stuff out soon.

Large Professor
Black Milk
DJ Quik 
Aesop Rock

The List

10. Blu
Putting Blu right here is weird for me because i am basing this off of very little. I am basing his MCing off of his one album that I actually listened to, Below The Heavens, along with some features he has been on over the years like The Day, Old Souls, and Questions (shout out to Arima Ederra). And as for his production skills i am basing that off of his collaborative EP with my man ANTHM, Handful Of Dust. That project dropped maybe a month ago and if you haven't checked it out, give it a listen. It's less than 30 minutes so you can listen to it while taking a shit or walking to school and be done with it quick plus it has replay value so do yourself a favor. The weird thing is that i have yet to hear Blu spit over beats by GodLeeBarnes, his producer alter ego. I'm sure it's out there so i just gotta do my research. But i enjoyed those two projects so much i had to slide Blu onto the list and show some love. Oh and he is actually a good producer unlike someone like Kid Cudi who sounds like he just started making beats 5 minutes before he stepped into the booth to record Indicud

9. Pimp C
RIP Pimp C. One half of the legendary UGK with his partner in crime Bun B, Pimp C produced much of the duo's material over their illustrious career. That is the thing i love about in house producers is that they know the exact vision the MCs want to put out. Pimp C laced those tracks and the appeal of UGK was their heavy beats. Their music was south to the core and just excellent. And if you're like me and haven't delved too much into their work you know Big Pimpin and yeah that was Pimp C and B-U-N-B on there with Jigga man. 

8. J Dilla
In my opinion Dilla, RIP, is the greatest producer in the history of hip hop. The guys that influenced Dilla ended up getting influenced by him before it was all said and done. That is some shit. Think about that. Imagine the student becoming the teacher to his former teacher. His production work is unparralleled to anyone who has been in the game. You could go for days listing the excellent albums he has had his hand in over the years like Fantastic Vol 2, Labcabincalifornia, Beats rhymes and Life, and Like Water For Chocolate to name a few. He was never one to get on the mic very often but when he did he made sure to make it count. Just working with talented MCs his whole career probably rubbed off on Jay Dee and he soaked up tips just by being there. Look at Fall-N-Love for an example. Shit is just great in every sense of the word. I wish he dropped more projects with him spitting on it more but what can you do. At least he left us with so many dope beats to listen to. 

7. Lord Finesse
Lord Finesse bruh. A staple in the New York rap scene of since he came out with Funky Technician back in 1990. Unfortunately he is now known to the young kids as the guy who sued Mac Miller for $10 million for using Hip 2 Da Game without permission to make Kool Aid And Frozen Pizza in a move that could change the mixtape game forever. Personally i feel he took it too far with that but that is neither here nor there. He worked great as a solo artist but also worked well as part of the Diggin In The Crates Crew. You know, the group with Big L (RIP), pre-terrible Fat Joe, and O.C (listen to Trophies with Apollo Bown if you haven't already). Lord Finesse was dope both behind the boards and on the mic and i don't how big he was back then but nowadays at least he doesn't get the respect that he deserves. 

6. RZA
The legend right here. I don't really need to speak much on his production skills but you can read up on them here and scroll down to the bottom. When Wu Tang came out with 36 Chambers they truly changed the sound of hip hop and a huge part of that was the mastermind of it all, RZA. He made those grimy, dusty beats that sounds like they were made in a garage but it worked and captured the aesthetic of the Wu Tang vision perfectly. When you think of Wu Tang you think of those hard hitting choppy piano beats, they were the best. The best thing about RZA as a producer is that he did not stay confines to hip hop circles. He looked to expand his audience by dabbling in film and television by doing the score to Kill Bill, Soul Plane, Afro Samurai, and Django. Also, in addition to doing the score on the Man With The Iron Fists he starred, directed, and produced it. But he did not just get busy behind the boards. RZA didn't jump on a ton of tracks but whenever he did he made sure to make his prescence felt. He had one of the better verses on Protect Ya Neck, said fuckin ridiculous on So Appalled, and took over the song Beez on Cudi's last album..."I don't write songs young grasshopper, i write sceneries." Whenever he touches the mic you know as a listener you are about to get some knowledge dropped down upon you and his verses always have so many meaning that they could mean something different to everybody. Just keep doing your thing Ruler Zig Zag Allah.

5. Kanye West 
I''m going to get a lot of shit about putting Kanye behind the next guy on the list but that isn't a knock on Kanye at all. His career is remarkable considering he had always aspired to be a rapper but when no one would give him the time or day he made sure he got into the industry by becoming one of the best beatmakers of his generation. Kanye burst onto the scene as a sought after producer following the work he did on Jay-z's The Blueprint which is thought of as either Hov's best or 2nd best album in his career. The biggest cuts Kanye laced for the album were the Nas diss, Takeover, and H to the Izzo. After that, artists were reaching out to Kanye and he proceeded to make tracks like Down and Out, Guess Who's Back, 03 Bonnie and Clyde just to name a few. With his success Kanye set out to make a name for himself as a rapper and dropped 4 very very good albums in The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. His fourth album 808s and Heartbreak is constantly given flack for being his worst but the singy songy rap we hear nowadays largely stems from that album. The great thing about kanye is that on each of his projects up through MBDTF is that we saw the progression of him as an MC and as a Producer. Both facets were getting better and more grandiose with each album. It perfectly correlated with his ego getting bigger and bigger as time went by too. But lately there have been rumors of kanye having his stuff either ghost written or ghost produced which people say is the reason his last two projects, Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer weren't the same quality as previous projects but who knows. Even if that was true, the fact that Kanye has those first five albums to his name speaks volumes to his talent. And now the man has crossed over value. Nowadays he is more of a celebrity than a musician but we all know if he gets his mind right, he can lace fire at the drop of a dime.  

4. Big K.R.I.T
My boy right here. If he can keep putting out the work he has been the last three years he is going to be creeping up the list even though he already is high up here. Starting with Krit Wuz Here he has released 5 good to excellent projects. I wasn't feeling Live From The Underground too much and King Remembered In Time has to go through a couple more months to see if it still has replay value because Krit has said he tries to make timeless music. On that note Krit Wuz Here, Return Of 4eva, and 4 Eva N A Day were all top notch releases that if i had done a year end list of best albums, they would have been at the top in each of the last 3 years. The funny thing too was 4ENAD took me a while to appreciate and now that stays in constant rotation on the ipod. The things i love about his music is i could listen to the beats, the samples, and the lyrics and they all fit together perfectly. I am convinced there is no one else on this planet who could execute the other half for Krit better than Krit can himself. What i mean by that is that no other producer can match their beats to Krit's lyrics or no other lyricists can match their words with Krit's beats better then he can. He is the only one that can execute his vision. I can listen to his projects as instrumentals and be just as happy as if i'm listening to the complete album. The thing about Krit too is that right now he up there with MCs in terms of being a lyricist and up at the top in terms of being a producer. He can do either just as good and meshes those talents well when he chooses to do so.

3. Q-Tip
Now i don't know what Ali Shaheed Muhammed did as a member of A Tribe Called Quest but I do know Q-Tip crafted the production for their first three classic albums. Tip helped usher in the afro-centric rap genre proving rappers weren't all about flaunting what they had while proving you could have a good time vibing out to jazz basslines. Not only that but with his nasally voice and clever punchlines, Q held his own on the mic. He was the most prominent spitter on their debut album and when Phife finally caught up by the time The Low End Theory rolled around, ATCQ was something to be reckoned with. The funny thing is that Q-Tip's most notable contribution to not just hip hop but to music in general was not the jazz rap, the Native Tongues Posse, or Tribe but rather it was taking a young kid named Jay Dee under his wing laying down the foundation for the greatest producer to become the legend he became. It was like Ip Man training Bruce Lee, rip. Tip had some success as a solo artist but did his best work in groups like the aforementioned ATCQ and the Native Tongues in addition to The Ummah and the Soulquarians. You can catch him now as a member of GOOD Music which i don't think anyone really knows what he does other then give advice to the younger cats and kanye himself since he wasn't even on Cruel Summer. Q-Tip is a legend in the game and can do whatever he wants the rest of his career because he has done more than enough for both himself and for hip hop as a culture to solidify his legacy.

2. El-P
El-Producto man what can i say about the guy. If he just stuck to producing he would have been been a legend in the game. He was a part of Rawkus Records back in their heyday as part of Company Flow and produced their album Funcrusher Plus by himself. Then he entirely produced one of the greatest if not the greatest underground hip hop album ever Cold Vein by Cannibal Ox. He doesn't spit too often but when he does he makes it count. El-P has released three solo albums since 2002 so you know he takes his time crafting his work and it pays off because each of his projects have been heralded as the best of their respective years. His lyrics are dense so you gotta listen to them a bunch of times to get what he is saying but when it all comes together you just get a wtf feeling and you wonder why you haven't been listening to him before. He is truly unique as an artist that there is no chance of biting his style because someone will call that person out immediately. That is how distinct it is. And the last year has been real good to El-P. He produced Killer Mike's last album RAP Music which received universal acclaim, he released his latest album, Cancer 4 Cure to universal acclaim, performed at Coachella, and had the best verse on the rowdiest track of 2013 so far in Piss Test. El-P doesn't flood the market with material but at least when he does give us something it is not only quality, but it is god enough to satisfy us until he drops his next project. Big ups to El-P.

The man, the myth, the legend literally. Not a lot of people know too much about Doom's personal life and he likes it that way. The Super Villian has many personas on the mic and he matches his production style to fit each persona. He is like a one man Wu Tang. Its ridiculous. Just look at the run he had in the late 90's-early 2000's...Operation Doomsday, Venemous Villain, Vaudeville Villain, MM...Food, and Take Me To Your Leader. That is five classic albums that he made by himself in a five year period and four of those were released in 03 and 04. No one has that kind quality/flooding capabilities. Curren$y puts out projects today like no other but you can't really say any of them are classics. MF DOOM put out 5 of those. He gets criticized for spitting about nothing sometimes but when you have flow and wordplay like Doom does sometimes you just gotta shake your head and let shit slide. MF DOOM can literally turn anything into a great beat. He took a snippet from Fat Albert for god's sake and flipped it onto one of the greatest beats in history. His Special Herbs series is the stuff of legend and rappers constantly use those instrumentals to rap over even today, especially Joey Badass. Even an og in the game Masta Ace rapped over all MF DOOM beats for his latest album Son of Yvonne which is a great album if you haven't checked it out. As for his rapping skills, i think he does well for himself considering Madvillainy and Dangerdoom are also considered classics and the only one doing the spitting on them was Doom so there's that. The man can do it all and does it all with a midas touch. He probably shits gold too.

So there is my list which i am sure will get a lot of shit so tell me how stupid i am in the comments. Let me know who i left off, any up and comers, or why MF DOOM shouldn't hold the top spot. Thanks for taking time out to read this and let me know of any suggestions to write about for next time. peace.

Despot, Killer Mike, Mr Muthafuckin Exquire, El-P

gotta watch the whole set

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Happened To.... Asher Roth

As everyone who pays attention knows the now annual XXL Freshmen list came out about a month ago and they claim to be the first magazine to predict the next breakout stars. Yeah they do get some correct predictions but they pick correctly at about the same way as Brandon Crawford hits homeruns. There are very few every year but the ones they get right they get right big. However it isn't impressive when you pick 10 of the most buzzing artists every year, one of those picks is bound to be right. Again a chimp could pick the same level of talent as XXL but we get worked up over these selections for some reasons. And like the great company they are, XXL is never slow to remind you of their picks like Wiz Khalifa, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore, but are quick to never mention Gorilla Zoe, Papoose, Rich Boy, or Donnis aka the most prominent citizens of Whoville. So what happened to the guys they missed on? Did their careers go into a downward spiral or just slide into irrelevancy? Did the pressure of being named the next big thing get to them or were they just given buzz out of thin air? Today i'll look at Asher Roth, the I Love College guy and see if the XXL nod did any good or bad to his career.

I, like everyone else, first caught wind of the white boy from Pennsylvania from his now infamous ode to frat life at universities across the country. But he had a little history before that. He teamed up with DJ Drama and Don Cannon to become the rare white rapper to get the Gangsta Grillz treatment. With DJ Drama overseeing the project we were bound to hear Cannon and Drama ad libs all over his mixtape, The Greenhouse Effect, which was just a collection of the hottest tracks at the time. Of course he had to go over the mixtape starter kit beat in Cannon where he left a lot to be desired. He had lines like "Ginobili flow left handed...yes i am a fan of Dakota Fanning." If i was in the studio in the booth with him when he spit that i would have just looked at him and been like. Then he got to the second level of the struggle mixtape rapper when he spit over the Dey Know beat and even though he said "Muggles befuddled by my wizardry" i let that go because he is a white dude from the suburbs and isn't trying to portray something he isn't. You can hear the potential he had though and see why Drama saw something in him. He had a way of putting words together and you knew if he could just tighten his flow a little more, he was going to be a problem in the future.

With his growing buzz Asher started to work on his debut album and released the single that everyone knows him for, I Love College. It was a hit and there was something different about Asher. He was rapping about the college kid party lifestyle but he was dong so in a laid back manner setting him apart from most others who talk about the same stuff in their songs. And because he was white he was deemed the next Eminem despite them not sounding anything alike, not talking about the same subject matter, or having the same flows but that's the music industry for you. That single propelled him to the cover of XXL in 2009 as part of the Freshmen Class joining Curren$y, Wale, Kid Cudi, and B.O.B. among others (Charles Hamilton, Ace Hood...crickets). The XXL Freshmen concept was still new so it wasn't a complete joke yet and had buzz to it meaning people were anticipating Asher's album, Asleep In The Bread Aisle. When it came out, it came out to a universal "ehhh." No one really cared for it and it didn't change anyone's life other than Asher Roth. At that point he probably was considered one of the busts of the class *cough Mickey Factz cough* and was expected to left and rot in music irrelevancy by not being able to shed the "I Love College rapper guy" label. This is 2009 and he was set to join the one hit wonder club where he would claim royalties on the song as his only source of income until he died and became the latest in failed Next Eminem hopefuls.

I'm going to jump ahead now to the summer of 2011. Me and Big Boy were on our way to work when he starts bumping some white dude in the 4Runner. I said "Hold up, this dude sounds familiar. It can't be...this is Asher. The corny ass I Love College motherfucker." I haven't listened to this guy in two years and yet when i heard him he sounded like a completely different person. The tape i was hearing was his collaborative EP titled Rawth where Asher was the main spitter over beats done by the great producer Nottz. When i got back home that night and downloaded it immediately. It was only an 8 track EP which was cool and a real easy and enjoyable listen. If you haven't given it a listen yet you can either stream or download it here. He tightened his flow and told some real great stories on it. He finally got rid of the mickey mouse production from his debut and Nottz blessed him with some fire that Asher was able to pick apart and dissect. I mentioned he showed his storytelling abilities but he also showed he could get busy on a track as well with Enforce The Law. The whole project i was marking out at how this guy was flowing like the Nile on this was actually the same guy who said "I am champi-on at beer pong, Allen Iver-Son, Hakeem Olaju-Won." The kid came a far way. But the thing i noticed as well though is that because he changed his sound completely from his album he obviously wasn't going for a commercial sound which was why he was flying under the radar. He probably saw the backlash he got and most likey hated his debut album so he was like fuck it, i'm making music i want to. And props to him for that. This project made me go back to see if i missed anything.

The search led me to find his mixtape Seared Foie Gras. Now the mixtape as a whole wasn't anything special. But the thing that stood out to me was the track Fuck The Money. That shit right there had Rabbi Roth explaining exactly how he felt about his career. In short he said his mentality was screwed up at the time which is why Asleep In The Bread Aisle came out the way it did. No More was he going to be a slave to the industry and he would set out to make music for himself.

Even though Seared Foie wasn't anything special i gave it a pass because he was still finding himself as an artist and Rawth was his most recent release anyways. So it got me anticipating his next project. Well it turned out i didn't have to wait too long for his next release since he would be dropping Pabst & Jazz at the end of 2011. That shit dropped and is one of the more overlooked projects in recent years. It was very good especially for a mixtape and i think the reason more people haven't heard it is because they still see Asher Roth as the I Love College Guy and to those people he will never be able to shed that label. If they listened to the project though they will notice that he sounds nothing like he did when he first came onto the scene. Again he was flowing like a motherfucker on this. After hearing the tape i gotta say Asher's flow is up there with anyone in the game right now. He had a bunch of real good features on it from Action Bronson to Pac Div to Rockie Fresh before he signed to MMG and Kids These Days before everyone started comparing them to the Roots despite the fact they sound nothing alike. This tells me the young hip hop crowd actually is paying attention to Asher if they are willing to jump on his project. His beat selection was real smooth too and let Blended babies handle all the production with the exception of only 1 track that was laced by Chuck Inglish. My personal favorite off of it was Common Knowledge where had no features on it. My dude was just straight spitting on that like there was no tomorrow. What i like about this project is you can really tell ever since Asher released that debut album of his he put a lot of time and effort into his craft. He wasn't cool with being forever known as a one hit wonder and made sure he did something about it. And he was rewarded for it because around the same time he dropped Pabst and Jazz Asher signed to Def Jam. The only bad thing is that we're all waiting for the album to drop. My theory is that Def Jam doesn't feel he has a radio single on deck and i hope Asher doesn't go against what he has been doing these past couple years and go back to that territory. He put in too much to change his image to end up going back to that.

Well if you were wondering what the hell the I Love College Guy has been doing ever since he dropped that song there you have it. He has been working on his pen game and it has shown. He got hot quick, got chewed up and spit out by his label and then instead of bitching and moaning constantly he went right back to work to turn his career back into something which he has done. All i gotta say is thank god he did not do that collaborative album with Justin Bieber that was supposedly in the works. So to answer my initial question, the XXL cover hurt Asher. It put expectations on him that he didn't want and put him in a category he didn't want to be in. It didn't boost his career since I Love College became a hit independent of XXL. All it did was count down the days until Asher became a forgotten man in hip hop. Waiting on that album Rabbi Roth.

this is the same Asher Roth

You guys probably guessed it but this is going to be a series of me looking at dudes whos careers have seemingly fell off and i'll see what actually happened to them. Let me know if you guys want me to look at anyone or else i'm going to just pick them myself. peace

Masta Ace- Soda and Soap feat Jean Grae

Ab Soul- Lust Demons feat Jay Rock and BJ The Chicago Kid

Saturday, April 20, 2013

4-20 Edition

It's 4/20 so while all the potheads are celebrating i'll throw in a tribute of my own. A lot of entertainment has been strongly influenced by marijuana and it is all blunt, no subtlety allowed. There isn't going to be too many words here so just enjoy the list of the best movies, rappers, athletes, and songs that owe so much to the sticky green.

Movies (favorite scenes)


Cheech and Chong Up In Smoke

Half Baked

Pineapple Express

Harold and Kumar 2

How High


Josh Howard

Damon Stoudemire

University Of Oregon Football

Marcus Camby

Sam Hurd (couldn't find highlights so i settled for this white dude)

Nick Diaz

Jack Swagger

Randy Moss

Tyrann Mathieu


Snoop Doggy Dogg
The Doggfather right here and there isn't anyone who has stayed as relevant for as long as he has thanks to mary jane. A legend in every sense of the word even though he hasn't put out good music since Doggystyle but that's neither here nor there. He has influenced countless other rappers to smoke until they can't rhyme anymore. A true pioneer.  

Method Man & Redman
These guys have to be mentioned together or else it doesn't count. Despite these two making their names being completely separated from each other it was when they joined forces that they solidified their statuses as premier potheads in the rap game. They made a movie called How High which would be enough to put them on the list but the fact that they put albums out together enhances their legends.

This Palmdale native is on here for one reason only.

Wiz Khalifa
The most popular stoner out right now owes his entire career to marijuana. Everything he talked about came right back to weed. His debut album was called Rolling Papers for god's sake. His love song is called Roll Up. He is more of a fashionista weed rapper nowadays though. It helps he has Dr. Greenthumb in Berner as his weed carrier.

Here we got Wiz's big brother Spitta. All he talks about is weed, women, cars, video games, money whatever. He got no substance to it but he sounds so damn good at it. He's got a sick flow, has a whole team of weed carriers, and owes his entire career to the herb. Jet life Jet life.

Legends in the game right here kinda set the standard for normal ass dudes making it in the game. Real relatable dudes because they had the same problems us regular people had dealt with it by smoking weed. Also had one of the dopest album covers on their debut.

Devin The Dude
Guy is so slept on it's not even funny. But then again idk if he trips too much off of it because he probably to high all the time to realize how under appreciated he is. He is over 40 and still doing his thing so props to him for that.

Cypress Hill
 These guys are legends. They did what they wanted, how they wanted, and because of that have sustained a loyal fanbase for two decades. Pioneers in weed rap breaking through, having a Latino man as one of the faces of the group broke the door open for other Latino rappers and they just made music you could vibe too while partaking in activities

Well there you have it. Enjoy the music, watch some movies and obviously i left your favorite stuff off the list but i wanted to keep it short for you guys. Be safe. peace

Ode To Kobe

As we all know April 12, 2013 was the darkest day for a Lakers fan. Kobe Bryant suffered an Achilles injury causing him to miss the next 6-9 months. Because Lakers fans have been spoiled for the better part of two decades of course the world is falling down. They only had to cheer for the two most dominant players of our generation in Shaq and Kobe then Shaq left and a top notch sidekick comes in the form of Pau Gasol but the team wasn't done in acquiring stars and landed the most dominant center since Shaq in Dwight Howard. And to think fans were complaining about having Kobe, Pau, and Dwight on the same team is mind boggling to me but then again i am not a Lakers fan so i tend to make sense of the world. Well i'm digressing but the purpose of this post is not to trash Lakers fans but to show appreciation to the one and only Black Mamba (sorry Deanthony Thomas), Vino, or better known as Kobe Bean Bryant.

It took me a long time to look past the asshole aura around Kobe Bryant. With his stupid afro and number 8 jersey there was no one i couldn't stand more in all of sports (other than Brett Favre). I was happy when he lost all his endorsements after the Colorado incident and the fact that he couldn't do it without Shaq. I saw him nothing more than a ballhog and i enjoyed every second that he was forced to rely upon Smush Parker and Chris Mihm as the other options. The fact that Kobe had to score 35 points a game, win scoring titles and still couldn't make noise in the playoffs made me happy. There was no one i despised more. Then he has his 81 point game and everyone shit their pants and the comparisons to Jordan really started to heat up. Shit i'm sure if Jordan was in his prime, with Morris Peterson guarding him and shooting the ball 46 times while going to the line 20 times he could have scored 100. Side note, did you know who the 2nd and 3rd leading scorers for the Lakers were in that 81 point game...yup Smush Parker and Chris Mihm. Anyways, my ignorance did not allow me to appreciate the second highest scoring game until recently. Then he finally got a servicable sidekick in Pau Gasol where they met up the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals. You know, the Orlando Magic where Hedo Turkoglu was their best all around player. You, the Orlando Magic that relied on Mikael Pietrus to stop the opponent's offensive weapon. And surprise surprise the Lakers won giving Kobe his fourth championship. Then the next year he finally gets a healthy Andrew Bynum to team up with Pau Gasol to meet the ageless wonders known as the Boston Celtics in the Finals. To my surprise though, the Lakers showed resolve in winning games 6 and 7 to get the championship but let us not forget that Game 7 was won because 1) Kendrick Perkins tore his knee the game before and 2) Ron Artest hit a 3 in the final minute to win it. Kobe had a terrible game going 6-24 including 0-7 from deep and if it wasn't for his 15 trips to the line, it would've looked worse. But who remembers that Kobe choked, shoot no one even remembers the Ron Artest championship clinching 3. Whatever because Kobe had 5 rings and was one away from Jordan and in everyone's mind 1 more would have put him on the same level of Jordan.

And that is when it hit me. I was looking at all the bad things of Kobe like his personality, his tendency to play hero ball for 4 quarters, and the fact that he was always being compared to Jordan. I realized 2 of the three were not even his fault and his assholeness is in most athletes anyway so it would be stupid to hate the man for that. I started to look at Kobe and appreciate his game. On the court there was nothing he could not do. He can make any shot on the court, rebound, defend, handle the ball, and as he has shown this year he can be a distributor. And the fact that he has that killer instinct is something i always low key appreciated of him no matter how much i disliked the guy. Even though he may be overrated in that department the fact of the matter is there is no one opponents fear more in the closing seconds then Kobe.

As for the ball hog thing, who else would he pass the ball to... Smush parker, Kwame Brown? Yeah the Lakers were better off with Kobe shooting 30 times a game. Kobe has embraced his villain role and quite frankly could not care less about what anyone else thinks. His sole purpose on this earth is to prove he is the best basketball player ever and although he will not eclipse Jordan he has made a case for himself to be called the second greatest player to ever lace up sneakers. We will be searching for the next Kobe in due time. Here is to you Kobe Bean Bryant. You changed a hater into a believer. Get well soon.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Favorite Women Artists

Just when you think this blog caters only to guys i'm coming at you with something for everyone. Women always get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the male demographic of music listeners because guys can't relate to women's problems or whatever but let's be honest some stuff is just too good to let gender get in the way. Every guy been there where they be unconsciously singing "you don't know my baby baby bayyybaayy" and it's all good because music is music no matter who makes it. So in honor of women's appreciation month and mother's day next month or whatever other women's appreciation day there is here is Slim's list of favorite female artists. 

Honorable Mentions

Frank Ocean- i fuck with the dude's music period

Natasha Bedingfield- solely based on Pocket Full Of Sunshine not to be confused with Pocket Full Of Stones, RIP Pimp C.

Girl from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs-  I don't know her name because i don't fuck with the groups music like that but the cochella performance i saw on youtube because i'm broke like that had me reminiscing. Maps was a damn good song and even Chip Tha Ripper samples a song of theirs. 

Pink- The homie be hitting those high notes sometimes and makes me think its a female.

The List

10. Hayley Williams
Better known as the front woman to the band Paramore. The band just dropped their fourth album after four years which saw Hayley break off into a little side adventure on B.O.B's Airplanes exposing her to a greater audience. Two of the bands founding members left the group back in 2010 which can help explain the delay but as if it were a secret, as long as the pumpkin haired girl is still singing her ass off then they're in good shape. The big sister got me into them when she kept playing Ignorance which led to me finding the acoustic version of that song and eventually looking into their other stuff. If you don't know what their early stuff sounds like it is the soundtrack to any person whose favorite shop is Hot Topic. I still gotta check out the new album but if this is how it's going to sound, we can count down the days until Hayley goes solo. Oh and she's from Meridian Mississippi which is the same town Big Krit is from and i wouldn't even be mad at a collabo because they would find a way to make it right.

9. Noah Jones
Has anyone else fallen under the radar further than Norah Jones? She burst onto the scene in 03 with her massive hits Come Away With Me and Don't Know Why leading her to pick up 5 Grammys and ever since then has just been chugging along and doing her thing. Now i'm not going to sit here and pretend like i've followed the homegirl's every step because it was only about a year ago that i remembered she existed when i came across a Q-Tip video for Life Is Better. That gave me some nostalgia and made me want to go check out her other stuff and in my opinion she has not released any subpar work. Like don't get it twisted she isn't the first person i'm looking for in itunes when i wake up but when the stars are aligned right i'll listen to a Norah Jones song and before i know it 2 hours passed by and i don't get the feeling of "fuck did i really just spend two hours listening to norah jones." No man, i got a smile on my face after that. 

8. Shakira
I don't mess with Shakira's entire catalog like that because it's actually a lot and i got better things to do. So with that being said i have only really dug into the singles from Shakira and for the most part i like them all with the exception of the Waka Waka song which will only be good if she does a remix with Waka Flocka. I, like everyone else, first caught wind of Shakira and her fondness for belly dancing on her African tribal anthem Whenever, Wherever. The other song she had that was cool despite me not knowing one single word she said was Objection which sounded like it was made for a Tarantino movie. After that she went away for a while before coming back strong with Illegal feat Santana, Beautiful Liar feat Beyonce (sounded like the masculine version to R. Kelly's Snake), and my personal favorite Hips Don't Lie feat Wyclef Playboy even though i could have done without the Wyclef feature (i'm sure wyclef picked up all the spanish bitches saying "mi casa, su casa"). Well that song really made me realize the vocal talent that Shakira and made me appreciate the fact she was more than someone who just shook her hips in videos. Then the last one i checked out from Shakira was She Wolf, spanish version is cool too, and i realized i liked damn near everything she has put out even though i never went out of my way to look for her stuff so she got me in a spell.

7. Jean Grae
If you don't know about Jean Grae she is a raw lyricist. Being that dope means it doesn't matter she is a female even male MC's recognize the talent and can't say anything bad about her. Recently it has been tough for female MC's to break through to the mainstream because recent ones needed to either rap about sex, Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Trina or they relied on a gimmick to get by, Missy Elliot. The last female to breakthrough was Eve to an extent and Lauryn Hill and even Lauryn was more an r&b artist than a rapper for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Jean Grae has no gimmicks, she is just a dope spitter who has a penchant for storytelling like in here, aqui, and on this feature. In my opinion the dopest female MC of all time and i give her the nod over Ms. Lauryn Hill because of the amount of work she has put out over her career.

6. Nelly Furtado
Now as you can see Ms. Nelly is one of the two lucky women that i've dedicated my blog too so of course i mess with the girls music like that. I love her first album, Loose which spawned classics like I'm Like A Bird, Turn Off The Light, and On The Radio (even though I prefer the Dan The Automater remix). I wasn't feeling the album that made her into a pop superstar, Loose, mainly because it didn't sound natural but i still will bump Say It Right every now and then. Nelly has kept a relatively low profile since then popping up on some seemingly random cuts like Sacrifice, Hot-N-Fun, and This Line so she is hood certified. The realest thing to come out of Canada shout out to Drake.  For further appreciation of her vocal talent make sure you check out her live performances on youtube or something.

5. Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is one of the most talented artists out right now male or female. She can sing, play the piano like a boss, craft songs, and put on a hell of a performance. She's even good at acting if put it the right role, check out Smokin' Aces. She burst onto the scene when she swept the Grammys in 2002 winning five of them based off the album Songs In A Minor spawning hits like Fallin and A Women's Worth but she wasn't done. Her next album The Diary of Alicia Keys won an additional four Grammy's cementing herself as the queen of the new millenium r&b. Although they aren't as good as her early works, Alicia Keys continues to make hits and for some strange reason married Swizz beats but we could forgive her if she continues to make great songs like Put It In A love Song, Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart, You Don't Know My Name, and My Boo.

4. Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill is so good that it took her just one solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and one album with her group, The Score, with the Fugees for her to be considered one of the greatest MC's of all time. Her talent is that good. Obviously everyone wishes we got more material out of Ms. Hill but who knows. Maybe because she released such a little amount of her recording is what makes her the mythological legend she is today. She could go bar for bar with anyone on the mic and could also sing her ass off which definitely helped her break into the mainstream. Among those that could sing and rap equally as well i could only think of Phonte as the only person to challenge her for that spot. She has too many classics like this, that, a little bit of this, more of that, this, that, aqui, alli, y la ultima

3. Erykah Badu
The Queen of neo soul. She has been doing what she has been doing her whole career and i really don't need to say much. I never met a person that said "yo fuck Erykah Badu." People either listen to her/love her or don't really listen to her. As you'll notice with these last several women i won't need to say much because their music speaks for themselves. When you have Apple Tree, On & On, Didn't Cha Know, The Healer (shout out to madlib for the beat), Window Seat, Love Of My Life, and You Got Me the resume speaks for itself. Even Krit flipped one of her tracks for King's Blues. Erykah Badu, you can do no wrong.

2. Gwen Stefani
If you guys read the Favorite Albums post then you already know i got mad love for Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. I'm telling you that album tragic Kingdom got me through some long mornings going to school on Bart. I fucked with that album heavy and a little bit of Rock Steady. As good as the band was it was no secret that Gwen Stefani was the key to everything. Without her there is no chance the band would be as big as they are. Obviously that meant she had to move on to a solo career and i thought her stuff was terrible but goddammit they were stuck in my head. Her work with No Doubt makes up for that terribly successful solo stint. When you got hits like Spiderwebs, Excuse Me Mister, Just A Girl, Happy Now, Sunday Morning, Don't Speak, Ex-Girlfriend, Hella Good, Hey Baby, and Underneath It All they make up for Bananas, 4 In The Morning, The Sweet Escape, Cool, and Rich Girl although Blow Ya Mind was cool, shout out to Eve. Wassup Gwen.

1. Sade 
The resume speaks for itself. I don't have to explain anything. If you're even a little bit familiar with Sade's music you know what i'm talking about and if you never gave her a listen then first slap yourself and then listen to Smooth Operator, Hang On To Your Love, No Ordinary Love, and Kiss Of Life (which MF Doom brilliantly flipped) but obviously these are just my personal favorites so do yourself a favor and look up her catalog on your own and you'll be happy you did. 

There it is with MY favorite female artists so if you don't agree make your own list and send it to me. So there you have it. I'm sure everyone has a different list. If someone throws up a legit Debbie Harry mention ima go crazy. Let me know what i should write about next. peace. 

Blondie- Heart Of Glass

 L7- Pretend That We're Dead

Janis Joplin- Piece Of My Heart