Archive for the ‘album reviews’ Category

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April 2022 – Music Edition

May 3, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry

Top 25 Most Played Albums of April 2022 (* indicates new album in April)

  1. *Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart
  2. Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995)
  3. Mariah Carey – Music Box (1993)
  4. Big K.R.I.T. – Digital Roses Don’t Die
  5. Don Michael Jr. – This Is Not Music.
  6. *Marian Hill – why can’t we just pretend?
  7. Mariah Carey – Charmbracelet (2002)
  8. Mariah Carey – Butterfly (1997)
  9. *Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry
  10. Saba – Few Good Things
  11. Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey (1990)
  12. Mariah Carey – Rainbow (1999)
  13. EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  14. J. Cole – Friday Night Lights (2010)
  15. Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi (2004)
  16. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016)
  17. Placebo – Never Let Me Go
  18. The Weeknd – Dawn FM
  19. Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future
  20. Mariah Carey – Glitter (2001)
  21. Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 4
  22. Emeli Sande – Real Life (2019)
  23. Conway the Machine – God Don’t Make Mistakes
  24. Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  25. *Fivio Foreign – B.I.B.L.E.

Comments: Uhm. Confession: I met someone and she loves Mariah Carey so here I am listening to her whole discography and guess what? I really like it. It’s not like I was unaware of Mariah or unfamiliar with her biggest hits, but I’ve never dug through any of her albums before. She was (maybe still is?) legit. Her first five albums are all really good with basically zero misses. I’ve been less enamored with her post-Butterfly projects as her sound feels more and more top 100 poppy to me. I prefer Mariah when she’s singing singing. But still, some of the later projects are still growing on me. I’m a hip-hop guy but I appreciate good music from any genre and I been sleeping on Mariah. She’s fire. Plus, connecting with someone musically is a vibe. I like tapping into what she listens to and seeing if I like it also, even though it may not be something I’d listen to on my own (see also: The 1975). As far as new hip-hop releases, the two big ones were new albums from Vince Staples and Pusha T – and I really liked both of them. Fivio Foreign had some sick guest verses over the last year and I was intrigued by what his album would be like, but I listened to it once through and don’t plan to give it another full listen. I also feel like it’s worth noting that the Conway, Cordae, and Big K.R.I.T. albums have grown on me. Lastly, I’m on my 4th listen to the new Marian Hill album and it’s gotten better every time. 🔥

One last and very important note: THE KING IS BACK. Kendrick Lamar drops high long awaited and mega anticipated album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppas (wut) on May 13th at 9 PM PST. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND SET YOUR ALARMS AND SIT DOWN. BE HUMBLE.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Mariah Carey
  2. Kanye West
  3. Saba
  4. The Weeknd
  5. Che Noir
  6. The Roots
  7. Lil Wayne
  8. Sir
  9. Denzel Curry
  10. James Blake
  11. Frank Ocean
  12. Adele
  13. Ludacris
  14. Nas
  15. FKA twigs
  16. Musiq Soulchild
  17. Big K.R.I.T.
  18. Conway the Machine
  19. Cordae
  20. EARTHGANG
  21. Benny the Butcher
  22. Vince Staples
  23. Frankie Cosmos
  24. Don Michael Jr.
  25. J Dilla

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
April 2022 Additions:

Big K.R.I.T., “Show U Right”
Don Michael Jr., “Championship Rings.”
Don Michael Jr., “New Energy.”
EARTHGANG, “ALL EYES ON ME”
Little Simz, “Protect My Energy”
Russ, “Get It” (feat. Cyhi the Prynce & Lloyd Banks)
Vince Staples, “WHEN SPARKS FLY”

Comments: Mariah dominated my listening in April and I’m still getting used to the newer hip-hop releases.





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March 2022 – Music Edition

April 7, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future

Top 25 Most Played Albums of March 2022 (* indicates new album in March)

  1. Sir – Chasing Summer (2019)
  2. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
  3. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE (2012)
  4. *Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future
  5. Musiq Soulchild – Juslisen (2002)
  6. James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
  7. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing (2016)
  8. Adele – 30
  9. FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS
  10. *KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz – Rise & Fall of Slaughterhouse
  11. Jacob Latimore – C3 (2020)
  12. *Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 4
  13. EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  14. Conway the Machine – God Don’t Make Mistakes
  15. dvsn – Morning After (2017)
  16. Spillage Village – Spilligion (2020)
  17. *RZA – Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater
  18. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? (2020)
  19. *Onyx – 1993
  20. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (2017)
  21. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth (2007)
  22. Don Michael Jr. – This Is Not Music.
  23. 6LACK – East Atlanta Love Letter (2018)
  24. Baby B – Text at 2 AM
  25. The Weeknd – Dawn FM

Comments: I haven’t been public about this at all, but I feel like the cat is out of the bag now: I am no longer married. I feel like the huge life change is reflected in the kind of music I wanted to listen to last month because I was definitely in my feelings – mourning the end of an important long term relationship but also excited about what the future holds. Needless to say, new music was put on the back burner in March. I was way too distracted for all that. Denzel Curry’s new album was the only new project I gave a good listen to and it was pretty good. I was super excited for Benny the Butcher’s Tana Talk 4 but if I’m being honest, it hasn’t really grabbed me. Maybe I finally have Benny fatigue? The track with J. Cole is possibly the best song of 2022 though. I’ve been using Last.FM to track my music stats for almost two years now and the most I’d ever listened to a single song was about 30 times. Last month alone, there were nine songs I listened to over 30 times! Like I said, in my feelings.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Kanye West
  2. Saba
  3. The Roots
  4. Che Noir
  5. Lil Wayne
  6. Sir
  7. James Blake
  8. Frank Ocean
  9. Ludacris
  10. The Weeknd
  11. Adele
  12. Denzel Curry
  13. Musiq Soulchild
  14. FKA twigs
  15. Nas
  16. Frankie Cosmos
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. Cordae
  19. J Dilla
  20. Benny the Butcher
  21. EARTHGANG
  22. KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz
  23. Snoop Dogg
  24. Big K.R.I.T.
  25. Roddy Ricch

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
March 2022 Additions:

Benny the Butcher, “Johnny P’s Caddy” (feat. J. Cole)
Denzel Curry, “The Last”
KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz, “Look Mama”
Nas, “40-16 Building”

Comments: Super distracted last month so didn’t add much here.





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February 2022 – Music Edition

March 8, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Saba – Few Good Things

Top 25 Most Played Albums of February 2022 (* indicates new album in February)

  1. *Saba – Few Good Things
  2. Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  3. *Big K.R.I.T. – Digital Roses Don’t Die
  4. The Roots – How I Got Over
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. *Snoop Dogg – BODR
  7. Kanye West – Late Registration
  8. Macklemore – The Language of My World
  9. Ludacris – Release Therapy
  10. Kanye West – The College Dropout
  11. Ludacris – Chicken-N-Beer
  12. Ludacris – Word of Mowf
  13. Fabolous – Real Talk
  14. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
  15. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  16. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  17. Ludacris – Back For The First Time
  18. A$AP Rocky – TESTING
  19. *EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  20. Shady Records – SHADYXV
  21. Ludacris – The Red Light District
  22. Kanye West – Graduation
  23. Styles P & Havoc – Wreckage Manner
  24. Kanye West – Yeezus
  25. KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kanye West & Kid Cudi) – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Comments: Not hard to see what happened here. That new Kanye West documentary on Netflix sent me down memory lane, revisiting Kanye’s entire discography. I’d actually never really spent much time with the 808s album and I can’t believe I’ve slept on it all this time. It is truly great. Truly innovative for the time. I already have some personal anthems from it. I also spent some time with Luda’s discog. I had been thinking about my top 100 or so rappers of all-time and I realized I didn’t know much about Luda. I made it through his first five albums and thought they were all good. I hit a snag on album #6 though and haven’t finished my project as my life has been kind of turned upside down recently and my focus has shifted. As far as new albums go, Saba’s album is really, really good; I’ve listened to K.R.I.T.’s album a few times and it’s different but enjoyable; Snoop’s album was completely forgettable; and EARTHGANG’s new project is brand new and a clear step down from their last one, but I’ve heard some dope songs on it.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Kanye West
  2. Saba
  3. Che Noir
  4. Lil Wayne
  5. The Roots
  6. Ludacris
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Cordae
  9. J Dilla
  10. Nas
  11. Little Simz
  12. Ghostface Killah
  13. Big K.R.I.T.
  14. Snoop Dogg
  15. Roddy Ricch
  16. AZ
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. Gunna
  19. Baby Keem
  20. Jazmine Sullivan
  21. Macklemore
  22. Mos Def
  23. Eminem
  24. Roc Marciano
  25. FKA twigs

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
February 2022 Additions:

Cordae, “Sinister” (feat. Lil Wayne)
Dr. Dre, “ETA” (feat. Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, & Anderson .Paak)
Saba, “Stop That”
Saba, “If I Had A Dollar” (feat. Benjamin Earl Turner)

Comments: I was listening to a lot of older stuff in February so I didn’t add too many tracks to my Bangers of the Decade playlist.





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Che Noir – Food For Thought (2022)

February 24, 2022

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Release Date: January 21st, 2022

Song Rating Scale

  1. Eat To Live (Intro) – N/A
  2. Split the Bread – 3.5
  3. Eat or Starve (feat. Jynx716) – 3.5
  4. Daily Bread (Skit) – N/A
  5. Bless the Food – 3.75
  6. Ladies Brunch (feat. 7xvethegenius & Armani Caesar) – 3.75
  7. Praises – 3.5
  8. Table For 3 (feat. 38 Spesh & Ransom) – 4.5
  9. Gold Cutlery (feat. Rome Streetz) – 3.5
  10. Brains For Dinner – 4
  11. Water To Wine (Skit) – N/A
  12. Communion – 4.5

Spin Rate: 15+
Average Song Rating: 3.83/5
Skip Percentage: 0%
Certified Bangers: 3

Thoughts: Che Noir did it again. This is the fourth well above average project she’s released since the beginning of 2020. I don’t know if there’s any other rapper that can make that same claim. I feel like this two year run is already enough to put her ahead of the likes of notable femcees like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim on the all-time list. That might seem like too much praise too soon, but I’d honestly have to give it some serious thought to come up with another female rapper I like four projects from. If I know one thing about Che though, it’s that she would absolutely hate my last few sentences. She wants to be mentioned with the best rappers in the world and she doesn’t want gender to be part of that conversation. I think that’s fair and I do think she’s earned a pretty secure spot as one of the ten best rappers or so of the last few years.

Food For Thought is a pretty short album and the biggest difference between this projects and past ones is that Che handled most of the production herself. If I’m being honest, her sound had to grow on me. Of course any new producer is going to sound a little rough following up an album full of Apollo Brown’s wizardry on the boards, but I think Che ends up holding her own. It’s hard to make a banger without really good production and I think she has at least three songs on this album worthy of that threshold and I don’t think there’s a weak song at all. As always, Che absolutely brings it lyrically. For the most part, she’s just bodying verses on this project but “Communion” is one of Che’s most personal songs to date as she touches on the recent passing of her brother over the most soulful beat on the album. “Table For 3” finds Che, Ransom and 38 Spesh all spitting fire over another absolute banger of a beat. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I still think Che lacks versatility in her vocal delivery and I don’t see too much improvement on this album, but it’s not something that bothers me much and she brings enough content and lyrical ability to more than make up for it. Che Noir has quickly become one of my current favorite rappers and this album is another really solid effort in one of the most impressive runs of the last few years.

Verdict: 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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January 2022 – Music Edition

February 2, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Che Noir – Food For Thought

Top 25 Most Played Albums of January 2022 (* indicates new album in January)

  1. *Che Noir – Food For Thought
  2. *The Weeknd – Dawn FM
  3. J Dilla – Donuts (2005)
  4. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
  5. Roddy Ricch – Live Life Fast
  6. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter II (2005)
  7. *Gunna – DS4EVER
  8. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
  9. Mos Def – Black On Both Sides (1999)
  10. Nas – Magic
  11. Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele (2000)
  12. *Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  13. Roc Marciano – Reloaded
  14. *FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS
  15. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008)
  16. Nas – King’s Disease II
  17. Ghostface Killah – Ironman (1996)
  18. Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales
  19. Lil Wayne – SQ4 (2004?)
  20. Adele – 30
  21. Big Boi & Sleepy Brown – The Sleepover
  22. Lil Wayne – Sorry 4 the Wait (2011)
  23. Labrinth – Euphoria Soundtrack (2019)
  24. The Roots – Undun (2011)
  25. Mac Miller – Circles (2020)

The 25 Most Played Artists of January

  1. Che Noir
  2. Lil Wayne
  3. The Weeknd
  4. The Roots
  5. J Dilla
  6. Nas
  7. Little Simz
  8. Ghostface Killah
  9. Roddy Ricch
  10. AZ
  11. Gunna
  12. Baby Keem
  13. Mos Def
  14. Cordae
  15. Roc Marciano
  16. FKA twigs
  17. Mach-Hommy
  18. Westside Gunn
  19. Jazmine Sullivan
  20. Adele
  21. Big Boi
  22. Conway the Machine
  23. Labrinth
  24. Mac Miller
  25. Ransom

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
January 2022 Additions:

AZ, “Jewels for Life”
Baby Keem, “trademark usa”
Big Boi & Sleepy Brown, “The Big Sleep”
Che Noir, “Brains For Dinner”
Che Noir, “Communion”
Che Noir, “Table For 3” (feat. Ransom & 38 Spesh)
Dr. Dre, “Eta” (feat. Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes, & Snoop Dogg)
Dr. Dre, “Gospel” (feat. Eminem)
FKA twigs, “careless” (feat. daniel caesar)
FKA twigs, “tears in the club” (feat. The Weeknd)
Lute, “Birdsong” (feat. JID & Saba)
Lute, “Overnight”
Nas, “Speechless”
Nas, “Meet Joe Black”
Nas, “Wave Gods” (feat. A$AP Rocky)
Nas, “40-16 Building”
Ransom & Rome Streetz, “Claudine” (feat. Che Noir)
Roddy Ricch, “rollercoastin”
Roddy Ricch, “don’t i” (feat. Gunna)
Wale, “Poke It Out” (feat. J. Cole)
The Weeknd, “Take My Breath”
The Weeknd, “Sacrifice”
The Weeknd, “Out of Time”





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2021 Year In Review – Music Edition

January 2, 2022

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together

Top Albums of 2021 (in alphabetical order)

Adele – 30 (Pop)
Benny the Butcher – The Plugs I Met 2 (Rap)
Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together (Rap)
Isaiah Rashad – The House Is Burning (Rap)
J.Cole – The Off-Season (Rap)
Kanye West – Donda (Rap)
Nas – King’s Disease II (Rap)
Nas – Magic (Rap)
Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR (Pop)
Silk Sonic – An Evening with Silk Sonic (Pop)
Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (Rap)

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

AZ – Doe or Die II (Rap)
Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson (Rap)
Conway the Machine – La Maquina (Rap)
Grip – I Died For This!? (Rap)
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Rap)
Lute – Gold Mouf (Rap)
Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti (Rap)
Skyzoo – All the Brilliant Things (Rap)
Tash Sultana – Terra Firma (Alternative Rock)
Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: sides A & B (Rap)

Top 25 Most Played Albums of 2021

  1. J. Cole – The Off-Season
  2. Isaiah Rashad – The House is Burning
  3. Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together
  4. Kanye West – Donda
  5. Nas – King’s Disease II
  6. Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
  7. Benny the Butcher – The Plugs I Met 2
  8. DMX – Exodus
  9. MC Eiht – LESSONS (2020)
  10. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death (1997)
  11. Sa-Roc – The Sharecropper’s Daughter (2020)
  12. Tash Sultana – Terra Firma
  13. Conway the Machine – La Maquina
  14. Tyrone’s Jacket – Tyrone’s Jacket (2020)
  15. Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
  16. Grip – I Died for This!?
  17. Toby Ganger – Free Machine (unreleased)
  18. Pink Sweat$ – Pink Planet
  19. Drake – Certified Lover Boy
  20. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over the Country
  21. Ghetts – Conflict of Interest
  22. Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By – Side B
  23. Nyck Caution – Anywhere But Here
  24. Vince Staples – Vince Staples
  25. Courtney Bell – Poverty Stricken (2020)

The 50 Most Played Artists of 2021

  1. J. Cole
  2. Benny the Butcher
  3. Isaiah Rashad
  4. Nas
  5. Eminem
  6. Kanye West
  7. DMX
  8. Scarface
  9. Dave
  10. Kool G Rap
  11. Lana Del Rey
  12. The Notorious B.I.G.
  13. Big K.R.I.T.
  14. Boldy James
  15. Vince Staples
  16. Sa-Roc
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. MF DOOM
  19. Mach-Hommy
  20. KOTA the Friend
  21. Westside Gunn
  22. Drake
  23. MC Eiht
  24. Outkast
  25. Yelawolf
  26. Dua Lipa
  27. Kendrick Lamar
  28. Mac Miller
  29. Tyler, the Creator
  30. Tash Sultana
  31. Jessie Ware
  32. Lil Wayne
  33. Tyrone’s Jacket
  34. Grip
  35. Pink Sweat$
  36. Toby Ganger
  37. Adele
  38. Freddie Gibbs
  39. Ghetts
  40. Nyck Caution
  41. Snoop Dogg
  42. Elzhi
  43. Jadakiss
  44. AZ
  45. BROCKHAMPTON
  46. Courtney Bell
  47. Devin the Dude
  48. Emotional Oranges
  49. Evidence
  50. Kali Uchis

Top 25 Most Played Artist of December (* indicates released new album last month)

  1. Nas *
  2. Elzhi
  3. The Beatles
  4. Lil Wayne
  5. DJ Quik
  6. Adele
  7. Roddy Ricch *
  8. Big Boi *
  9. Dave
  10. Brother Ali
  11. Kanye West
  12. Russ *
  13. Westside Gunn
  14. Benny the Butcher
  15. Boldy James *
  16. Silk Sonic
  17. Porter Robinson
  18. Khalid *
  19. Big K.R.I.T.
  20. Cozz *
  21. LE$ *
  22. Young Thug
  23. Ghostface Killah
  24. Isaiah Rashad
  25. J. Cole

Top 50 Most Played Artists of All-Time (since like late summer 2020) [last year’s ranking in brackets]

  1. Eminem [1]
  2. Benny the Butcher [2]
  3. Nas [10]
  4. J. Cole [unranked]
  5. Conway the Machine [4]
  6. Lil Wayne [3]
  7. Kanye West [unranked]
  8. MC Eiht [6]
  9. Scarface [unranked]
  10. Isaiah Rashad [unranked]
  11. DMX [unranked]
  12. Black Thought / The Roots [5]
  13. Sa-Roc [24]
  14. Che Noir [7]
  15. Boldy James [29]
  16. Lana Del Rey [unranked]
  17. Toby Ganger [16]
  18. Westside Gunn [26]
  19. Dave [unranked]
  20. Kool G Rap [unranked]
  21. Amine [9]
  22. Outkast / Big Boi [unranked]
  23. The Lox / Jadakiss [37]
  24. Dua Lipa [30]
  25. MF DOOM [unranked]
  26. 38 Spesh [14]
  27. Spillage Village / Earthgang [8]
  28. Mac Miller [48]
  29. Dueling Experts / Recognize Ali [15]
  30. Ty Dolla $ign [12]
  31. The Notorious B.I.G. [unranked]
  32. Ransom [31]
  33. Tyrone’s Jacket [44]
  34. KOTA the Friend [unranked]
  35. Berner [11]
  36. Big K.R.I.T. [unranked]
  37. Jessie Ware [unranked]
  38. Elzhi [49]
  39. Busta Rhymes [13]
  40. Vince Staples [unranked]
  41. Kid Cudi [46]
  42. The Weeknd [17]
  43. Drake [unranked]
  44. Kendrick Lamar [unranked]
  45. Pop Smoke [28]
  46. Blu [22]
  47. Flip Huston [19]
  48. Mach-Hommy [unranked]
  49. Freddie Gibbs [unranked]
  50. Brother Ali [42]

Dropped Out: R.A. the Rugged Man [18], Big Sean [20], 21 Savage & Metro Boomin [23], Felt [25], T.I. [27], Goodie Mob [34], Ariana Grande [35], CunninLynguists [36], Jaden Smith [38], Dinner Party [39], Future [40], Kaash Paige [41], Deante Hitchcock [43], Rich Brian [45], Dave East [47], Ice Cube [50]

Bangerz Playlist Additions – Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020 Bangers Playlist
2021 Bangers Playlist





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August to November 2021 Music Ratings

December 10, 2021

ALBUM OF THE PERIOD

Adele – 30

Ratings:

10 – Masterpiece
9 – Amazing
8 – Great
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended
5 – Decent
4 – Lackluster

3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Trash

Top 25 Albums from August 1st to November 29th

Note: These albums are NOT ranked in order of preference; they are ranked in order of number of songs listened to (scrobbles) over the past month. Previous ranking in brackets. Year of release in parentheses if it’s not 2020 or 2021.

**indicates November release

  1. Isaiah Rashad – The House is Burning – 7+
  2. Kanye West – Donda – 7
  3. Nas – King’s Disease II – 8
  4. Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together – 9
  5. Grip – I Died for This!? – 7
  6. Drake – Certified Lover Boy – 5+
  7. Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti – 6+
  8. Travis Thompson – BVLD BOY – 6+
  9. Big K.R.I.T. – It’s Better This Way
  10. Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson – 6+
  11. AZ – Doe or Die II – 7+
  12. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – 7+
  13. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR – 7
  14. **Adele – 30 – 8+
  15. DMX – Exodus – 6
  16. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue – 5+
  17. Benny the Butcher – Pyrex Picasso – 6+
  18. Big K.R.I.T. – A Style Not Quite Free
  19. *Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – An Evening With Silk Sonic – 8+
  20. Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B – 6+
  21. D Smoke – War & Wonders – 6
  22. Skyzoo – All the Brilliant Things – 7+
  23. Lute – Gold Mouf – 7+
  24. Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST – 7
  25. Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf – 6+

The 25 Artists I Listened To the Most last three months

  1. Kanye West
  2. Isaiah Rashad
  3. Nas
  4. Dave
  5. Big K.R.I.T.
  6. Eminem
  7. Grip
  8. Outkast
  9. Westside Gunn
  10. Drake
  11. Benny the Butcher
  12. Travis Thompson
  13. AZ
  14. Mach-Hommy
  15. Boldy James
  16. Lana Del Rey
  17. Little Simz
  18. Adele
  19. Olivio Rodrigo
  20. DMX
  21. Halsey
  22. Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
  23. Baby Keem
  24. D Smoke
  25. Skyzoo

Bangerz Playlist Additions – Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020 Bangers Playlist
2021 Bangers Playlist





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August 2021 – Every Movie I Watched

September 5, 2021

Movies – Reviews or ratings for every movie I watched in the month of August.

Movies I watched, but didn’t review:

  • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021) – 7/10
  • CODA (2021, Apple TV) – 8/10
  • Jungle Cruise (2021) – 4/10
  • The Green Knight (2021) – 7/10
  • The Suicide Squad (2021, HBO Max) – 6/10
  • Together, Together (2021, Hulu) – 6/10
  • The Father (2020, re-watch) – 8/10
  • Icarus (2017, Netflix) – 8/10
  • Apocalypto (2006, Prime) – 8/10
  • Croupier (1998, Netflix) – 6/10
  • The Fugitive (1993, HBO Max, re-watch) – 6/10
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, Netflix) – 10/10
  • Police Story (1985, HBO Max) – 7/10

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through August
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through August 2021
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
September 2021 – New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)

  • Dave season 2 (2021, Hulu/FX) – 3.5/5
  • Dr. Death (2021, Peacock)
  • The Outsider (2020, HBO Max) – 3/5

Currently watching:

  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • The Sopranos season 1 (1999, HBO Max, re-watch)
  • Ted Lasso season 2 (2021, Apple TV+)

Music

None

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June & July 2021 Music Ratings

August 16, 2021

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together

Ratings:

10 – Masterpiece
9 – Amazing
8 – Great
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended
5 – Decent
4 – Lackluster

3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Trash

Top 25 Albums from June 1st to July 31st

Note: These albums are NOT ranked in order of preference; they are ranked in order of number of songs listened to (scrobbles) over the past month. Previous ranking in brackets. Year of release in parentheses if it’s not 2020 or 2021.

*indicates June/July 2021 release

  1. *Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together
  2. J.Cole – The Off-Season
  3. *Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
  4. *LLoyd Banks – The Course of the Inevitable
  5. *Evidence – Unlearning, Vol. 1
  6. DMX – Exodus
  7. *Vince Staples – Vince Staples
  8. Scarface – My Homies (1998)
  9. Kool G Rap – Return of the Don (2017)
  10. *HRSMN (Canibus, Kurupt, Killah Priest, Ras Kass) – The Last Ride
  11. *Isaiah Rashad – The House is Burning
  12. BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE
  13. *King Blitz – THINGS NEVER GO AS PLANNED
  14. Yelawolf & DJ Muggs – Mile Zero
  15. *H.E.R. – Back of My Mind
  16. *IDK – USEE4YOURSELF
  17. Kool G Rap – Riches, Royalty & Respect (2011)
  18. Kool G Rap – The Giancana Story (2002)
  19. *Smoke DZA – The Hustler’s Catalog 2
  20. *Sy Ari Da Kid – Sy Ari Not Sorry
  21. Kool G Rap – Roots of Evil (1998)
  22. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever (1997)
  23. *Emotional Oranges – The Juicebox
  24. Kool G Rap – Live and Let Die (1992)
  25. Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)

Comments: Recent albums that are absolutely must listens: J. Cole, Tyler the Creator, Isaiah Rashad, and I think Dave just dropped the 2021 Album of the Year so far.

The 25 Artists I Listened To the Most in June & July

  1. Kool G Rap
  2. Scarface
  3. Dave
  4. J. Cole
  5. Yelawolf
  6. Tyler, The Creator
  7. Lloyd Banks
  8. Evidence
  9. Benny the Butcher
  10. Vince Staples
  11. DMX
  12. Wu-Tang Clan
  13. Isaiah Rashad
  14. Kanye West
  15. Ransom
  16. Lana Del Rey
  17. Eminem
  18. HRSMN
  19. Sa-Roc
  20. BROCKHAMPTON
  21. H.E.R.
  22. King Blitz
  23. Pop Smoke
  24. IDK
  25. Smoke DZA
  26. Sy Ari Da Kid

Comments: My biggest focus over the past couple months was going through the discographies of a couple of hip-hop legends: Kool G Rap and Scarface. I’ve always been a casual fan of KGR, but I have to admit I’ve never really dug into his music too much and it’s hard to have a valid opinion on someone’s place in hip-hop history if you don’t really know what you’re talking about. Old school heads love to put G Rap in their top 20 so not being able to debate that claim intelligently is something I felt like I needed to fix. After listening to basically every project he’s ever made, I think KGR is a great rapper that deserves more credit from the current generation, but I’m not really seeing someone I’d seriously consider for my top 20. He’s vocally nice and lyrically great, but I wasn’t blown away by his discography – it just doesn’t have the versatility or emotional depth I’d like to see from someone I’d consider in my all-time favorites. Scarface, on the other hand, is a fringe top 10 rapper of all-time. His discog is amazing and he’s someone that has evolved with the times and was still completely relevant as recently as the mid-to-late 2010s. The Fix is an absolute masterpiece of a rap album. Every song is a pure banger. It really looked like Covid and the pandemic might take Scarface away from us, but he fought through it and survived and hopefully he will bless us with more great music eventually.

Bangerz Playlist Additions – Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020 Bangers Playlist
2021 Bangers Playlist

You can click the link above to see my most recent additions to either playlist, but I’m not going to list them here because it’s the middle of June and I don’t which songs I added in May and which ones I’ve added in June, so I’ll just post them all in my next writeup.





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May – July 2021: Every Review I Wrote

August 3, 2021

Movies – As I said in my last movie post, writing has become one of my bottom priorities and here we are three months since I last made a movie post. Oh well, here are the reviews and/or ratings for every movie I’ve seen over that time. I’ve been going to the theaters at least once a week and Dina has even jumped back on the movie theater going experience as we’ve started taking our niece and nephew to a movie every other weekend. This has been a pleasant surprise as I’ve been seeing movies in theaters mostly by myself for years now. I still seem to be reviewing only about 33% of the movies I watch. The best movie I watched that I’ve never seen was Captain Fantastic. It was just a complete joy to watch. I think it is still streaming on Netflix and if you happened to miss it like I did, it’s time to make up for that mistake. Also, I think horror fans should check out the Fear Street trilogy on Netflix. It’s based on the kids book series by R.L. Stine (which I never read — I was a “Goosebumps” kid though), but it’s actually a pretty hard-R experience. I admittedly did not like the first movie, but I always had my eyes on the second one anyway because it looked like an homage to 1980s campsite slasher flicks and that horror sub-genre will always have a special place in my heart. Of course, I enjoyed that one, but I was surprised to also like the third movie and I think the last entry makes the whole trilogy substantially more enjoyable as a whole. It almost made me want to re-watch the first one.

Movies I watched, but didn’t review:

  • Allen v. Farrow (2021, HBO Max) – 7/10
  • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021, Prime Rental) – 6/10
  • Black Widow (2021, Theaters) – 6/10
  • Fear Street: 1978 (2021, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Fear Street: 1666 (2021, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Luca (2021, Disney+) – 7/10
  • Mitchells vs. The Machines, The (2021, Netflix) – 7/10
  • Palmer (2021, Apple TV+) – 7/10
  • Pig (2021, Theaters) – 8/10
  • Quiet Place Part II (2021, Theaters) – 8/10
  • Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021, Hulu) – 7/10
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021, HBO Max) – 6/10
  • Zola (2021, Theaters) – 7/10
  • The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017, Netflix) – 7/10
  • Captain Fantastic (2019, Netflix) – 9/10
  • Matchstick Men (2003, HBO Max) – 8/10
  • Hero (2002, HBO Max, re-watch) – 7/10
  • Audition (1999, tubi) – 7/10
  • The Fly (1986, re-watch) – 8/10
  • Stand by Me (1986, Hulu, re-watch) – 8/10

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through July
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through July 2021
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
August 2021 – New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)

  • Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell (2021, Netflix) – 3.5
  • Bo Burnham: Inside (2021, Netflix) – 3.5
  • Friends: The Reunion (2021, HBO Max) – 3.5
  • Invincible season 1 (2020, Amazon Prime) – 3.5
  • Mare of Easttown (2021, HBO Max) – 4.5
  • Mighty Ducks: Game Changers season 1 (2021, Disney+) – 3
  • Schitt’s Creek season 6 (2020, Netflix) – 4

Currently watching:

  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Dave season 2 (2021, Hulu/FX)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • The Sopranos season 1 (1999, HBO Max, re-watch)
  • Ted Lasso season 2 (2021, Apple TV+)

Music