Posts Tagged ‘busta rhymes’

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December 2020 Music Ratings (2020 Wrap-Up Edition)

January 1, 2021

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Flip Huston – Who Is Flip Huston?

Notes: Yep. I’m giving my boy the Album of the Month. I was working on a review for this, but I never got around to publishing it – I will be doing that early January, but I can assure this is a good project. If a good friend of mine released something I didn’t like, I’d just tell them it was wack. If someone I know (but wasn’t close with) released something I didn’t like, I’d probably tell them “it’s cool” and it certainly wouldn’t be featured on my monthly blog post. I’m featuring this project because I truly believe in it. Make sure you go check this out. It’s streaming on all platforms. Another friend of mine, Toby Ganger, sent me a copy of his album that is due out sometime in 2021 and it is truly excellent… like album of the year type level good. I’m not sure when the rest of the world will get to hear it, but I’m very curious to see if everyone loves it as much as I do. I’ll go ahead and include a rough rating for each album to make my feelings on each project clearer.  Note: the more I’ve listened to an album, the more accurate my rating is. Any rating that has a + symbol means that I’ve found my floor, but I could rate it higher. I won’t leave a rating for anything I don’t have a good feel for yet.

Rating Scale

10 – Masterpiece
9 – Amazing
8 – Great
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended/Good
5 – Decent/Cool
4 – Lackluster
3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Torture Material

* indicates December 2020 release

Top 20 Albums in December (all ratings are out of 10)

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.

1. Toby Ganger – Free Machine – 8+ (unreleased)
2. *Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By – B Side – 6
3. Tyrone’s Jacket – Tyrone’s Jacket – 7+
4. *Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon III: The Chosen – 6
5. *Flip Huston – Who Is Flip Huston? – 7+
6. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom (2017)
7. *Jack Harlow – Thats What They All Say – 6+
8. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? – 7+
9. Lil Wayne – No Ceilings 3 – 7
10. Goodie Mob – Survival Kit – 7
11.*Che Noir – After 12 – 7
12. *Playboi Carti – Whole Lotta Red – 3+
13. Statik Selektah – The Balancing Act
14. Recognize Ali – Guerilla Dynasty
15. *Boldy James – Real Bad Boldy
16. *Taylor Swift – evermore
17. Juicy J – The Hustle Continues
18. Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof – 9
19. Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts – 6+
20. *Tobe Nwigwe – CINCORIGINALS – 6+

The 50 Artists I Listened To The Most In 2020

Notes: I started using the Last.FM app about halfway through the year, so this is really just six months worth of scrobbles.

  1. Eminem
  2. Benny the Butcher
  3. Lil Wayne
  4. Conway the Machine
  5. Black Thought/The Roots
  6. MC Eiht
  7. Che Noir
  8. Spillage Village/Earthgang
  9. Amine
  10. Nas
  11. Berner
  12. Ty Dolla $ign
  13. Busta Rhymes
  14. 38 Spesh
  15. Recognize Ali/Dueling Experts
  16. Toby Ganger
  17. The Weeknd
  18. R.A. the Rugged Man
  19. Flip Huston
  20. Big Sean
  21. Logic
  22. Blu & Exile
  23. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin
  24. Sa-Roc
  25. Felt
  26. Westside Gunn
  27. T.I.
  28. Pop Smoke
  29. Boldy James
  30. Dua Lipa
  31. Ransom
  32. Phoebe Bridgers
  33. Reason
  34. Goodie Mob
  35. Ariana Grande
  36. CunninLynguists
  37. The Lox
  38. Jaden Smith
  39. Dinner Party
  40. Future
  41. Kaash Paige
  42. Brother Ali
  43. Deante Hitchcock
  44. Tyrone’s Jacket
  45. Rich Brian
  46. Kid Cudi
  47. Dave East
  48. Mac Miller
  49. Elzhi
  50. Ice Cube

As you can see, new music dominates my listening experience. Out of my top 50 artists, only CunninLynguists, Brother Ali, and Ice Cube didn’t release projects in 2020. A lot of my all-time favorite rappers (Biggie, Jay, Pac, Kanye, Outkast, etc.) and current favorite rappers (Kendrick, J. Cole, Joey Badass) are nowhere to be found. I definitely enjoy staying up-to-date, finding hidden gems, and keeping an open mind to everything new, but I can’t help but feel like it dominates my listening experience and I don’t listen to the music I truly love enough. That makes music feel more like homework than pleasure sometimes. I plan to stay very current, but I want to find more balance with this in 2021.

Top 10 Albums of the Year (in alphabetical order)

Apollo Brown & Che Noir – As God Intended (Rap)
Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof (Rap)
Conway the Machine – From King To A God (Rap)
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (Pop)
Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist – Alfredo (Rap)
Mac Miller – Circles (Rap? Pop?)
MC Eiht – Lessons (Rap)
Run the Jewels – RTJ4 (Rap)
Sa-Roc – The Sharecropper’s Daughter (Rap)
The Weeknd – After Hours (R&B/Soul/Pop)

I feel pretty confident in that list, but there could be an album or two I’d slip in or out and maybe some of the more recent releases will grow enough on me to make the jump. If I had to pick an absolute favorite for the year, I think I’d have to go with the Apollo Brown & Che Noir album.

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

Amine – Limbo (Rap)
Brent Faiyaz – F**k the World (R&B/Soul)
Che Noir – After 12 (Rap)
Deante Hitchcock – BETTER (Rap)
eLZhi – Seven Times Down Eight Times Up (Rap)
Felt – Felt 4 U (Rap)
Flip Huston – Who Is Flip Huston? (Rap)
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? (Pop)
Logic – No Pressure (Rap)
Planet Asia & 38 Spesh – Trust the Chain (Rap)
R.A. the Rugged Man – All My Heroes Are Dead (Rap)
Reason – New Beginnings (Rap)
Royce da 5’9″ – The Allegory (Rap)
Tyrone’s Jacket – Tyrone’s Jacket (Rap)

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

Ariana Grande, “positions”
Benny the Butcher, “3:30 In Houston”
Boldy James, “Street Shit”
Che Noir ft. RJ Payne & Sa-Roc, “Moment in the Sun”
Chris Stapleton, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice”
Conway the Machine, “Ameenah’s Van”
Conway the Machine, “Serena vs Venus”
Don Toliver ft. Travis Scott & Kaash Paige, “Euphoria”
eLZhi, “Hot Winter Cold Summer”
Eminem ft. White Gold, “Zeus”
Goodie Mob, “4 My Ppl”
Gorillaz ft. Moonchild Sanelly, “With Love To An Ex”
Jamo Gang, “Runyon Canyon”
Jessie Ware, “Read My Lips”
Lil Wayne ft. Drake, “BB King Freestyle”
Lil Wayne, “Lamar”
Miley Cyrus ft. Stevie Nicks, “Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix)”
Reason ft. Mereba, “Westside”
Recognize Ali, “Wreck-Ignition”
Russ ft. Benny the Butcher & Black Thought, “Momentum”
T.I. ft. Eric Bellinger & Killer Mike, “How I Feel”
Tyrone’s Jacket, “Backpack Song”
Tyrone’s Jacket, “Streets”
Westside Gunn, “Shawn vs. Flair”

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November 2020 Music Ratings

December 2, 2020

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God

Notes: Wow. I sure didn’t listen to much new music this past month. Half the albums that cracked my top 10 last month were still in my top 10 most listened to albums for November. Only three albums released in November even cracked my top 20 and two albums from decades ago found a way in. My friend Phil sent me a copy of his upcoming album and I listened to it many times through even though some of the songs are still unmastered. His album is due out sometime in December, but you’ll find his project in my #4 slot down below. I’ll go ahead and include a rough rating for each album to make my feelings on each project clearer.  Note: the more I’ve listened to an album, the more accurate my rating is. Any rating that has a + symbol means that I’ve found my floor, but I could rate it higher. MC Eiht’s album jumped way up in my esteem and I’m now wondering if it’s one of the best albums of the year. I’m shocked by it. I liked it so much I added his last album to my current playlist and that project also cracked my top 20 last month. Hopefully, I will get back to doing some actual reviews in December.

Rating Scale

10 – Perfection
9 – Amazing
8 – Must Listen
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended/Good
5 – Decent
4 – Lackluster
3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Torture Material

* indicates November 2020 release

Top 20 Albums in November (all ratings are out of 10)

Note: These albums are NOT ranked in order of preference; they are ranked in order of number of songs listened to over the past month.

1. Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God – 7
2. Ty Dolla $ign – Featuring Ty Dolla $ign – 6
3. MC Eiht – LESSONS – 8
4. Flip Huston – Who Is Flip Huston? (unreleased) – 7
5. T.I. – The L.I.B.R.A. – 6
6. Black Thought – Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane and Abel – 7
7. Dej Loaf – Sell Sole II – 5
8. TQ – They Never Saw Me Coming (1998) – 7+
9. Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof – 8+
10. Ariana Grande – Positions – 6+
11. *Goodie Mob – Survival Kit – 6+
12. *Berner & Larry June – Cooks & Orange Juice – 5+
13. Conway the Machine – FROM KING TO A GOD – 8+
14. Lil Wayne – Lights Out (2000) – 6+
15. MC Eiht – Which Way Iz West (2017) – 7+
16. Reason – New Beginnings – 7
17. clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned – 5
18. Deante’ Hitchcock – Better (Deluxe) – 6+
19. *Future & Lil Uzi Vert – Pluto x Baby Pluto – 5+
20. Sam Smith – Love Goes – 6+

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

38 Spesh & Street Justice ft. Che Noir, “Overthrow”
Benny the Butcher ft. DOM KENNEDY, “Over the Limit”
Busta Rhymes ft. Kendrick Lamar, “Look Over Your Shoulder”
eLZhi, “Light One Write One”
Freddie Gibbs ft. Big Sean, “4 Thangs”
Goodie Mob ft. Big Boi, “Prey 4 Da Sheep”
Gorillaz ft. Fatoumata Diawara, “Desole”
Jack Harlow, “Tyler Herro”
MC Eiht ft.Havoc & Kurupt, “Neighborhood Looks”
MC Eiht, “U Kno”
MC Eiht, “Lessons”
Recognize Ali ft. Planet Asia & Shabaam Sahdeeq, “Elephants in the Room”
Sa-Roc, “r(E)volution”
Saigon, “Bullets-19”
Spillage Village ft. Ant Clemons, “Baptize”
Ty Dolla $ign, “Time Will Tell”

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October 2020 Music Ratings

November 3, 2020

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Benny the ButcherBurden of Proof

Notes: I spent a week in San Diego this past month and listened to zero music while I was there, but even so, I think the past six weeks or so have been the best stretch of the year as far as new music goes.  There seems to be some confusion about these rankings, so I’ll go ahead and clear that up.  These rankings are not in order of preference – they are ordered by the number of scrobbles for each album, with a scrobble meaning I listened to a song on that album.  So, for reference below, that means I listened to a song from Benny the Butcher’s new album sixty times in October.  Granted, this does somewhat reflect my preferences, but an album released at the beginning of the month has a much better chance of finishing near the top of the rankings than an album that is released at the end of the month.  I’ll go ahead and include a rough rating for each album to make my feelings on each project clearer.  Note: the more I’ve listened to an album, the more accurate my rating is.

Rating Scale

10 – Perfection
9 – Amazing
8 – Must Listen
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended/Good
5 – Decent
4 – Lackluster
3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Torture Material

* indicates October 2020 release

Top 20 Albums in October (all ratings are out of 10)

1. *Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof (60) – 8+
2. *21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode II (55) – 7
3. *Sa-Roc – The Sharecropper’s Daughter (51) – 8+
4. *Ty Dolla $ign – Featuring Ty Dolla $ign (50) – 6
5. *Black Thought – Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane and Abel (44) – 7
6. *Reason – New Beginnings (31) – 7
7. *Bryson Tiller – A N N I V E R S A R Y (29) – 5.5
7. *T.I. – The L.I.B.R.A. (29) – 6
9. *Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God (28) – 7+
10. MC Eiht – LESSONS (26) – 7+
11. *Westside Gunn – WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE (25) – 6+
12. Big Sean – Detroit 2 (24) – 6.5+
13. Reks – T.H.I.N.G.S. (The Hunger Inside Never Gets Satisfied) (21) – 6.5+
14. Conway the Machine – FROM KING TO A GOD (20) – 8+
15. *Smoke DZA – Homegrown (19) – 6.5+
16. Berner – Russ Bufalino: The Quiet Don (18) – 5.5+
16. Spillage Village – Spilligion (18) – 7
18. Alicia Keys – ALICIA (17) – ?
18. *Joyner Lucas – Evolution (17) – ?
20. *YG – My Life 4hunnid (15) – ?

Top 20 Artists of 2020 (since late July)

1. Amine (115)
1. Spillage Village (115)
3. Nas (113)
4. Conway the Machine (105)
5. Eminem (94)
5. Che Noir (94)
7. The Weeknd (91)
8. Benny the Butcher (86)
9. Lil Wayne (85)
10. Big Sean (83)
11. Logic (78)
12. Blu & Exile (75)
13. Felt (72)
14. Black Thought (71)
14. R.A. the Rugged Man (71)
16. Dua Lipa (65)
17. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin (59)
17. CunninLynguists (59)
19. Pop Smoke (57)
19. Sa-Roc (57)

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

Benny the Butcher, “Legend”
Benny the Butcher ft. Westside Gunn & Conway the Machine, “War Paint”
Benny the Butcher ft. Lil Wayne & Big Sean, “Timeless”
Black Thought ft. ScHoolboy Q, “Steak Um”
Busta Rhymes ft. Rapsody, “Best I Can”
Busta Rhymes ft. Vybz Kartel, “The Don & The Boss”
Che Noir & 38 Spesh ft. Street Justice & Klass Murda, “Royalty”
REASON ft. Vince Staples, “SAUCE”
REASON ft. Rapsody, “I Can Make It”
Reks, “Miss Education”
Sa-Roc ft. Styles P, “Rocwell’s America”
Sa-Roc ft. Black Thought, “The Black Renaissance”
Sa-Roc, “Gold Leaf”
Spillage Village ft. Jurdan Bryant, “Oshun”
T.I. ft. London Jae & Conway the Machine, “1/2 Ticket”
Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future & Young Thug, “Life Me Up”

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J.Cole, A Tribe Called Quest, BJ The Chicago Kid, The League s3, Fuller House s2

December 14, 2016

J.Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only – I had immense expectations for this album, hoping J.Cole could cement himself as #2 in the current hip-hop chain of command. Instead, Cole opts for a concept album that tells a good, cohesive story, but is an undeniable step down from Forrest Hills Drive in just about every aspect, particularly the production. It’s a very subdued album, with ballads to a love interest and a baby daughter – in fact, half the album is Cole doing more singing than rapping. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I want from one of my favorite spitters in the game today. “Immortal” is the only true hip-hop banger on the album and “4 Your Eyez Only” does a great job of tying the whole concept together. It’s interesting that Cole attacks Kanye on “False Prophets” just before this album’s release implying that ‘Ye’s The Life Of Pablo is “half ass shit he dropped,” but there are roughly 4-5 songs on Yeezy’s latest that are better than everything on this Cole album. Initial disappointment aside, this album is growing on me and “Foldin Clothes” is the only track I don’t really like. It’s not what I wanted, but I’m appreciating it for what it is: a solid concept album from a rapper that is capable of much more.

6.5/10 (Recommended/Highly Enjoyable)

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – 18 years after their last project, ATCQ manages to sound both contemporary and vintage at the same time. It feels like something they could have released in the 90’s but addresses topics of today, particularly Donald Trump’s run to POTUS. “We The People” is a great song with a catchy hook that tells all the minorities of the nation that “you must go.” Obviously Tribe is speaking for Trump here and don’t feel that way themselves (in fact, Q-Tip says “put so much in this muthafucka feel like we shouldn’t leave” on “The Space Program”). It feels dirty singing along uncontrollably with such a terrible message, but that’s how contagious the music is. The core members (Q-Tip, Phife Dog, Jarobi) all give great performances throughout the album, but Busta Rhymes might be the MVP as he seamlessly hops in and out on “Dis Generation” and then absolutely demolishes the best beat on the album on “Mobius.” Tribe also gets a short but fantastic feature from Kendrick Lamar on “Conrad Tokyo.” The big feature that didn’t work for me as well was Andre 3000 on “Kids.” I just can’t get into the production on that song. In all, it’s totally absurd that A Tribe Called Quest is putting out an album as good as this in 2016. It’s a project that is enjoyable all the way through, fits in perfectly with the rest of their discography, and is one of the best rap albums of the year.

8/10 (Essential Listening)

BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind – I finally listened to this from front to back a week or two ago and there is virtually nothing to complain about. I can’t remember a song I didn’t like and there are numerous tracks that have made my Best Of 2016 playlist, including “Shine,” “The New Cupid,” and “Church” – and really, I could just keep adding on. “Shine” has become the mantra for my marriage with its theme of a couple surviving through thick and thin and shining together. Having bottomed out multiple times in my life, the past few years have really been spectacular and things only keep getting better, so BJ’s lyrics of “when I shine, you shine with me baby” really resonate with me. It’s incredibly satisfying to succeed as a team with my wife and this song expresses those feelings perfectly. This album is very good from front to back and is probably my favorite R&B album of the year.

7.5/10 (Highly Enjoyable/Essential Listening)

“Fuller House” s2 – This show is definitely a guilty pleasure that is mostly enjoyable for nostalgic purposes. The writing and acting are frequently cheesy. While it doesn’t seem terrible for DJ to say her catchphrase of “Oh Mylanta,” I cringe every time I hear Stephanie say “how rude,” it just feels so horribly forced. I can only imagine what it would be like if they actually got the Olsen twins to come back. Would they really have a fully grown Michelle saying things like “you got it dude” and “no way Jose?” Even though Kimmy Gibbler’s ex-husband Fernando can feel like a rip-off of Fez from “That 70’s Show” a lot of the time and her brother Jimmy looks and kind of acts like an Ashton Kutcher clone, I have to admit both characters are a good addition to the second season, with the former taking on a much bigger role this time around as he moves into the house. These two characters provided most of my laughs in the second season. There are a lot of call backs to the previous series that didn’t resonate with me because I didn’t remember them, but I imagine they are fun for serious fans of “Full House.” Danny Tanner’s mid-life crisis that found him living with reckless abandon and doing that whole old white person using hip-hop slang like no one in the world does routine was absolutely terrible. I really don’t get that. It’s never funny and it’s actually quite insulting. Kimmy Gibbler is probably the series highlight. Her character is usually the funniest and finds herself in the best situations – like co-hosting the morning show with Danny Tanner. I couldn’t help but note the Lance Bass reference in the high school reunion episode, saying DJ was voted most likely to marry Lance Bass or something of that nature. The girls graduated in 1995, but N’Sync didn’t become popular until 1998. Just a weird thing that the entire cast and crew overlooked but immediately gave me pause. I’m not disappointed with “Fuller House” because I know exactly what to expect and I’m watching it anyway. It’s a cheesy sitcom that is moderately enjoyable and offers some decent chuckles. I can’t imagine fans of the old series wouldn’t like it.

2.5/5 (Not Recommended/Decent)

“The League” s3 – I thought this season started off terribly and I hope the show isn’t jumping the shark already with four more seasons to go. I honestly found it appalling that the group would conspire behind Ruxin’s back and neg on his #1 overall pick. First off, that is extremely foul play. Secondly, it’s not like a #1 pick even comes close to guaranteeing a league title. The season did start to pick up with the hilarious guest spots from Keegan-Michael Key in “Carmenjello” and Jeff Goldblum as Ruxin’s dad and Sarah Silverman as Andre’s sister in “Thanksgiving.” I thought Taco had some pretty funny moments in the first season, but he’s easily becoming my least favorite character on the show. Andre remains my favorite. Hopefully season four is a step forward because another step back and I might not be able to make it through this whole series.

3/5 (Decent/Good Stuff)