Black Milk:Â Popular Demand/Pressure
One of the next out of Detroit.Â Best known for his production work in BR Gunna for Slum Village and J.Dilla, Black is on his own with the beats and rhymes on “Popular Demand.”Â Quality production helps Black’s rhymes ease in and is more than tolerable on the mic.Â “Sound The Alarm” featuring Guilty Simpson is a banger and already a Detroit Classic.Â “Shut It Down” is another great song with the swag on high throughout the whole album, but deserves to be cocky because of his dopeness.Â “Pressure” is a best-of mix of Black’s best tracks he’s produced throughout his career, as well as some songs from upcoming and previous releases.Â “Do Ya Thing” by Dilla might be one of my favorite tracks ever, and “The Reunion” by SV is touching and unfuckwithable.Â Although most of these tracks have been released, there was some music I didn’t even know happen like his track with Canibus.
Favorite Shit:Â “Sound The Alarm (F/Guilty Simpson)” “Take It There (F/One Be Lo)” “Do Ya Thing” “The Reunion” & “Eternal”
Jay-Z:Â American Gangster
Best rapper alive.Â Yeah, the album is kinda on some bullshit with the promotion with the movie though there is no official affiliation;Â but the music is good and grows on you.Â Jay is Mike Jordan of rap and knows what to do.Â On “American Gangster” he goes back to his “Reasonable Doubt” slanging roots of hustling and making cash on the low.Â He hasn’t missed a beat, although some of the tracks do.Â Most people have heard this so no need to dive any further.Â TEENAGERS:Â As long as Jay is rapping, Wayne isn’t #1.Â Respect his gangster.
Favorite Shit:Â “Pray”Â “Ignorant Shit (F/Beanie Sigel)” & “American Dreamin’”
Buff 1:Â Pure
Athletic Mic League’s Buff 1 has been in the Michigan scene for years, and I’ve only been slightly familiar with him.Â With the Wu-Tang esque crew that is AML, and his mediocre “The One & Only” mixtape I wasn’t even looking for this album.Â I kept hearing Buff’s name about about this album, and got a copy.Â One Be Lo better look out because Buff 1 is on his heels and could take the Mitten underground title away from him.Â Most of the production is done by the Lab Techs (AML’s production team) with some assistance from Mr. Porter on the banging “I Go” and Wajeed on “Supreme” featuring Invincible and Guilty Simpson.Â This release is a good listen from head to toe without sounding too backpacky by any means.Â Buff is for fans of Mos Def, Tribe, and De La with an updated style and sound.Â His lyrics are out cold.
Favorite Shit:Â “For U” “The Kingdom (F/Miz Korona & Elzhi)” & “I Go”
Young Buck:Â Buck The World
I can’t believe I’m even writing this.Â I have always thought Buck was the weakest link in G-Unit, but is holding the label together with “Buck The World.”Â Buck stays versatile, and has a good mixture of hood to commercial appeal.Â “Get Buck” is anthemic and makes me hype whenever I hear it at the bar.Â While “Slow Your Roll” is an introspective track where Buck talks about the people he has lost in his life.Â “Fuck The World” featuring Lyfe Jennings is another great joint that lets listeners into Buck’s world.Â The production is on point to say the least with only a few flubs like the weed smoke collabo with Young Jeezy, and a couple others.Â Even if you hate G-Unit, Young Buck dropped one of the best releases in the south and commercial rap this year.
Favorite Shit:Â “Push ‘Em Back” “Slow Your Roll” & “Fuck The World”
Chevelle:Â Vena Sera
One of the best bands in modern rock today.Â Chevelle constantly releases quality product with great singles for radio, while not sacrificing their sound and heaviness.Â I’ve been down since “Point #1″ and continue to see the growth in this trio of brothers that keeps me copping their albums every time they drop.Â “Well Enough Alone” was all over the radio and a great introduction to those who have not heard the band, while not alienating their fans.Â Good, melodic, and heavy.Â That’s what I’m into.
Favorite Shit:Â “Antisaint” “Safer Waters” “Well Enough Alone” & “Humanoid”Â
The Used:Â Lies For The Liars
The third release from Screamo group The Used is less scream, and more sing.Â That isn’t necessarily a bad thing and isn’t of this album.Â The heavy shit is still there, it’s just between songs that have a more brighter feel.Â The Used definately have not sold out, but they have developed their sound.Â Songs are heavy, but have a slight pop appeal which is something The Used have always done, it’s just their hooks have gotten better.Â The production aspect of the record is dope and The Used experiment with caution and come up winners on that flip of the coin.Â If you never like The Used, you might start to.Â If you’ve always liked The Used, you might not anymore.Â I think this release is quality, though not their best.
Favorite Shit:Â “Pretty Handsome Awkward” “Paralyzed” & “The Bird And The Worm”
Lil’ Wayne:Â This guy must not sleep
He thinks he’s the best rapper out.Â A quote I read was “I’m not hot, I’m great.”Â Who even knows?Â He’s only been on his J.O. since ’04 and he’s been putting out records since ’98.Â Maybe I’m just a hater, although I enjoy newer Weezy.Â He’s witty and catchy.Â I really put him on my list in anticipation of “Tha Carter 3.”Â If you’re looking to get a rapper on your single, Lil’ Wayne is “The One” right now, but can change right now to years.Â Yes, Weezy is all over the radio, but he’s the closest thing hip hop has to an emcee who’s really doing it in the mainstream.
Favorite Shit:Â “Duffle Bag Boy” “We Takin’ Over” “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)”