This week I will review some of the most significant Hip Hop and R&B releases from major artists in the week of 11/23/2010. I review mainly based on three things: First I rate the artist creativity and content, next I judge based on the production and the overall quality of the music. And lastly I rate the commercial appeal of the album from a sales perspective. The biggest difference between the ratings in my blog and other ratings is the fact that I always rate from the perspective of the artist’s fan as opposed to an average critic. I fully understand that different artists cater to their own unique demographics. In other words, I rate from the perspective of the fan and judge based on whether or not the album is worthy of purchase.
Lloyd Banks - HFM2 (Hunger For More vol. 2)
First up is Lloyd Banks who is releasing his first album since his “rotten apple” in 2006. The album is the sequel to Bank’s debut “The Hunger for More(2004).” HFM2 is laced with hit singles that helped generate a healthy momentum leading up to the release. Songs like “Beamer, Benz, and Bentley” saw heavy success at radio and served as the launching pad for the album's release. Bank’s hiatus doesn't seem to have slowed him down at all. He is now more popular than ever and was able to build up a healthy anticipation for the album. He definitely follows through with what his true fans have been waiting for. His trademark sharp delivery and potent lyrics are backed by very solid production throughout. Lloyd Bank's loyal fans will appreciate this offering in that it is very well rounded. He manages to satisfy his current fan base while gaining new fans by way of some clever collaborations with artists like Kanye West and Lloyd. Overall the album is a project that is well worth the purchase price.
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
This album is simply put some of the most creative and though provoking music that I have had in a very long time. The music on the surface is obviously well polished and Kanye’s tireless work ethic shines through on the production of every track. The album continues to shine as you dig deeper. This album is laced with underlying themes and emotions that people can truly relate to. From beginning to end the album is masterfully composed and the lyrics are unrivaled. I applaud Kanye for being one of the most prominent artist of today yet social commentary is a mainstay in his music.
"Hey teacher teacher tell me how do you respond to students,
and refresh the page and restart the memory.
Re-spark the soul and re-build the energy.
We stop the ignorance, we kill the enemy..."
Kanye has always been the type to challenge the status quo and push forward the art form as a whole. The Dark Twisted Fantasy is a far departure from traditional album and song formatting. Many songs on the album are 6 minutes or over and there is even a 9 minute version of the hit single "Runaway."
The album was preceded by the release of the short film also entitled "Runaway." The film, which features very strong imagery, is the perfect complement to the album. Kanye combines the very different worlds of hip hop and ballerinas in a way that hasn't quite been captured in movies or music videos. His musical production style has laid the foundation for a similar film making style in which the traditional rules are frequently broken.
This album is a definite must buy and the short film is a must see.
Curren$y - Pilot Talk IICurrensy is an artist that has generated a nice following in the underground that is more than a decade in the making. He stays true to his fans and delivers what they have come to know him for. The production is on point but the subject matter can dwindle at certain points throughout the project. This is to be expected from Currensy to some extent. There are plenty of weed references and a level of quality that is above average. However there is not much pushing the envelope for Currensy on this effort. Just alot of sticking to the script. This album is well worth a listen and even a download but I wont be spending my money for this one.
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday
A masterfully constructed buzz has created the most anticipation surrounding a female hip hop album in a very long time. I was suprised by many of the tracks on this album and as a whole the fans will be truly pleased
Nicki Minaj is one of the most polarizing figures in the music business as everyone seemingly either loves her or hates her. If you don' already love Nicki, don't expect this to change your mond. However if you are a true Nicki Minaj fan then you will not be disappointed. Expect to hear her cater to her loyal following as well as experiment with some different styles and sounds. Overall this album is very consistent with the monster that has become Nicki Minaj. If you are a fan it's a must buy. If you're not a fan you'll want to listen but pass on the purchase.