December 31, 2010

Round of Applause - Black Milk

My iTunes library has grown quite a bit in 2010...homegrown, that is.
Of all the albums, mixtapes, songs that I've gotten my hands on this year, about 97% of them have been from a local rapper.

You're not experiencing déjá vu, I've said something similar numerous times. I've been so caught up in Detroit hip-hop this year that I've kind of ignored everything else.
That being said, Rick Ross, The Roots, Big Boi and Kanye have released some pretty good albums this year (from what I've been told :-/ ). So when I decided I'd do my top four favorites, I'd pick my top four Detroit albums, it's only fair.

Why four? Five was too hard (plus I have a thing for even numbers. My blog. My Rules).

Before I get into the top four some honorable mentions are Marv Won's 'Wayne Fontes Music', Street Justice's 'Go HAAM', Nametag's 'The Name Is Tag' and Moe Dirdee's 'M.O.E. (Mark of Excellence)'. I've heard The Left's Gas Mask is pretty awesome, but I haven't heard it yet (I know slacking).

4. Crown Nation - House Shoes presents Blue Mondays/Slut Bag Edition Double EP: I swear people don't talk about Crown Nation enough. Quelle and Denmark Vessey. I've written about these two fellows a little while ago, and stand by my claim that people are heavily sleeping on them. This Double EP, combines the best of both Crown Nation worlds, "Blue Mondays" was Quelle's solo project while "Slut Bag Edition" was a Crown Nation baby. The song that got me hooked was "The Archie Whitewater Interlude" which is on Slut Bag Edition, maybe it's their hip-hop quirkiness mixed with old school flavor and manipulation of simple flows and cool lyrics that makes them dope.

3.Miz Korona - The Injection: Though it dropped back during this summer, I officially got injected November 15 ( I remember the date because I had jury duty that day). I was dead determined to get a hard copy of that album and yes it took that long. Miz Korona is one of the artists I've gotten to know this year; I've seen her perform several times and simply ran into her on a few other occasions. One of the first songs I heard by her was "Like a Zoo," which is featured on this album, and I was pretty much captivated by her rhymes. She attacks bars with a spitfire delivery and pretty excellent word play; it's impossible to listen to The Injection without rewinding a song's verse to make sure you heard her right.  The entire album (with the exception of Cookin') was produced by Chanes, who I have officially stopped sleeping on, and is possibly the best 40 minutes of your life.

2. Danny Brown - The Hybrid: His jeans are tight but his rhymes are tighter. Ok, corny, but Danny Brown is way beyond a lot of his peers and The Hybrid should have been an album I paid for, I feel like I cheated the system. The Hybrid was my first time hearing anything by Danny Brown; I didn't know who he was, what he'd done, nothing. The only thing I knew was that my Twitter timeline was going haywire over this guy's album and I found out why. Danny Brown tells some interesting tales through his lyrics many of which are relatable hood tales like "Thank God" which makes mentions of Bridge and WIC cards or "Juno" which hits the nail on the teen pregnancy head. Production isn't half-assed either,  Red Bull 's 2010 Big Tune Producer 14KT did a track as well as the aforementioned guys of Crown Nation, Mosel, Nick Speed, Chuck Inglish ... The Hybrid bleeds awesomeness.

1. Black Milk - Album of the Year: When Black Milk named this album the last thing he was doing was exagerrating.  AOTY is the best $10 I ever spent. Upon its release, AOTY came in at #129 on the Billboard 200, which is a pretty dope accomplishment. Sometimes when producers decide to step behind the mic it's not always the greatest (and if it is, someone else wrote it for them), but Black did a damn good job lyrically on this album. That could be because producers know their music, they know how to to ride their beats if no one else does. 'Album of the Year' gets personal, as he discusses the passing of Baatin and his aunt and almost losing Hex, but also has hints of cockiness and arrogance. My favorite thing about the album is the beats; Black Milk does this thing with drums, I can't really describe it, but you know that thing I'm talking about if you've listened to it. If he wanted it to be, 'Album of the Year' could have been an instrumental album (but you know how that goes when wack rappers think instrumental albums give them a right to drop wretched 16s, I digress). The only cohesive statement I can make on Album of the Year: it is awesome, Black Milk did an amazing job on it both production and lyrically, and it may be too early to call it, but in a few years AOTY will be on the list of classic hip-hop albums ... even if it's only in the 313.

December 27, 2010

Video: Ooo La La La [Live on Soul Train] - Teena Marie

Well, if you haven't heard by now, legendary blue-eyed soul singer Teena Marie passed away Sunday morning from what appears to be natural causes.

Her daughter discovered her body in the bedroom of the singer's home who passed away in her sleep. It has been reported (though I haven't seen it confirmed anywhere) that she may have passed away after having a seizure (she has suffered from these before).

Teena Marie had one of the most soulful voices. I've seen people referring to her as the "Blackest White Girl" and speaking with my Mom, she said when Teena Marie's album first dropped, her label decided to not put her on the cover because they weren't sure how people were going to react to a White girl with such a powerful voice.

Not sure how true that is, but one could believe it.

Her passing comes about four years after that of Rick James, a constant collaborator.

Now Fire & Desire may rest peacefully.

December 23, 2010

Some Guys Win 'Em All - Ron Dance

Last year, the city embraced his beard, this holiday season it's all about his vest but on December 29th, it'll be all about Ron Dance as he celebrates his __ birthday and album release for Flidelphia's 'The In Crowd' (a duo comprised of Ron Dance and producer Nameless).

Plush Lounge (13090 Inkster Rd, Redford, MI)  | 21+ | $10

The event will be hosted by one of Michigan's favorite fellows (and Dance's 101 counterpart) Ro Spit .

Let me back up a second, if you're not familiar with Ron Dance go look at any Detroit music video that came out this year like Ro Spit's "Renaissance State of Mind", Dwele's "What's Not to Love", Marv Won's "Totally Awesome", Miz Korona's "Playground", Paradime's "Lovely Day" and  simply look for a beard.

Besides being a highly sought after local video vixen, he hosts the uStream live webcast The Ron Dance Show every Sunday at 9:30 p.m. mostly known for the outrageous amount of alcohol, random conversations, stories with no punchlines and home to the phrase Struck by Chuck, the Ron Dance Show is as real as real life can get.

I've been a guest on that show twice and please believe me when I say ... that it's 100% real, unscripted and makes Monday and your liver HATE you.

I'm Straying.

Someone asked me why they should attend the album release party for someone who the entire city says can't rap.

I'll tell you why.

While his rap career has been the butt of many jokes (and I do mean plenty, so much so he chose to embrace the concept on his last EP, Some Guys Win 'Em All), Ron Dance can throw a heck of a party.

In July, there was the Ron Dance Experience at TV Lounge and it defied every law of life there is because whilst no one likes his raps, the place was packed inside and out.

This will probably be the last time for 2010 your favorite locals will all be in one place drinking merrily and chatting it up before the New Year.

PLEASE leave the "I gotta mixtape" and "What's up on a feature/RDW cover/blog post" talk at the door.  I can't speak for everyone else but do know, that I will indeed ignore you and carry on with my Corona for the night.

Bottom line: Be there. It'll be fun.

New: "It's On" - The Academy

 You know how you always hear about something but aren't really sure about it?

Enter The Academy.

I can't tell you how I heard about them, when I heard about them or what I've heard by them, all I know is I'm familiar with them.

But any person knows there's only so long you can ignore something and I saw it on Twitter, got a DM about it and an e-mail and I had no choice but to listen to their track "It's On" by The Academy's Mahd, A.Will and featuring Regime's ART.

Apparently "It's On" is The Academy's motto.

It celebrates their readiness for wherever their talents take them and whatever comes their way. The world is incredibly critical but The Academy  ... is up for the challenge.
I rarely quote the e-mails I get but for some reason this stuck out. I like the track, it reminds me of summer and with the terribly gloomy winter weather Michigan has been hit with it's a major plus. Check out "It's On" by Mahd, A. Will and ART and let me know what you think.

Click here to download "It's On"

Music Video: Detroit - Pato Margetic

Motown. Motor City. The D. Rock City.

The list kind of goes on with nicknames for Detroit and lately it seems people have been fighting back the negative images often associated with the city.

Film companies and TV shows have been taking advantage of the opportunites here, Johnny Knoxville went on his own little Motor City Tour and of course you have the douzens of blogs that help promote and support the city in some kind of way.

Eminem did it in "Beautiful" and Kid Rock did it with "Roll On" and Pato Margetic keeps the support going with this video for his song "Detroit". Besides the song itself acting as an ode to the city, the video captures some pretty great shots of familiar and less-known places in Motown.

I sort of stumbled across him (sort of had him pushed in my face), he's a rather talented musician from with a pretty awesome voice.
He released his album 'On My Own' this year and I must say I'm quite pissed I let this guy slip under the radar for so long.

Point is, Pato Margetic is kind of awesome, someone you should watch out for and you can begin by watching his video and seeing what you recognize (or what you don't).

Music Video: Can't Stand It - Mr. Chief

The entire world knows I'm clearly a month behind on life.
(Hey, you go to school full-time, work on graduating and transferring, work part-time, freelance and then come holla).

About a month a go, a rapper by the name of Mr. Chief dropped a music video for his joint "Can't Stand It" featuring Guilty Simpson and Wrekonize of iMAYDAY and was produced by Miami Beat Wave.

This is Chief's first video off his upcoming project 'Assuming Power' scheduled to drop sometime after the New Year (how soon after, I don't know).

December 19, 2010

Heard 'Em Say - Kanye West

2010 is over (give or take two weeks). My final video blog for the end of the beginning of the decade. 2010 put into a quick perspective.