Tag Archives: hip hop

Nas – Life is Good – Motivational Review

Great beats, great rhymes, good messages = the formula for a GREAT CD

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I feel like Nas laid it all on the line with this CD… The title alone “Life is Good” is motivational. I always say Life is Good don’t let anybody tell you any different.  This CD is honest, introspective, and inspirational.  Many (including me) felt that Nas was past his prime lyrically.  Yep I was completely wrong!  On LIG he is as sharp as he ever was.

The thing is when I do reviews I try to find motivational nuggets on a CD and highlight those.  Typically you only have a couple of songs if that unless you’re reviewing a gospel/Christian project.  With LIG there are so many good ones.

On the song no introduction he talks about his life, his marriage and his mistakes…

Accident Murderers is where he talks about people innocent victims of violence by cowards.  Production is excellent.

Daughters is just an honest song from a father who obviously loves his child but admits he is not perfect.

Summer on Smash is a feel good song about the joys of summer.  Good summer song.

Nas’ song with Amy Winehouse, Cherry Wine is special.  Listening to how great this song sounds kind of makes you sad that she had to leave us.  Good song that inspires us to find our true soul mates.

Bye Baby is inspirational only for the fact that Nas is transparent and honest.  He chronicles his marriage to Kelis.  He does it in a very positive way…

Overall I think this will go down as one of Nas’ best releases.  Life is good can be found on iTunes, amazon (see link below).  I copped the deluxe edition at best buy.

http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-Version-Explicit-digital-booklet/dp/B008HYUO4S/ref=sr_shvl_album_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342629543&sr=301-2

 

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BEST HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2011

BEST HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2011

I’ve taken about a week or so off so I’m going to be releasing multiple entries for the rest of the month.  Here are more of the best of the year. Remember these are listed in no particular order.

Tech N9ne – All 6’s and 7’s

Though Tech has released many hip hop albums over the years and is a legitimate hip hop veteran, this CD was sort of like his coming out party for the world.  He has been a huge underground artist with a huge following.  Somehow he had managed to fly under the radar.  He made big news in 2010 when Lil Wayne gave him a shout out on national radio saying that he wanted the work with Tech on his new CD.  All of a sudden everyone was checking for this guy.  Tech was very smart to take advantage of this buzz by putting out a great CD for the world hear.  He proclaims that he’s not going mainstream but rather he’s making the mainstream go “him”.  That in and of itself is inspiring given that he releases his music on his own Strange Music record label.  I love to follow successful entrepreneurs.  This independent release was in the top 10 record sales in the country the week it was released.  Simply put in 2011 Tech N9ne let it be known that he’s definitely a forced to be reckoned with in the game.  Overall this is a very solid CD.   Dude can rap his ass off, period.  There is no way that you can love good hip hop and not appreciate this cd.  At the very least this is a CD full of bangers for your car stereo!

One of top songs for motivational value is Worldwide Choppers.  This song is over 5 minutes long and features several guests including Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes among others.  They just go off! They basically are establishing their supremacy over the competition showing there fast rapping skills.  The chorus says it all…

“I’m light years

Ahead of my peers

Want some, you can come bring it right here

Can’t clown me

Don’t come ’round me

Bow down, I was crowned when they found me”

I Love Music is another one that motivates for obvious reasons.  Here he talks about his love and appreciation for music and what it’s done for him and his life.

Strangeland is another favorite off of here J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League is on the production and they are easily becoming one of my favorite production teams.  On this song he speaks about how he was often overlooked and is basically introducing himself to the world.  As stated earlier, his story in and of itself is very motivational.

http://soundowl.com/track/zhi/tech-n9ne-strangeland-prod-by-justice-league

Overall this is a CD you definitely want to have in your collection.  Click the link below to purchase.

http://www.amazon.com/All-6s-Explicit-Digital-Booklet/dp/B005329HHW/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323790128&sr=301-1

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BEST HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2011

Bad Meets Evil – Hell The Sequel

Rappers Eminem and Royce Da 5’9 teamed up to do this collaboration that was released on June 14th. Google Bad Meets Evil history to find out more about the compelling backstory of these two rap heavyweights from the city of Detroit.  To put it lightly many fans feel this CD was long overdue.

Hell the Sequel is technically an EP but it with the bonuses on the deluxe version you have 11 songs total so that’s basically a full cd to me (albeit a short one).  If you’re a fan of lyrical skill then this entire CD is a treat.  The back and forth that they display is arguably the best that you’re going to hear in hip hop.

Now you may be wondering how in the world can a group called Bad Meets Evil or a title called Hell The Sequel have any motivational value.  Fair question but the group name and title is just what hip hop is.  Its metaphorical.  The point is that they inspire by sheer lyrical supremacy and the underlying theme of working hard to be at the top of your craft.  Hell the Sequel inspires you to go hard at whatever you do similarly to the way Royce and Eminem go hard.  To this point the music speaks for itself.

There a couple songs like Fast Lane and Above The Law where they just rap hard and fast.  I particularly recommend Above The Law to get you pumped up when working out.  I listened to that while I ran many miles this past summer.

Of course unless you been vacationing on another planet you’ve already got familiar with the song Lighters with Bruno Mars.  The entire tone, music, and chorus all work together to make this song “big”.  They talk about where they came from to overcome adversity and get to the level of success that they’ve achieved.  This especially rings true for Royce.  If you know anything about his story you know that he and Eminem started in the rap game around the same time (remember I told you to Google the history of their relationship.)

Lastly Living Proof is definitely a motivational song about not giving up and persevering through adversity.

Good CD overall.  Click the link below to purchase.

http://www.amazon.com/Hell-The-Sequel-Deluxe-Version/dp/B00542EBFY/ref=sr_shvl_album_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1323023135&sr=301-3

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BEST HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2011

*Remember these are in no specific order.

The Game Purp and Patron (Parts 1 & 2)

2011 has been a busy year for rapper Game.  On January 24th he released the first of two free mixtapes.  Actually Purp and Patron is two mixtapes (Part 2 “The Hangover” was released like a week or so later) in and of itself.  All in all Purp and Patron has 29 songs!  What’s so motivational is that here you have a huge multi-platinum artist giving away so much free music.  These aren’t throwaway songs by the way.  The majority of these beats are original and not just him rapping over someone else’s track.  He also has a lot of interesting features that up until this point we haven’t heard paired with Game before (everyone from Ashanti to Wiz Khalifa).  The tape is hosted by DJ Skee and Funk Master Flex but I recommend getting the version with the DJ’s that’s out there.

The first song that I found motivational was History with Krs-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Doug E. Fresh.  The fact that he got all these guys on a brand new original track is historical and also reminds this new generation that hip hop has a rich history.  This song has passion.  I wish it would have got more attention but that’s why I’m writing about it now.  On the track everyone brings their A-Game.  Lyrically they all kill it and Doug E. Fresh Narrates it in a sense.  Good song to get pumped up to in the morning or start a workout.

I also got addicted to the song Supastar featuring Ashley Cole and Mike Epps.  This def my favorite song on the entire CD and probably one of my favorite songs all year.  The song starts off with a phone call from a woman that sounds like it’s probably Lil’ Kim.  In the song Game gets introspective and talks about his childhood which wasn’t so good.  He reflects on how he came from that to where he is today.  Its inspiring and what makes it even better is the smooth music and nice hook.  The beat is a sample from the classic O’ Jays song, Family Reunion.  Ashley Cole sings on the chorus and at the end we get some funny comedy at the end from Mike Epps.  You can tell this was recorded a while back cause his jokes were about events from a few years back.  Still funny though.  Just an overall fun and inspiring tack.

Another cool song that inspires is Ferrari Lifestyle with Fabolous.  This is another laidback song about living fast and chasing success.  Game and Fab go in on this one.  Nothing more needs to be said really.  This line from Fab sums up my feelings:

“Ferrari Lifestyle, that mean I’m living fast

on the road to riches you don’t slow down you give it gas”

Overall this Mixtape is great pick up that was somewhat slept on.  And most of all its FREE!  Click the link below to download.

http://www.nodjzone.com/2011/01/27/game-purp-patron-no-dj-version/

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Best Hip Hop Albums of 2011

For the month of December we are going to be looking at my favorite 30 Hip Hop Cd’s that were released this year.  This is going to be in no particular order and of course I’m not including December releases.  I’m interested in hearing your thoughts….

Remember this is in no particular order although I’m going to try and save the best releases for the end.

Ok First up

Styles P – Master of Ceremonies

This CD dropped on October 4th.  Styles P is one third of one of my favorite hip hop groups of all time, The Lox (Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Styles P).  I love the Lox because they are some of the best lyricists to ever do it.  I always enjoy their CD’s and mix tapes, both the group and solo efforts.  Hopefully we can get another official Lox Album in my lifetime!! Ha!

In the meantime they continue to put out solid solo efforts.  Master of Ceremonies is no exception.  If anybody follows Styles P’s career or even follow him on twitter (@therealstylesp) knows that he is generally a positive dude.  He is a perfect example of how you don’t have to be “soft” to be positive.   Now this CD is laid back for the most part with chill beats and ill flows.

The intro song is one of my favs How I fly.  First of all, one of my all-time fav producers, Warren G produced the song.  I’m surprised to see him on here but it works.  The beat is smooth and addicting.  It’s very laid back.  Avery Storm comes in perfect with the hook.  Now I’m going to be honest.  Styles is talking about smoking weed lol.  That’s the whole point of the song.  While I don’t smoke at all I still am motivated by this song.  I don’t smoke weed but I still fly high.  Everyday baby!!!!!

My favorite song on the CD is Harsh with Rick Ross and Busta Rhymes.  They talk about dealing with people and situations harshly when things get out of line.  The point is highlighting success and not playing games.  Very motivational.  On top of that the beat is just HARD! All three MC’s bring their A-game on this track.  I wish this song would have got promoted better.  They made a cool video for it though (see below).  Rick Ross’ entire verse is a quotable!  Check out this video (instant classic here)

Another cool song with motivational value is Its OK with Jadakiss.  Here they do their classic back and forth rapping.  They have been doing this for years and its perfect here.  They are basically using their doubters as motivation.  Check the chorus:

“Niggas talk shit about us – but it’s ok!

Game ain’t shit without us – but it’s ok!

No, you can’t live without us – it’s ok!

But go ahead, you can doubt us – it’s ok!”

Nice.  No matter what comes against me IT’S OK!!!!  We still win!  I love it. This is probably the song with the highest motivational value on the entire CD.

All in all this is a dope CD.  One of the best of 2011.  Go pick it up.  Click the link below or go to iTunes.

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Of-Ceremonies/dp/B005P7ABN4/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322841331&sr=301-1

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DRAKE TAKE CARE – MOTIVATIONAL REVIEW

Drake Take Care – Motivational Review

How can you not be motivated by Drake?  Dude is a huge success and seemingly came out of nowhere just a couple of years ago.  I’m all about success and admiring those who accomplish great things.  After dropping arguably the most successful mix tape of all time, So Far Gone in February 2009, he released an EP with the same title later that September that ended up selling over 500,000.  This is quite amazing because the EP only had 7 songs most of which were already released for free!  In 2010 he released the platinum Thank Me Later.  Drake is on fire.

Here it is not quite a year and a half later and Drake has a huge buzz going for Take Care.  Having leaked a little over a week ago, he is still expected to do big numbers.

Now here are some of my thoughts.  If you’re a Drake Fan you’re going to love this CD.  Hos flow is on point as always.  People can say what they will about him singing and his so-called lack of toughness but there is no denying that he can spit.  From a pure lyrical standpoint he is one of the best in the game period and he shows it throughout the CD.  Having said that this CD is very laid back and mellow which is somewhat of a surprise.  Drake pulls it off well though.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard hit first hit single from the CD “Headlines”

There are two other standout tracks that I want to highlight.  “Lord Knows” features Rick Ross and is produced by the legendary Just Blaze (that’s right I said it).  First of all the beat is ridiculously addictive.  Anytime you have 2 of the best rappers in the game on a track by one of the best producers of all time, you’re most likely are going to get a classic.  On the song Drizzy does his thing and dismisses his critics, something you have to do if you want to maintain momentum on your road to success.

My favorite Drake line from this song is:

“I’m hearing all of the jokes, I know that they tryna push me

I know that showin’ emotion don’t ever mean I’m a pussy

Know that I don’t make music for niggas who don’t get pussy

So those are the ones I count on to diss me or overlook me”

Crazy!!!!

Rick Ross is someone else who is very motivational as he has made a huge leap to the top of the rap game in the last couple years.  His verse is full of quotable lines that should motivate anybody that works hard at what they do.  My favorite Rick Ross line is what he says before he starts rapping.

“I’m going so hard my nigga, I swear homie

Everyday is another opportunity to reach that goal”

All I have to say is that I’m addicted to this song.  In sports they call this an “instant classic”.

Listen for yourself:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Ts4mLym-M&feature=related%5D

Another standout song that has motivational value is “Look What You’ve Done”.  Here he basically talks about how he appreciates the people who helped him get to where he is today.  He reminisces about his struggle and how there were people who believed in him.  He looks at his success and tells them “Look what you’ve done”.  He vows to never forget them.  He particularly talks about his mother and other members of his circle that have been there for him.  The Chorus says it all:

“This shit real, should I pinch you?

After all the things that we been through, I got you

Look what you’ve done, look what you’ve done

Look what you’ve done for me now

You knew that I was gonna be something

When you’re stressed out and you need something, I got you

Look what you’ve done, look what you’ve done”

At the end of the song we hear either his mother or grandmother talk about how much they appreciate him.

This is a special song.  There are so many inspirational things that we can take from this song.  To me family is everything.  I can tell you from experience that we ought to embrace those who believe in our vision.  On the flip side we should be there to encourage those that want to do good.  The takeaway for me is that anything is possible especially when you have the support of wonderful people.

Listen for yourself:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clDSc7_Fjq4&feature=related%5D

Take Care is available in stores TODAY.  If you’re like me you can buy it instantly on i-tunes or amazon. Click on the following link.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0065IAL3C/ref=s9_simh_bw_p340_d1_g340_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1RQY0S69W4EXDEXFD1EA&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1295542782&pf_rd_i=163856011

So what are your thoughts on Drizzy?

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