December 18, 2013

2013 OhhhShot Year In Review

Here goes some slightly cynical thoughts on hip hop from the past 12 months. Apologies.


01. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
This self-titled album picks up where R.A.P. Music and Cancer For Cure left off, finding Killer Mike and El-P keeping it rap, both on beats and words. Sealegs, DDFH and Banana Clip have been in heavy rotation since it was released (for free!) back in June. And bonus, they’re coming to Auckland as part of the Laneways Festival early next year. Welly gets their own seperate gig along with Danny Brown and Earl. You guys.

02. Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2
The first Blue Chips mixtape is the greatest full-length Action Bronson has put out. So my expectations for the reunion with Party Supplies was higher than Bam Bam performing Amadu Diablo acapella. While not bettering the first, it’s still pretty, pretty, pretty good. Pepe Lopez is impossible to not nod your head to, as is 9.24.13. And who else can remake a 90s lesbian love ballad and make it sound dope today.

03. R.A. The Rugged Man – Legends Never Die
One of the best and worst concerts I’ve been to was R.A. at Fuzen. He’s dropped a bit of weight since his last output all those years ago, but is still just as chunky on the rap-friendly 17-track LP.

04. DJ Preservation – September 1200
Mos Def’s DJ released a Barry White tribute album on September 12, which would have marked the R&B icons 69th birthday. It’s mostly an instrumental album composed of Barry White bass-heavy vocals, produced entirely on an SP 1200.

05. 7L & Esoteric, Inspectah Deck  Czarface
Inspectah Deck and a couple of white boys from Boston kicked the year off with this 90s throwback album that would have been zzzzzzz-ed on by most people. If that sounds like you, get familiar and Merry Xmas.

06. Ghostface Killah – Twelve Reasons To Die
Besides The Roots, this guy is the most consistent rapper in the game. He just doesn’t know how to make a shit album. While it is far from his best, a sub-par Ghost album still 2 Girls 1 Cups directly on top of 99% of any other hip hop project. Album artwork was mean too.

07. Danny Brown – Old
White hipster kids love this dude. I still remember first hearing the Detroit-native on some obscure J Dilla beat back in the mid-2000s and thought he was the second coming of the ODB. Never in my right mind did I foresee him getting to the level where he gets universal dap from almost every corner of the internet and have a staring role in a Bob fucking Dylan video. Here’s to Old. It’s rad.

08.Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Drake that type of nigga to sleep with cotton balls between his toes.
Drake that type of nigga that roll his eyes back when eating chocolate.
Drake that type of nigga that tilts his head back and open his mouth when it’s raining.
Drake that type of nigga that checks the water with his toes before he goes in the pool.
Drake that type of nigga that cover his homeboys eyes from behind and say “guess who?”
Drake that type of nigga to tell a girl to stop twerking and have a conversation with him.
Drake that type of nigga that pretends to be asleep in the car so his homeboys will carry him inside.
Drake also that type of nigga to make an album that’s hard to hate. Be honest with yourself. (Tracks like Started From The Bottom and Pound Cake get played heavy in the whip. I’m still turning it down at the lights though).

09. Roc Marciano – Marci Boucoup
This guy is fucking great. But if I'm being honest, I've only listened to this album through twice, so it might actually deserve to be a whole lot higher up the list...or maybe I haven't heard it enough to grow bored of the super repetitive soul loops?

10. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
In the lead-up to the album being released this guy was on his hip-hop promo shit boasting about how this project was going to be the album of the year, and I fell for it hard. It’s 50% trash 50% dope. The head nodders outweigh the skips though. There aren’t enough explanation marks to describe how excellent Numbers On The Boards and Pain are.


01. Kanye West – Yeezus
Don’t believe the hype, this is absolute trash. I’ll let R.A. explain why.

02. Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
Which leads nicely into Jay-Z’s hopelessly bad MCHG. This means that Jay-Z has not released anything great since The Black Album back in 2003. That’s a long time to be dripping in wack juice. Dude continues to get PAID, so really, who cares about making listenable albums.

03. Demigodz – KILLmatic
This album is so disjoined. It sounds like this team of MCs was pretty much just emailing through verses for some producer to stitch together tracks. This is my biggest fear for the new Wu-Tang project. Get in the same room gentleman.

04. Cage – Kill The Architect
This fucking guy. In 2005 he releases the criminally slept on Hells Winter LP, follows it up 4 years later (4 years!) with some indy-rock bullshit, only to follow that up another 4 years later with this minimalist piece of shit called Kill The Architect. Dude sounds bored. Beats sound depressed. Yawn.

05. 2 Chains – BOATS II
Honestly, I’d rather listen to Miley Cyrus.


1. Run The Jewels – DDFH

The other 19 in alphabetical order:
50 Cent – We Up ft. Kendrick Lamar
Action Bronson – 9.24.13
Action Bronson – Pepe Lopez
Action Bronson – Triple Backflip
Blu, MED, Madlib – Burgundy Whip
Busta Rhymes – Thank You ft. Q-Tip
Czarface – Hazmat Rap
Danny Brown – The Return ft. Freddie Gibbs
De La Soul – Getaway
Earl Sweatshirt – Chum
Ill Bill – World Premier
Prodigy – Lmdkv
Pusha T – Numbers On The Board
R.A. the Rugged Man – Definition of a Rap Flow
R.A. the Rugged Man – Learn Truth ft. Talib Kweli
Run The Jewels – Banana Clip ft. Big Boi
Run The Jewels – Sealegs
Skyzoo – First Thing Smoking
Step Brothers – Step Masters

In-between bedding rich fire-crotches and threatening husbands, Jay Electronica found time in his day to tweet out this pic back in June for his super overdue album, Act II. The pic has since been deleted from his account along with any glimmer of hope of the album seeing daylight. Booooooo!

‘NAStalgia’ mixed by Petey Cologne & J-Smoke.

Dead heat. Kendrick’s verse on Control and the 7-minute long Nino Bless’ track titled ‘Rhyme of the Year’.

Action Bronson puts his debut album out at the start of the year, as planned.

Followed closely by the Alchemist and Evidence project.

Immortal Technique records and puts something out.

Outkast puts out an Outkast album.

Ras Kass stops rapping with terribly wack unknowns and teams up with a great (or even half-decent) producer.
Wu get together in the same space, at the same time, and record an album worthy of 20 years in the game.


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