Music

Best of 2008

by Winston "Stone" Ford

When I started The Couch Sessions in 2004, I wanted to create a space where urban and underground artists of all walks could come together and share ideas and create an underground culture that rejected what was being pushed by the mainstream at the time. In 2008, I can say that we have come very close to realizing this vision.

We are in a different world. We now have a President who is the bi-racial son of a single mother, and the status quo is slowly beginning to crumble. Music wise we’ve also had walls crumble. Did anybody think that a lanky Sri Lankan Brit by the name of MIA would get her Diplo-produced track played on WKYS, DC’s Radio One owned hip-hop station? Did one also think that this song would be sampled by a producer and featured some of the largest commercial hip-hop artists of the day? And did you ever think that one of today’s biggest hip-hop stars (Kanye) would be singing his heart out, Radiohead style, and sell 450,000 albums in the process?

Purists might not like it, but the game done changed. Just like Obama has forced us to rethink the chains of race and class, 2008 is forcing us to rethink how music will be marketed, created, and distributed. Let’s be honest, there will still be tons of bad music piped down our throats via radio and MTV, but now that the doors are being forced open, how long will it be before you hear J*Davey on your local hip-hop station on a remix track featuring Lil Wayne?

2008 was a glorious year for music, and over the next few weeks we’re going compile a review of the year that was. Of course, this is hard, with everybody and their mother dropping a free mixtape, remix, track, etc, thanks to the Internet and MySpace. But it is what it is, and even though these lists aren’t comprehensive, I hope y’all find them a good recap of an amazing musical year.