#5 Cruel Summer – Kanye West
With “Mercy” all over the air waves all summer long, let me just get Kanye out of the way now. He’s rude, cocky, and annoying as hell. I’ll hate on his personality but I can’t hate on his talent. When I heard “Clique” for the first time, I fell in love with that hard bass. This is one club banger I’ll definitely rock at the height of my parties and there’s no doubt that every other DJ in NYC will too. Consistent with those two tracks, he predictably spits arrogant lines on “New God Flow” claiming “…went from most hated to the champion God flow/ I guess that’s a feeling only me and Lebron know.” Aside from the bragging lyrical content, interestingly enough, West makes a political reference on another track “To the World.” “I’m just trying to protect my stacks/ Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.” So if you’re not sick of his ranting by now or don’t mind checking out some quality music production, you won’t have to wait too long. Album dropped yesterday!! Get itttttttttt…..
#4 Twelve Reasons to Die – Ghostface Killah
The most recent preview we’ve had of Ghost is his verse on Kanye West’s track “New God Flow.” That cameo not enough for you? Of course not! On November 20, we get a lot more than a taste from the Ironman. Executive produced by RZA along with Adrian Younge creating the music, I’m curious and excited to hear what this team put together for this LP. Following his 10th solo album, Ghost is also expected to release an album-related comic book from Black Mask in December. For all you die hard Ghost fans that just cannot wait until then, Wu Tang and D-Block have confirmed their release date for “Wu Block” October 9th. Ya’ll get to enjoy some Wu and D-Block fusion spread out on 12 tracks. “It’s real street shit for the fans,” claims Ghost.
#3 Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
Since her first single “Fallin” back in 2001, my girl has done nothing but grace us with hit after hit. The only song she’s released from her new album so far is the single “Girl on Fire” featuring Nicki Minaj. “She got her head in the cloud/ And she’s not backing down/ This girl is on fire.” Powerful lyrics with a soulful voice? Can’t ever go wrong with this beauty. Collaborating with songwriting partner Babyface, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more R&B jams that’ll hit the spot. She’s one of the very few artists out there that I don’t mind hearing over and over on the radio. Unfortunately, we’ve got to wait until November 27 to hear more from this best-selling artist. My hope is that she’ll throw us a bone by releasing a second single to hold us out till then!
#2 The Man with the Iron Fists Soundtrack – RZA
RZA directing movies? Oh-kayyyyyyy! This Quentin Tarantino kung fu flick hits theatres in November, but lucky us – we get to check out the soundtrack a month earlier. October 23rd ain’t too far from now and the single “Tick Tock” featuring Pusha T, Raekwon, and Joell Ortiz alone is so bad ass I can’t help but be hyped about hearing the rest of the tracks on this album. Tracklist artists range from Wiz Khalifa to Corinne Bailey Rae to the Black Keys. Rap, R&B, and rock all on one album? Yes please. Oh and if ya’ll don’t know who Corinne Bailey Rae is, YouTube this UK native and thank me later.
#1 Black and Blu – Gary Clark Jr.
Saving the best for last, hailing from Austin Texas, I give you Gary Clark Jr. Oh how refreshing it is to hear something new and different when every station is overflowing with mainstream pop and hip hop! Blessed with Gary’s smooth vocals and exceptional guitar skills, we get a dope combination of blues, jazz, soul, country, and hip hop all in one shot. Those he’s collaborated with on this album have also produced the likes of Fiona Apple, Dr. Dre, and Greenday. With all that variety, I’m dying to hear what kind of original music Gary’s put together with his team. My man kills it with the guitar riffs on his single “Bright Lights” while on “Ain’t Messin Around,” you’ll get a sick upbeat Lenny Kravitz type of feel that’ll for sure get you feenin to cop that album October 22nd. Go on. Treat your ears to something colorful and distinctive. You deserve it. www.garyclarkjr.com