Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I hate to be the Debbie Downer here, but let's face it...there was definitely a famine of mainstream musical greatness last year. I'm not sure of the cause, but it seems like major label artists were less inspired to produce groundbreaking, sonically pleasing art. There were a few gems in the ocean, but mostly plundered treasures and sunken ships. That probably explains my increasing propensity towards unearthing forgotten treasures from decades past. Looking at the my iPhone, more than 60% of the music on it was created before 2000.
2010 also saw me delving further into the beat scene. There's such a wealth of refreshing talent hidden right under the noses of the general public. The beat scene seems to be one of the few sub genres of music that has managed to not only skillfully sustain a balance of ingenuity and innovation but also a strong sense of promise, self containment, and integrity. These factors alone are usually the breeding grounds for the "next big thing." Check the pop culture resume. Hopefully the integrity will remain intact should that scene ever be tossed into the mainstream where the only rule is sink or swim.
So in a time where big name mags (online & digital) and blogs tailor their year end lists to the "influence" of their sponsors, I present to you my list of what floated MY boat last year. There...I said it.
1. H.O.P.E. - "Me & Her"
2. Consequence - "Got Me Trippin' (The Amerie Joint)"
3. Ne-Yo "Champagne Life"
4. Andreya Triana "Lost Where I Belong (Flying Lotus Remix)"
5. OK GO "White Knuckles"
6. Theophilus London "Calypso Blues"
7. Saigon "The Greatest Story Never Told"
8. Onra "Long Distance"
9. Nas & Damian Marley "As We Enter"
10. Aloe Blacc "I Need A Dollar"
11. Usher "Little Freak (feat. Nicki Minaj)"
12. Kelis "4th Of July (Fireworks)"
Albums & EPs:
1. Esperanza Spalding - Chamber Music Society
2. Space Invadas - Done It Again EP
3. Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
4. Pursuit Grooves - Fox Trot Mannerisms
5. Gonjasufi - A Sufi & A Killer
6. Flying Lotus - Pattern + Grid World EP
7. Mark Ronson & The Business INTL - Record Collection
8. H.I.S.D. - The Weakend
9. Diddy Dirty Money - Last Train To Paris
10. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
11. Black Keys - Brothers
Monday, January 3, 2011
Thanks to all who helped my photojournalism/ book project We The People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Pictures + Words get to the World Festival of Black Arts & Cultures (also known as Fesman 2010) in Senegal last month! We're still reeling from the experience. But on the cusp of this new year, we call upon you for yet another favor. As of today, We The People is competing for a $5,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh competition! Spread this link to all your family and friends and vote every day until January 31st!
Don't forget to visit our website!