Showing posts with label dr. dre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dr. dre. Show all posts

Monday, September 3, 2018

the top ten best hit songs of 1993

So I'll freely admit of the Patreon-requested years for which I cover the year-end Hot 100, we haven't really encountered a 'bad' year for the charts, the sort of years that even with the benefit of hindsight and nostalgia cause us to wince in the face of the memories. The closest that I've covered in this territory throughout the five years I've been on YouTube have been 2016 and maybe either 2010 or 2014, and even then, both of the latter have strong enough redeeming moments to knock them into quality.

1993 is not one of those years - perhaps not the worst the Hot 100 has had to offer, but definitely the sort of transitional early 90s year where the best stuff wasn't charting, most of the good stuff was starting to get overexposed, music legends were falling apart in slow motion, and the rest was a wasteland of formless mush. Thank god R&B and new jack swing were mostly holding up and that g-funk was cutting a swathe across hip-hop, because rock had lapsed into parody, the pop-rap of the early 90s was trying and failing to keep up, and punk and country were nowhere to be seen, despite the advent of riot grrl and the neotraditional country revival in full swing. Even grunge, widely hailed as the breakthrough sound by music critics of the early 90s, had little to no traction in 1993 - and before hip-hop can raise a triumphant flag here, there was no way in hell that the best of that genre was getting to pop radio in the face of an avalanche of easy listening pablum left over from the 80s and artists who should really know better! No In Utero, no 36 Chambers or Ain't No Other or Buhloone Mindstate, but hey, you got Kenny G!

Now what that means is that the best of 1993... look, it's all over the place, especially as some of the chart oddities have aged better than what was big at the time, and while there are a few classic cuts from this era, in comparison to stronger years this particular top ten is substantially shakier - and as always, the songs have to have debuted on the year-end Hot 100 in 1993... which actually didn't result in any cuts from this list, and thank god for that, as it's pretty thin. But hey, let's start off with...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the top 25 best albums of 2015 (VIDEO)

And now we've got the last of the lists - damn, this video took WAY too much work to get online...

Okay, next up... well, it's Rachel Platten, so nobody cares, but after that is Billboard BREAKDOWN, so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

the top 25 best albums of 2015

We're now onto my final list, the one that always produces a certain amount of frustration as I struggle to recognize the best of the best. And as I said in my last list, it's always difficult to narrow it down to the best of the best. And this year was probably the hardest yet, mostly because it started so damn strong and was able to sustain that momentum into late this year. And while I was able to trim this list down to 25. And thus for the sake of my own conscience, I need to mention a few Honourable Mentions in no particular order that just missed this list. 

Because believe me, when you have comeback records like No Cities To Love by Sleater-Kinney and Tetsuo & Youth by Lupe Fiasco that show huge returns to form, they deserve at least a shoutout. Hell, an album that features a creative rebirth like Baroness' Purple which dropped very late in the year deserves it too. And then you have underappreciated gems like Escape From Evil by Lower Dens, one of the great unsung synthpop records of this year. And on that note, as much it might be a bit of a contentious statement to say that hip-hop had a great year, I stand by it - when you have Earl Sweatshirt, Jay Rock, The Underachievers, Yelawolf, Pusha T and Czarface dropping stellar sophomore records, coupled with comebacks of unexpected quality from Ludacris and killer debuts from Joey Bada$$, all of which might have had a shot for this list in a weaker year, that's saying something. And that's not counting the list itself that's at least twenty percent hip-hop, but we'll get to that - hell, might as well start with...

Friday, August 7, 2015

video review: 'compton: a soundtrack' by dr. dre

...and that was fun. Whew, I loved that review, really think I did a good job with it.

Next up, Luke Bryan or Chelsea Wolfe, stay tuned!

album review: 'compton: a soundtrack' by dr. dre

If it was up to me / you motherfuckers would stop comin' up to me / with you hands out looking up to me / like you want somethin' free / when my last CD was out / you weren't bumpin' me / but now that I got my own company / everybody wanna come to me / like it was some disease / but you won't get a crumb from me / 'cause I'm from the streets of...

Compton. South of downtown L.A., it's a area that has become synonymous with hip-hop past and present. DJ Quik, The Game, YG, Kendrick Lamar, and - of course - N.W.A., the rap group widely hailed with the founding of gangsta rap. Hell, their first album is called Straight Outta Compton, a rap record seminal in gangsta rap but bizarrely has not been one to have aged particularly well - I know, heresy, and it's a great record, to be sure, but it's an example of how hip-hop was able to build on a rock solid foundation to new heights. And given that hip-hop is arguably better than ever right now, having a downright stellar year with several excellent records, it's almost fitting that a biopic is being released with the same title discussing the rise and fall of N.W.A.. And inspired by the creation of that film, we got something special that I don't think any of us saw coming: Compton: A Soundtrack, by none other than Dr. Dre himself, heralded as his final album.

And I don't think I need to stress how big of a deal this is. Dr. Dre has been touting his long-awaited Detox project that it's become one of those projects nobody really expects will happen, like that J.Cole/Kendrick collaboration album or Jay Electronica actually dropping a studio album. And from reports, this isn't Detox - according to Dre, that's been shelved permanently - but instead something new, complete with an arsenal of collaborating artists from across Dre's history in the industry. But after the wave of excitement cooled - holy shit, we're getting a new Dr. Dre album after sixteen years, the doctor who brought us G-funk and one of the most forceful voices inn hip-hop is back - I did have a little trepidation. Hate to say it, but having revisited The Chronic and 2001 in preparation for this release, they're both albums that as a whole hold up more on vibes and personality than they do on wordplay beyond a few iconic songs. Plus, it's been sixteen years, and the songs he's released over the past five years haven't exactly made a new album from Dre all that appealing. Plus, Dre has always been a more interesting producer than rapper, and even though his best bars have been ghostwritten by other MCs, a full Dr. Dre project might not be as high quality as we all wanted it to be. In other words, my expectations were tempered going into this album - I prayed for this to great, but I expected the worst. Sixteen years after 2001, can Dre still deliver?