Best of 2009 (according to Preach Jacobs)
*note: these are a few of my favorite records that came out this year. this is what i wrote for the free-times but doubt the entire list will be included. i also thought it would be tacky to add ‘maple st. sessions’ to the list even though it’s one of my favorite for the year. but hey, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add it to your list. enjoy. cheers.*
Best of 2009 (in alphabetical order)
Dezaray Dawn “Chameleon EP”– It’s great to find out about an indy artist doing something fresh and different. This Atlanta-bred songstress style is broken-beat mixed with soul and funk with a five song effort that stayed in my iPod for much of 2009.
Diamond District “In the Ruff”-This album is amazing. With D.C. producer Oddisee at the helm, this trio is the rebirth of boom-bap 90s inspired hip-hop. Dope ass beats and solid lyrics. An album you can play all the way through.
Eric Roberson “Music Fan First”-For the man that reinvented neo-soul, Eric Roberson is the LeBron James of soul music. He does it all. Production, writing and has a voice that will make you wonder if you were in a time machine while listening to him. Being an indy artist that prides himself on doing things on his own, also gained a Grammy nomination for this project. Check him out.
Georgia Anne Muldrow “G.A.M”-Okay, if there was anyone that Erykah Badu would “pass the torch” to, Georgia Anne Muldrow would be it. The album is filled with soulful harmonies and great production shows that Georgia is an artist that will be on a best year end list whenever she comes out.
Jay Dilla “Jay Stay Paid”-As a musician, nobody has influenced me in my craft more than the work of Jay Dee. After his untimely passing in 2006, he’s been catapulted into legendary status and this project “Jay Stay Paid” is further evidence as to why. Compilation styled album featuring all of your favorite rappers from Raekwon to Black Thought.
Jay-Z “Blueprint 3”-Okay, some people (hip-hop) people have a love hate relationship with Jay. And there are a few cuts that he could’ve left off his third Blueprint offering, but the man made “Empire State of Mind.” You’re lying your ass off if you don’t admit that this song makes you want to be from Brooklyn. Still one of the best of the year.
Marco Polo & Torae “Double Barrel”-If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of independent artists. Canadian producer Marco Polo and Brooklyn emcee Torae collaborated on “Double Barrel” the same way DJ Premier and Guru did with Gangstarr or Pete Rock did with C.L. Smoothe. Not to mention having DJ Premier bless you with doing the introduction of your album doesn’t hurt for credibility. Hard beats and hard ass rhymes. Hip-hop is back.
Maxwell “BLACKsummers’- night”-I call it the nervous breakdown of the neo-soul movement that left some of the greatest artists at the turn of the century being m.i.a. D’Angelo hasn’t released a record in almost 10-years, Erykah had an almost 8 year hiatus and Maxwell hasn’t been in the public eye since 2000. Luckily for us, he got off his crooning ass and put out a banger, not to mention still selling over 300,000 units his first week. Be careful or you’ll make a baby to this one.
Mos Def “Ecstatic”-Okay, Mos Def is one of my favorite emcees. But I have to say I was a little disappointed in “Ecstatic” when I first heard it. I don’t know if it grew on me, or if this year was just lacking in great music, but Mos made the list. The man is everywhere on the album and sometimes it comes off as musical genius other times misguided randomness. Songs like “Auditorium” featuring Slick Rick is one of those great musical moments where old-school and new combine and make something so beautiful.
Raekwon “Only Built For Cuban Linx 2”-This is probably the best album of the year to true hip-hop heads. We know its all crack rap, be we don’t care when it sounds this good. Rae had production by Jay Dilla, Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Alchemist to name a few and all of them made sure they gave him heat rock. I haven’t heard producers working to make an album this great since…”Only Built for Cuban Linx” the original. If you don’t have this, you’re slipping. Hard.