In honor of this February 14th, XXL and I have settled our differences behind the scenes, kissed and made up (No March XXL Cover). I'm going to post a new blog every weekday for the rest of this month in celebration of my return. I promise this time I'm back for good.

Bill O'Reily was right. Ludacris didn't deserve that Grammy but not for the reasons he mentioned. Release Therapy wasn't on any ones top-5 album list of 2006. And out of all the commercial (re: platinum plus) release from October 2005 to September 2006, TI definitely deserved it. Don't even get me started back on Ludameister's win for "Moneymaker".

But I digress.

So far this year we haven’t had one lasting mixtape or album. Tru York and that Talib/Madlib album (remember that?) was the closest thing we had. The best selling urban album this year has been freaking’ Pretty Ricky! Scary isn’t it? So 6 weeks in, I’ve decided to update the 2007 Most anticipated list, 80’s Baby style:

1) Andre 3000


After hearing his verses on the “You”, “Throw Some D’s” and “Walk It Out” remixes, I’m convinced that Dre is the best rapper alive. He pulls off the grown man rap effortlessly, without sounding preachy (Nas) or out of touch (Jay-Z). He also doesn’t have the “holier than thou” attitude and is willing to jump on a DJ Unk record with Jim Jones. Mix that with a couple of joints the Ipod King let me here this weekend and you’ve got the most anticipated album of the year, at least for this 80’s Baby.

2) 50 Cent

Curtisssssssssssss still is the George W. Bush of hip-hop. Buck might not be poppin and the fans aint rockin’ with Banks no more but ITS OKKKKK (Game Voice) 50 gets it poppin. I'd listen to an album full of him just talking to Angie on the radio before I buy 1/3 of the albums on this list.

3) Kanye West

No one in the 21st Century put out better back-to-back albums then Kanyeezy. The Graduation should be no different.

4) Lil’ Wayne


Yeah maybe he does kiss Baby. And Gillie exposed him just a little. And maybe he was out of pocket with his DJ Drama comments. And maybe he isn't really an 80's Baby. And maybe his boy did break his jaw on the road. But with all that said, he's unarguably one of the top 5 lyricist out right now and I still rather hear an album full of his random metaphors, whimsical punch lines and "I can't say don't rhyme and it goin rhyme" rhyme schemes before I wait for...

5) Dr. Dre

Was I excited to hear Dr. Dre, Snoop, Daz, Kurupt, Eminem and company on the Chronic 2001? Of course! Did I get amped thinking about the addition of 50, Banks, Game and the others for Detox in 2003? Mos def! Does anyone care about any of these guys in 2007? Not so much. Dr. Dre's beats on Kingdom Come were lackluster and the Timbaland linage (Polow Da Don, Danjahandz) has been wiping the floor with him and Scotty lately.

Hopefully I'm wrong, but I see this being the biggest disappointment of
the year.

6) T.I.


T.I. vs. T.I.P this summer should be an interesting one. With 2 Grammy’s, 3 straight platinum albums and a new $20 million dollar deal under his belt, it’ll be interesting to see what Clifford Harris Jr. has to say on his 5th LP. And after seeing his face when he got stiffed for Best Rap Album at the Gramms, I know Ludacris has to be the topic of at least one song

7) Eminem


Encore left a bad taste in the mouth of even the biggest Shady stan. But at the end of the day, he’s still Eminem.

8) UGK

The “I pull in your city and get my Bush on” line alone is enough for my $14.

9) DJ Drama


10) Saigon

It’s really coming out this year. Really. "Pain In My Life Remix" on Friday. Person who can guess the 2 features on it gets a gold sticker. Hint: One is from the South, the other from California.

Honorable Mentions

BG: Lil Wayne Sr. minus the kissing. Gizzle will pick up for New Orleans where Reggie Bush left off.

Tru-Life: Co-Executive Produced by Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg. Dip Set rants. Old school NYC underground aggression. It’s the new…

Juelz Santana: The 3rd coming (pause) of a Santana album makes the list solely because of “The Second Coming”.

Chamillionaire: After Mixtape Messiah Part 2, He’s definitely the man to watch coming out of H-Town this year (Sorry Mike)

Lupe Fiasco: Between his Grammy snubs and the disappointing first week sales, Loop-pay will have more than enough to talk about on The Cool. Let’s just hope he leaves Pharrell off of this one.

Also coming out this year:

Timbaland, Common, Young Buck, Fabolous, Lil John, Juelz & Lil Wayne’s I Can’t Feel My Face.