Look For The Union Label…

Okay, so Harris paid me my past due invoices and I am home from Atlanta and Jackpot has also threatened my employment(not really, but I don’t want to get J Smoothed out this bitch). Plus I miss the writers here at the X-spot [ll]. I miss reading their drops. Bol is the best, if for no other reason than his inspirational single-minded douchebaggery. Ron Mex is definitely the dude with the hot hand. that is, until TrickTrick breaks them. Gooch is my nigga that actually cares about Hip-Hop.

Even before KanYe West said that he didn’t listen to any rap in his house my nigga Gooch was on that shit. Gooch goes down to the ferry terminal to listen to Hip-Hop or the Port Authority bus station, or the men’s bathroom at the train station, or a homeless shelter. He refuses to listen to rap anywhere clean because the music is in the shitter. I shouldn’t be putting Gooch’s business on Front Street tho’. He just became my Twitter friend.

Yes rap sucks. Yes Hip-Hop is dead. 808s is 2008′s best rap album. Long live Hip-Hop. At the expense of losing my solid friendship with Combat Jack and the ability to drink beer on his stoop during summer Sundays I will defend the 808s album as a classic masterpiece. I’ve compared it previously to Andre 3k’s ‘Love Below’ and Mos Def’s ‘The New Danger’. I loved both of these albums immensely. 808s eclipses both of them with originality and with creativity.

The ‘Love Below’ was Andre’s attempt at acheiving some kind of Prince musicality. I think he did navigate the terrain successfully by having soulful songs and catchy dance hits. Mos Def also delivered a banger with ‘The New Danger’ but some of his songs didn’t run long enough. I actually saw him perform the album in a live setting which really expressed the improvisational flow of the music better than the CD could. KanYe’s 808′s is filled with improvisation. It’s filled with soul as well.

Listening to KanYe’s album in the autotune reminds me of how much soul you can express using technologically advanced eqiupment. If you have that soul to begin with the auto-tune and the drum program don’t hold back your sound. They push it forward, outward. Recognizing soul music is a bit difficult for some folks so don’t be embarrassed or ashamed if you think the overriding message on 808s is mean-spirited. I will definitely call it emotionally aggressive. Honestly, that is what rap music has been missing. DMX where are you?

Even though I was on strike here at the X spot I was still busy doing my internets celebrity grind and that included producing unofficial videos for two of the tracks on 808s.

‘Street Lights’

‘Love Lockdown’

The good thing is that now that my money came through and can go hard again. I miss you fuckers too. Ereal, tpar, LOL, shit4brains, Pierzy, all of y’all. I hope none of you got trampled on or clapped at for Thankgiving and Black Friday. Let’s have some fun [ll].

  • Matt Herbz

    I see how it is, Billy. It’s cool…nah, really, it’s cool, muthafucka.

    Anyway, you sure are riding this 808s CD really hard. I’m not sure what to make of it. You say the computer and auto-tune can bring more soul out, but I don’t know, mang. I’m thinking otherwise, but then how far can a nigga go on track before dudes start laughing at him and wondering why he’s crying and shit. Maybe the auto-tune helps take the sissy human aspect out of the voice and replaces it with that cold computer emotion. I haven’t listened to all of the CD yet, and maybe I just can’t relate to the songs I’ve heard, but time will tell if this was indeed one of the classics in 08–we’ll see if you were right.

    • amar

      “I see how it is, Billy. It’s cool…nah, really, it’s cool, muthafucka.”

      rofl…man that’s just hilarious

  • http://www.xxlmag.com jackpot

    Welcome back, Billy.

  • BIGNAT

    I THINK KANYE’S VOICE IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO BRING SOUL TO THE AUTO TUNE. YOU GOTTA HAVE SOME SOUL TO BEGIN WITH. I LIKE THAT 88 KEYS ALBUMS HOW ABOUT YOU NIGGAS GO COP THAT.

    • BIGNAT

      I MEAN 88KEYS ALBUM

  • latino heat

    just my opinion, but Love Below and New Danger both sucked balls. and i’m in no hurry to hear 808′s. i didn’t even know it was actually out in stores until today. hopefully kanye will do like mos and dre and come back to his senses on the next one.

  • iLL_wiLL

    j smooth is gone??? wtf???

  • Intelekt

    808s & Heartbreak is definitely the shit. I didn’t like New Danger too much. Love Below was cool. 808s beats ‘em both though, I think. I don’t care what other people say; 808s & Heartbreak is the shit. One of the best albums of 2008. Easily in the top 10, probably top 5.

  • amar

    i’m all for soulful music and it is soulful

    however, it also sounds like shit. I like soul music that doesn’t sound like shit. Just a personal preference.

  • midwest_ressurection

    I’m so happy to hear someone that likes and appreciates 808′s. This album is such a risk for Kanye and I think it’s great that he released it. Though it’s not a hip hop album, it is creative and different from anything I’ve heard. I too think this is a classic and should be listened to from a musical perspective, not a hip hop perspective. Good to hear from you Billy.

  • Pierzy

    What up BXS!!

    Yo, 808s is a MUCH better album than I expected it to be. Kanye is doing his thing!!

  • Smel

    A 15-year-old kid I tutor tried to convince me of the brilliance of 808′s.

    That’s when I knew for sure the shit was wack.

  • thaFace

    808′s is that hott fire Billy…Love Below was damn near flawless in my mind as well