Since '08 was a bust for me personally, in contrast it gave me an invigorated musical hope with the slew of new underground/hardcore/hipster rappers. As much as everyone has been crying about how dead hip-hop is, ask those very same people to name some new, creative hip-hop artists and they couldn't do it if their lives depended on it.

In the golden eras, you had to search and dig and stay up till the wee hours of the morn' to record off the radio or hit the record shops or go to a show to feel the classics we enjoy today. The search and rescue element of this generation's hip-hop head is missing. So the flippant comment concerning the state of hip-hop isn't coming from a knowledge nor experienced standpoint, but from a what-I-just-heard-this-week stance. Just frequenting your average blog will turn up some newness, but are you really connecting with the music? I check for the latest Jada, but I'm also checking out the random artists that aren't known and don't have the buzz that the main names have. I say all this to announce my hip-hop resolutions for 2009. Hopefully this list will keep my mind right for the task of providing the best hip-hop coverage we can bring. Will I stick to all of it? Who knows, but here they goes…

-To listen to even more underground hip-hop this year (I did a great job at this in '08)

-To check out more old school videos to jog my memory

-Learn how to do at least one of the wack dances that will come out in '09

-Twitter more (check me at, until further notice)

-Have at least one curve ball XXL cover (some unexpected hot shit, like our 10 Freshman issue)

-Actually listen to at least one track from the cats that hand me CDs on the street (and at least 35 seconds of the ones that are emailed to me)

-Get Cam'Ron out of hiding

-To hear myself on AutoTune (shit, everyone else is trying it out)

-Listen to at least one hip-hop radio station (by airwaves or the internet) from every state in the union. If you guys have suggestions, send them my way

-To stop passing on music with terrible cover art

-To organize at least one DJ only showcase event (might throw a beat battle in it though)

-Not let other people's opinion corrupt my thoughts before I hear the music

-Not click on every dumb ass video where rappers are beefin' over dumb ass shit

-To find a hot, new, (sexy is optional) female rapper to praise

-Get to more live shows outside of New York (went to the Glow in the Dark Tour in Chi-town…dope)

-To let some of you comment posters blog for the XXL Live from 1115 section from time to time (G-UNot Killa, you might be first up homie)

-Record more video from exclusive spots (I've been holding out on y'all)

-Get you dudes a chance to kick it to the Eye Candy girls (no stalking them you lames)