Of course this will be taken the wrong way by most of the readers here, but lately I’ve been quite apathetic towards rap. Sure there’s been a lot of great hip hop music to drop this year, from Dom Kennedy’s From The Westside, With Love to Curren$y’s Pilot Talk, and the year isn’t even finished. But lately I’ve found myself anticipating the projects of non-rap acts more than a rapster album.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my “locked” version of a certain mega-star’s album which may or may not have leaked yesterday (which, while I am intrigued to see if this is actually it, I really hope it doesn’t leak until the prerequisite two weeks before the actual release date, as someone will swack themselves a copy from the pressing plant they work at and flood the cyber- masses with it), and there are a few choice LPs I am waiting on. Yet now there seems to be some sort of R&B-tinged renaissance, and I’ll admit I’m pretty excited about it.
Erykah Badu has already released one of the best albums this year, and has quite possibly one of the greatest music videos in the history of evAr to accompany it. Dwele’s hovered around the public eye for years, primarily dropping vocals on songs that have now been used in Yahoo! commercials of all things, before quietly dropping the pleasantly entertaining W.ants W.orld W.omen a few weeks ago. Meanwhile his neo-soul compatriot of sorts Bilal is getting ready to drop a new project later on this September. Hearing news of a possible group consisting of Amy Winehouse and ?uestlove is always a good thing in my eyes, and The Roots’ upcoming project with John Legend seems interesting as well. Hell, even Lauryn Hill is making a progressive return to the spotlight via the festival circuit.
Perhaps due to my advancing age and lowered tolerance for bullshit, I’ve preferred stuff doesn’t compel me to consider seppuku after hearing an audio equivalent of a bukkake scene starring Kapri Styles. But there comes a time where eventually MurderDeathKillHomocide Rap (not to be confused with CoonPorchMonkeyJigaboo rap, which – depending on your perspective on life – is essentially one and the same) grows tiring, even though I have an admittedly quasi-hypocritical appreciation for it. And unlike rap music, R&B artists aren’t criticized for coming off as soft when they talk about the single most equally basic and frustrating emotion of all: love. I’ll never have anything in common with The-Dream (although despite his knucklehead style of youth music he is, ironically, older than I am, and with children) when he yaps about expensive, gaudy makeup bags in that awful chipmunk voice, but Sade tells me more about love than I know about love through her haunting vocals. On top of that, she’s 50 and still looks younger than Terius. Something ain’t right with that boy, I’m telling you.
At the end of the day I’m still going to prefer rap music, but there’s no denying that R&B has been outdoing hip hop for a few years now. I mean you don’t hear anybody saying, “R&B is dead” or some nonsense, right?