Martini Rox: Musical presentsWritten by Martini Rox | | email@example.com
The Roots, “undun”
Jimmy Fallon hardly made this group, but thanks to him America has the opportunity to experience one of Hip-Hop’s greatest validations on television five nights a week with the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” house band. The creativity on this disc gives the listener insight into layers of Hip-Hop they may not have yet peeled back. Black Thought is known as a talented lyricist who can trade rapping for singing, but he also doesn’t mind giving others a chance to stand out and shine. This diversifies the CD and prevents it from sounding redundant. Keep a copy in the car and in the house.
Robin Thicke, “Love After War”
This is what they call “Blue-Eyed Soul,” but I really don’t want to put Thicke in that category. He understands soul music in a way that is totally lost to most of today’s generation, black and white. His latest CD is packed with beautiful instrumentation and creativity. Thicke takes you through his history of soul and manages to infuse it with Hip-Hop, funk and R&B. The sex appeal he is known for oozes through his passionate in-and-out-of falsetto vocals mixed with nostalgic tracks. The ladies love Thicke but this a great gift for any music lover! Get the deluxe edition.
“Ambition” was the most anticipated music purchase on my list and I was not disappointed.
I’ll even go out of my way to say this will be one of my year’s best. Maybach Music Group is known for putting out some of the hottest tracks in mainstream radio, but there is something about rapper Wale that has had me interested from Day One. I respect his focus and his swagger, which is that of an educated street hustler/businessman. Even at his toughest, Wale manages to give a little knowledge and wisdom on his tracks. His fantastic flow gives him the ability to rhyme on any type of track. Unlike most, he has the talent to make musical accommodations for his male, female, conscious, battle, and gangsta rap fans.
Mobb Deep, “Black Cocaine EP”
Mobb Deep’s influence on Hip-Hop is evident as Prodigy delivers his view of street life in the title track on this tightly produced EP. It is always good to hear Prodigy and Havoc together, making music only they can deliver in its purest East Coast wiseguy form. Download this five-song EP that consists of Havoc’s legendary production and features a guest appearance from Nas.
Common, “The Dreamer, The Believer”
Common keeps it “sucka free” on his latest release, proving he can maintain Hollywood status while “keeping it real.” Common has always taken his fans on his own personal revolution. He sets the inspirational tone with his G.O.O.D Music labelmate
John Legend on the first of the two title tracks, “The Believer.” The other title track, “The Dreamer,” features Maya Angelou and if that isn’t enough to make you join in the constant head nodding, the Nas feature on the following track will finish the knockout. I listened to the entire album straight through. Respect.
Mary J. Blige, “My Life II”
I know it’s technically a “commercial” release, but this is Mary we’re talking about here! This is also her follow-up to the incredible classic album “My Life,” released 17 years ago. If you are expecting the extremely dark place Blige was in at the time of the first “My Life” release, you will be glad to know that you and Mary have moved on. Featuring guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, Drake, Rick Ross, Nas and Blige’s alter ego rapper, Brook Lynn.
As we continue on …