Ketchums’ Most Anticipated Albums Of ’09

25 Mar

mos-def-undrcrwn-ss09-03

If you’re well-versed on your classic rap records and know what the title of this blog is a reference to, then you’d probably guess that one of my most anticipated albums for 2009 is coming from the Brooklyn emcee on the left. But the white guy on the right doesn’t seem too shabby, either. And I know, I’m making a list of these albums three months into the new year. But in the words of my younger brother, “Don’ t care, don’t care, don’t care.” Follow the jump to see Ketchums’ Most Anticipated Albums For ’09.




mos-def-the-ecstatic
Most Anticipated Of ’09: Mos Def, The Ecstatic
In my (and many other hip-hop heads) opinion, while Mos Def is at his best, there aren’t many that embody the essence of the emcee as much as he does. He’s got the poetic, thought-provoking lyrics; he’s got the distinctive voice; and he’s got a contagious energy that makes the listener just as passionate as he does. His Black Star album with Talib Kweli and his solo debut Black On Both Sides are both widely considered as seminal hip-hop classics (the latter is actually one of my favorite albums of all time). But his issue, seemingly, has beenhis focus: The New Danger was full of rock n’ roll experimentation, which shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, considering Black On Both Sides’ standout track “Rock N’ Roll,” and his Black Jack Johnson band/offshoot project. But with the apparent laziness behind Tru3 Magic – both musically and otherwise, with the album even lacking an album cover and eventually being pulled from stores – made a lot of people, Ketchums included, lose hope. But once Mos exploded back on the scene with his verse on The Roots’ “Rising Down,” he showed that he hadn’t lost a step. With The Ecstatic lined up for a June 9street date – which, along with being the day before my brother’s birthday, happens to be the 10 year anniversary of the release of Black On Both Sides – I’m looking for Mos to take back his spot as one of rap’s elite.



eminem

Michigan Hip-Hop, ’09 Is Still Your Year:
Eminem, Relapse … Slum Village, Untitled … Royce Da 5’9″, Street Hop … Random Ax, Untitled … One Be Lo, B.A.B.Y. … Finale, A Pipe Dream and A Promise … Big Sean, Finally Famous
Y’all thought that Michigan held it down in ’08? Well this year, my home state is going even harder.

  • Even though the only new Eminem material I’ve heard his “Relapse Freestyle” and his verse on the 50 Cent and Dr. Dre-assisted “Crack A Bottle,” it’s clear that Eminem’s flow is still crisp, and with his best friend Proof getting killed and having five years off from solo albums, I’m sure he’s got a lot to say.
  • Slum Village isn’t that far behind Em, though: they’re coming back strong too, as the duo of eLZhi and T3 have brought original member Baatin back in the mix, have the timeless Yancey blood flowing through the project by involving Illa J, and they’ve got a ridiculous crop of producers (Black Milk, Young RJ, Hi-Tek, Pete Rock) giving them beats. 
  • Royce Da 5’9″ is finally dropping his highly-anticipated Street Hop album, executive produced by DJ Premier. Riding the momentum he’s built with his Bar Exam mixtape series, album cuts like “Shake This” and “Part Of Me” show that Royce is as sharp as he’s ever been at any period from his rock solid discography. And his Slaughterhouse cohorts – Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz – are contributing, too. He’s got a recipe to win, and I think he’s going to deliver.
  • Random Ax = Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, and Sean Price. That should already justify this pick, but if you’ve heard “Run” from Guilty’s Ode To The Ghetto, or the snippet at the end of Black Milk’s MySpace Beat CD, then you know that there’s even more reason to be excited.
  • One Be Lo always brings it, but B.A.B.Y. steps it up a notch: he carries the concept (“Being A ____ Youth”) throughout the project, and he’s finally enlisted guest appearances from other emcees: Akir, Guilty Simpson, Illite, Juice, Ka Di, Octane, Phonte, Royce da 5’9, Supastition, and Zion I, plus a few other surprises I can’t let out the bag here. He really shows what he’s capable of, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it.
  • I go into more detail on Finale’s A Pipe Dream And A Promise HERE, but here’s the abbreviated version: unpredictable flow + substantial rhymes + beats by Black Milk/J Dilla/Oddisee/Flying Lotus/Nottz/Khrysis = wow.
  • Big Sean’s talent and fun, youthful energy on the mic are already a lot to look forward to. But with WrighTRAX’s incredible production, the much-anticipated Pharrell collaboration, and presumable Kanye West contributions, the Detroiter’s G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam debut should be something to look out for.

 

asher-bread-aisle

Sleeper Hit Of ’09: Asher Roth, Asleep in The Bread Aisle
I know that Asher Roth’s armed with a plutonium-selling iTunes single with “I Love College,” that his SRC Records label boss Steve Rifkind dubbed him as the “best lyricist [he’s] heard in the past 10 years” (horseshit), and that he’s got the cosigns of DJ Drama, Don Cannon, and others. But here’s the thing: not many people expect his Asleep In The Bread Aisle debut to be that good. But I’m taking a gamble, here: I think he’s got an engaging delivery, clever punchlines, an image that’s intriguing enough to keep me interested, and a sincerity that isn’t as common in rap as it should be. Additionally, his song “The Lounge” from his The Greenhouse Effect was so well written that I’m looking forward to see how he shows his pen game on an album – and from what I hear, he doesn’t disappoint. Listen to “The Lounge” below:
 Vodpod videos no longer available.



569_jay_z4

Surprisingly, I’m Not Really Stressing This Album Release In ’09: Jay-Z, Blueprint 3
Since I initially bought Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z has been my favorite rapper – the only artist whose albums I’ve bought all of in one format or another (some on CD, some on cassette, some in clean versions, lol). But for whatever reason, I’m not going as apeshit about Blueprint 3 as one would think. I’m not sure what it is: “Brooklyn (Go Hard)” was pretty amazing, but I’ve listened to it more on the radio or at other peoples’ spots than I have on my own time; I’ve been bumpin’ Mos Def’s rendition better. Maybe it’s the fact that “Jockin’ Jay-Z” wasn’t nearly as dope as it should’ve been, considering it was a collab between him and one of his best-matched producers, Kanye West. Or maybe it’s the fact that by resurrecting the Blueprint title, that he’s setting us up for disappointment – the same way he did with the bloated, inconsistent Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse (Blueprint 2.1 came close, though).  Hopefully, Jay can keep up the momentum from his classic American Gangster.



dangelo-2

“Screw This Up, And I’ll Ruin Your Life”: D’Angelo, Untitled
No bullshit: as soon as I put the D’Angelo photo in the WordPress editor, I saw a commercial for Duplicity, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. And in said commercial, Roberts said, “Screw this up, and I’ll ruin your life.” I feel the same way about D’Angelo’s upcoming album. Dude’s immensely talented, and he’s shown that with two timeless albums under his belt (pause, in lieu of the “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video): Brown Sugar and Voodoo. He’s gotten arrested since then, but within those nine years (wow, has it been that long?), he’s also had some incredible cameo spots, and he even snuck in the Grammy’s last year. With this long of a time period between albums, I don’t have any reason to think this won’t be another heater, but if it’s not…watch ya back, sir.

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3 Responses to “Ketchums’ Most Anticipated Albums Of ’09”

  1. Big Walt March 25, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    Voodoo is top ten soul albums of all time and the best since probably Don’t Be Cruel, by a huge margin.

  2. Mike (Midwest Broadcast) March 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Jake One & Freeway: The Stimulus Package, to be released on Rhymesayers.

  3. bananaclipse April 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    I can’t wait for Mos Def. dont care bout asher or Em. Sorry but Em = more over rated than Pac

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