On Billboard, R&B and Country Music & Respecting Black Art

A couple of days ago I was scrolling down my Twitter timeline, as one does. I came across a tweet from Billboard‘s official chart account. The tweet listed the top five titles on their Top R&B Albums chart for the week dated June 15, 2019: Free Spirit, Khalid Long Live Love, Kirk Franklin American Teen,…

Is Tyler, The Creator’s ‘IGOR’ Really That Good?

In short, yes, but contrary to popular opinion, I don’t find that it is his most accessible album. IGOR is an infinitely layered album of hazy vocals, disarming lyricism, and adventurous production. This is an album that demands care and attention during the initial listening period. It’s a summery record, not in the way of…

BEST NEW MUSIC (4/19)

BEST NEW ALBUM Beyoncé – HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM Only Beyoncé could have a 40-song album from a year-old live performance be the best album of the year so far. HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM is a blend of both weekends of her legendary Coachella, sorry, Beychella performances. The album is an achievement in engineering and…

GRAMMYs Watch: Who’s Winning In the Rap Categories?

Best Rap Performance The nominees: “Be Careful” (Cardi B); “Nice for What” (Drake); “Bubblin’” (Anderson .Paak); “King’s Dead” (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, James Blake); “SICKO MODE” (Travis Scott, Drake, Swae Lee, Big Hawk) As much as I adore Anderson .Paak and his effervescent single, “Bubblin’,” I think it’s safe to say that he will…

The Top 40 Albums of 2018

40. Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton The R&B veteran delivered a strong and succinct album in a year full of bloated, overdrawn releases. Her contralto voice and slinky timbre anchor the most explicit and honest soundscape of her career. From the cathartic climax of the title track to the spunky “Foh” and “Deadwood,” Toni maneuvers through…

2019 Grammys Nominations Predictions: Album of the Year

This year all of the General Field categories (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist) have been expanded from five nominees each to eight. Although more nominees means more records and artists being recognized, this also means predicting these categories become much, much harder. I’ll separate these…

2019 Grammys Nominations Predictions: The Rap Field

Best Rap Album Rap music is far and away the biggest genre in music today. Everyone wants to be a consumer and creator of the culture. With the massive influx of new rappers and veterans stepping up their game to keep up with younger artists, the rap categories at this year’s ceremony will be especially…

The Top 10 Albums of Summer 2018

Requirements: Albums had to have been released between June 1, 2018, and August 31, 2018. #10. YG, Stay Dangerous The Compton (sorry, Bompton) rapper has been putting out killer material for the better part of half a decade. On Stay Dangerous we find a ganster who’s more mature, more seasoned, and less frivolous. YG can flex on…

The Top 20 Songs of the Summer

Making a “Songs of the Summer” list is always tricky. Do you go with the big chart hits, the underrated hidden gems, try to cover every genre, or have a balance of major and indie artists? For this year’s list, I tried to include songs that captured every shade and feeling of the summertime. The…

Who Had the Best Performance at the 2018 VMAs?

The VMAs were especially lackluster this year, but there were still some memorable moments. Here are the best performances of the night:   14. Juice WRLD, “Lucid Dreams” This was kind of awful. Like, really awful. He sounded like drugged, angry toddler.   13. Bazzi, “Beautiful” Bazzi, who performed his breakout single, “Mine,” at the red-carpet…