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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dare I say, rap is back?

By Nick Carrabine

It’s a third of the way through the year and I haven’t bought one album from any artist, rap or rock, yet this year. That my friends, is a serious issue. I don’t recall any year in the past decade where I’ve went this long waiting for a worthy album to be released.

As I said time and time again, 2009 was a weak year for music and so far the first four months of 2010 have been even worse. Like, rock bottom.

No, I’m not running to the stores to purchase Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0. In fact, Bieber can have his own world, I want him out of mine. Kesha, whatever this Glee soundtrack is, Lady Gaga and a handful of others can follow suit.

Fortunately there are plenty of solid releases coming this year and thankfully for my sanity, coming soon.

This past week, my favorite artist of all-time, and two of my favorite rappers officially released their singles for their upcoming albums.

The man, the myth, the legend, Nas has finally “offically” released his first single for his upcoming project with Damian Marley called “As We Enter.” It’s the first single off Distant Relatives which will finally hit stores May 18.

It’s a fast paced, rap/reggae song where Nas and Marley trade off vocals throughout two versus and is actually above any expectations I had when I first heard about this project a few years ago.

Lupe Fiasco released “I’m Beamin,” which is the first single off of Lasers, which still doesn’t have a release date.

When I first heard it, I wasn’t that big of a fan but after about half a dozen listens, it has grown on me.

As usual, Lupe, a self-proclaimed nerd, is on another level and on “I’m Beamin” he discusses being successful while being different and staying true to himself.

“Failures my last name, nevers my first one/ You see I hood a lot, and yeah, I nerd some/ Hood is where the heart is, nerd is where the words from/ I don’t represent either, because I merged them/ There is kids who want to leave, and I encourage them/ Go out and see the world, never return from/ Yeah, you don’t come back, unless you learn something."

And finally, among very skeptical expectations, Eminem has released his first single from what is now called Recovery (formally known as Relapse 2), due out June 22.

“Not Afraid” was released on Thursday and boy is it a relief. For the first time in his career, he actually released a serious single as the album’s lead single.

Even better news is, there is no stupid accent and the best news is, on “Not Afraid,” Eminem admits the accent ran its course quickly and even goes a step further by admitting his comeback album, Relapse wasn’t that great, which it wasn’t.

“To the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back/ I promise to never go back on that promise/ In fact, let’s be honest/ That last Relapse CD was ehh/ Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground/ Relax, I ain’t going back to that now.”

This single has heightened my expectations for Recovery.

Below are a taste of what looks to be the start of a decent year in hip hop. Unfortunately, all of the Eminem “Not Afraid” videos on YouTube have been taken down. However if you have a radio in your car, I’m sure every single person in America will be sick of “Not Afraid” in one month.

Lupe Fiasco: I’m Beaming

Nas and Damian Marley: As We Enter


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