Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dear Jai Paul

Dear Jai Paul,

I’ve been reluctant to attempt to produce a “best of” list for 2011, but whenever I do think about it, you’re right up there with….well, no one else. If anyone were to disagree with my dubbing your BTSTU single “Best song of 2011,” I would encourage them to remember their reaction to the first time they heard your single. For me, it was nothing like its contemporaries. It was a “new” sound. Spreading across the BBC and becoming viral for those who could find it. Sure, you made the single in 2007, and it was released worldwide in 2010, but it didn’t really “matter” ’til 2011, right? But when it was understood that it mattered, it was on!

Back then, it was a new sound — today, it’s so “Now.” You did it first. Who could compete with BTSTU when it was released? Nobody. You’ll never make a single that can top or even match the level of success that this song brought you, which is a shame, but you can now be proud that Ohh-Dear sites you as “The Best Single of 2011.” It’s an easy choice and easier than making a list of ten or one hundred.

It was nice knowing you. Thanks for your one song. You can always make money as a Sean Paul impersonator.

Sean Paul's brotha from another mutha.

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Dear Talib Kweli

Dear Talib Kweli,

You and Yasiin Bey (aka The Might Mos, aka Dante Beze, aka dream lover for most ladies in the late 90s) have announced to Black Star fans everywhere that you will be releasing a second album together in 2012. This is exciting. Even though you performed a song on Jimmy Fallon last night was actually recorded, released, and produced by Dilla over ten years ago for The Hurricane soundtrack (movie with boxer-Denzel Washington). And even though your performance doesn’t get me so much “excited” as it does “reminiscent,” it’s definitely more hopeful and promising than your project with Res called ‘Idle Warship.’ This duo is a good idea on paper, but really really bad live (I saw you live in Brooklyn a few months ago…really bad). I’m not sure what happened. Res is awesome, you are a proven lyrical force, but together, Idle Warship is less than lacklustre (see video after the jump).

Black Star was epic. It has a place in music history that remains comparable and relevant. So I hope your performance last night does not act as an example for what we can expect after waiting fourteen years! Making a mixtape that is a tribute to Aretha Franklin is a good start, but let’s try and ensure a strong finish, shall we? (The track produced my Oh No is an “ok” start. Keep it moving.) Keep Idle Warship idle for a while. (Sorry. That was too easy.)

your first video for this duo is called ‘Laser Beams’? Really?

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Dear Grande Marshall

Dear Grande Marshall,

So, I’ve taken a very long (perhaps not so deserved) holiday break, but I’ve been summoned back with your new track E&J, released 02 January, 2012. The still taken from Boyz ‘n’ Tha Hood, which serves as the single’s cover on Bandcamp, coupled with the “Planet Rock” sample, is just the ‘Out with the new and in with the Old’ type of aesthetic I’ve been craving. Though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of the entries from the many “year-end” lists that have been circulating (i.e.. M83, A$AP Rocky, Drake, The Weekend, Flying Lotus), this single is the perfect beginning to what I can only hope will be a year filled with headbangers — headbangers that don’t need an off-tempo, electronic filter to make my neck hurt, but still gives me that young-I don’t give a f**k-attitude. Thank you Grande Marshall. And thank you Philly, for still producing sounds to be reckoned with. No doubt.

Shout out to Heinz!

Download that “Ol’ Young Ni**a” here –>  Grande Marshall, E&J

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