Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 Year in Review Part 2 (Music and Sports)

Music



Had a convo with Power 106 via Twitter voicing my disagreement over their music direction. It was a very civil convo and I felt they were honest with me but in the end, I think pop/urban radio is slowly moving away from my ears. Has been the last 3 years. The irony of this happening on the day we learned Guru died and reminisced how he fought “for 3 minutes of every rap radio hour.” But as a music fan, this was something that should happen more often - radio stations and their accountability.

TI and Wayne both screwed up their comebacks - TI by stupidly getting arrested again and Wayne dropping that awful 6-foot,7-foot song. Nice going, fellas. 

Only show I watched this year was Keith Murray showing up with boy my Destruct and Rock The Bells 2010. This RTB might be my last but if it is, I saw my favorite album performed live in Midnight Marauders, saw KRS live for the 1st time and watched Snoop take it back to 93. Next year? Georgia Power with Big Boi and Cee-Lo!!

I discovered more older music this year. Finally got into Radiohead’s albums and hailed Kid A as one of my favorite albums ever. I discovered classic albums by Smashing Pumpkins and De La Soul. That was as big a part of 2010 year in music as anything I listened to. The Bends sounds like total 90’s alt-rock that got copied all decade, OK Computer sounded like depression but beautiful depression as outsiders. Kid A – too good for words. Siamese Dream – such a great guitar album that Billy Corgan dominated.

Oh yeah, discovered LCD Soundsystem finally. Epic music that I’ll take over the Arcade Fire anyday

Top Albums


Atlanta dominated the best of music for me. If it wasn't Cee-Lo's epic viral hit, it was Big Boi showing why music labels had no idea what they were thinking sleeping on his album. And it was OutKast protege Janelle Monae who showed why she is the most creative force in R&B in a long while.

I didn't get into much rock this year. Linkin Park's lead single was a huge disappointment as they tried to be Nine Inch Nails-lite and sounded so soulless. Kings of Leon flopped as well. Rock was so down that the local rock radio station went from 106.7 songs in their end-of-year countdown to only 30 and several artists repeated. Thank goodness for the Black Keys and the return of Social Distortion.

Top Albums
1. Big Boi – Sir Luscious Leftfoot (Best OutKast-related album since Stankonia)
2. Janelle Monae – The Archandroid (The best vocal album of the year)
3. Cee-Lo – The Lady Killer (Soul, funk, attitude from the South’s #1 Renaissance Man)
4. Nas + Damien Marley – Distant Relatives (A powerful statement!)
5. The Roots – How I Got Over (Balancing Depression w/Upliftment)
6. Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute (10 years off and they still sound great together)
7. Black Keys – Brothers (Straightforward blues based rock that hits ya ear perfectly)
8. Eminem – Recovery (Fantastic Comeback for Slim Shady)
9. J. Cole – Friday Night Lights (Please, don’t let his debut album disappoint like Wale’s)
10. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part 2
*special note to Lecrae - Rehab and Trip Lee - Between Two Worlds. Two of my favorite Christian rappers dropped great albums with excellent concepts.
**Also special note to HISD -The Weakend. One of the best under-the-radar albums



Yelawolf is my rookie of the year for making the biggest impact. Once I heard him on Peter Rosenberg's Late night show, I was hooked.

Florence + The Machine sound pretty awesome as well. Don’t know what to expect in 2011 but after Sade’s comeback (which is gonna be better when she goes on tour in 2011), can we get our first Red Hot Chili Peppers album in 5 years PLEASE?????

Favorite Songs (in no order)
Big Boi – Shutterbugg, General Patton (Shutterbugg's my single of the Year - the hit that wasnt)
Alicia Keys - Unthinkable
Dead Prez – Don’t Waste It
Sade - Soldier of Love (the 1st buzzed song of 2010 got slept on hard but she's back!)
Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Rock (3rd decade with a hit)
Royce da 5-9 – Taxi Driver
Little Brother – Curtain Call (a great finale to a great group and the year)
Wale – Eyes of the Tiger
Trip Lee - Show's Over
Lecrae - God is Enough
B.O.B. f. Hayley Williams – Airplanes



Black Keys – Tighten Up (Danger Mouse produced another gem for my new favorite rock group)
Janelle Monae – Tightrope
Nas + Damian Marley – Strong Will Continue
Yelawolf – Pop the Trunk
Cee-Lo – F You
Reflection Eternal – Ballad of the Black Gold, Just Begun (w/ J. Cole, Mos Def and Jay Electronica)
J. Cole – Premeditated Murder
Eminem – Not Afraid, Seduction
The Roots – The Fire (w/John Legend), The Day (w/Blu and Phonte)
Erykah Badu – Window Seat
LCD Soundsystem  - Dance Yrself Clean
Lupe Fiasco – B.M.F. (Liked it way more than Rick Ross' version even if Lupe can do better)
Kanye West – Power/Blame Game w. John Legend
N.E.R.D. – Party People (f. T.I.)

Favorite Mixtapes
1. Friday Night Lights
2. Dead Prez - Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz
3. Royce da 5-9 - Bar Exam 3
4. Yelawolf - Trunk Muzik 0-60
*Somebody needs to tell Wale to get back on his mixtape game. Last two have been disappointing and the sequel to Mixtape About Nothing had about 3-4 good songs.

Sports



Of course the Decision is the #1 moment – Twitter nearly exploded, non-fans had a say and LBJ went from beloved to hated. Hero to villain who changed the direction of the NBA and the power of the players. Hated how he did it but have no problem trying to win.

Late discovery was Bomani Jones and his morning podcast. Hands down was one of the best things this year and in a lilly-white radio field, it was refreshing to hear a brotha who was smart, funny, usually dead on and young enough to show why he, Michael Smith, Jemele Hill will be great to read/watch the next decade as the faces of Black sportswriters.

I threw away my Michael Vick jersey after he burned a $100M lottery ticket on some beasts. I wasn’t mad at what he did as much as  I was seeing an immature man wasting his God-given talents not leaving his boys alone. I’m more proud of him getting his life back and growing into maturity – he’s a lesson for young men that mistakes don’t have to define you. It helped that he’s turned into Steve Young Part 2 and entered The Matrix.


Favorite Moments



2. Lakers/Celtics Game 7 (greatest ugly game ever – this was our 85 Finals moment)
3. Meltdown at New Meadowlands (Vick’s MNF game was sick but this was even better) – welcome back #7
4. US in the World Cup. Ghana going far despite that late miss. David Villa dominating it for Spain
5. Super Bowl 43 (Tracy Porter, gutsy playcalling and Drew Brees holding his son – bigger than fball)
7. Baseball’s Year of the Pitcher (2 perfectos, several no-hitters, including Doc doing it twice, and a game for the memories in Andres Galarraga).
8. Spain won huge this year – World Cup, Pau Gasol, Rafa Nadal.
9. Mark Buherle's kick-save, through the legs play. One of the greatest plays I've ever seen.

*And low twos to the Dodgers beginning what’s sure to be a descent into despair. This Dodgers divorce set a pall over the season and it was terrible watching it unfold after watching a great Opening Day. No coincidence that I didn’t go to another game all year.

Oh yeah, went to my first-ever hockey game. That was one of the coolest things ever and I love the game live now.

I got quite a few things to look forward to 2011 – 10th anniversary of my most life-changing year ever. The beginning of me growing out of my shell. Like Matchbox 20, I’m ready to see how far I’ve come looking back on it.

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