Friday, January 16, 2015

The Best of 2014: Rap

"He Does All Things Well" (Mark 7:34). Maybe our first artist and his album shouldn't be compared to Jesus, but I liked the phrase. In a limited sense it applies. His name is CaJo (not Cujo) and is more accurately known as +Canton Jones. Forget Fresh Aire, with CaJo we are talking about Dominionaire, and there is definitely a window of blessing over his head. Mister Jones is one of those rare talents that can carry off a tune in whatever genre he feels led to sing in. Of course that makes it a little difficult to pigeonhole the album for award purposes, which, incidentally, is why you rarely see his albums up for award. A "typical" CaJo album mixes Rap, R&B, Hip Hop, and Gospel. Thankfully those 4 genres are combined into two at Night Beat HQ, or there would be 4 nominations given to an album. This year we had two albums to consider: Lust, Drugs & Gospel , which was given a 5 Emerald rating and was put on this list, and God City USA , which fell just short of perfect.

Who woulda thunk that rap would be saved by crunk. I have no knowledge if that was spelled correctly, but I liked the rhyme pattern. #PlatVnyl4's New Artist of The Year and the winner of the Rap/Hip-Hop Album of The Year +WHOSOEVER SOUTH has, in this bloggers humble opinion, breathed new life into a stale if not dying genre. They did it by infusing Rap with Bluegrass, a combination I had not hitherto thought of. Goin' Home and All The Time were but two songs on a debut album that I almost missed because one early reviewer called them "country", and that is something that will not stand here at Night Beat HQ. All I can say is if this is country, then the CMA's need to start singing this instead of the junk that passes for Country these days. Thankfully we had a breather during #PlatVnyl5, but the eligibility year for #PlatVnyl6 began this October with the group inviting everyone to Come on In . No Sophomore Slump here. Actually they raised the bar. The title cut, sounds like home, country crunk. Maybe the reason liberals make fun of rednecks and Southerners is because they can't appreciate good music. Just sayin.

Rap has always been known as an individual effort, but sometimes it helps to go to the symphony. LA Symphony is a rap quintet at current, and the membership has gone as high as eight. They've been on silent since 2005, so when they make a comeback in 2014 they name their album You Still on Earth? Most of the original lineup made a guest appearance on the album, which has a good rhythm to it. I guess with Rap, more is better.

Two albums, though perfect, failed to make the list. I had over 40, so I had to edit somewhere. Both Mental by KJ-52 and Below Paradise by Tedashii had to be cut. They were perfect albums, so look for them in the Platinum Vinyl Awards this year. Next up is Gospel. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.