Peace and Blessings to everyone in 2009,
We are four days into the new years, and I'm just getting an opportunity to reflect back on for what was for me personally, the greatest year of my life. This recap is not going to be so much about mainstream or general events of the past year, but more about the moments that touched the lives of me and my peoples, and the steps and strides I've made. So with that,
Top five albums for 2008 (warning: This list is not politically correct and is not in order)
1. Ronin-The follow-up to "Nat Turner Reloaded" from Core Rhythm, saw him hook up with one of New York's best kept secrets, "ZQ". These two collaborated on arguably one of the most ambitiously artistic projects in hip hop for 2008. If you haven't heard it, seen it, you need to. Cop that. Core Rhythm-Ronin
2. Building the Better Bomb-Rabbi Darkside was seemingly everywhere in 08. MTV, Europe, and on one of the dopest debuts for an independent artist in recent memory. Whether it was Beyond Race Magazine, or Adam Bernard, the accolades rolled in for this very impressive album. It doesn't hurt he's a part of my crew. Another must have if you are a head Rabbi D-Building the Better Bomb
3. Missing Trooth-Jake Lefco is an ordinary guy with an extradordinary gift to rhyme. This album is his second, and it says something when you outshine your debut. He did that easily, seriously one of the most slept on dudes in New York City. He also has a heavy pour at the bar, but dont tell the owner that =). If you are really into Beats, Rhymes and Life...this album is a must have. Jake Lefco-The Missing Trooth
4. Cosmic Headphones-Eagle Nebula. Now you know. Remember the name because this Sista is truly the future sound. Her debut solo (she has collaborated with others for various projects, including the "Blak Experiment" again..if you dont know, now you know...) came out at the tail end of the year, but it has surpassed so many this year. It is refreshing to hear a woman's influence in this very msyoginistic, and psuedo-masculine world we call hip hop. Another must have for the collection. Eagle Nebula-Cosmic Headphones
5. The People's Verses-The last shall be first. I told you, this wasn't politically correct.One of Urb's next 1000. Google the blogs (Hip Hop linguistics,Wake Your Daughters Up,Hip Hop Informant...). I am very proud of my debut album, and quite honestly, I believe it was one of the best records to be produced independently in 2008. This is the every man,woman, and child's album for sure. Seriously, if you've been following what so many others have said this year about my record you know the deal. Check it out. The People's Verses-Hired Gun
Honorable mentions-Duv-Urban Artisik
I have had the pleasure of going overseas in 2008, and am set to head to Brazil in a month's time, and the thing that I finally was able to see firsthand was the power of hip hop to communicate, and connect community across even language barriers. When I think of a global community/world it is not in the context of commerce, but in the context of culture, understanding others traditions, values, beliefs, styles and expression and how valuable it is to appreciate the diversity and complexity that we as human beings share. It was a humbling and powerful experience for me to be able to be welcomed and respected. I want to give a shout to the whole Beat Apetit family, my Brachos (Brothas), Ivanhoe, Dowis, Jaro Cossiga, Nasty, Kuzhell, Freaky Jesus, Suzanna, Endru, Beat Burger Band, and the whole Pantheon Posse. I cannot wait to see you all again in Prague very soon.
I shine, you shine:
So many of my people's did big things this year, whether it was Core Rhythm releasing Ronin, Rabbi Darkside with MTV and Building the Better Bomb, many people within the community of artist who largely populate from the open mic night, Sin Sin made great strides in 2008. So to the Mindspray Crew, Tah Phrum Duh Bush, Jake Lefco, YG and Optimus Foundation, Illspokinn and Spokinn Movement,Mariella, Mr. Beatz, Super King Armor, Prezzure, Final Outlaw and the whole Sin Sin Fam, I salute you.
I myself was able to produce my project The People's Verses in 2008, that generated critical acclaim from Urb Magazine (I was selected Urb's Next 1000), Oh Word!, Rhyme House, Wake your Daughter up(Dead City off my album made their top 100 songs of 2008), and Equilibrium Radio(I was named 90.3 Equilibrium Radio's Best Artist on the Come up for 2008, as selected by an individual poll). I also had the opportunity to build with individuals such as EMCEES 4 PEACE collaborating with them on a mixtape of international artist, bringing awareness about various global issues that affect us all. I also want to shout out organizations and individuals who supported and believed in what I was doing, and helped me shine brighter. Shouts to Travis Glave and Wake Your Daughters Up, Rafi Kam, Roger S and the Ohword Fam, Sitdownstandup.com, Donny Goines, Ryan London over at Rhyme House, Hip Hop Linguistics, Macedonia and Radio Bsots, Nicholas Whitaker. In the immortal words of Biz Markie.."Damn it feels good to see people up on it". People wouldn't of known about it without your help, I appreciate you seeing the vision, and loving the music.
2009 is only going to get bigger for Fresh Roots Music. More international collaborations from Africa to Russia, and more new music period. Stay tuned, and stay with me. We are still keeping it roots and Straight Organic.
Until we all are....