What can you say about the rise of Nipsey Hustle. From mixtape artist and independent artist that has tackled the bitcoin phenomena. To now releasing a major release that not only helped to cement the story of the hustler going major. Butthis album showed that Nipsey can hold his own against the industry heavyweights in his class. Songs like Last Time that I checked and Rap Niggas were stellar singles but the album cuts like Blue Laces 2 and Grinding all my Life, helped to get Nipsey in the discussion of making solid projects. There were great challengers to this award. Respect to Royce da 5'9 and Phryme 2. A lot of people liked Pusha T's project also. But out of all the projects nominated this one has the most replay value and takes the crown of album of the year. Salute to Nipsey Hussle.
Many people thought that Pusha T would get this award but this award was given on merit not Hip-Hop beef. Black Thought put the game on it's ear after a Funk Master Flex freestyle that rocked the world. As the front man of the prolific Hip-Hop group The Roots, and lead MC on the Jimmy Fallon show. Black Thought took Hip-Hop back to it's essence with lyrics on display with an appearance on the Funk Master Flex show with a freestyle that had people self checking themselves as to where Black Thought falls in there ranking of best Mcs. After that freestyle the Hip-Hop culture was treated to another treat from this MC...an album.
People have wanted a solo Black Thought project for years. With help from 9th Wonder, and The Soul Council, we have finally heard a Black Thought project that delivers to us exactly what we wanted to know...How efficient is Black Thought as an MC? Black Thought delivered and it showed on the classic track off of the project Streams of Thought Vol.1 Dostoyevsky. We honor Black Thought for bringing Bars and Lyrical gymnastics back into the conversation and the link are included below to hear those bars on display.
Funk Master Flex Hot 97 Freestyle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prmQgSpV3fA
Dostoyevsky Track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pfh8s8KVkM
Explanation of lyrics and meaning of Dostoyevsky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwcLEJwcaLk&t=130s
In the wake of Hip-Hop's trend of people using drugs and people falling under the influence of many different vices to numb the pain that they are experiencing on a day to day basis. J. Cole's album K.O.D is very relevant for the times and the culture we are in today.
K.O.D is an acronym that stands for King Overdose and Kids on Drugs. In today's society that can be taken literally and metaphorically. Today a lot of young people using prescription and non prescription, legal and illegal drugs as a trend and many are losing their lives. Some young people are overdosing on Television, Video Games , and other forms of entertainment not focusing on the lives ahead of them. Many people are addicted to sex and other entertainment vices to numb the pain of whatever they may be going through and not dealing with their issues and healing themselves.
Recently in Hip-Hop we lost Mac Miller to over dosing and he is 1 of many talents lost to opioids in the public eye. DJ Screw, Pimp C and Amy Whinehouse are great talents that were taken from us, and many more that I can not name that may or may not have been in the industry have died to over consumption of vices that have taken them away from the world TOO SOON.
Some people like J. Cole and some do not. But whether you like him or not this album has cultural relevance and the great Nina Simone once said an artist's responsibility is to reflect the times in which they live in. Salute to J. Cole and this album. Arguably album of the year in some Hip-Hop circles. Please if anyone is reading this that has an issue or knows someone that does please seek help and heal from whatever pain you feel and are going through. Death never solves the issue. Please live long, strong and prosper in your entire life.