Tag Archives: Rapsody

What If The Grammy’s Didn’t Completely suck? And why they do.

2020 grammys

What If The Grammy’s Didn’t Completely suck? And why they do.

by Dan-O

I remember being angry about how much the Grammy’s suck since grade school. It was just a sad naked reality. A giant bloated out of touch parent leaning over and saying “That Will Smith, huh?! Best rapper alive.” Interestingly, their problem is very grade school. When the 2020 nominee list announced Lizzo leading the pack with eight nominations we all understood she will likely walk out with a bushel of gold statues. The problem is not Lizzo, who is charming with a great voice and feverish energy. My question is why does Lizzo need that spotlight? She’s got platinum and gold plaques on the wall. The Grammy’s remain a boring homecoming king/queen ceremony rewarding the most rewarded and exposing the most exposed.

Life is not the homecoming dance. Life is the chaos of a billion hues and it is an award show’s job to paint with those colors, turning them into something a viewer can be truly engaged by. They should see a performance from an artist who wins and hit google with wide eyes. Who is that?! That is what the Freemusicempire awards would strive to do. I decided to stop complaining and clear out their brackets, fill them with what I would showcase and look at the difference.

Let’s start with Album of The Year. This is their list.

Album of the Year
“I, I” — Bon Iver
“Norman F—ing Rockwell!” — Lana Del Rey
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — Billie Eilish
“Thank U, Next” — Ariana Grande
“I Used To Know Her” — H.E.R.
“7” — Lil Nas X
“Cuz I Love You” (Deluxe) — Lizzo
“Father of the Bride” — Vampire Weekend

Mine:

Album Of The Year

85 To Africa by Jidenna

Father Of The Bride by Vampire Weekend

Bandana by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib

Beware of The Dogs by Stella Donnelly

Help Us Stranger by Raconteurs

Kiwanuka by MK & Danger Mouse

African Giant by Burna Boy

Hiding Places by Billy Woods

So I only kept one of their nominees and I can go over the people I ejected but that’s not as fun as imagining the world riveted as Billy Woods holds up a gold statue and delivers the illest, hardcore depressingly political acceptance speech. Imagining my mom texting about this charming Jidenna fella as he performs before the award is given out. I’m the weird one because everyone else wants to reward Bon Iver’s 5th best album or Lana Del Rey ballading in Adele’s lane. I’m not mad at Lil Nas X because my kid sings Old Town Road like a Romero zombie…but I’m not gonna pretend like the album was good. Popularity is immaterial. Regardless of what you feel about Vampire Weekend the album was DOPE. I won’t see Burna Boy dumped in some “World Music” sub category, that album is AOTY contender through and through.

Next up, Record of The Year: their list

Record of the Year
“Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Hard Place” — H.E.R.
“Talk” — Khalid
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“Sunflower” — Post Malone & Swae Lee

A lot of their nominees happen because of the radio. I listened to the Ariana Grande once and moved on. Having a kid I get as much Sunflower as I do Old Town Road but I still wouldn’t put it top eight. Shout out to people bumping Khalid; please explain to me how his music isn’t generic and his vocal range a straight line.

Here are mine.

Record Of The Year

Old Town  Road by Lil Nas X

This Life by Vampire Weekend

Anybody by Burna Boy

Cuz I Love You by Lizzo

All Your’n by Tyler Childers

Bop by Da Baby

Sing Along by Sturgill Simpson

BGM by Wale

Their nominees for Best New Artist:

Best New Artist
Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Maggie Rogers
Rosalía
Tank and the Bangas
Yola

Mine:

 Best New Artist

Da Baby

Megan Thee Stallion

Lil Nas X

Rosalia

Lizzo

Stella Donnelly

Ari Lennox

J. S. Ondara

I respect that the Grammy committee put Rosalia and Black Pumas on their list. I refuse to accept Lizzo as new on her third album. I refuse to create a best new artist list without Megan Thee Stallion who has blown the doors off her own songs as well as guest verses with Maxo Kream, Wale, etc. She has been WORKING. Not every genre is creating new vibrant stars but folk has J.S. Ondara and Stella Donnelly who don’t have “one album wonder” vibes at all. They will be around for years.

Onto R & B here is their best album:

Best R&B Album:

1123 — BJ The Chicago Kid
Painted — Lucky Daye
Ella Mai — Ella Mai
Paul — PJ Morton
Venture — Anderson .Paak

Mine:

 

Best R&B Album

Shea Butter Baby

Kiwanuka

Friends by Omar Apollo

American Love Call

While We Wait by Kehlani

Case Study 001 by Daniel Caesar

The New Breed by Dawn

Ugh, Those Feels Again by Snoh Aalegra

Only regret I had was ditching BJ The Chicago Kid who I love and always rep for. Before we get into the rap categories, before you get mad at their nominees, know that The Grammy’s know Rap like John Candy knew Physics, like Newt Gingrich knows humility.

Best Rap Song: “Bad Idea” — Chancelor Bennett, Cordae Dunston, Uforo Ebong & Daniel Hackett, songwriters (Ybn Cordae ft. Chance The Rapper)
“Gold Roses” — Noel Cadastre, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Khristopher Riddick-tynes, William Leonard Roberts Ii, Joshua Quinton Scruggs, Leon Thomas Iii & Ozan Yildirim, songwriters (Rick Ross ft. Drake)
“A Lot” — Jermaine Cole, Dacoury Natche, 21 Savage & Anthony White, songwriters (21 Savage ft. J. Cole)
“Racks In The Middle” — Ermias Asghedom, Dustin James Corbett, Greg Allen Davis, Chauncey Hollis, Jr. & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Nipsey Hussle ft. Roddy Ricch & Hit-boy)
“Suge” — Dababy, Jetsonmade & Pooh Beatz, songwriters (Dababy)

Best Rap Song

Palmolive by Freddie Gibbs featuring Killer Mike

XXL by Da Baby

Threat 2 Society by 2 Chainz

Cash $hit by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Da Baby

Even Tho Its Hard by Trae The Truth

Oprah by Rapsody featuring Leikeli47

Nobody’s Favorite by Rick Ross featuring Gunplay

BGM by Wale

Let them lead on Best Rap Album and I will play the closer.

Best Rap Album:

Revenge Of The Dreamers III — Dreamville
Championships — Meek Mill
i am > i was — 21 Savage
IGOR — Tyler, The Creator
The Lost Boy — YBN Cordae

Best Rap Album

Hiding Places by Billy Woods

Freddie Gibbs x Madlib-Bandana

Brandon Banks by Maxo Kream

Baby On Baby by Da Baby

Eve by Rapsody

Wow…That’s Crazy by Wale

Shelby by Lil Skies

Psychodrama by Dave

  1. ROTD III is great but too long not cohesive, a great compilation but not one of the best rap albums
  2. Tyler knows that album is not a rap album.
  3.  The nerve of not including Maxo or Freddie Gibbs or Rapsody is staggering.

So before you get mad at the nominees take a piece of paper out and pull your most important categories, wipe them clean and put your own nominees on paper. Look at them. Make sure you bought all those albums, so those artists you love ate off you. If we are going to keep pointing angry fingers at awards getting it wrong, we have to manage our own ethics.

Three Big Winners from Rapsody’s Eve album

Three Big Winners from Rapsody’s Eve album

by Dan-O

Albums-With an aggregate score on Metacritic of 91 out of a 100 Rapsody’s new album Eve is not consummable in pop music chunks. While it is sixty two minutes and fifty seven seconds long It is so heavily thematic that every song acts as a vital puzzle piece in the totality of Black feminine dimension. This is more literal than hyperbole; most of the songs are named after an important black woman who made an important contribution to the world (Iman, Afeni, Serena, Whoopi, Oprah, etc).

Rapsody is my favorite female rapper in the world right now because of how elusive she is. She sneaks lines through like on the lead single Ibtihaj where she talks about how long women have led the way in hip hop. She says “Women been leading the way, since Roxanne Shante/And the Unit had Flava and Jay had Marcy neighbors that waved.” If you catch it, it is odd to think about Jay at one time having neighbors in Marcy who waved and how long ago that was. It’s a sneaky thoughtful personal image of a figure who seems so enormous now. For her pen to put the camera there is a real strong choice.

As the album’s star she never yells at people or engages theatrics. While this costs her a larger stage it creates real weight around bars that might not be considered that big a deal from someone else. On Whoopi when she sternly states “I ain’t feeling you like I ain’t feeling new Kanye,” you couldn’t help but think that might actually hurt Kanye’s feelings. She didn’t stutter or equivocate. Nothing she says is to be dismissed and critics know it. After years of putting out strong verses and solid music, fans know it as well. I watched a documentary following Rapsody. She is a nice lady in a hooded sweatshirt and if you ever need to ask what weapon she will use to defend herself against this dangerously half dead music industry…the album is the answer. It tells her story in full.

Eric G & 9th Wonder-12 out of 16 songs on Eve are produced by one of these two. 9th Wonder gets the full victory lap treatment because he has been pushing Rapsody with all the strength of his reputation for years and years. Now talking heads (like me) are running around touting Eve when they were dismissing her back in 2014.

I am very happy for Eric G to get a little of this shine. He is one of those kept label producers who remain the backbone of a unit (Elite is this for J.Cole and the Dreamville people). Rapsody sounds amazing over soul samples and smacking drums but Eric G finds a way to push the tempo. He sprinkles a little Roger Troutman into the song Aaliyah. Serena  actually uses a Luther Campbell sample to set a fast tempo that pulls some of my favorite words from our narrator. He gives her soul but imbues it with strength and confidence. Rapsody has grown alongside 9th Wonder and Eric G. Eve is their moment alongside her.

Guests-Have you seen who is on this album? The lead single has GZA and D’Angelo on it. Gza does not contribute verses all over the place. He absolutely brings it like he’s happy to and he is not the only one. Nottz T’s up the perfect piano with chunky bass for Queen Latifah to flex over. J. Cole doesn’t just rap well dude gets deep into himself. His verse starts with “Born into pain” as the first three spoken words. This verse is given with deep respect to a piece of music he knows to be important. Iman captures a lot of talent in one place with JID continuing to build his guest verse portfolio , this time matching his speedbag flow with sincerity, Sir sounds buttery on the hook.

This is not a full review of Eve. If I did one of those it would be 1,500 words. I’d do 400 words just talking about how important to music Oprah is in that it brings the two best female rappers in the world together (Leikeli47 and Rapsody) over a beat (thank you Eric G!) that captures the best of both styles. It bounces with drums 47 can be proud of while giving Rapsody the sonic space to stretch out.

If this isn’t a review let it be a toast.

Glasses up for this thick novel of a thing.

Rapsody_-_Eve

May it never leave us.