Wednesday, January 05, 2005

And Now Some Music...For A Change

To break up the movie monotony, I bring you some music musings:

After Christmas, I finally got two of the CDs I really wanted. First up is Street's Disciple, the new double album by Nas. With this album, Nas has done something that 2Pac and Biggie did and Jay-Z couldn't do...make a very good double album. Street's Disciple is one of Nas's best albums and continues his streak of good albums that started with Stillmatic. As always, Nas's lyrical content is great. He pulls no punches as he, for example, relentlessly attacks so-called "coons" in "These Are Our Heroes." "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)" is a history lesson/tribute to one of the best rappers ever. Songs such as "Getting Married" and "Me & You (Dedicated to Destiny)" show Nas's softer side. The beats on this album have a unique old-school feel. As much as I like The Neptunes, Timbaland, Kanye West, and Lil' Jon, it's refreshing to hear good beats that don't come from any of them. Nas's Street's Disciple is easily one of Nas's best albums, and a welcome addition to the likes of the hip-hop double album classics All Eyez On Me and Life After Death.

Jill Scott's new album Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Volume 2 withstands the incredible pressure caused by her debut Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Volume 1. Beautifully Human is a wonderful, smooth album. Jill Scott's excellent singing and songwriting are showcased on this effort. "Family Reunion" is a truthful and funny account of the goings on at such an event. "My Petition" is probably the sweetest-sounding anti-Bush song I've ever heard. "I'm Not Afraid" and "The Fact Is (I Need You)" are also wonderful songs. With Beautifully Human, it's great to hear that Jill Scott hasn't succumbed to the "sophomore curse." This album is at least as good as her debut, if not better. It's so good that I don't want to wait long for her next album. But if she takes two or three years to perfect her next masterpiece, I'll wait...I'll wait as long as it takes.

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