Strong opinions on the music you are, or should be listening to.
Lupe Fiasco – “Lasers”
To say that rap has been watered down lately may be a bit of an understatement, political and social awareness is at an all time low for the genre. Reenter Lupe Fiasco, not pulling any punches the rapper makes it known that he’s back to make songs for the fans, not just for the money.
Raekwon – “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang”
How many rappers have the guts to put Kung-Fu sound effects over the back of their songs, not many outside of the Wu-Tang Clan. Raekwon is back, and he is back with the same music that made the group popular in the 90s, tight lyrics and unique beats.
Avril Lavigne – “Goodbye Lullaby”
It seems like it’s been a long time since we last heard from Avril Lavigne, which is a pretty good thing, considering her mediocre musical talents. She is back no regardless, and it’s a lot of the same, she’s kind of like a boring version of P!nk.
R.E.M. – “Collapse Into Now”
When I think R.E.M., I think Sunday mornings on VH1 when they still played music, and not Flavor of Love season 16. The group has been making quality music for over 30 years and has never differed from their roots. The same continues as the band gives an album that any fan will love, and will maybe earn them a few new ones.
Dr. Dre featuring Eminem and Skyler Grey – “I Need a Doctor”
A major figure within the rap genre for the past 15 years Dr. Dre has always been relevant as a producer, but never so much as a rapper. Both of those beliefs are reinforced in his second single off the hotly anticipated Detox, luckily some decent verses by Eminem and a strong chorus by Skyler Grey make “I Need a Doctor” a legitimate single.
Lupe Fiasco featuring Skyler Grey – “Things I Never Said”
Calling out Bill O’ Reilly? Ludacris has done that. Calling out Glenn Beck? Who hasn’t done that? Calling out Barack Obama? Now that is really impressive. Lupe single handedly calls out roughly half the planet in this song, from religions to diet soda, no one is safe.
Nicki Minaj – “Did It On ‘Em’”
From political rap to rapping about putting your “number 2s up,” Nicki Minaj continues to prove that she holds nothing sacred about rap. Her lines are cheesy, they’re said slowly, and the entire song is about “shitting” on her competitors; there’s nothing clever about that, it’s not even arrogant, honestly it’s just embarrassing.
Saturday the 12th:
Murs at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y. at 8 p.m.
A growing theme within hip-hop is that popular hip-hop is all style, and that the underground is where the substance is, save for Jedi Mind Tricks. Sure he’s gritty, but he’s real, and that’s what fans of underground hip-hop love most about the genre.
Sunday the 13th:
Dropkick Murphys at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT at 7 p.m.
There was a period a few years ago when Dropkick Murphys looked like the sky was the limit for their career. The band’s catchy Irish pub rock made its way into movies, games and commercials, but their fame has died down in the past years. However, for those looking to see them in person their music is still as good as ever.
Tuesday the 15th:
Red Hot Chili Peppers at Glen Falls Civic Center in Glen Falls, N.Y. at 8 p.m.
The kind of rock music that the chili peppers sing just doesn’t really exist anymore, but that hasn’t stopped them at all from being extremely relevant across several genres.
Wednesday the 16th:
Elton John at Madison Square Garden in N.Y. at 8 p.m.
There are several piano players that can also sing and make great music, but there are only two members of royalty, one of them is Billy Joel, and the other is Elton John. He may be getting up there in age, but he can still put on an amazing show, which is more than enough reason to go see this living legend.