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Volume 9, Issue 2                                    University of Houston

End of year provides several gems


    This year has brought several interesting things in music. One of the facts that we learned is that record sales don’t have the same credible reputation as they used to have. Just a few years ago, numerable artists were selling millions of records routinely. Now, reaching platinum status in record sales is a rarity: T.I.’s KING, which was not as good as earlier albums, was the only album to reach that mark this year in the hip-hop world. T.I.’s 1.5 million might be eclipsed by Jay-Z, who released Kingdom Come in late November, and is currently hovering around the 900,000 mark in record sales for the album.

    Kingdom Come is one of the several albums that has made up for an otherwise average year in hip-hop. Apparently, the best was saved for last. While the summer and the earlier part of the year brought such lackluster songs as “Chain Hang Low” by Jibbs and “Chicken Noodle Soup” by DJ Webstar, the last few months have brought memorable music.

    One of the obvious choices for the best hip-hop album is Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. He is the Rookie of the Year in the music world. Other memorable albums included Snoop Dogg’s Blue Carpet Treatment, released in late November. His collaboration with Dr. Dre, titled “Imagine,” features a vintage style of production and memorable guest appearance from Dre, who rarely does more than production nowadays. That’s almost reason enough to buy the album, but some fans would probably prefer to just buy the song from iTunes.

    Speaking of collaborations, the duo of Pusha T and Malice, the two members of the Clipse, produced one of the most impressive albums of the year, Hell Hath no Fury. The album received impressive ratings and has been hailed a classic. A concise collection of just 12 tracks, the disc is one that fans can listen to without skipping a song thanks to the absence of filler material. Like Lupe’s album, the Clipse’s work features advanced lyricism that hardcore fans love but might go above the heads of people who don’t pay attention to complex wordplay.

    To the end the year off right, Nas released Hip-Hop is Dead Tuesday. The album was leaked on the Internet two weeks ago and has been hailed as one of the best albums released by the veteran. Other respected veterans released much-awaited albums Tuesday: Styles P’s Time Is Money and Mos Def’s Tru Magic.

    With the year coming to an end on a good note, fans are probably wondering what is next. The biggest album on the horizon is Dr Dre’s Detox. Fans have wondered for several years when this will come out, and supposedly it is coming out in September 2007, Dre said. Until then, fans can cherish the gems released in the latter part of this year

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