February 12, 2015

HHID: 8 Years & Runnin'

Today marks the eighth anniversary of HHID.  As always, I'm surprised that the blog has lasted this long, can't believe I have actual readers, thank you, click on the Amazon links, blah blah blah.

More importantly, I believe, is the fact that this post exists, if only to prove to you two that I'm still around and I do have plans to come back.  My hiatus has taken a bit longer than I had planned, mostly because it is so goddamned easy to not write.  It probably doesn't help that I still haven't worked my way through most of the rap albums that dropped in 2014, or the few that have trickled out this year (Joey Bada$$, I'm looking at you).

As such, I give up.  The vast majority of this site is made up of reviews of older albums to see if they stand the test of time anyway, so it makes more sense for me to focus on those for the time being.  I'm not quitting new albums entirely, of course: when Jay, 'Ye, or, God forbid, the Wu drop something, I'll probably be around to pick it up.  Just not necessarily right away.  I have a project to finish.

Speaking of that project, in 2015 I plan on eventually laying out the terms in a way that will hopefully explain just why Lil' Wayne isn't a part of it, among others.  Not everyone in the sidebar will see their stories continue on the blog: however, a lot of them will possibly see some interest sparked in their respective back catalogs, which is all I can ask.

For now, I feel like taking a trip out West.  To California, specifically: I'm still not writing about Macklemore.  The last few albums I've taken some notes on (notes which you will read soon, hopefully) have all come from artists who claim the Golden State as the place where they keep their shit.  So I think I'll stick around in that general area for a while, and in the process, boost the West Coast numbers of the site, which, yes, I realize is predominantly New York-based.  What can I say: I have a type.  

What does this mean for you two who may feel inclined to submit Reader Reviews?  As always, you can write about whatever you want (as long as I approved it in the first place - otherwise, you could be wasting your time).  But if you want to get in on this Cali renaissance, you can drop off some submissions for West Coast rappers and groups, and I may run them sooner.  So far, I have exactly two Reader Reviews that fit this description, and I could use more.  I don't know how long I plan on staying in this one spot, or if this will be followed by similar feats in other parts of the country and/or world, but if you want in, send me an e-mail to the address in the sidebar with your proposals and we'll talk.

In the meantime, to keep myself from getting bored, I've been bouncing around some other ideas for features, some of which I've tried before and some of which would be new (to the blog, not the universe).  One thing I want to try is posting songs that I think are worthwhile, via YouTube or other services, and letting you two discuss it in the comments.  Some of them will be well-known, and a few might be question marks (I haven't figured all of this out yet), but I think it'll help spark up some conversation as to which tracks should belong on the hypothetical Hip Hop Hall Of Fame Mixtape.  I plan on starting that up soon.

Other than that, I'll be getting back to the twice-a-week format (Tuesdays and Fridays) shortly.  So now I need to go find some shit to write about.


December 30, 2014

Happy New Year and I'm taking a nap

You two may not have noticed this, but aside from that annoying break from April to mid-May where I lost the data on my computer (which I'm still pissed about - I hold grudges like a goddamn champion), HHID has been going hard all year long.  Especially after I returned: I've kept its two-posts-a-week schedule pretty admirably, I should say.  So, obviously, it's time for me to take another sanity vacation, and what better time to do it than as we segue into a new year?

As usual, thank you both for continuing to support the blog, which, while not exactly at its peak performance (that happened quite a while ago), I still think is better than ever, at least when it comes to the content in the reviews and the responses they draw.  I crossed the one-thousand-posts threshold this year, which is just crazy for me, since this was all originally intended to be a side project to keep my writing skills up to par while I worked on other things.  Still, my main goal here is to keep at this until I at least finish what I started: I also hope to clarify exactly what it is I plan to "finish" sometime in the new year.

I don't plan on being away for very long, but the state of hip hop in 2014 has made it difficult for me to give that much of a shit about newer albums, and as for all of the older ones I tend to write about, well, I have to go dig them out before I can say anything about them.  I encourage everyone to leave your thoughts and votes for your favorite hip hop moments of the year below: as usual, I will refrain from doing any kind of actual list, since I don't really believe in those things, even though I love reading everyone else's.  What can I say?  It's who I am.

(Run The Jewels 2, by the way.)

See you in the new year,

December 26, 2014

My Gut Reaction: PRhyme (Royce da 5'9" + DJ Premier) - PRhyme (December 9, 2014)

This final album review of 2014 is devoted to a collaborative project that I was convinced would never actually happen.  The pairing of Detroit smart-ass Royce da 5'9" and legendary producer DJ Premier has paid off multiple times before, with various album tracks and the occasional single, but a full-length album featuring Ryan Montgomery's bars over Primo's boom-bap?  Could our chosen genre contain themselves for one goddamned moment so that we can realize the importance of what is happening here?  

That last sentence is probably one of the reactions Royce and Primo were hoping for when PRhyme was announced earlier this year, and let's be honest, that's pretty much what they got.  It's Royce and Premier.  Come on.  Even I gave a shit, and I haven't cared about much in the way of new hip hop albums this year.

December 23, 2014

My Gut Reaction: Mobb Deep - The Infamous Mobb Deep (April 1, 2014)

2014 wasn't the greatest year for hip hop in general: aside from the fact that I tend to write about older albums on this blog on purpose, there's a valid reason why I chose to mostly ignore this year's output within our chosen genre.  But that's not to say that 2014 was without hubris, the currency by which modern-day rappers thrive.  Case in point: Queensbridge-based rap duo Mobb Deep reunited to celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of their breakthrough project, their sophomore album The Infamous, one year early, and decided that what the remaining fans they had left really wanted to hear was a new album that listeners would inevitably be forced to draw comparisons from, especially when they chose to pair said new album with a disc filled with rarities and unreleased tracks from The Infamous's studio sessions.

Yeah, that doesn't seem like such a good idea today, huh, guys?

December 19, 2014

The 1000th Post (Holy Fuck)

I actually have nothing planned for today's post except to mark it as the site's one thousandth.  One thousandth.  While that is a number I could have hit much sooner had it not been for all of those annoying hiatuses, it's still a remarkable achievement, and it's all because of you two readers, who appear to still enjoy reading my shit-talking about hip hop, pop culture, and all roads in between.

What I'm saying is, thanks for reading!  For realsies this time.

I'll be back in a few days.  Until then, please feel free to look around the site and maybe purchase some things off of your Christmas shopping list by using the Amazon links strewn throughout.


December 16, 2014

My Gut Reaction: Havoc - 13 (May 7, 2013)

The final cog in the machine that will ultimately bring us to this year's The Infamous Mobb Deep, 13 is Havoc's third solo album, one with a title he must have fucking loved, since this year he went and swiped it for 13 Reloaded, an otherwise-unrelated project featuring all new tracks.  That one I won't be getting to for quite a while, but hey, we'll always have 13, right?

December 12, 2014

My Gut Reaction: Ghostface Killah - 36 Seasons (December 9, 2014)

I'm thinking that, at this point, Ghostface Killah must be bored of traditional rap albums: I assume the idea of filling twelve or more tracks with boasts 'n bullshit hasn't appealed to him over the past few years.  2013's brilliant Twelve Reasons To Die was a marvel in straight-up storytelling, proving that not all concept albums have to automatically suck ass.  So instead of forcing everyone to wait around for Supreme Clientele II or that long-gestating collaborative effort with MF DOOM, Ghost appears to have been dropping writing exercises set to music to keep the fans alert.