HHIB Best of 2010 lists are coming soon...In the meantime, just thought I'd share with you the gifts I received this Christmas that are Hip Hop related:
This book from Russell Simmons is a few years old, I think. I've seen it in stores before. I didn't ask for it, but a relative thought I'd enjoy it, I guess. I'm sure I will. I always liked Russell (actually got to attend a speaking engagement he did at UC a few years back that was informative and inspiring), and the influence he's had on Hip Hop, on business, and on bringing the two together is unparallelled. I'm sure I'll learn a thing or two from this book that I can use in my future business endeavors.
This was on my Amazon Wish List. I keep stuff on there that I plan to buy throughout the year, and if i don't, I'm hoping someone else will. I wanted to support Joe Budden because he puts out some of the best and most thought out music in Hip Hop right now. He's not the kind of MC that's just about clever punchlines here and there, he really puts everything he is into his music. And that makes it worthwhile...and worth the purchase. Click here for my last post on MM4. Unfortunately, the store version isn't quite as good as the one I grabbed off the Internet. The song list is shorter, and a few of my favorite tracks are redone. It may take some getting used to. Still a great album though.
Lastly, Jay-Z's Decoded is something I was interested in reading since it was announced at least a year or so ago. So, I was glad to get it. I was surprised to find how well put together it actually was though. A lot of work was put into this book and it's obvious just flipping through.
The book is more than just some printed lyrics and the the story behind them, or an explanation of their meaning. It's a more in-depth autobiography that gives additional background and insight to the first autobiography - the music. I'm only a little ways into it. But, so far I'm enjoying reading about how certain relationships and situations influenced the verses, and I was surprised to find that there was even more to some of the lines that I didn't pick up on yet. Not so much the witty wordplay, but more so the use of certain words that help to reflect the overall mood of the character in the song. I'd definitely recommend this book to any fan of Jay-Z, and even more to those that don't yet appreciate his talent.