Hello Cypher Sessions readers, it’s been a few weeks due to the craziness that is the month of Orientation here at CU-Boulder (also known as August); apologies for the delay in posts. In this 15th post, we will be looking into the next few months and seeing what is coming out, what we would like to see more of, and what should stop happening. This may be our most opinionated post yet, but hopefully you enjoy it, and get involved in the conversation. Let’s dive right into things. As we all know, as the summer begins to wind down and Labor Day approaches there tends to be a change in the air; this includes a new wave of music that always is intriguing and something that we have been anticipating for quite some time.

Some have been waiting for Cruel Summer. Others, something like Rapsody’s The Idea of Beautiful, or Murs & Fashawn’s The Generation. The following are gems that we think everyone should check out here in the next couple of months, specifically because these albums aren’t going to get the same kind of coverage that the DJ Khaled tape is, or the Meek Mill tape will (both of which won’t be on our list because of the money being spent on their releases; they won’t miss an endorsement from us). So without further ado, here is a top 12 list of albums everyone should check out from now until October:

  1. Prodigy: The Bumpy Johnson Album  (Aug.28)
  2. Rapsody: The Idea of Beautiful  (Aug.28)
  3. Slaughterhouse: welcome to: Our House  (Aug.28)
  4. Blu & Exile: Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them  (Sep.4)
  5. Saigon: Bread and Circuses  (Sep.11)
  6. Brother Ali: Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color  (Sep.18)
  7. Skyzoo: A Dream Deferred  (Sep.18)
  8. Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt.1  (Sep.25)
  9. Murs and Fashawn: The Generation  (Sep.25)
  10. Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, m.A.A.d City  (Oct.2)
  11. Pac Div: GMB  (Oct.16)
  12. Prodigy and The Alchemist: Turf Wars  (Oct.23)

A lot of these artists have not only a distinct sound, but a message that seems to be one that is something most people can connect with. Unfortunately, due to a large portion of these artists not producing music that is on the radio very often (see: or insert equivalent medium like itunes here) or having themes that are not “popular” or “radio friendly”, they won’t do as well as those artists who you see every place you look. This leads us to our next point of what we want to see in terms of music that is coming out, and how all Hip Hop should be handled.

Now, most of the tracks will not be offering the social commentary that Lupe Fiasco will be providing as he does above, but most of the artists that are listed above offer something to think about. When we say something to think about, we also don’t mean for a couple of minutes and then it’s back to daydreaming, but rather, it’s something that may make you look up topics that are related (and sometimes unrelated) to what Lu is reviewing above. Brother Ali has a knack for doing this all the time to this listener, and most of these artists do. What we would love to see more of is music that makes you think. Whether it’s about the social commentary or discussion that is being opened up, or the lyrical wordplay and skill happening, or even the productions being laid down; all of these things can make us put a album on rotation for weeks, months, sometimes years (intermittently, of course).

It is possible that this could be asking for too much in the current climate of music, but as the listeners we are the ones who can choose to determine what is sold. Yes, we could get into discussions on how much power the super-group companies determine what is put out and approved and all the other stuff, but at the end of the day, music is often like politics; real change can happen if those who desire it act to make it happen. This leads us to what should stop appearing and how our Hip Hop Blogifesto will end.
This may be a bit much for Cypher Sessions to be stating, but taking risks is part of Hip Hop, and so with that, let’s discuss what should stop happening for the most part in the world of Hip Hop. The art form should continue to be the focus, the music and the people and the community should continue to be the focus. Promotion is definitely important and vital to an artist and getting their material out, but allowing the music to take the back seat to the promo is definitely a no-no. Integrity should be practiced in all forms and all the way down from the music executives to the fans. Collaboration is also a fantastic mechanism, but it should also be  done to create art and not cash in (often repeatedly).

That’s it for this edition from Cypher Sessions, if you feel strongly one way or the other about anything discussed above, let us know below in the comments section. Hope you enjoyed this one, and look for new and concert-related information coming soon! Peace.

(Information from HipHopDX.com was used in this blog entry).

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