Top Ten Moments in Music of 2009
The overarching story of music in 2009 is the continual collapse of the music business as we knew it. As Chris Rock said, when a movie like BROOKLYN’S FINEST doesn’t have a soundtrack album, the record business is over.
In my car right now, four of the six slots are mixtapes that are not commercially available – Lil Wayne’s banging NO CEILINGS, the unreleased but wonderful BILAL album, CONSQUENCE’S mixtape and the flat out genius masterpiece WU TANG VS. THE BEATLES – ENTER THE MAGICAL MYSTERY CHAMBERS. Not only is there a lot of free music out there, often it’s the best music.
10. GHOSTFACE KILLAH “WHODINI: THE WIZARD OF POETRY”
Best R & B album of the year.
In the new music business, you can be a big star and feel no pressure to actually put out a record.
8. LADY GAGA
Not my cup of tea, but she’s in it to win it. Her sheer will, imagination and nerve is a wonder to behold.
7. KANYE CRASHES AND ROLLS WITH THE PUNCHES
Unlike his heartfelt Katrina statements, which were off-script but had broad cultural relevance, Kanye’s crushing of the little blond country girl in favor of Beyonce was not the move. Was he right? Yes. But he looked like a bully and a jerk.
Glad to see him with a new, calmer tone on his brilliant website these days. And curious to see what the site evolves into. He’s still evolving and interesting as heck. Oh, and PARANOID is one of my favorite songs of the year. I can’t stop playing it.
6. JAY Z
Has anyone in hip hop had a relevant career at his age? He’s still making some of the biggest records of his career while managing a high profile marriage with grace. And in person, he’s as charming as he is smart.
5. CHRIS BROWN/RIHANNA
It’s not clear that either of their careers will recover from their flame out. A loss for all of us.
4. JAY Z AND ALICIA KEYS “EMPIRE STATE OF MIND”
Two anthem makers produce a song that will stand the test of time.
3. JAMIE FOXX’S “BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL”
Hook of the year.
2. SINGLE LADIES
Both the song and video are instant classics. They will be played at our retirement parties.
1. MICHAEL JACKSON
Back on every radio station, car stereo and house party playlist, it gave us a chance to introduce him to our kids and rediscover just how dope he was.