Blue Scholars - Cinematropolis:
Seattle Hip-Hop! These guys have been on the top of my list since The Long March (2005). These guys are from Seattle and they're not exactly new, but Cinematropolis is definitely a departure from some of their earlier stuff. It's been badass to watch these develop all the way from The Long March EP because a lot of the other Hip-Hop guys from Tacoma and Seattle are only relevant if you live there. Blue Scholars, Macklemore, and The Saturday Knights were and are continuing to give me some hope. I probably listen to "Motorin'" by The Saturday Knights everyday on the road with DP. There's some dudes making noise in Portland too, but my finger isn't quite on that pulse.
Big Sean - Finally Famous:
This one was another surprise. I had only heard that song "My Last" with Chris Brown and was kind of on-the-fence. But a girl that I'm crushing on real bad (SC's own Kate Loveless) inadvertently pointed me in the direction of the song "Dance (A$$)," which led me to "Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay" despite Roscoe Dash... and then I just pulled the trigger. I think I like the production better than the lyrics though.
Chris Brown - F.A.M.E.:
This started out as a guilty pleasure of mine, but now I don't care who knows. Like I said, I spend a lot of time listening to Top 40 and I think Chris Brown had a little more balls on this release. I've always liked Chris Brown because he's never tried to hide the fact that he draws a lot from other artists (particularly Michael Jackson), and his performance of "Man In The Mirror" post-Rihanna at the 2010 BET's was the some of the realest shit. For a short time, I was planning to sell two of my guitars for money for plane tickets to LA to see him in October with my friend Shayna, but I blew it. Next time...
OverDoz. - Live For, Die For:
For me, these guys are like Odd Future without all of hype. These guys are really in the pocket, and a lot more tasteful. I consider LA my home-away-from-home and a lot of my best friends are living and going to school out there. One of my friends in particular, Paul Morgan was playing in a band based in Pasadena, but goes to LMU, and I know he'd bump the track
Taylor Swift - Speak Now (World Tour Live):
First of all, I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan. I probably listen to something everyday in the road. Everybody thinks I'm trying to be cute or funny when I tell people that, but I really am a fan. I'm not really a fan of the Country/Pop crossover stuff, but "T-Baby" stole my heart. I like her songwriting because it is so vulnerable but it's confident too. Plus Speak Now had a ton of really vindictive stuff that kind of caught me off guard, but I love it. I wish I could write multi-platinum smash-hits every time somebody treads on me. Probably more than her actual music, I admire that she is a positive role model for young people. If I ever become as famous as I'd like, I'm certainly going to blow it. Anyway[s], this is album is great because not only is it a "Greatest Hits," but it also goes to show that she can back it up live.