Created on Monday, 27 August 2012 15:16
The summer season has always been immortalized as the season of great musical releases, the type that make you want to drive downtown with your windows down, showing the public that you're better than them.
Summer releases require a cockiness and confidence paralleled only by the sense of freedom felt by the average college students following the final question of their last scheduled final exam of the year.
Summer is the season to feel a sense of relevancy and expression and, in this case, expression through the work of others.
The release must rival that of mid-coital climax.
With that said, here are a few releases that lived up to the standards of a summer release.
Baroness, "Yellow & Green"
Baroness is one of the most prominent names in the sludge metal scene and has been receiving attention from major labels and musical legends alike -- they toured with Metallica in 2011. "Yellow & Green" is a brutally honest approach to hard rock and an incredibly powerful listen.
Big K.R.I.T, "Live from the Underground"
K.R.I.T. is the last hope for resurrecting southern hip-hop. Period, point blank. K.R.I.T. is the most competent rapper/producer in hip-hop as of this moment. The album is both socially conscious and ready to serve as party music -- a rare but winning combination.
Frank Ocean, "Channel ORANGE"
Ocean and fellow artist The Weeknd are dually reviving contemporary R&B. This album is possibly the best of 2012, not just the summer -- an emotional roller coaster of mellow instrumentals, somber vocals and flawless execution.
Nas, "Life is Good"
Nas is, by far, one of the greatest lyrical masterminds in the history of hip-hop, but in past year's has received criticism in the field he was once so gorgeously lauded in. With this release, Nas comes back to form with his most coherent release since 2001's "Stillmatic."
Waka Flocka Flame, "Triple F Life: Friends, Fans and Family"
Love him or hate him, Waka Flocka knows how to make a damn entertaining album. While knowingly one of the worst lyricists of all time, he knows how to keep the listener interested, whether they're listening ironically or genuinely vibing to the music. You shouldn't enter this album expecting an educational experience, but it's a fun way to fill an hour.
Some releases strive to achieve the level of greatness that's expected from a summer release -- and they fail miserably. Here are a few releases that fail to achieve even one star out of ten:
Gucci Mane, "I'm Up." Gucci's signature "burrrr" ad-lib doesn't quite fit the summer temperature (or any season, for that matter).
Rick Ross, "Self Made, Vol. 2" *Grunt.*
2 Chainz, "Based on a T.R.U. Story." Perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious release of all time.
Any Lil B release. Ever.
STORY: WILL GREENE, Intern A&E Reporter