Best of the Month is decided by a number of different variables; voter counts from preceding posts, reader reaction ratings, gut feelings, and lots and lots of heated discussions.
Album of the Month
Damn man, January actually had a lot of notable and good/great releases from people. I assumed it would be a slow month in music after that big month we got in December, but I was dead wrong (and gladly so). But even with all of that great music being released last month, this was a no-brainer for us.
Run the Jewels dropped an absolute fucking bomb on us with their magnum opus, Run the Jewels 3. It was pure new age riot music that could shake any sound system to the ground. It was angry, it was ferocious, and it was flat out brilliant. Their chemistry is some of the best you’ll ever hear and they gladly give out lyrical beat downs to anything and anyone that stands in their way. Simply put, this is the album that will forever cement them among hip-hop’s elite.
January wasn’t chock full of big name drops, but it did have one particularly important and relevant one in the new, Samuel L. Jackson assisted, documentary I Am Not Your Negro. It’s a documentary that takes a look at one of the most important, yet criminally overlooked voices and proponents for civil rights, Mr. James Baldwin. He was a provocative thinker who was unafraid to speak the uneasy truths and voice his opinions about what he sees. It’s a very timely documentary and a refreshing look at someone not named Martin Luther King or Malcolm X.
Sampha’s Process was a close runner-up for our Best Album of the Month and if it wasn’t for some really strong competition, it probably would have gotten the nod. However, despite not being the best album to come out last month, it was still full of some exceptional music. “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano” was one of our favorite songs off the album with it’s beautiful piano, amazing vocals, and emotional resonance (it’s an ode to his recently deceased mother), and it’s accompanied by an equally beautiful music video. It’s simple and poignant, and it even has a VR element.