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
The month of June was so full of incredible new music that this was one of our hardest choices yet. But after much deliberation it became impossible to give the nod to any album other than JAY-Z’s 4:44. Not just for it’s incredible, stripped down hip-hop and raw lyrical openness, but for the immense impact it’s had all across the landscape. Only DAMN. may have had a bigger impact in music and the culture than 4:44. For the whole month it dominated the conversation, people picked it apart line by line, and it provoked thoughtful contemplation about the themes he laid out. Not to mention that it was just great overall music from a guy who continues to defy age time and time again.
Directed by the incredible Ryan Coogler and helmed by immense talent like Chadwick Boseman, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and countless others, Black Panther has been one of our most anticipated upcoming movies, and not just out of Marvel. Ever since we got a small taste of what Black Panther could bring to the Marvel universe we’ve been clamoring to get a better look at his world. It’s first showing did not disappoint and it’s mix of high technology, traditional African aesthetics, and hard hitting action make this look like one of Marvel’s most unique films yet and just the shot in the arm that they need. They seriously couldn’t have picked a better song for the trailer either. Pure hype!
SZA has really made us believers this go around. She took her game to the next level in just about every aspect and CTRL is an album we revisit regularly. Her sound was incredible and her artistic vision really shone through in the album’s music videos. “Drew Barrymore” was one of our favorite songs off the project and so far it’s been our favorite video too. The angles, the locations, the slight effects, were all on point and came together to create one arresting visual. June was a great month for SZA and this was by and far the best video to drop last month.