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
It’s almost easy to forget that among all of his recent back and forth with Drake, Pusha T put out one of the best albums of the year so far and arguably his best solo project to date. Daytona is an immaculate, highly concentrated project that showed the immense synergy he possesses with Kanye as he blessed him with some of his best production in the past few years. Despite the album only coming in at 7 tracks long, each and every song is carefully constructed and layered – lush enough to get lost in the stunning samples and sparse enough to let Pusha’s top tier lyricism really shine. You know exactly what you’re going to get from Pusha T and he still over-delivered. Cinematic, high-art coke rap at it’s finest.
Policing in America, particularly in minority communities, has quickly come to the forefront of the national conversation and subsequently has become a rising focus in the field of cinema. There’s been a lot of announced movies and trailers giving their own takes on the matter but none has been as impactful as the one released for Monsters and Men. From the haunting score to the multiple narratives to the somber color palette it looks to be taking an almost Crash-esque approach to the story and paints a powerful, emotional picture, and in the just under 2 minute trailer you can already feel the suffocating tension start to rise. Could be career defining.
I don’t think it was ever in doubt which music video would get the nod for Best of the Month for the month of May. There hasn’t been a video this evocative or that has driven this much open conversation across mediums and demographics since possibly Jay-Z’s “The Story of OJ”, and probably not even then. We all know his pedigree as a storyteller and visual artist from the incredible work he’s done on his hit show Atlanta, but he really took things to another level for “This Is America.” You know it’s conveying a powerful message(s) and you know there’s reasons behind everything present, but he never explicitly tells the viewers what they are, instead leaving it up to our own imaginations, and no matter what walk of life you come from it’s almost impossible to walk away from it without it leaving some sort of impact on you. And that’s the true sign of something special.