My Top 5 Rap Albums of 2017

This year was great for the culture of hip-hop via rap music. We witnessed the emergence of women who rap, an increase in social commentary and an all-out assault on depression with an emphasis on living your best life. The five projects that made the top 5 best rap album list for 2017 encompass all of that and more. Check out the list. Let me know what you think.

1. Jay-Z – 4:44

Jay-Z continues to hold the torch and consistently moves into space where it can be argued that he is the best to ever do this rap thing. 4:44 is viewed by many as Jay’s response to his wife Beyoncé’s telling release Lemonade. Jay mentioned in an interview with Elliot Wilson on Tidal that they were working on both projects at the same time and Beyoncé’s took precedent. Regardless of how it happened, 4:44, in this writer’s humble opinion, is Jay-Z’s best work. He speaks clearly to his peers. He challenges his own sensibilities and is as vulnerable as a bragging rapper can be. The production provided by Chicago native NO ID provides a bed of lush samples and rhythms that pull the listener into the insightful bars. The most ingenious aspect of the project was the rollout. Every week a new visual was attached to one of the songs on the album tackling racism “The Story of Oj” and Black men’s mental health witnessed in the title track “4:44.”

2. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom

Rapsody is nobody’s female rapper. She an emcee’s emcee and her project Laila’s Wisdom forces you to take notice. The 9th Wonder produced project is a Golden Age nod with a millennial vision. Her project has been nominated for “Best Rap Album Of The Year” at the 2018 Grammys and she has a legitimate chance at winning. Rapsody does everything right. She can be miss rappity rap, give you a love song and a complete story filled with irony and metaphors. Her song “Ridin” featuring GQ feels like a ride through your nearest hood on a beautiful day. As the song rides along, Busta Rhymes comes out of nowhere to continue with the feel-good vibe. The Jamla artist has been prevalent in recent years on many of her peers’ releases and she always represents solidly. Her wordplay and the way she can stretch out a metaphor is uncanny.

3. Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy

Odd Future impresario Tyler the Creator delivered a project in Flower Boy that is sonically above his peers and musically continues to stretch the boundaries. This is not new to Tyler; however, this project feels like a culmination into what could possibly be his magnum opus. The gritty song “Pothole” featuring Jaden Smith on the chorus harkens back to the original odd futuresque style that is irreverent and bold. The song “Boredom” that was featured on Issa Rae’s hit show Insecure opened a door into Tyler’s production skill. The track takes its time and allows Tyler’s gravely deep voice to live between the sounds. The song itself is inspirational in that it compels the listener to get off their ass and get busy doing something. Live your life.

4. Kendrick Lamar – Damn 

Kendrick followed up his undeniable revolutionary classic with an introspective, honest and highly personal release in Damn. He has firmly held his ground as the thought leader of his generation. He boldly tells his peers to be humble and gives insight into his deepest thoughts when it comes to religion and love. “Element” stands out as a song where he just let’s loose and makes it clear who he is and where he comes from. “DUCKWORTH” is the most telling song on the project, as it basically tells the story of Kendrick’s life before his conception. It speaks to how life can conspire in your favor when you pay attention.

5. Big Sean – I Decided

Big Sean has been able to deliver witty bars since his emergence in rap. His project I Decided is a spiritual experience. The album starts off with an elderly man lamenting on his life and feeling like he should have taken another direction in his life. Big Sean open on “The Light” saying, “I spent my whole life trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel / I should have realized that it was inside.” Chicago crooner Jeremih fills up the space of the sparse track with a falsetto soul reminding all that no one can stop your shine. Out of all the projects that made this list, this is probably the one (with the exception of 4:44) that spoke to me the most. The Metro Boomin produced “Bounce Back” is a reminder to keep pushing even after taking a loss. Big Sean is about shining that light and spreading that positivity, and that’s what’s up.

That’s my list. It’s dope, right? What are your top 5 for 2017? Share in the comments

Buy/Listen to “Speak Life” by Precise

NEW MUSIC! – We ILL by Precise and G.R.A.C.E

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“We ILL” performed by Chicago emcee’s Precise and G.R.A.C.E. speaks to the social ills of society and offers solution with regard to looking within. ILL is a play on the state both rappers are from (Illinois) and the state or world is in and how amazing they are as rappers ILL. A triple entendre. Take a listen, buy and share. We ILL.

-Precise

Watching Tv While Black – The Empire Scandal

Ok I get it. The Cosby show is no longer on television. Serious allegations are swirling around someone many considered the nations dad. Positive representation of African Americans are almost non-existent. The Oscars are too white according to most media outlets and Iggy Azalea and Macklemore are stealing Hip Hop. OK I GET IT!!

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The truth of the matter is that all forms of media are influential and have an effect on our psyches. With that being said, I have a confession to make.

Hello ….My name is Precise and I watch Scandal and Empire. 

Now that I have confessed to the world one of my deepest darkest secrets allow me to say that even though I watch these shows I am STILL a BLACK MAN and an Awesome guy.

For some reason there is a divide in our community. Those who label themselves “conscious” have a total disdain for these telvision shows and feel like they are setting black people back 100’s of years.

Many black men have decided that these shows are for women, and if a man watches them his masculinity is questionable.

WTF?

Look…some of you take yourselves much to seriously. I agree that the portrayal of black people on television leaves a lot to be desired. Around the world we are viewed a specific way because of what is being fed through the media. It is important for us to take responsibility with regards to this.

Shonda Rhimes and Lee Daniels have taken some of this responsibility and boldly share a narrative of our lives that is complex and interesting.

I don’t know about you but I like to peel back the layers of who we are. It’s interesting and our experience extends past the history of slavery and civil rights.

We all have complexities and quirks. Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I should have to watch Eyes On The Prize  and Hidden Colors Vol 1, 2 and 3 all the time.

I like watching television with my 5k friends on Fb and sharing reactions in my status. I don’t post “spoilers” contrary to what some people (my sister) may think. Wendsday and Thursday nights are cool. It gives us the opportunity to come together and share something, even if it’s just a television show.

Precise

What do you think about Empire and Scandal? Do you feel these shows are horrible or great? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

Ladies love Mixtapes by Precise produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder was recognized as one of the BEST RELEASES of 2014 

BUY – LISTEN – SHARE

Dr. King – Selma – Victor Benoit – Social Change – Happy Birthday

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be 86 years old today, had he not been assassinated in April 4,1968. Dr. Kings life has been examined and studied extensively by academics, scholars, politicians and social activists around the world. The world speaks highly of Dr. King and his accomplishments. Today we celebrate his birth and his work on a nationally recognized holiday.

As I write this blog, my mother calls me and informs me that my uncle Victor Benoit has just been appointed as minister of Social Affairs and Labor in Haiti’s political cabinet. I am so very proud of him. He has worked hard for the Haitian people all of his life and this appointment is well deserved. This news immediately causes me to draw parallels.

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There is a certain type of boldness and audacity that would allow someone to believe that the work that they do can affect change. Everyone does not have this type of courage; however when one does have this type of courage they can change the world.

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I just watched Selma recently and what I appreciate most about the film is the human perspective that was given. From the time I was a child up until my adult years Dr. King always had this iconic persona that almost made him seem infallible. The director of the film Ava DuVernay showed Dr. King as a human being, someone who had faults and fears and doubts. Take a moment and think about what it took to challenge the status quo in the sixties. His life and the lives of others who were associated with him in any way were always in danger, but they stayed the course. The issue at hand at that time and even now is our FREEDOM. The ability to be who we are without any apologies.

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Socially we are at a tipping point in the world. Uprisings worldwide have challenged political norms and changed lives. The United States is currently in the midst of this kind of change. Let us channel the spirit of Dr. King and others who had the courage to fight and bring about the necessary shift in our reality.

Congratulations Uncle Victor!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King and Thank You! 

-Precise

How do you feel about Dr. King and our world today. Let me know in the comments.

Buy/Listen/Share “It’s On Me” by Precise produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder

Precise – Man Of The Ages

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Today is January 7, 2015. I was born 43 years ago today. This isn’t particularly interesting; however if you think of the fact that I was born at 7 months premature to Haitian Immigrants who met on a plane on their way to America, I would say its pretty AWESOME!!!

I’m at an interesting place in my life right now. I am so grateful and full of life. I am surrounded by people who love me and support me. Im also at a place in my life where I feel like I should have accomplished so much more and sometimes it feels like Im getting too old.

You see, Im a rapper, an emcee and I rip mics for a living. If you ask anyone they would probably say I’m pretty dope. I’ve been doing this with a strong focus for about 5 years, but overall I’ve been rapping for about 20 years as a solo artist and with my group Nubearth. I bring this up because many say this rap thing is a young mans sport and by the looks of what is fed to the people in the mainstream I would almost have to agree. I remember when I was 27 I told my self I would not be a 30 year old rapper. HA!! That didn’t pan out like I thought. I almost quit a few times, but something keeps pulling me back in. I was never sure what it was, then I figured it out. This is MY PASSION!

You see the thing about being alive is that it affords you the opportunity to LIVE! When I say LIVE I mean live your life by your standards deliberately and intentionally driven by your PASSION. What I have found is that the universe aligns with you when you are bold enough to tap into who you are with no apologies. There are no limits to what we can accomplish. Our only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves.

So guess what…Im going to keep rapping till I can’t rap no more. I have something to say. I have something of substance to share with the world. My experience and life is unique to me and should be shared with people now and into the future.

I am A Man Of The Ages who understands who he is in this vast universe. I know who my source is. I am connected and powerful and I get stronger everyday.

Be your truest self and live your life to the fullest.

-Precise

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

If you want to hear some of this great music I provide check out my Bandcamp page, and if you want to do something nice for my birthday feel free to make a purchase.

Ladies Love Mixtapes by Precise was selected as one of the best releases of 2014 by the Chicago Reader.

Buy/Listen to Ladies Love Mixtapes by Precise produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder

Where are they? – NOW!!!

We are in the midst of an awakening. None of the events that you hear of in the media are independent of each other. More of us are aware and have the ability to see clearly. This is why we have to ask questions and challenge the status quo. Our lives are important, we are more than pawns of the oligarchy. In the spirit of asking questions and expecting answers, I ask, WHERE ARE THEY? NOW!!

ZDI2YjdkNDFiZiMvUzJoTFdQcFZQdUFxY2g3TDJ4aS1GNEJaMEZVPS84eDExMTo0Mjg4eDI4MTAvODQweDUzMC9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvZTRlYTU4NDc0NmFlZjJlZWU5MmQ3OWU3NGUxZjI0NDljNDgyODE1M2Y5ZDQxODJiMTViMDA4YTcwNTEyYzdiMy5qcGc=In April of 2014 over 400 young female Nigerian students were abducted by Boko Haram never to be returned home to their families.

Where are they?

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In September of 2014. 43 Mexican students disappeared on their way to a protest. They have yet to be found.

Where are they?

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In March of 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared from air traffic radar. The flight had 227 passengers. It has not been found.

Where are they?

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Today Air Asia flight 8501 went missing with 162 passengers on board.

Passengers have been found from this tragedy. 

First Identified Victim From AirAsia Flight 8501 Crash Returned To Her Family

My thoughts and prayers are with these families. I do believe all things work for our good and as I mentioned before this is clearly part of something bigger than all of us.

My request to all of you reading this blog is to focus your energy on all that is good in this world. Focus your energy on each and every one of those spirits that are missing and pray that their souls are at peace.

The shift is happening now. Stay Awake. Find Yourself. Love Yourself. NOW!

-Precise

Buy/Listen to “It’s On Me” by Precise produced by Tye Hill and D.J Thunder

“Lyrical” Reality Show Trailer

2015 is looking good for Precise.

Four lyricist ( Lyrical MCs) agree RAKIM is in their “TOP Five”. Billy Sales AKA Smoke representing LA , Se’von representing Atlanta , Precise representing the GO – Chicago , Samm Davis representing NJ … Welcome to Lyrical …

-Precise

Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes!!

Top 3 Albums of 2014

It’s been an interesting year in music. If you have been paying attention you can see the shift has all but solidified itself with respect to how music is consumed. Streaming and mobile consumption has taken over. The amount of times a release has been streamed is now included in the 1st week album sales. The landscape is truly different.

As a result of such a different industry the idea of a full project almost seems foreign. We are in a single driven world. Artists are given multi million dollar deals based off of one song. It is because of this that everything in my humble opinion has been watered down.

The full release or complete album is now an anomaly. I heard my share of music in 2014 some was great and some was not so great.

Here is my list of the Top 3 Albums of 2014

3. Flying Lotus “You’re Dead”

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I first caught wind of this project about a month ago. I never really considered myself a fan of Flying Lotus. I have always known who he is and his pedigree, however I never really plugged in. When I saw the video for “Never Catch Me” with Kendrick Lamar I was intrigued. I needed to hear more.

“You’re Dead” is like an palate of sounds used to paint a beautiful picture. It brings to mind a Herbie Hancock sort of vibe. The Hip Hop influence is there and so are traces of Trance, R&B, EDM and Soul. With that being the case it still manages to be it’s own thing. If you are looking to get lost in a tapestry of sound then this is the album for you.

2. D’Angelo and The Vanguard “Black Messiah”

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Let me start this out by saying FINALLY!!! After 14 years of will he or won’t he, flipped cars, drug arrests and Questlove statuses, D’Angelo finally returns with “Black Messiah”

Autotune has been the standard for the past few years and at this point it’s almost unimaginable to hear an artist not use it. It becomes tiresome and repetitive. Hearing D’Angelos voice is nostalgic. It reminds us that people are still making music and it’s ok if people don’t know what you are saying if the groove is funky. “Really Love” is one of the stand out tracks. It feels so good to hear that groove. The way the internet blew up when this album dropped proves I am not the only one who finds some satisfaction that D’Angelo decided to comeback.

1. Precise “Ladies Love Mixtapes”

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If you are wondering if I am making this my number one pick because it is my release , then I would say you are 50% right. The other 50% is that I delivered the world a concept driven album. The production on this project if amazing. Tye Hill and D.J Thunder deliver amazing lush soulful music that is complimented extremely well by Precise (thats me). The stand out tracks are “Im Dreaming” and “Take Our Time”.

If you truly want to experience what I call Adult Hip Hop this is the release for you. I am not ashamed to say I am proud of this album and I cant wait to deliver more classics to you in 2015.

-Precise

Those are my favorites. What are yours? Let me know below. Leave a comment!!

Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes!!

 

 

 

Connection (produced by Dray Yard)

This track is #11 on a project called Hand Grenades and Serenades produced by Dray Yard from Belarus.

Click the link below for the full project.

drayyard.bandcamp.com/album/hand-grenades-serenades

Connection is a soulful track touching on the ills of the world and reminding all of us that our connection to the creator is what matters and that we can be better.

Precise Interview on The Beat Break Morning Show

Had a great time on The Beat Break Morning Show. We touch on music, responsibility and being aware of who we are. Give it a listen…leave a comment

Buy/Listen to “It’s On Me” produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder below.