The ten that are blowing up the radio airwaves and/ or rocking dancefloors this month.
VYBZ CARTEL Featuring SPICE: ROMPING SHOP (White)
The hottest reggae pairing since Beenie Man and Lady Saw, and the most X-rated record since Akafella’s ‘Put It In My Mouth’. Vybz and Spice copulate aurally over the beat of Ne-yo’s ‘Ms Independent.’ Don’t expect to hear it on your local breakfast show.
YOUNG JEEZY Featuring NAS: MY PRESIDENT (Def Jam)
Following Jay-Z’s Obama-inspired version of the hood classic, Jeezy comes with a topical remake of his own, with added input from Nas. Speaker-rocking intensity.
CAM’RON: I HATE MY JOB (White)
Just when you thought urban music had run out of relevant subject matter, Cam’ron breaks his hiatus with a tune that will strike a chord with well over 50 per cent of its potential audience. A new Monday morning anthem.
MR. VEGAS: HOTTIE (VPD)
A return to form for Vegas, coming with the type of bashment joint that made him king of the dancehall in the late 90s. Straightforward party-rocking goodness.
RICK ROSS: MAFIA MUSIC (Maybach Music)
The most bearded man in hip-hop growls and rambles, most notably taking a swipe at 50 Cent’s recent activities; (‘burn the house down, don’t forget the gas can, jealous stoopid muthaf*cka.’) The 50 answer-back has already come. More beef than Brazil.
JADAKISS Featuring FAITH EVANS: LETTER TO BIG (Bad Boy)
The keynote track from the ‘Notorious’ movie soundtrack. You’d have to be either deeply cynical, or have zero interest in hip-hop not to be moved by Jada’s lyrical summary to the spirit of Big on everything that’s passed in his absence, coupled with soulful driftings from his widow.
RAEKWON Featuring GHOSTFACE: CRIMINOLOGY 2009 (White)
Word is that Raekwon has remade his entire classic ‘Only Built For Cuban Links’ album from 1995, with this as the first taster of what to expect. The abrasively chiming beat of the original has been retained, and still sounds as memorably striking as it ever did.
LEI ANN Featuring FUNKY DL: IMAGINE (HIP-HOP REMIX) (Washington Classics)
Funky DL’s young protégée meanders her way through a breezily soulful tune, infinitely superior to most of the bland popped-out ish that passes for ‘R&B’ right now, underpinned with some solid hip-hop beats.
B.A.M FEAT. LIL FAME OF M.O.P: MY CITY (White)
Hip-hop of the variety that makes High Street club managers and mainstream radio programmers nervous … which is exactly the way it should be. A slamming, M.O.P-style nosebleed-inducing tribute to the big bad city of New York.
RYAN LESLIE: HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE (Next Selection)
The producer-turned-artist who’s credited with straddling the fine line between ‘real’ R&B and the popped-out club-friendly sound comes with an offering that’s far less impactive than ‘Diamond Girl’, but nevertheless does the trick.