As Justin sees it

November 20, 2008

For my last column of the semester, some predictions and superlatives.
Lil Wayne released his Dedication 3 mixtape last week, and it’s pretty bad. Whether you like auto-tune or not, Weezy has clearly become so infatuated with himself that he considers even his turds worthy of release. The whole mess is uninspired and not worth your time. It’s sad to say it, but it’s looking more and more like he peaked with 2006’s Da Drought 3-I predict he’ll never make anything that exciting again.

And while the whole club-rap thing was exciting in the beginning-I was a proud supporter at first, sticking up for the birth of a sort of rich man’s hip-hop that didn’t pretend to come from the down-low-I think it has overstayed its welcome. Kanye’s Graduation basically ushered the trend into the mainstream, and over the last year everyone from T.I. to Nas to Black Milk has embraced the 80s-style synthesizer. While the singles have generally remained interesting, stretching the style out over the course of an entire album gets tiresome. Hopefully, Kanye can be the one to close this book, too-808s and Heartbreak has taken things to the extreme, but I predict that his upcoming 2009 release, tentatively titled Good Ass Job, will return to the roots of hip-hop, with boom-boom-bap beats and subtle sampling replacing club hooks. Kanye has the level of influence to change the direction of the game, and I hope he does.

Highs and lows: Of Montreal’s Skeletal Lamping is the biggest disappointment of the year. Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours is the best of the year-it’s hyper-danceable, super-catchy, and has layers and layers of greatness to dissect. Indie poppers Passion Pit will be the next big thing in music-they are just too irresistible to fade to the background. Beck’s Modern Guilt was the most underrated album of the year-it’s his best since Odelay, even if it doesn’t touch that classic-while TV on the Radio’s Dear Science, is the year’s most overrated album. Just because you sex yourself up and clean up your production doesn’t mean you’re a bunch of geniuses.

Okay, the rant is almost over: Weezer needs to stop making music. Ratatat needs to make more music-will someone please give them a full-length production deal? Imagine Jay-Z rapping over “Seventeen Years”!

I’ll leave it at that. It’s been fun.

Justin doesn’t pretend to come from the down-low at jhs55@georgetown.edu

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