Black Is “Must Have” Albums of 2010

Art & Music, Featured

Almost every member of the Black Is family has a close relationship to music, and for yours truly, it is love #1. With the Internet making access to all types of music so great, an album must be exceptional to be purchased in its entirety by the Lehman family. So without further ado, here are the albums we could not live without this year (in no certain order):

Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) – Once a Badu fan, always a Badu fan, and this album gives us more of that signature Badu sound we’ve grown to love. Never one to stay trapped in a box though, this album has its surprises in both production and lyrical content. Badu once tweeted that this album is her “magnum opus” – she thinks.

Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid – A little James Brown, a little 3 Stacks, a little different altogether, Janelle Monae’s sophomore project is a deviation from the norm – and refreshing because of it. Even if lyrically she’s a bit too sci-fi for you, allow yourself to enter her world for a short time, just because. You won’t regret it.

Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge – We wore this album out, we love it so much. After being off the scene a decade, the need to overdose on Bilal was necessary. From production to lyrics you have to rewind to make sure you heard correctly, Bilal showcases he is still a skilled artisan when it comes to crafting  good music. This is a MUST purchase, a collector’s item for any real music lover.

The Roots – How I Got Over – The Roots are a staple in our music collection. We have every album, duplicates of some. When they drop new albums, there’s nothing to think about, you just buy it. As always the production is liquid latex tight, the lyrics and delivery unmatched, and this album has a few tracks I’m singing along to. From the opening strains of “A Peace of Light”, this album is one you can listen to straight through from beginning to end. Further, The Roots always give us good music that makes us think – that alone makes it a worthwhile purchase.

Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty – If you thought Big Boi could not hold his own on a solo album, think again. Sir Lucious shows off the skills that helped male Outkast the group it is. Big Boi shows off his witty wordplay while still dropping knowledge. WIth that southern funk sound, he proves that he can rock the mic with the best of them.

Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx…Pt. II – Just like the original purple tape, Raekwon brings it like only the Wu can. The Chef gives you the razor sharp lyrics and street tales over hard knocking beats. The sound will have you reminiscing back to your younger days when you heard the first Cuban Linx.

Flying Lotus – Cosmograma – FlyLo takes his sound to another level, pushing the boundaries of what electronic music can sound like. This album takes you on a ride from beginning to end. A soundscape that will bring out something new every time you listen.

Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek) – Revolutions Per Minute – The duo that is Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek always produces a sound product. Revolutions Per Minute is no exception. From tracks like “In the Red” to “Just Begun” featuring J. Cole and Jay Electronica, this whole album is thought-provoking and head bobbing. Our 2.5 year old son even gets down to this one.

The Foreign Exchange – Authenticity – What can I say? The dynamic combination of Phonte and Nicolay have done it again! Authenticity proves to be just that – an authentic display of plain ol’ GOOD MUSIC. This album brings more R&B weight to the table for the duo, but it still satisfies. “Maybe She’ll Dream of Me” is the clear hit single, but  ”Make Me a Fool” is our favorite over here.

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