2008 - "Stop the world, I want to get off!"

-Metaphor: noun
  1. (uncountable) (rhetoric) The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it isn't, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described, and without the words "like" or "as".
  2. (countable) The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison.

I need to learn you folks something for a moment here...

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus [Phlip note - Wikipedia link, that] was a king punished in Tartarus by being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. The word sisyphean means, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, "endless and unavailing, as labor or a task." Sisyphus was son of the king Aeolus of Thessaly and Enarete, and the founder and first king of Ephyra (Corinth). He was the father of Glaucus by the nymph Merope, and the grandfather of Bellerophon. Sisyphus promoted navigation and commerce, but was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travelers and guests. He took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his dominant position. From Homer onwards, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men. He seduced his niece, took his brother's throne and betrayed Zeus' secrets. Zeus then ordered Thanatos (Death personified) to chain Sisyphus in Tartarus. Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to try the chains to show how they worked. When Thanatos did so, Sisyphus secured them and threatened him. This caused an uproar, and no human could die until Ares (who was annoyed that his battles had lost their fun because his opponents would not die) intervened, freeing Death and sending Sisyphus to Tartarus. However, before Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square in attempt to test his wife's love for him. Annoyed by the obedience and loveless decision by his wife, Sisyphus persuaded Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, to allow him to go back to the upper world and scold his wife for not burying his body as a loving wife would. When Sisyphus returned to Corinth, he refused to retreat back to the underworld and was forcibly dragged back to the underworld by Hermes. In another version of the myth, Persephone was directly persuaded that he had been conducted to Tartarus by mistake and ordered him to be freed. As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was compelled to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus. Sisyphus took the bold step of reporting one of Zeus' sexual conquests, telling the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter Aegina. Zeus had taken her away, but regardless of the impropriety of Zeus' frequent conquests, Sisyphus overstepped his bounds by considering himself a peer of the gods who could rightfully report their indiscretions. As a result, Zeus displayed his own cleverness by binding Sisyphus to an eternity of frustration. Accordingly, pointless or interminable activities are often described as Sisyphean. Sisyphus was a common subject for ancient writers and was depicted by the painter Polygnotus on the walls of the Lesche at Delphi.

For me to have taken the time to define a word, and then go on a short history lesson, there MUST be something I am trying to say.
I am hoping that some of you pick up what I am throwing down here.

Not a lot of lead-in to 2008 here... The year on the whole was not a terribly huge one, at least not until the 4th quarter, when I met my current girlfriend.
That being said, I am skipping the intro and getting right down to business.

January
Chino XL released Something Sacred... Does that count for anything? Big Noyd made it all better with his album Illustrious. Wait, that isn't any better. So as to not render this month a TOTAL bust (as most Januaries are), 9th Wonder released The Wonder Years accompanied by his collective, The Hall of Justus' Soldiers of Fortune.



February
Jim Jones showed us just what a sad state we're in by releasing an album titled Harlem's American Gangster, but no one was fooled and I think he sold like seven copies.
Live from the "2 steps forward, 3 steps back department," we have Chaundon's STELLAR Carnage and Pete Rock with NY's Finest, accompanied by Webbie's Savage Life 2 and Shawty Lo's Units in the City and Nicolay's Time:Line.




March
I don't know what I did to deserve this shit...
Lil Flip & Young Noble released All Eyez on Us, and Layzie Bone ditches the stupid-ass "L-Burna" moniker and releases a still-stupid Thugz Nation while his patna Bizzy worked Ruthless to the streets independently.
Snoop Dogg didn't help with Ego Trippin', nor did Jose Gordo Fat Joe's The Elephant in the Room. For every of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien's Eleventh Hour, there is a Rick Ross' Trilla.
For every Gnarls Barkley's The Odd Couple, there is a Flo-Rida Mail on Sunday AND a Sheek Louch Silverback Gorilla. Guilty Simpson also released Ode to the Ghetto, but it was not very good to me.
[Phlip note - ain't that about a BITCH?!?]




April
Kicks off with an A Tribe Called Quest (and yes, you say the whole thing), The Best of A Tribe Called Quest and 8Ball & EDI (NOT MJG)'s Doin' it Big. MJG not being involved was major fail.
Trina lays unfounded claims to Still Da Baddest, but that might have been proven if SHE had also fallen pregnant to Lil Wayne, no? AZ released the slept-on Undeniable, to become the only thing I have from this month, and EVERYTHING I just named came out on the FIRST DAMNED DAY!!!
Bizzy Bone would try and fail again with A Song For You. [Phlip note - this has NOTHING to do with the Donny Hathaway song, so stay FAAAAAR away, you might kill someone]
Keith Murray comes along with Intellectual Violence and no one bothered. Atmosphere released the merely-downloadable When Live Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold.
The end of the month was not so bad, with 9th Wonder and Buckshot's The Formula, Santogold's Santogold and The Roots' Rising Down (which was among their weaker efforts, but not bad).



May
Did ANYONE notice Foxy Brown releasing Brooklyn's Don Diva?
I sure didn't.
Same applies to Killah Priest's Behind Stained Glass. That actually released on the same day as Bun B's II Trill, which was the only thing worth the time this month.
Right, we should ALL try to UNremember Twista & Speedknot Mobstas' Mobstability II: Nation Business and we'll all be better for it.



June
Little Brother dropped And Justus For All, but this was unfortunately on the same day as Plies' The Definition of Real and...

...

... wait for it...

Lil Wayne's Tha Cater III.
Okay, fuck what you said, I really very much did enjoy that damned album. There, I said it. I was not among the 1.5mil first week, but I was among the whatever in the hell happened thereafter.
Get over it!
NERD released Seeing Sounds that day as well, but I never got it back after the HDD crash.
Next came Tanya Morgan's The Bridge.
2 weeks later, we were greeted with RZA As Bobby Digital with Digi Snacks and Three 6 Mafia's Last 2 Walk on the same day, but Lil Wayne was still coming out of the speakers of EVERY car that passed, mine included, so no one cared. Upon perusal of that RZA disc, I still kinda wish I hadn't.



July
Warring factions released on the same day, as seems to be the case with at least ONE of these factions. Dipset 2.0 Byrd Gang released M.O.B.: The Album and G-Unit's T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight). Add in Tech N9ne's Killer and my birthday was FUCKED up.
Jean Grae and Killer Mike made is somewhat better the next week with Jeanius and I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II, respectively.
A week later, David Banner released The Greatest Story Ever Told on the same day as MJG's This Might Be the Day [Phlip note - It wasn't... For him] and Nas controversially-titled NIGGER Untitled. [Phlip note - guess it wasn't very controversial after all, huh?]
The next week was weird... I mean, Hell Rell released Black Mask, Black Gloves, but Skillz released The Million Dollar Backpack. Khia PLAYED Vh1 for free promo on "Miss Rap Supreme" for her album Nasti Muzik, also released this day. Elzhi of Slum Village closed the month on the very enjoyable The Preface. Odd title for an end-of-month release halfway through the damned year.



August
Starts with Nappy Roots' The Humdinger and 2Pac's weed/urn carriers The Outlawz with the ironically-titled We Want In.
A week later, the industry's punching bag Young Berg released Look What You Made Me on the same day as Daz Dillinger's Only on the Left Side and The Jonas Brothers' A Little Bit Longer.
One week following, GZA released Pro Tools, which was worth the download and Ice Cube came with Raw Footage.
The month closed on The Game's LAX, The Ying Yang Twins' The Official Work, and Esham's Sacrificial Lambz.
9 releases, 1 download, one copy off of Phillip's... Wow.



September
Not very Slim not quite a Thug's weed carriers, Boss Hogg Outlawz released Back By Blockular Demand: Serve & Collect II. On that same note, Young Jeezy released The Recession. A week later, LL Cool J hinted at sparing us his bullshit with Exit 13 on the same day as Kardinal Offishall's Not 4 Sale.
One week following brought us Nelly's Brass Knuckles and DJ Khaled's We Global.
The month closed on Gucci Mane's Hood Classics, Sen Dog's Diary of a Mad Dog, Dem Franchise Boyz' Our World, Our Way TI's Paper Trail and Heltah Skeltah's D.I.R.T..



October
Coolio released Steal Hear and immediately bought crack with the profits.
Devin the Dude released Landing Gear, which I JUST downloaded a couple weeks ago.



November
Did anyone know that Unk made another album, named 2econd Season? I think someone neglected to tell him too, after getting subliminally ethered by Andre 3000 on his own damn remix before it. Q-Tip released The Renaissance and Vanilla Ice released Vanilla Ice is Back! on the same day.
One week later came Jedi Mind Tricks' A History of Violence, T-Pain's Thr33 Ringz and Trick-Trick's The Villain.
Next came South Park Mexican's The Last Chair Violinist, Ace Hood's Gutta and Lil Keke [pause...] with Loved by Few, Hated by Many.
A week later came Kanye West's worst work to date My Mama Died, Please Buy My Album 808's & Heartbreak, Ludacris' Theater of the Mind and E-40's The Ball Street Journal.
Confessions... I liked T-Pain's album enough to download and listen to it, but not enough to support coonin' so I couldn't buy it. Ludacris' pre-album mixtape was FIRE, so I bought the album and it was not as good as the mixtape, but was not a bad album just the same. I would have sooner just downloaded it. I deleted the Kanye West abortion from my hard drive before it gave my computer AIDS.



December
Scarface leads off with Emeritus, which I downloaded about a week before release, and BOUGHT the day after release. I was THAT surprised.
A week later, Common removed himself from the "Phlip will buy regardless" grouping by catching another brick in a row with Finding Forever, while EPMD released We Mean Business.
The next week was rife with fail, Plies Da REAList released alongside Soulja Boy's iSouljaBoyTellEm and Snoop Dogg's Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas in the Dogg House.


Sisyphus here...
If you didn't catch it, the "boulder" in that story up there? That would be my continued fanship of hip hop music. It seems that no matter how many times I get that boulder to the top (Chaundon), that sumbitch rolls RIGHT the fuck back down (Webbie). Every time I got that motherfucker conquered (Scarface), I fall back out of it (Plies)... I mentioned in the last update that one has to be a glutton for punishment to honestly love this thing and still subject ourselves to such a list...
To witness the swift, but painful undoing of something right before your eyes must be what it felt like to be a Funk or Disco fan before us. Wholly shitty product releasing, the breadth of which GREATLY outweighing thew good, seeing as how the former "good" regress into the making of worsening material and/or delving into zesty behaviors.
[Phlip note - Kanye, we're talking about you]
Against my better judgment, I am gonna score this thing.
Katie, make sure no knives are readily available.
94 releases, a very robust number.
31 bought/downloaded, 4 lost in a HDD crash, 2 RE-downloaded and one deleted forever, that is 28...
29.78 miserable percent.
I could cry. I could shit on myself.
I COULD say "I told y'all this shit would happen" but I won't, not this time.
Right now I am saying that hip hop was like the stock market, it was a fucking speculative bubble. There was a time in the 90s when arguably 75 percent or better of what came out was worth the bread. There was at least 1 to 3 classic albums EVERY year. Mediocre shit went gold, good shit went platinum and great shit went multiple.
Then EVERYONE thought they could do it.
The people who SHOULD have been doing it either got bitter and it showed, or they dumbed themselves down. Either way, backwards hustling ensued, and now we live in a state of this that we love depressed and pissed off at the road ahead of us.

I have the template for 2009 ready to research and type out, but I am thinking whether I should wait til the end of the year or do it as a "to this point," and stay on it with updates, not scoring it until the end of the year.
I will end this with "WELCOME HOME JAMAL 7 MILE!!" and I'll see y'all on the next one, I have some deciding to do about the 2009 post.
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