Best Of 2015

Best Of 20152

The Best of 2015 as compiled by Tamara Harris and Uther Blakwhel:

 

 

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THEESatisfaction EarthEE

The Seattle duo follow-up 2012’a  AwE NaturalE with ambient meditations on ancestry, post-Blackness and the destruction of planet earth.

Mursand9thWonderBrighterDaze

Murs & 9th Wonder Brighter Daze

The collaborators reunite for their sixth project of relentless boom-bap soul and a brilliant Pharcyde cover.

OddiseeTheGoodFight

Oddisee The Good Fight

The DMV rapper releases more self-reflective, head-nodding hip-hop and proves again why he belongs to the rare club of emcees who are also producers.

KendrickLamarToPimpAButterfly

Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly

A fiercely pro-culture jazz/rap/soul collection of songs about politics, love and colorism.

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Thundercat The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam

The bassplayer/songwriter appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and still completed a mini-album of buoyant George Duke-inspired fusion.

TalibKweliFuckTheMoney

Talib Kweli Fuck The Money

Kweli criticizes capitalism and encourages listeners to pursue their dreams and gave the whole thing away for free.

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Junglepussy Pregnant With Success

The New York rapper collaborates with producer Shy Guy again and has more candid raps about love and sexuality.

GreenVelvet and CarlCraigUnity

Green Velvet and Carl Craig Unity

Chicago and Detroit dance music veterans make hard, classic techno/house for 2015.

 

TheAlabamaShakesSoundandColor

The Alabama Shakes Sound & Color

Lead singer Brittany Howard channeled Etta James and Aretha Franklin to take her band into soulful rock territory and made an album that could bridge the gap between Black radio and rock radio.

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Terri Lyne Carrington The Mosaic Project Love and Soul

The jazz drummer expands on the first Mosaic project with another stellar lineup of all-women  vocalists. A modern cover of “Come Sunday” from Natalie Cole possibly her last collaborative appearance.

Maysa-Back-2-Love

Maysa Back2Love

Maysa and Chris “Big Dog” Davis made a good summer album of uptempo and laidback R&B.

Tuxedo

Tuxedo Tuxedo

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One re-ignite ’80’s R&B as if they never left the era.

VanHuntTheFunRisesTheFunSets

Van Hunt The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets

The low-key R&B artist quietly released one of the warmest albums of the genre that maintained the tradition while moving forward at the same time.

D'AngeloBlackMessiah

D’Angelo Black Messiah

One of the biggest comebacks ever touting love and revolution.

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The Internet Ego Death

Their third studio album and magnus opus of honest love songs inside plush rhythms led by Syd The Kyd’s soft alto.

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Tunde Olaniran Transgressor 

Transgressor is a new modern day Hip Hop/Electro classic that firmly cements Tunde as the long lost brother Santigold and M.I.A never knew they had and always wished for!

TheGameDocumentary2

The Game The Documentary 2.0 

The Documentary 2.0 is dark, brutally honest and compelling as a sequel and autobiography to NWA and Compton’s first born son The Game.

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The Game The Documentary 2.5

The Documentary 2.5 is the final conclusion and sequel that is a darker, yet self-reflective urban soundscape that actually reveals the history of the Bloods and Crips feud and the Game’s struggle to keep his soul intact.

Ibeyi

Ibeyi Ibeyi

World soul from the spiritual and pan-African travels of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz.

 

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Blur The Magic Whip

A moody, melodic, vibrant and sonic  masterpiece that interweaves through synth pop, hip-hop, and indie rock. This is a record that was worth waiting over 10 years for!

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Death N.E.W. 

New by Proto-punk pioneers, Death is a poignant, philosophical, spiritually declarative yet reflective record that questions our state of being and actions we human beings have made while reminding us that change is inevitable and positive if we so chose!

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The Dears Times Infinity Volume One 

Times Infinity Volume One by The Dears is a supremely written indie rock CD that  opens up as a  love letter that turns into a Dear John letter and finishes with a last will and testament.

ATribeCalledQuestPeople'sInstinctiveTravels&ThePathsOfRhythm

 

A Tribe Called Quest People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm 25th Anniversary Edition

A foundation of the Native Tongue movement with new mixes from Pharrell, J.Cole and Cee-Lo Green.

IllaJ

Illa J  Illa J

Illa J’s self titled solo debut CD delivers as a diary of a young man who has a firm grip on his musical career but still struggles with matters of the heart,lust, and loss. Illa J takes you on a majestic, sonic Hip-Hop ride through outer space fueled with superb bass and soul production by the Potatohead People!