[definitely the longest HFTB post, ever]
..Back in '07 when I started this here blog in college, I had no idea what I was doing. I was writing for my college's entertainment magazine (Inside Beat fo' life !!), DJing, studying and partying my ass off. I had little sense of the future, all I knew is that I always wanted a place to put my thoughts into writing and share some cool stuff with everyone on the internet.
Funny thing, now that I've started my career in finance and investing, I still gravitate toward writing and written expression. I don't know all the technical aspects of running a blog (I'm still an HTML novice after 2 years), but what I do know is that people ALWAYS need to hear good music. I'm honored to be one source that you come to for that fix.
So, here I am at my 400th post. I know it doesn't seem like much, but this is huge for me. I've interacted with some real cool folks through this blog and learned so much from this experience. I'm grateful for everyone that leaves comments or hits me up on Twitter.
I feel like this moment calls for a celebration. Being that I'm also feeling quite nostalgic, I think it's time to reminisce a bit.
I've dug deep into the HFTB vaults to bring my readers some of my personal favorite posts, starting from when I came up with my mission statement all the way up to me defending why I'm not excited for Eminem's new album.
Here's to many more years of servicing the blogosphere.
Memory Lane: Moments in HFTB History
November 20, 2007 - New Blog Title & Mission
This is, for all intents and purposes, the moment that I found my direction. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.
Quotable: "I think it's my duty to bring you constant updates, when I can, of some dope music and interesting news surrounding music culture."
December 6, 2007 - Matisyahu & The Wailers Pics + Grammy Nominations
My sister and I hit up a great concert in the City so I snapped some shots. Also, I was shocked that TI vs TIP got nominated for best rap album, that damn frisbee.
Quotable: "My personal picks would be, respectively: "I Wanna Love You," "Can't Tell Me Nothing," then Graduation.. and someone please tell me why T.I. is even nominated with his cold-garbage album.. SMH."
January 2, 2008 - 2007 Hit-Lists Part I - Best Albums -
This was the first installment of my year-end lists, including Best Albums, Most Disappointing Albums, Essential Non Hip-Hop Albums, Best & Worst Mixtapes and my yearly playlists.
Quotable: "Graduation is the ideal finale for West’s educational trilogy, boasting finely-tuned production and crossover appeal while maintaining his hip-hop edge. Grabbing eight Grammy nominations and including arguably the most-recognizable global anthem in “Stronger,” ‘Ye’s third solo release is the most consistent and fulfilling in his catalog."
January 16 & 18, 2008 - Fresh New Look & Predictions for '08 -
Using my novice Photoshop skills, I spruced up the site's design. Using my psychic powers, I correctly predicted Wale would get a record deal but incorrectly predicted that Big Boi & Andre 3000 would release, well, anything. (Though in my defense, "Art of Storytellin' 4" was epic)
Quotable: "Has anyone else noticed the self-proclaimed "best rapper alive" hasn't released an actual CD since '05? Wayne's overexposure in the media, mix-tape circuit and gossip circles is borderline sickening to the point where he should be dubbed the "guest rapper alive" instead. But, between all the nonsense, the boy from 'Nawlins does put out enough quality product to keep real heads interested."
January 28, 2007 - Interview With Nicolay
The title says it all, this was my first published interview. Nicolay is still good peoples, check out Nicolay Music for more.
Quotable: "Hio-hop was a natural outlet for me to created tracks that are a complete musical story even without the lyrics. I have always used instruments to be able to take the track somewhere else rather than be defined and limited by the sample." - Nicolay.
February 4, 2007 - Giants Win, Like I Said
Ha! G-Men win the Super Bowl. I think I even left a nasty comment on Dart's blog during my drunken stupor.
Quotable: Actions spoke louder than words here. Mainly, I was drinking while the Giantswere winning.
June 29, 2008 - One Hundred & Counting
My 100th post, posted some tracks including Nas & Busta's "Fried Chicken."
Quotable: "I'm loving blogging as a side hobby - shout outs to all the music/film/entertainment/culture bloggers that keep the information flowing nonstop, day-in and day-out."
August 4, 2008 - The Experience of a Lifetime
My recap of Rock The Bells NYC '08, where Red & Meth killed it, Nas brought out Jigga and Tribe brought out Busta.. Epic.
Quotable: "Every expectation I had of the New York stop of the Rock the Bells tour was met and exceeded, from the countless special guests to the crowd's energy to the venue itself."
I break down my selections for the most lyrical hip-hop songs in history, by some respected names like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Big Pun, OutKast, & Wu-Tang.
Quotable: "Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace was arguably the best lyricist to ever hop on a mic. With a combo of street narrative, fierce battle raps and existential poetics, Biggie was a natural."
October 29, 2008 - Words Can't Describe
Another concert recap, this was Power 105.1's annual show. I didn't say much 'cause honestly, I was too gone off gin and tonic that I don't remember much.. Blame in on the alcohol!
Quotable: "Sorry for the lack of pictures but you'll just have to visualize what 15,000 strong felt like cheering on D-Block, Ne-Yo (with guests Plies and Fabolous!), Weezy and finally Jay-Z (with special guest Beyonce!)."
If you don't know, shame on you.. Featured one of my favorite tracks of '08, Jay-Z's "History."
Quotable: "To our 44th President, it was a great race. We are witnessing history people, pay attention - I'll be telling my grand-kids about this one. Best of luck to the new Commander in Chief."
Posted a couple blogs that day.. The first is the leak for Kanye & KiD CuDi's "Welcome 2 Heartbreak" and the second is a collection of hilarious lists like the "10 Worst Parking Tickets" and "10 Most Stupid Taxes Ever."
Quotable: "Drug buyers did not need to provide identification to pay the tax and it was illegal for revenue employees to report them. In just 18 months, Tennessee has collected nearly $2.7 million in revenue – although it is thought this came mainly from drug users who were arrested and found not to have paid the tax." - Regarding a 2005 Tennessee state law requiring people to pay taxes on illegal drugs.
November 26, 2008 - My Last Post...
My first angry rant in reaction to DMCA taking down one of my posts, which reminds me that I need to invest in my own domain name.
Quotable: "These authorities need to learn that profits from album and single sales are dying and the industry is developing a new business model to gain revenue from other aspects of music like touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc."
December 15, 2008 - If This Is Hip-Hop, Then I'm Miles Davis
I had this idea to find the most ridiculous hip-hop gear I could, then do my usual running commentary.
Quotable: "Yes, Barack is in fact the one-and-only H.N.I.C... and what better way to venerate the President-elect than Photoshopping his face to create a Quasimoto-esque hunchbacked "gangsta" on a bootleg tee? I bet those darn insurgents are shakin' in their boots now."
December 19, 2008 - Twitter Time
My Twitter debut.
Quotable: "Twitter is like the hip-hop Facebook."
December 24, 2008 - Really Feelin' The Spirit
Put together a lil' Christmas mix for the people.
Quotable: "I tried to appeal to different tastes with this mix - I hope it enhances your holiday experience."
You know the deal.
Quotable: "[Nas] addressed politics, the industry, the media, Obama, and still had time to holla to the streets [on Untitled]. From the amped-up revival anthem of "Hero," the venemous attack on U.S. media of "Sly Fox," and the uplifting tone of "Black President," Nasir did his damn thing to resuscitate the very music that he deemed lifeless just years ago."
January 8, 2009 - Rap Critics Poll 2008 Results
Good looks to Rizoh for letting me know about the '08 Rap Critics Poll, here I posted the results.
Quotable: "I was buggin 'cause I knew I should've included Black Milk's but I hadn't listened to the whole thing when I submitted my picks. Notice that I included Black's album at numero cuatro on my HFTB favorites, which I compiled after my submissions to the poll."
January 13, 2009 - 15 Hip-Hop Artists to Shine in' 09
Listed some artists that I thought would have a break-out year, let's see if I'm right.
Quotable: "Drizzy is arguably the most beastly newcomer as far as lyrical content and delivery is concerned. And did I mention dude can sing, like, real well?"
January 15, 2009 - The Biggest Day Of The Year
In light of his biopic Notorious, I declared January 15 "Biggie Day" and posted a boatload of his illest material.
Quotable: "Hardcore. Raw. Ground-breaking. Revolutionary. Real. All these words have been used to describe Big's debut solo LP Ready to Die, but only one word can fully describe all that is the 1993 album: Classic."
January 22, 2009 - Blogger Roll Call
Updated my Blog Roll to show some love.
Quotable: "I hope that every time you log on you read something intriguing, listen to some good music, check some fly gear and kicks, and just have a damn good time.. 'cause I know I do!"
January 30, 2009 - Blow Ya Mind! A Super Woman & Dom Corleone Exclusive
Teamed up with the homie Shenda for this "uplifting" mix.
Quotable: ".. When we say "high," we mean getting high on whatever it is you do. Green, booze, working out, reading, or life itself, I hope you're able to get high and just feel good."
February 5, 2009 - My First Interview
Chopped it up with B-Double about how I fell in love with hip-hop and why I started my blog. Talk about excited !!
Quotable: "Q: How did you first discover hip-hop? A: It was '97, I was probably 11. At recess, one of my boys back in the day played "Gangsta's Paradise," "10 Crack Commandments" and some Wu-Tang cuts for me on a portable tape player and I've been hooked ever since."
February 6, 2009 - Happy B-Day Bob Marley
Had to celebrate my favorite musician's born day properly, by posting his best 5 albums.
Quotable: "One good thing about music. When it hits, you feel no pain."
March 6, 2009 - 5 Reasons Not To Be Excited for Relapse
I've been an Eminem fan since his Slim Shady LP, so I had to voice my opinion on his new style. Just.. Read.
Quotable: "Think about the singles that actually caused people to organize protests against him. Protesting against a rapper? You won't see that today because Em does not, and will not, have the same effect on people. He's lost his allure, for good."