This is a new segment I’m going to do that will basically summarize what I have listened to most throughout each week. I’m gonna be using my last.fm account which can be found here: http://www.last.fm/user/Sulley99. If I feel like I’ve been listening to something a lot in my car or on Youtube or some other medium that isn’t going to be tracked by last.fm then I will add that in as well. So last week I listened almost exclusively to Kendrick Lamar. I heard about this guy through a site called rapgenius.com. This has been one of my most visited sites lately and I think if you’re going to look up lyrics for rap or hip-hop you couldn’t find a better website. Users basically dissect and translate each and every line of songs so that you can understand that slang term or that obscure reference, and maybe see some things you might not have noticed before. It really is genius and I respect the website, so when they named Section.80 their number one rap album of 2011 I knew I had to hear it. The kid is sick. On songs like A.D.H.D, he appeals in so many ways. Not only are the beat and hook insanely catchy, but the message is interesting, he tells a story, and it has a nice build. On songs like Ab-Souls Outro, Kush & Corinthians, Keisha’s Song (Her Pain), and Hiiipower he seriously rocks the boat of thought while still exercising both melody and great flow. His most technically impressive moment is his verbal assault on the track Rigamortis. From 1:42 to 2:31 he spits while gradually increasing speed and intensity to an impressively high level. What’s more impressive is that during this time he doesn’t seem to take a single breath. The kid’s got ability, he’s got a brain, and he’s got originality. He’s got a perfect blend of new and old, smart and fun, and melody and rhythm. If I had heard this album before I made my Top Ten of 2011 list it would have been on there and it would have been near the top. I can’t say enough good things about Kendrick Lamar and Section.80. Aside from Kendrick, though, other music included Fiona Apple and 311. 311 was more of a spur of the moment decision because I’ve never actually listened to any of their albums. To be honest I was just under the assumption that I wouldn’t like them. I recently listened to their first album Grassroots and have to say that I kind of enjoyed it. It’s nothing out of this world, but it’s fun and I can see myself listening to this to pass the time every once in a while. The tracks Homebrew and 8-16 AM were especially addicting. Fiona Apple has been someone I’ve been revisiting a lot this year and is also someone I’ve had a crush on ever since I saw the seductive video for Criminal as a kid. Her 2005 album Extraordinary Machine is brilliant. Her soul comes through in her singing to compliment her amazing songwriting beautifully. She’s definitely one of my favorite female songwriters. Parting Gift is one of the best love/breakup songs I’ve ever heard and it’s written, like all of her songs, with so much personality. She’s such a shy, little, adorable woman, which only makes it more impressive when she oozes out all of this passion and anger and energy. She really is an extraordinary machine.