The words Renee was HERE spray painted on a brown wall and a black woman with short hair and a red and white shirt with a black necklace and black pants stands against the wall looking to the right

We finished at most 25 percent, or hopefully 50 percent, of suffering through a horrible new presidency. 2018 will emerge as a chance for state and congressional changes – albeit one where money, gerrymandering and racism will try to destroy our democracy. Reminder: Putin was an unpopular figure in his country who has used a sex scandal and terrorist attacks to gain power, which let him do many things including decriminalize domestic violence and end term limits.

The Obama administration toppled Gaddafi in Libya. Look at the mess there. Imagine a foreign power like Putin working with the “Lewis Powell Manifesto.”  Will Oligarchy Tax Empowerment and student debt create indentured servitude here?

My point: in 2018 please use critical thinking: no matter what distractions present themselves. Putin and our carpet-bagging President will not create a utopia.

Albums of the Year

1. Kendrick Lamar - Damn

2. Jay-Z- 444

3. Tyler, the Creator - Flowerboy

4. Joey Badass - All-American Badass

5. Renée Dion- Haven

Local Album of the Year: Renee Dion - Haven

The first time I wrote about Renée Dion, was for a review in The Other Paper, and next I wrote a review of Turnstyle's Freaky Franz's rap album. The last time was for her new album, “Haven.” I said the Columbus singer sits as a cross between Sade and Charlotte Gainsbourg. I think that description is still enough to make her album the Best Columbus record of 2017.

Runners up: Yes We Can Columbus gathered 12 percent of the vote which was enough to have Mayor Andrew Ginther listen to their ideas regarding police reform.

Concert of the Year: Common @ the Common's

Never forget. As far as the Midwest goes – before Ye, Chance, Bone or Eminem, there was Common. Well, MC Breed was around, and some others, but let’s just meet at “No Future in Your Frontin” and return to the thesis. In regards to “everyman rappers,” before Skeelo, Rhymesayers, Drake and Eminem –  there was Common.

Having Common perform in the middle of Columbus with a symphony was one of those “You never thought Hip Hop would take it this far” moments. The show had Common's voice reverberating off every building with a lush backdrop sounding like if you subtracted Questlove from the Roots and added a violin player.

Common rocked hits like “The Light,” freestyles over Kanye's “Fade” and even played “Resurrection.” Remember in May 2011, after the Obama administration killed bin Laden, conservatives tried to distract the President's glory that would've neutralized the most ardent Birther Islamaphobe argument by creating controversy regarding Obama's relationship with “gangsta rapper” Common.

So, congrats for the city of Columbus for welcoming one of the brightest star’s arrival.

Louis Ferdinand Celine Award: Big Boi- Boomiverse

Louis Ferdinand Celine was a writer who was blackballed from the history or writing for a while for taking Hilter's side during WW2. Celine was a pacifist/nihilist so he didn't fully grasp where that was going.
50 Cent is not that type.

50 Cent recently revealed to Hot 97’s Ebro that Trump offered him $500,000 to help improve his relationship with the black community. Justin (“Looking for truth the money never lies”) Bieber turned down $5,000,000 from the RNC.) Think about Kendrick Lamar’s “Lust” verse where he mentioned the current president making him feel cheap by offering him money. 50 cent turned the money down because he said, “that’s not good money.” If you lack familiarity with 50 Cent’s work. Please watch the video for “Heat.”  

There are some rap releases that shot themselves in the foot. I can’t say these artists took money from the President but I can say their releases suffered because of employing the presidents marketing schemes.

The newest Big Boi album had bangin’ production, some most ignorant rhymes I’ve heard in a while. Claiming “deplorable” probably killed this album’s momentum. Hopefully, America can get rid of this horrible regime and we can bump this record and laugh.

Runner Up: Cam'ron

Cam'ron went ahead decided the super villain roll was too funny to avoid and compared himself to the President in terms of support for criminal exploitation of human beings. This was after asking people with criminal backgrounds to snitch on the President. So there might be hope for Cam.

2017 Urb Magazine Tag banger album of the Year: Vince Staples- Big Fish Theory

Not quite in this category, but Vince Staples's album was done before the election was finished so he undermined the extraordinary intelligent dance music meets hyphy album by having a record complaining about President Hillary Clinton. Premature nihilism. No ID produced Jay-Z so I doubt Vince Staples is in the President’s pocket. He just thought the election would’ve went a different way and was thinking ahead.  

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