Music of 2009

Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement

Hawthorne has to be my favourite newcomer. He’s possibly the whitest man you’ll ever see, like Ron Howard and Chelsea Clinton’s love child and yet he manages to create some of the most genuine retro soul I know.

Jay Electronica – Exhibit A

Erykah Badu’s latest lover, Jay Electronica has a kind of conscious hip-hop that will never chart well but is impossible to deny; it might not be 2009 but everyone should check out his Eternal Sunshine/The Pledge which is freely available online.

Q-Tip – Kamaal/The Abstract

Best known for A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip came out with The Renaissance last year which is still one of my favourite albums and Kamaal ventures even further into non-commercial territory (so much so that it’s been shelved since 2001); sometimes overlong, it’s never anything other than astonishing.

Maxwell – BLACKsummers’night

He’s back again, with part of a trilogy and genuinely one of the most consistent bodies of work he’s produced so far.

Mos Def – The Ecstatic

Definitely the comeback of the year, if not the decade. Considering his luke warm concept album The New Danger and the piss poor True Magic, even the change in lyrical stylings from socially relevant to mere abstraction is extremely welcome.

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