I generally do not like hip hop. In fact, I can be pretty bitter about it and those who listen to it. I do like a little of everything, though, so I can probably squeeze out a few artists that don't make me want to vom.
5. DAY ONE
So technically, they aren't reeeeally 'hip hop'. Wikipedia describes them as 'trip hop'. I don't really know what that means, but they rhyme, so I'm including it.
I first heard these guys on Skins a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Looked them up, continued to like them, and you know, it keeps on going. They do sound a little generic, but as background singalong music, it's pretty good. You know, when you're on the net and singing along but not really paying attention to the music? Yeah. They're good for that.
4. LADI 6
A hip hop singer from New Zealand, she's got a smooth, soulful voice with a hint of edge that makes me crave a day on the beach. With a barbecue. Mm... barbecue.
I don't have a lot of music by chicks. I don't want to sound like I'm generalising here, but chicks don't usually like the music I listen to enough to perform it. The majority of music that I do have by female artists aren't in the same genre as my favourite bands (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen... Patti Smith is an obvious exception). But I do enjoy some good black lady singing voice. And this one is particularly good.
3. MICHAEL FRANTI and SPEARHEAD
There isn't a whole lot to say about Michael Franti - he does sound the same as most others in his genre, however I enjoy his more than others for the nostalgia factor. You can not hear his songs for years, then turn them on and still know all the words.
Reggae and lax-type music is always enjoyable, but I do find that too much of it becomes just that - too much. Can't listen to too many albums before I just start wishing for a more upbeat and interesting sound.
Now, Gorillaz is a band that I can not see myself getting sick of. There is so much variation in their music, even from song to song, not just album to album, that you often forget you're listening to the same artist the whole way.
Demon Days is my favourite album by them. It has a lot of moods, and the flow from start to finish is so pleasing. The upbeat, catchy dancy-type tunes juxtaposed with the mellow, lazy-type tracks is at a perfect balance, it's hard not to enjoy.
1. SAGE FRANCIS
Fantastically talented rapper and spoken-word poet Sage Francis is absolutely my favourite hip hop artist. I discovered him on one of those nights when you sit in your mate's room with like six other mates and get drunk while listening to anything you can find on someone's laptop that only works when you hold it in the right position. You know? Well, he's awesome, anyway.
It does surprise me that I can hate so much rap and hip hop but still enjoy artists like Sage Francis. I mean, what I love about him is his way with words - the lyrics to his songs make them more enjoyable, in contrast to other hip hop artists who sing without substance. I guess, in the end, I like music, but I respect talent.