More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks – Fingers Crossed

2009 is here and it’s just a couple of days old, which means that any cynicism on the future has yet to cement itself in my mind. At this moment, I’m full of hope—it’s oozing out of my pores and I’m expelling it though belches. That’s how hopeful I am.

I tried to narrow down the things that I’m really, really hopeful about, when it comes to music. I got it down to a list of ten things.

I hope Sa Ra releases an album in ’09. Two years ago, Black Fuzz was one of the albums I was looking forward to the most. Cue label politics and typical nonsense, and I get The Hollywood Recordings, a casserole of castoffs and far from an album proper. But hearing the demo versions of Erykah Badu’s “Master Teacher” got me hyped to hear more Sa Ra. In fact, it re-ignited my excitement for the group of producers, and I demand pay-off.

I hope Erykah Badu follows up on New Amerykah in ’09. Speaking of Ms. Badu, she completely teased me. Not only is her most recent release subtitled Part One, but when I saw her live in May she lead me (and the rest of the audience) to believe that Part Two was imminent. I can see how record-company politics would want to push the release back, but there’s also something to be said for capitalizing on the momentum of the initial release.

I hope Joe Budden finally releases his sophomore album in ’09 (and that it sells). Joe was supposed to release a second album in 2004. That was like half a decade ago. Then it seemed like a second album was finally going to come out in 2008, but again, things hit a snag. An album is supposed to be released in February, but that’s over a month away, so who knows what will happen by then. I just want Joe to get the props that he deserves.

I hope that Jadakiss’ album lives up to the hype in ’09. The only thing that I’ve heard about Jada’s album is that “this is the album every Jada fan has been waiting to hear”—the translation being that Jadakiss won’t aim out of the comfort zone by trying to appeal to the clubs and/or ladies. I want to believe it. I want to hear Jada spitting straight fire over dope beats. I just don’t trust any label to let that happen. But I hope that it’s true.

I hope that an instrumental version of Beck’s Modern Guilt leaks in ’09. I love the album. I love Danger Mouse. I’m a fan of instrumental albums. So this would be like a perfect storm for me. I just really hope that it happens.

I hope Sufjan Stevens releases an album in ’09. I’m not asking for an album devoted to a state, though that would be completely radical. I just want to hear some new Sufjan. Hearing this year’s Christmas EP reminded me how awesome the guy is, and I’d really like to hear something new.

I hope Martina Topley-Bird’s The Blue God gets released in the U.S. in ’09. Have I mentioned how much I dig Danger Mouse? Sure, I could get the songs via iTunes (and I probably will) but I’m all about a hard copy. I like holding the liner notes as I read them. And I really don’t want to have to pay inflated import prices just to do that. Plus, I’ve already heard it and I still want the opportunity to actually buy it. That how much I dig it.

I hope that the White Stripes return and gloriously swipe the limelight and accolades away from the Raconteurs in ’09. I dig the Raconteurs. I’ve enjoyed both their albums and their various singles. But I really enjoy where albums by The White Stripes take me. They’ve got a unique sound and force driving them. It’s not that I hate the Raconteurs, it’s just that they’re the side project and everyone seems to be showering a bit too much praise for my tastes.

I hope that Wale doesn’t blow it in ’09. Wale has earned a ton of press and goodwill this past year. He’s like hip-hop’s Obama; he’s an emcee that’s not too black and appeals to whites, while still keeping his cred. So I really hope that Wale doesn’t bow to label pressures, adopt generic beats (as opposed to his go-go-inspired ones) and really just doesn’t dumb it down.

I hope that Andre 3000 releases an album that showcases his talent as an emcee in ’09. Seriously, I listen to this guy and I can completely understand why I disappointed a ton of teachers; he’s sick on the mic, he just so rarely applies himself. He kills “Royal Flush”. I just think that it’d be great if he’d step into the booth as an emcee instead of an artist, one last time.

And those are the things that I’m hoping for in 2009. Maybe as the year progresses I’ll revisit these hopes.

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