(Formerly) Great Artists That Need To Stop Making Sh*tty Music

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Now here’s the situation.

You know you’re about to get some Black sh*t when ever the word situation comes at the beginning of a story.

Moving on.

It’s bound to happen to every artist. At some point, either the money, the fame, or the overall success steals their creativity and their forced to learn something about their motivations. Some artists can only create when they have a chip on their shoulders – see most rappers. Others are truly musicians, but their most interesting and compelling music comes when they have the least and therefore the most to gain from putting it all on the line.

Basically, a lot of artists best works were their first works and since then, their output has gone downhill faster than an H3 with 4 350 pound women singing “It’s Raining Men” holding anvils.

And these aren’t your typical artists either. We all know Ice Cube blows d*ck right now. Eminem too. They’re low hanging fruit.

Also, for nearly all of the artists that I’m going to name, I’m a fan. Consider this motivation should any of them either be sitting on the toilet perusing blogs and happen to come across this post after googling their name. That’s how Teedra Moses and her minions found her way here right?

So here’s Panama’s list of artists who need to stop making sh*tty music and get back to making music actually worth listening to.

1. India Arie

She’s my motivation for this post in the first place. Let me be clear, India Arie seems like the kind of person I’d never actually want to hang out with. Despite her earthy crunchy nature, she also seems like a hipster douchebag. But I don’t really know her or her mother so I could be wrong. With that being said, Acoustic Soul was a classic. Straight up. “Video” is one of the best songs ever. It’s honest, its brutal, it’s the defintion of real. It’s the realeast rap song ever that happens to be sung by a bohemian chick from Atlanta. It’s like Arrested Development without the pretense and faux realism. And I like Arrested Development. That whole album was on some real sh*t. It was honest. “Brown Skin” was relate-able to all ninjas. Again, I love that album and think it deserved every Grammy award it lost to Alicia Keys Songs In A Minor, which was alright, but largely forgettable.

Man that was a lot. Anyway, since then, India Arie took the douchebaggery to the next level, eschewing her realism for complete and total pretense. You all remember when Maxwell dropped Embrya with all those ridiculous pretentious titles? Yeah, that’s her career since then. Voyage To India should have just been called Purpose Driven Life to Song. There was no India Arie. Just songs about people who do sh*t. “The Truth” was hot, but “Little Things” was THE most ridiculous songs ever. Her albums have gone down hill. She needs to do better and get back to basics.

2. Jill Scott

I don’t give a f*ck what any of you say…since JILLJILLJILL dropped Who Is Jill Scott, Vol 1. her albums have gotten increasingly more urban contemporary. Basically, they’re elevator music now. That first album was seminal. It was so thorough you could hear every ounce of her being poured all over it. “A Long Walk” is STILL one of the best songs to come out of the entire neo-soul movement. Her second album was boring as hell save for “Cross My Mind” and “Golden”. I realize “Golden” is either loved or hated by most folks but I love it. Point is, I want Jilly from Philly back. I want to hear some of that J-I-L-L-S-C-O-T-Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

(musiq would make this list except most of his albums aren’t hot. He’s good for a hot single. I will say that I think Soul Star was a dope album through and through. I know I contradicted myself, look I don’t need that now.)

3. Mos Def

Black on Both Sides is a classic. Period. The New Danger is not. True Magic is not. The Ecstatic is not. It’s like Mos got bored and started getting too experimental and forgot that at the end of the day, the best way to sell music is to make music that somebody might actually want to buy. I miss the might Mos…or Yasiin Bey as he prefers to be called now.

4. Big Boi

This one hurt and I’m sure folks will disagree…that’s okay. While (Keep Your Heart) 3 Stacks has pretty much stopped making music except when he needs a check, Big Boi has continued to make music, except its not good. I’ve heard some actual terrible sh*t. Greg Street said something to him that was real…ATL radio ain’t keepin’ you off the airwaves off some disrespect, its just that your product ain’t hot. Look, I hate Future too, but the ninja keeps hopping on beats that are hot. Big Boi has tried to do this EWF meets George Clinton meets Too Short type thing and it ain’t hot. He should stick to acting. Lord knows he’s way better than Andre. And this latest single with Kelly Rowland? WTF. It hurt me to type every word in this paragraph. Speakerboxx was dope but definitely had its misses. Well it was the beginning.

5. Erykah Badu

WHO GON’ TES’ ME NOW! I’M THE REAL DON DADA! I don’t care what you say…after Mama’s Gun, she started going downhill. Sure I enjoyed some of the output but the last two albums (the New Amerykah joints)…hot damn messes of confusing unfinished ideas. I know you love her…but if you love her, tell her to stop f*cking rappers and get her sh*t back together.

Well I think that’s enough controversy right there. Yes, I just said that some of your favorites suck. At this moment. Not for good. I’d put Alicia Keys here, but remember…most of her albums just ain’t good as a whole. Me no care what you say.

So…what artists do you think need to stop making sh*tty music and get back to what made them dope??

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. WHOYAWIT? aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

VSB Crewneck Sweatshirts are now available for a limited time! Go check them out and order online from http://shop.coliseumapparel.com. And peep Panama getting his model on!

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  • Anthony Brian Logan

    Hater

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you see me.

      • http://www.OverTymeMusic.net OverTyme

        Panama this is for you and the Champ and everyone else on your staff, your readers, and everyone else who may be dissatisfied or maybe just looking for another source or radio station that plays good music or music you wished was playing on the radio. My new radio station is OverTymeMusic.net. It has been up for almost a month now and the feedback has been 100% positive so far, but I would like to get some feedback from you guys. I value your opinion. You guys seem pretty smart, so if and when you have the time come on over and check us out. OverTymeMusic.net. Thanks.

  • She Who Reads

    I miss the old Kanye when he was working Spaceships and not making shit.

    • Kayle

      +1 times infinity.

    • AfroPetite

      Then Donda passed and he just went bat sh*t crazy :-/

      • Todd

        Yep. Kanye with Donda alive >> Kanye with Donda dead.

      • Yonnie

        Nah. 808s was fire. So was MBDTF actually. I’m not effin’ with his Clique tho. Or Watch the Throne. He can keep that.

        • niksmit

          I’m not here for 808s, although I have grown to appreciate it a little over the years.

          +1 on MBDTF and the rest though (except I can roll with that Paris track because that ish cray)

        • MicTheMessenger

          Touche!

    • msdebbs

      YEASSSSSSSS old Kanye was the sh*t

    • That Ugly Kid

      I…I can’t let this slide. Just can’t. Kanye West has only gotten better over the years in my opinion. His last solo album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has become one of my Top 5 albums ever. Of any genre. He’s better now than he’s ever been at crafting immaculate solo albums.

      • chameleonic

        im kinda starting to fall off on kanye. i used to keep up with him but now i just am somewhat familiar with his releases. i wish i could just go back through all of these artists records and soak up the brown sugary goodness.

      • Hehe

        So agree. I love old Kanye but new Kanye is just more nuanced. He has more depth IMO.

      • Shamira

        I think we have to distinctify Kanye the rapper vs. Kanye the artist. As an artist Kanye has flourished. MBDTF was a masterpiece in my opinion, almost a composition for a symphony (a lot of that is due to the gratuitous use of live orchestral music, which I personally love). But as a rapper, Kanye has definitely plateaued. He doesn’t have anything new to rap about anymore, and he just seems bored. *shrugs* I ain’t mad at him though.

        • That Ugly Kid

          I agree. As a rapper, he’s sort of at a standstill as far as content is concerned. I say sort of because he can switch up his tone and subject matter when the time calls for it. MBDTF proved that. A lot of times, he decides not to. Which is fine. Because over the years his punchlines (which have become funnier/wittier), and is overall delivery has improved. Which is what keeps him entertaining.

          • whostolethesoul1

            +1

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        I agree. Kanye has definitely changed, but the change produced one of the top rap albums ever made.

        • miss t-lee

          indeed.

    • I Am Your People

      I’m just waiting for Kim K to slip up. Emo bullisht on infinity

      • Royale W. Cheese

        This is hilarious because it’s likely to be true.

      • Todd

        808s and Heartbreak was bad enough. I don’t want to hear the BS that comes out of a Kim K/Kanye break-up. I’d be willing to amend to US Constitution to prevent that from happening.

      • Beez

        That breakup album will be the tops… All the tea will be spilt.

    • Tristan

      *pulls challenge flag out sock*

      As great as College Dropout was lyrically he was meh, his bread and butter was relatable lyrics (like Aubrey now but That’s another story), self conscious, wack job, post college life sucks….man listen. As time passed Ye has exponentially improved lyrically but he was also on some sh t we weren’t (and still aren’t, go yonder with them kilts and masks)

      • AfterMath

        So true.

    • jaidevivre

      A million times yes

    • dragonflyy17

      Me to girl! Still love him tho, a$$hole and all. I am also a life long Jilly Scott fan. She can do no wrong in my eyes.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      And you ma’am are smoking that Lord Jamar. Kanye hasn’t really lost a step. His only questionable move was 808s and some people think it was groundbreaking. Hell, ask Drake.
      -
      Kanye’s albums have gotten increasingly more ambitious. I didn’t like Cruel Summer but some folks did. It also was a G.O.O.D. music album where he barely produced sh*t on it. Kanye has actually gotten more interesting as a rapper where he’s outshining ANYBODY nowadays.
      -
      Point is…the crack. Put it down.

    • cor3na

      yasssssssssss

    • cor3na

      yasssssssssss

    • Eps

      The one thing about Kanye you can say, his albums have gotten more ambitious and more creative. Dude is fearless on his solo album. Now the GOOD Music album was ok. No horrible but not worth raving about. His solo efforts, you can tell that Kanye is trying to but himself on a different plane than other artists.

    • Drea

      I completely agree! I was waiting for his name to appear. That album was LIFE… I miss old Kanye.

  • Cheech

    Lupe Fiasco: food and liquor, the cool, and every mixtape was fly but then he got ahead of himself on some dumb shit and Lasers came out which was bad and Food and Liquor 2 just was not worth it.
    Lil Wayne: Dedication 4 aka Dedication to cunnilingus….he deserved a beat down for putting out that trash
    Wale: His mixtapes are good but he needs better song selection
    Brian McKnight: he just ruined himself with those songs he droppd last year

    • chameleonic

      lol, i was gonna say brian mcknight but i havent heard his new stuff. i just miss his old stuff.

      • Yoles

        brian completely jumped the shark, hit the fourth wall, bounced off it suffered a concussion and currently has amnesia based after the whole “let me show you how your pussC works” fiasco
        ~
        *the confusion of this comment reflects my confusion as to his musical direction

        • chameleonic

          let me show you how your p*ssy works…..by brian mcknight?? lmao. that sounds off. like he got tired of wooing and tried to make a club banger. [*youtubes*]

          • chameleonic

            wooow. this song is kinda horrible. old school b knight vocals with pretty ricky lyrics…at like 58? uh.

          • WIP

            This is not real…is it?

        • Royale W. Cheese

          OMG yes. Imma need Brian to get off that blow.

          • Yoles

            don’t blame that sweet white girl for brian’s unspeakable mess! no ma’am

    • sir farouk

      Absolutely agree with all of these, Brian McKnight is basically a punchline now. Grown ass man telling ladies how their machines work and I bet he is no engineer. Fiasco is hip hop’s hipster left wing douchebag. Wale has always been average to me.

    • Cali

      Brian jumped the ship years & years & YEARS ago, I’d say by his 3rd album… hell, maybe the 2nd!

    • Perverted Alchemist

      To be fair, Brian McKnight hasn’t made a great album since “Back At One”. If you really want to know the truth, all of his albums sound the same- and this is coming from a Brian McKnight fan, mind you…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      here’s the problem with putting Wale here…are we really gonna call him an artist who’s fallen off b/c his mixtapes are dope but his albums suck? That makes him like 90 percent of artists out here. And he was never “that hot” to begin with.

      • chameleonic

        i like two of his singles. nike boots are the new timbz and looootuuus flowerbooomb, firefly. its just so much fun to say.

      • Rewind

        I will agree with you but Ambition wasn’t a bad album, nor was Attention Deficet. His first album had way too much ambition towards it, it was not concrete to what he needed to expose of himself on own first album. His second album basically was just MMG Solo Attacks, Vol. 1…and I can’t attest to whether that describes him as an artist or just him as a frontman for a new record label.

      • ‘L’

        I so hate 2 agree w/this blog, but true! ;(

    • MicTheMessenger

      I’ll agree with everything but Food and Liquor 2. In my opinion, he took it back to the quality of the first Food and Liquor. Lasers was not good at all. HE even knoew it.

  • Diana

    Yess! I love most of these artists, Lord knows I do. But some of them will never get my money from me for some time. E. Badussy is one. Picture it: spring 2008. Constitution Hall. DC. Right after that New Amerykah. And she takes us into the “vortex.” Starts talking about Mexican revolutions. Does a 10 minute interpretive dance to green eyes with some big ass exercise balls. People start walking out thinking it’s done. Then the show takes a turn and she starts doing her real hits. It’s all funkdafied and soulful. The crowd goes wild as if Holyfield has just won the fight. It’s like 11:42pm and she goes, “oh sh*t I gotta go before they charge me extra.” And someone is like nah you just getting started. Her reply, “nah, y’all niggas just gettin started!” No ma’am! No! You gets no more love (or money) from me…

    • Perverted Alchemist

      I’ll put it to you like this:
      In order to understand “New Amerykah Part One”, you’d have to be a fan of funk music (Specifically Funkadelic and Mother’s Finest) and stuff like Gil Scott-Heron. That’s what she was aiming for with that album.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        eh…try again. I’m a fan of funk. Completely. And I think that album was crap.

  • I Am Your People

    Do producers count? Don’t act like you didn’t like Diddy and Master P circa 1997. And where has Jermaine Dupri been? Besides hiding from the IRS?

    • AfroPetite

      Maybe trying to grow his braids back out? Me no know.

      • Val

        Or smoking a pipe.

        • Val

          Lol. Sorry, this was supposed to be on IAYP’s D’Angelo comment.

      • msdebbs

        Yeah that will NEVER happen

    • naturalista88

      Lamenting the loss of Janet’s love.

    • Latonya

      If you are talkin about producers what about to Lil Jon?

    • Perverted Alchemist

      Still working with Mariah Carey. Why? I have no idea…

      • WIP

        Because they work well together sir.

        • Perverted Alchemist

          Not all of the time. I mean, you did hear “It’s Like That”? LOL!

          • WIP

            Fair enough. I reconcile this with “Sweetheart.” Can’t get it right every time, LOL

    • Shamira

      when’s the last time we heard the words “thisssss…is a Jazze Phizzle….produc-shizzle?” Anyone? Bueller?

      • WIP

        Ironically, the last song I can think of is “So What?” by Ciara.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Most of neo-soul has become pretty crappy.
    *
    Jamiroquai. After Virtual Insanity, it became all about Jay-Kay, when it’s really the band that makes Jamiroquai good. Jay-Kay is just a mediocre voice that goes well with the music.
    *
    R. Kelly. Hard to imagine him getting “worse,” but 12 Play was certainly the apex of his music-products’ quality. His lyrics suited his cranial capacity and the music was catchy. Then he started steering out of his lane with some supposedly inspirational choir stuff, and that awful In The Closet garbage truck wreck.

    • Latonya

      Jamiroquai was a one hit wonder.
      R. Kelly fell of after the child molestation charges and the interview he did with BET.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        They had a two good albums, IMO. Virtual Insanity was the most mainstream single. Before that, there was the Space Cowboy album, which was better than Traveling Without Moving (Virtual Insanity album).

      • Yonnie

        Its cool if you’re not a Jamiroquai fan, but one hit wonder they were not.

    • Val

      I really liked Jamiroquai.back in the day.

    • Yoles

      girl i know you don’t like the “Arruh” but TP2 was pure fiyah, more fiyah etc…

      • Sweet GA Brown

        TP2 picked up where 12 play left off.

    • H.H.H.

      i dunno…as a Kellz fan, “R” might have been his best…but the last 2 albums were pretty good grown up albums..maybe he realized his core audience shouldn’t be 21 year olds and younger

      • Sweet GA Brown

        Yeah and thats what I like about him. His music moved with his age group.

      • WIP

        An R.Kelly CD is usually a safe choice. He’s consistent.

    • Dash

      The last two R. Kelly albums were good. They are in a similar vein of Raphael Saadiq’s last two projects, “The Way I See It” and “Stonerollin” in that they are explorations of Black soul music from the 50′s to the present. If Miguel, Frank Ocean, or any other fresh face had made “Write Me Back”, the album would have been called genius.

      • CBRADIO82

        Good point.

    • Perverted Alchemist

      You’re about right on Jamiroquai, Royale. However, most of the band started leaving as soon as “Travelling Without Moving” was released. If you remember, the bass player Stuart Zender and Jay got into a fistfight right before they were scheduled to perform on VH1 back in 1997. By the time “A Funk Odyssey” came out, Jay Kay was the only member.

    • WIP

      “12 Play was certainly the apex of his music-products’ quality. ”

      Whaa?? 12 play was like 20 years ago; I don’t think dude would still be around if it was that bad, LOL.
      *
      Somehow I’ve ended up with several R. Kelly CDs (I don’t remember buying them, not sure where they came from.) The worst is Best of Both Worlds with JayZ. Other than that, R. Kelly creates a solid product every time. I don’t think there is one CD I would break in half.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I’m not sure we can say R. Kelly fell off. Commercially he’s not selling like he used to, but creatively, his music hasn’t lost a step.

    • Yonnie

      Can’t agree with R. Kelly. If I didn’t have a thing against unrepentant child molesters, I would be a huge R. Kelly fan today. He puts out a lot of wack music (Trapped In The Closet), but that’s nothing new (Feeling On Your Booty), but he’s been putting out some bangers – Love Letter, some song I’m too lazy to google but it was like When A Woman’s Fed Up 2012. It hurts me to turn the station when he comes on.

      • H.H.H.

        that’s a fair point…

        musically, Kellz has/is a good talent, and while hitting bumps, hasn’t fallen off. IN MY PERSONAL OPINION (sorry, i have to stress this) but he is the greatest R&B singer since i’ve been born (and yes ya’ll can fight me on this and label me wrong, i aint got no worries)

        BUT

        due to the pedo stigma, that will always cost him fans, that will always cost him concerts, that will probably cost him awards. while he’s still living.

        it is what it is.

  • Kayle

    Panama, what’s your reasoning for not including Kanye?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Kanye hasn’t fallen off.

  • I Am Your People

    D’Angelo – he’ll peek his head out everyone in a while, but where’s the music?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      It’s going to take D’Angelo to release another album before I can judge. Thus far he’s got Brown Sugar and Voodoo, two seminally classic genre-changing albums.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Baby Face. I stopped listening after that weird stalkerish “What If” song dropped.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “Love Saw It” featuring Karyn White was THE jam.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        wow…when did that song come out? 1943?

  • Latonya

    Big Boi has not been the same without Andre 3000.

    • Sweet GA Brown

      Sir Luscious Left Foot Son of Chico Dusty was on point.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        it was okay. It was not great by any stretch of the imagination.

        • Yonnie

          Who has heard VLADR? From everything I’ve heard about it, I thought I was missing out until I read this post. I agree with Panama, Chico Dusty’s Son was alright, but I skip a lot of tracks on that album.

    • Dash

      That’s a good thing. I preferred “Speakerboxx” to “The Love Below”, which is incredibly cheesy and hasn’t aged well.

      Big Boi’s last two albums have gotten a lot of spins from me, and he was second to only Prince in spins from me in 2012.

      Though I can understand why Atlanta radio doesn’t mess with “Vicious Lies and Dangerous” Rumors as it is a new pop direction.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        this just goes to show you how tastes differ. There is no way you can convince me “The Love Below” was cheesy AND hasn’t aged well. Impossible. It sounds just as good now as it did 10 years ago. How could it not age well?
        -
        Atlanta radio aint messing with it for the same reason nobody else is…its not hot.
        -
        Radio may suck, but one thing them ninjas do is chase a hit. “The Way She Moves” was INSANELY dope. Not to be denied. He hasn’t had one of those in a long time.

        • Rewind

          This is true, which was why I coulgn’t get into Tambourine or any joint off his last LP, let alone try to mess with this new one.
          -
          Meanwhile, 3 Stacks finally decided to confess to the world what the hell is going on in his mind on TI’s track, Sorry…DOPE AS F*CK.

          • Eps

            Which song is this? I have not heard it yet