“Halfcrazy” by Musiq (2002)

You might get the idea that Musiq Soulchild (sometimes known as plain ol’ Musiq) is a bit pretentious, what with the stage name and the way his song titles combine words, but his gift as a singer/songwriter actually is the way that he can explain complicated emotional situations in a way that’s relatable to everyone.… Read More “Halfcrazy” by Musiq (2002)

“Grindin'” by Clipse (2002)

“Grindin’” is hard as shit. It has proverbial ice running through its proverbial veins. It’s an interesting marriage of two pieces I can find problematic individually. I can’t say I’m crazy about hip-hop (or any music) that leans too hard into drug dealing. I think there’s a fine line between street reporting/storytelling and glorification, and… Read More “Grindin'” by Clipse (2002)

“Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake (2002)

The words “fuck you” are never said or sung during “Cry Me A River”, but they’re all over every lyric Justin Timberlake wrote and sang during this song. That’s to say nothing of the deliciously spiteful video that ran on MTV and VH-1 for months on end and officially elevated Mr. Timberlake beyond his teen-pop beginnings.… Read More “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake (2002)

“Can’t Turn Back The Years” by Phil Collins (1993)/JOE (2001)

1993′s Both Sides marked the end of America’s fascination with Phil Collins as anything other than a marker of the ‘80s. It was the first of his albums to not go multi-platinum or spawn a top twenty pop hit. Both Sides also was Phil’s second divorce album, with the first being 1981′s Face Value. Perhaps America… Read More “Can’t Turn Back The Years” by Phil Collins (1993)/JOE (2001)

“Big Ole Words (Damn)” by Cee Lo Green (2002)

Before Cee Lo Green’s career fell into the toilet thanks to a sexual assault charge and a wacky Twitter defense, he was a respected pop/R&B singer. Before Cee Lo Green was a respected pop/R&B singer, he was a respected singer/MC, arguably the best rapping singer/singer rapper not named Lauryn Hill. Cee Lo’s ATL homeboy Andre… Read More “Big Ole Words (Damn)” by Cee Lo Green (2002)

“Between Me, You & Liberation” by Common (2002)

Common’s 2002 album Electric Circus was met with a lot of scratched heads upon release. The Chicago MC had already engineered a stylistic shift from prototypical boom-bap to full-on neo-soul, and broke through commercially with 1999′s Like Water For Chocolate. Even with that genre detour though,  Electric Circus was on some other shit. It was… Read More “Between Me, You & Liberation” by Common (2002)