It’s not that often that hip-hop gets discussed on Brown Pundits. But for my money the best hip-hop song of 2012 is here and it’s by an Indian-American (Bengali, I believe). Rapper/producer Lushlife, aka Raj Haldar, has his third album out, and it continues his exploration of old-school vibes and orchestral pop samples. Like much of Lushlife’s stuff, the track Magnolia clearly takes some inspiration from Nas’ 1995 album Illmatic , regarded by many as the highpoint of hip-hop; it evokes that same feel of sitting on a stoop, watching the urban world go by while drifting down memory lane. And it’s got some nice harp in it, and there’s just not enough harp in hip-hop.
The video is also quite wonderful, especially considering it apparently cost about $80 to make.
I’ve got an post at my blog from a couple of years ago about Lushlife’s last album, if you want to check some more of his stuff; its here.