A Jay-Z Playlist

It’s been over four years since the most recent, and, imo, best Jay-Z album, 4:44. It’s been over three years since he and Beyoncé released the album Everything Is Love. This is a longer gap between albums than the one between when Jay-Z announced his retirement in 2003 and released Kingdom Come in 2006. Come on, Jay-Z! You can’t leave rap alone; the game needs you. Here are 30 examples as to why:

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A Kanye West Playlist

My favorite artist to emerge in the 2000s is Kanye West. Not only has he released so many great tracks, he also tries new things with each release, not content to repeat himself or rest on his laurels. Unfortunately, his public shenanigans – some non-music-related, some gimmicky promotional stunts – have distracted from his talent, especially these last few years. This playlist will remind you of his merits. Big fan that I am, I hadn’t heard some of these songs in a while. It was nice to hear them again.

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Throwback Thursday: 1999

The music of 1999 shows the century coming to a close in grand style, as if to say the next year the party will be over, oops, out of time, so this year we better party. Latinx artists were crossing over to the mainstream pop chart. Cher and Santana, who first charted in the 1960s, scored the biggest hits of their careers. Artists who made their chart debuts include Eminem and Britney Spears. Pure pop exploded, though the charts made room for country, hip hop, electronica, and big beat. As one who values diversity, I loved hearing all these different genres and styles bump up against each other on the radio. Here are 30 prime examples of the music that hit in 1999.

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