So I finally did the smart thing and bought an external hard drive to store my music, figuring that keeping 70MB of music on a laptop’s hard drive probably wasn’t a good idea. Hopefully, this one doesn’t poop out on me the way my previous one did, after only five months. Damn you, Windows Vista!!

I was gonna let the new “Genius” feature on iTunes take over for me, but I’ll save that for another time, plus we’ll have a feature on Genius at some point this week. No point in doubling up, right?

Anyway, we’re off:

Track 1: “Fast Car (Fugee Remix)”-Wyclef Jean feat. Lupe Fiasco

Wyclef Jean’s “Carnival II” will surprise the few of you who’ve actually stuck with ‘Clef’s last few (phenomenally shitty) albums. On the album, this song is a moody piece with vocals by Paul Simon (yes, THAT Paul Simon). On this remix, Wyclef gets a quick verse from rap phenom Lupe Fiasco and also takes it back to ’96 by virtue of the Tribe Called Quest “Bonita Applebum” sample, which broke Wyclef’s old band (The Fugees, ‘memba them?) worldwide via its’ use on their version of “Killing Me Softly”. This remix is decent, the album version is better.

Track 2: “I Keep/Still Here” by Jill Scott

This is the closing track on Jill Scott’s excellent second album “Beautifully Human”. While I’d liked the woman since her debut, this is the album on which I fell in love with her. That turned out to be a short-lived love affair. I saw her in concert about a year and a half ago, and it was fairly obvious (even more so than on her records and in interviews) that Jilly from Philly was more than a bit pretentious and full of herself, especially when she referred to the legendary Chaka Khan as her opening act. Yeah, Chaka appeared before her, but I guarantee you that as many people were there to see her as were to see Jill. Plus, you don’t play a legend out like that. Besides, her third album, “The Real Thing” is hot trash.

Track 3: “No One Gets the Prize/The Boss (12″ Remix)” by Diana Ross

This is a 1979 medley of two songs from Diana Ross’s Ashford & Simpson-produced album “The Boss”. This served as kind of a warmup for Disco Diana, as exemplified by early Eighties hits like “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out”. The latter of the two tracks is a bouncy tune that finds Miss Ross shrieking like Michael Jackson, while on the former, you can clearly hear Nick Ashford on the chorus. Here’s a question for you folks. Why, in 2008, is Nick Ashford still rocking a perm?

Solid as a rock!

Solid as a rock!

(Trust me, his hair still looks like this)

Track 4: “Like a Stone” by Audioslave

Chris Cornell? Best rock vocalist of the past twenty years. Tom Morello? Best rock guitarist of the past twenty years. Audioslave? Not as bad a band as most people will slag them off as. “Like a Stone” has a sick solo. Morello sounds like he’s sawing on the guitar strings. Both men have solo albums out in the next month or so. While Morello’s album is sort of a folky-political thing, Cornell’s new album is produced by Timbaland. Yes, that Timbaland. Um…yeah. I like Timbo, but I can tell you right off top that this ain’t gonna work.

Track 5: “Me & My Bitch” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Sorry 2Pac fans (and GG), when it comes to Pac vs. BIG, there is absolutely no comparison. Even bad Biggie songs are worth listening to just to hear what he’s going to say. This guy had punchlines out the ass. Besides, BIG told stories. You could write this out onto a piece of paper and it would read like a story. Not too many emcees out there-past or present-that have that quality. And I’d be a BIG stan even if I didn’t grow up 5 miles from the dude.

Track 6: “In My Arms” by Erasure

I became an Erasure fan at some point after “Chains of Love” and “A Little Respect” became staples on New York radio. I remember my high school paper doing a story on them and being surprised that Andy Bell was gay (hey, I also thought Vanilla Ice was black at first…I’m not the most perceptive guy in the world). Flash forward nearly twenty years, me and my MHW colleague and co-bestest buddy David Middleton found ourselves at Irving Plaza, where Erasure had sold out a TEN night stand. After some typically campy stage patter, they launched into “A Little Respect” and I’l tell ya, there’s nothing like 5,000 gay men (and a couple of fag hags) singing at the top of their lungs in an enclosed space. What an experience.

Anyhow, “In My Arms” is a little more on the subtle side. It’s probably my favorite song of theirs.

Track 7: “Simple Things” by Usher

We close tonight with an album track from Usher’s “Confessions”, which will probably be the last album for a long time to come that even comes close to the 10 million mark in sales. At any rate, one thing that’s always sort of bugged me out about this song is that it sounds exactly like yet ANOTHER song on this album entitled “Truth Hurts”. And the thing is, both songs are good! Weird.

And on that note, we close up for the week. See ya (hopefully) next Sunday!!