Tris’s Favorite Albums of 2012

So over the past few months, I’ve been getting the same question from people, “What’s your favorite album of the year so far?” And I keep giving the same answer, “I don’t have one”. Joe Budden’s No Love Lost was cool, but the replay value was lacking. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience is good, but nowhere near as good as it was hyped to be. But I’ll spare you my opinion on that. So when asked, all I can say is I’m still playing my favorite albums from LAST year. That’s when I realized… I never posted a “Best Albums of 2012” List. Before I hit you with the list, remember a few things. : I didn’t include mixtapes, or genres I’m unfamiliar with (naturally). 2: If you think a different album should be on here, write your own list 3: My opinion is better than yours. So suck it up and accept my list. Ok, Now that we have that out the way, here it is…


Fun. – Some Nights
Good from beginning to end. Not much to say. If you’ve heard the album I’m sure you agree. And aside from the catchy melodies and great production, Nate Ruess delivers powerful lyrics throughout the entire album. Listen again and try not to hum along with every song so you can hear his message. Look for my review of the album following this post


Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Good from beginning to end. Original. Most songs on here sound nothing like what’s on the radio or what we’ve heard in the past few years. Frank Ocean set the bar not only for other new R&B acts, but also for the Vets.


Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox
This album has a little of everything. Bruno’s vocal performance, writing, and song arrangements on this album are amazing… All clear signs he’ll be in the game for a long time! Dope album.




Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City
Nas – Life is Good
Lecrae – Gravity
Now I know everyone’s been running around talking about K. Dot having the best Hip Hop album of 2012. And we can’t forget Life is Good, which is arguably Nas best work since Stillmatic. Both albums deserve the rcognition they got. But one of my favorites of 2012 was Gravity. Rhymes, production, lyrical content, delivery… All on par with some of the best Hip-Hop albums I’ve heard in years. One of the most slept on Hip-Hop albums of last year. Go get a copy and thank me later.


Emeli Sande – Our Version of Events
Heartbreak hasn’t felt this good since Adele’s 21. And speaking of 21, that’s exactly what I compare this album to when I’m asked what it sounds like. As with most albums on this list, this one is great from beginning to end. I don’t want to… No, I can’t… Skip one song on here. Instant classic.

*Don’t see your favorite album? Doesn’t mean I didn’t hear it. Chances are I just didn’t like it enough. But feel free to share it in the “Comments” section.

– @TrisTheBarber


TrisTheBarber’s 10 Dating Rules


Here it is… My 10 Dating Rules. This isn’t a Top 10, nor is it in any particular order. Just some shit I had on my mind. I think my requests are pretty fair. I don’t ask for much… Can’t figure out why no one wants to go on a date with me :-\

#1 “Music comes first”
If I pick you up, we are listening to MY music until we get to our destination. You WILL NOT interrupt me singing! When I park, we will sit in the car until I’m done singing the song… or at least my favorite part. The date starts when I turn the car off

#2 “Don’t call without permission”
Yup… Permission. Me giving you my number isn’t grounds for you to just dial it all willy nilly! Text me first to see if I’m busy. 93% of the time I am too busy. So a simple courtesy text will help me prepare to answer your call. Otherwise I’m gonna be forced to ignore it and call you back when I’m free, which we all know is never.

#3 “I ain’t compliment you, so don’t be complimenting me”
I don’t know about y’all, but I feel uncomfortable when someone tells me I look good. I just don’t know how to respond. Do I just say “Thank you” or say something nice back? Too complicated. Keep that shit to yourself, or save it for a text when I can just brush it off.

#4 “You choose”
Don’t ask me to pick a spot. I’m indecisive. We’ll sit in the car the entire night if you leave it to me to choose where we go… Way cheaper anyways. Susan B. Anthony ain’t fight so y’all could sit back and let a man decide where you go out to eat. Take advantage of your rights!

#5 “Close your mouth”
Eat with your mouth SHUT. Absolutely no sound should be coming out your mouth while you’re chewing /eating. That shit is the biggest turn off. If I hear your saliva juices squishing the food around in your mouth, you’ll hear my broken exhaust as I’m driving off while you’re waiting for me to come back from the bathroom.

#6 “Do your homework”
Look thru my Twitter, FB and IG. Take notes. That way you know what I like already and we can spare me from having to talk so much. *Added bonus to stalking… You can see how crazy I am in advance so my actions don’t come as a surprise*

#7 “Don’t stalk me”
The followup to Rule #6. I know, I know… But hear me out. Pre-stalking is acceptable. To prepare you. But once you meet me, stay out my shit. If I don’t answer your text right away and you see me promoting music on Twitter, you’re gonna be upset. Save the headache.

#8 “No club dates”
Pretty self-explanatory. There is no way in Hell we’re going to a club for a date! You want a reason? Besides the fact that I hate clubs, it’s too loud inside. How you supposed to hear about all my awesomeness with Trinidad James and 2 Chainz blaring thru your ear drums? Let’s stick to a restaurant or nice bar. Thanks.

#9 “Maybe he’s busy”
Keep saying that to yourself everyday, throughout the day, and we might make it to a 3rd date. Trust me… The more you tell yourself this, the less you’ll hate me.

#10 “Be yourself”
Ok, for the last one I’ll be serious. Please don’t front like you’re into everything I’m into, just to impress me. I’ll know. I’m into a lot of unpopular shit so I wouldn’t expect you to like what I like. Just be honest.

So there you have it. Hopefully I ain’t bore you to death with my list. If I did, you’re welcome… I took you out of your misery. REMEMBER… keep your standards high, set your dating rules, and make them shits CLEAR. No matter how outrageous they are. Anyone wanna go out for dinner?


Swallow Your Pride


They say my Pride’ll be my downfall.
I let it stop me from getting help now it’s keeping me from around y’all.
It sounds more, like that piece of me ain’t been found or…
Maybe it ain’t lost, but in me. Just ain’t been accounted for.
I got a problem with asking for help.
Even when they offer it to me, I dodge em all. It’s like I’m practicing stealth.
I can patch this myself without the stacks and the wealth.
I’ll find a way to eat somehow without one snack on the shelf.
So scared of rejection…
I’ll struggle doing it alone and fail 10 times before I ask for direction.
I’m still balancing sections…
and humility’s somethin I need more of so let’s just add to the lesson
I know the people in my life that offer help are a blessing.
There’s so many of you offering your hand out and stretching
So I come off as unappreciative when I don’t accept it.
I just don’t wanna be a burden and I’m tired of questions.

They all say “Swallow Your Pride”
But when I try it hurts just like I downed a bottle of knives.
Swallow my pride…
I know I should cuz all my life I’ve just felt hollow inside

Last year they said I hit Rock Bottom, more like a boulder
Said “It can only go up from here”, as I sunk lower.
I’m pushing all this weight, too much for one man to shoulder.
Wishing every day would fly by, yet they go slower.
At least I’m sober… For the most part.
I only resort to those things when I’m feeling the tears swell up in my closed heart.
Tell you everything’s fine, know you don’t care bout my affliction.
When they ask how I’m doing all they really want’s my attention.
I don’t write about my hardships so you could show me some sympathy
I write it down and share it so you know what’s gotten into me.
I use it as a reminder, so I could remember this day.
I write this as a way of proof that I endured this pain
The fruit that I’m sure to gain. The roots from where life began.
I’ve been thru it all before. The truth is it all feels the same.
The only way to respect your progress is to see where you overcame
So when I make it through the fire I can look back and not fear the flames.

They all say “Swallow Your Pride”
But when I try it hurts just like I downed a bottle of knives.
Swallow my pride…
I know I should cuz all my life I’ve just felt hollow inside

Somebody please explain these nightmares, frights, terrors… What it is that I fear.
Dreams of fighting 12 on 1, Nah never is the fight fair.
I might tear… When talkin bout my kids and time shared.
It’s the only thing that touches me and because of that I’m beyond scared.
Scared of being heartless, scared that I’m too cold.
Scared I’ll never love someone, scared of these 2 holes…
In my face. Yeah I know, Most of you call them eyes.
I call em holes cuz there’s emptiness when you look into mine.
But when you look in my mind, there’s lots of love to be found.
The problem is I overthink so all my feelings be drowned.
Got a head full of knowledge and no idea what to do with it.
They all call me crazy, my actions lately have been proving it.
My thoughts are ruining… relationships as I’m pursuing them.
Convince myself they don’t want me, stop those feelings from moving in.
Can take a hint when she ain’t frank… Shit…
I even see the picture when the canvas is blank.
My motto: Think more with your GUT, less wit your heart. If it FEELS like they’re not into you, they’re probably not.

They all say “Swallow Your Pride”
But when I try it hurts just like I downed a bottle of knives.
Swallow my pride…
I know I should cuz all my life I’ve just felt hollow inside


Signs by @moonchild216

I hi-jacked Tris’s page!!!
Below is some art work and poetry both done by me.
Hope you guys enjoy!!
😊 Sincerely, Moon~

@moonchild216 on twitter

Not sure which way to go ..
So, I’m waiting..
Waiting by the side of the road..
Waiting for a gust of wind to blow..
Waiting for a thunder bolt strike down and … glow
Light up the right path, that way I will just know
But until then, I’m just waiting..
I’m not in a rush
No longer anticipating much
I’ve kinda given up
After I seen my dreams get crushed
Was it me ? or was it fate saving me
From something just not meant to be..
All these thoughts ..just rush thru my domain..
When all I want is silence maintain
..some peace

People get on my nerves when they think they know which piece goes where to MY PUZZLE:
Do this, jump on one foot!! Tap your head with one hand ..close your eyes and just stand … here.

I’ve tuned the noise out ..
All that’s left is pure fear..of the unknown
Which way am I heading? Which way am I supposed to go?!
Trust……I trust no one! Make no mistake.
So save your directions for the next lost soul 😒
I’m good, trust! Leave me in my daze
I rather chill in my cloud of haze than listen to you cheer me down the wrong road..
I tried running from my shadow
and it found me..
Standing in the cold.
Have you ever stared your shadow in the face?
Me neither.
Guess it’s my time, maybe then, I’ll
know which way… to go.


Aloe Blacc – You Make Me Smile

“You Make Me Smile”

You make me smile
Mmhmm, you make me smile

I think its safe to say
Things just havent been going my way
No work coming in so my money’s spent
and i still got bills to pay.
But through it all you’re right here with me.
When im sinking low, you come through and lift me
It’s nothing more than the love that you give me
Keeps me from drowning in tears

You make me smile
Oh, you make me smile
Come through and save the day
You make me smile
You make me smile
in a very special way

Everywhere i go
people keep and ask me
Where i’d get my joy why am i so happy?
In these trying times when a frown is the fashion
I’m beaming like the sun, now how can that be?
See the answer to the query is very simple,
I’m always grinning, from dimple to dimple
because you love me unconditionally
My happiness is heartsake
now cant you see

(where do we go)
[spoken words]

You make me smile
Oh, you make me smile.
Come through and save the day
You make me smile
You make me smile
in a very special way

– Aloe  Blacc

Anger Management


“I wasn’t always on some MLK shit…
Violence and anger is in us all, part of human nature…
It’s just a matter of how you release it.
If you don’t know the old me, how can you really appreciate the new me?”

Afraid of NO man, tough guys spark no fear in me.
I laugh in the face of danger, funny when a clown nigga stares at me.
My rep precedes me. I’m winning easy, believe me.
But I got too much at stake now with so many that need me.
So I brush it off, I just walk away.
The fact that I let you go… To God, you oughta PRAY!
I ain’t the same today, I aim to play. Doin what this Guardian Angel say
Said that wasn’t ME, and told me I had to change my way.
Ashamed to say… I was walkin around so aimlessly,
Hoped someone would look at me funny just so I could break his face.
It’s safe to say, I have a short fuse.
But everybody gets mad so that’s a POOR excuse!
Words of an old person… I did some soul searching.
Found what I was missing now I’m FINALLY a whole person.
I’ve learned to channel this anger when dealing wit imminent dangers
You can do damage to a man, but still his ignorance lingers…

You see a nigga frowning, Do you care to know what’s behind it?
Ever search for somethin, not knowing what, but know that you’ll never find it?
Fuck this Deeeeemon! For the times that I almost lost HER
Or the time I let him get the best of me and I tossed her!
The holidays I ruined, every wall I punched right thru and
So much time in life I wasted being mad. Damn, how I blew it.
Yeah, I’m blaming him… But I gotta take the guilt
It’s like having no control but still you make the tilt.
My anger SOOO real, don’t get to pick and choose.
Take it out on the first person that steps in my view.
I’m talkin loved ones, friends, even the biggest of men.
Ignore their innocence, it makes no difference.
Hear these young women and men, BRAG bout how angry they get.
I find it hard to believe they have no control over it.
Shit don’t feel good at all to hurt a person you love.
So having a REAL problem is somethin they’d truly be scared of.


Joe Budden – No Love Lost (Album Review)


This review is coming from a die-hard Joe Budden fan. Anyone that knows me, knows he’s been my favorite rapper since Calm Down, 10 Min and Walk With Me on his debut album in ’03. Whatever It Takes still one of the Top 10 Budden tracks… Not Up For Debate. With the release of Mood Muzik 2: Can It Get Any Worse? in ’05, no one could tell me nothin! His deep confessionals and consistency to talk about real-life issues instead of “money, cars, and clothes” set him apart from other dope lyricists. Being able to make listeners feel what you’re going through is far more important to me than catchy punchlines. And record sales never meant shit to me. “Music is just what feeling sounds like”.

With that said, No Love Lost is upon us. With his growing popularity from Love & Hip-Hop and recent growth of his fan base from the success of Slaughterhouse, now is the perfect opportunity for Joey to be heard. And he does so in an approach that will definitely impress new fans, or those who have never heard his music before. The album starts off fun. To the surprise of us hardcore Budden fans, he has features from some of today’s biggest names in hip-hop. Now I’m not one to listen to anything unless it’s depressing, but I’ll admit the upbeat songs on #NLL are catchy. The album is well-rounded enough to be able to play a few tracks on the way to the club (or strip club), a few for the ladies, and roughly half the album when you’re alone lookin at your overdraft fees pile up while drinking & driving with your Gas light on. Of 17 total tracks, 7 still have the dark Mood Muzik feel. Add in a skit, a remix Bonus Track, and that leaves about half the album for Joe to step outside his comfort zone and have fun on a few records.

The album starts with a smooth Intro. Then Top of the World offers a hook from Kirko Bangz while Joe brags about his lifestyle, strippers and hoes. Then he gets a verse from Tunechi while Tank sings the hook for She Don’t Put It Down, a club banger that’s still growing on me. Next is NBA (Never Broke Again), 1 of 2 songs on the album I can’t tolerate. By this point in the album, I was ready to turn it off. Next is You And I, the first love record on the album, with Emanny on the hook. More about Kaylin. Again, cool for the new fans that ain’t hear this side of him yet. I ain’t mad at it. Some relatable shit on it. Tell Him Somethin is a Steal-Your-Girl record with none other than Emanny, who absolutely makes the song. Switch Positions has Maybach-O slithering his horrible vocals throughout as Joe talks about sex. And that’s the next unbearable record on the album for me. Last Day has an odd lineup. With Juicy J and Lloyd Banks, I didn’t know what to expect. But it’s another mindless song for the #NewNiggas to enjoy.

The mood switches midway thru the album. Joe reminds us why he’s the Mood God with tracks like Castles, All in my Head, Skeletons, Ghetto Burbs, Runaway, My Time and No Love Lost Outro. Which are all my favorite tracks on the album (Don’t judge us emo niggas). Runaway discusses his drug problem. Ghetto Burbs talks about the struggle in his hood over dope guitar riffs, but I would’ve preferred a singer other than Emanny (sorry fam). Skeletons offered one of my favorite verses from Joe on the album, while Joell Ortiz and Crook dropped dope verses as well. All in my Head was released on #ALQ but still one of the best on here. The verses on My Time are everything true fans expect from Joe.

Typical Budden fans will be quick to say he sold out on this one. And I can’t blame them. He’s got features from Wayne, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa, Kirko Bangz, and Juicy J. None of who are known for their lyrical talent, but all have a huge buzz in the industry today. Joe raps about money and hoes on a few tracks as well. Which his die-hard fans know he’s always mocked mainstream artists for. But when you look at the bigger picture, Joe has stayed true to his fans for over 10 years in the game without reaching the success he deserves. With his growing fan base (whether from his Twitter antics, controversial lyrics, or Love & Hip-Hop) maybe it’s about time to reach a broader audience. Most of his new fans don’t even know he’s been rapping that long. So why not take this opportunity to reach a younger crowd?

Don’t go into the first listen expecting classic Mood Muzik material. This is Joe Budden growing. Compare it today’s music. A market where Joe is “tryna maintain being unique but relatable”. Put up against some of the best album releases of last year, this album is still above average lyrically. I gotta give No Love Lost a 3.8 out of 5
– @TrisTheBarber

Make sure you go support the real!

BUY: Joe Budden – No Love Lost (iTunes)

BUY: Joe Budden – No Love Lost (Amazon)