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


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

Lyfe Jennings – If Tomorrow Never Comes

I have to share this song with yall. I’ve been singing this nonstop for 4 days straight. Lyfe Jennings is my biggest inspiration for my writing. Nothing but truth in his lyrics. I wish I wrote this one…

“If Tomorrow Never Comes”

Tell my mama, I know it’s been a while since I called you
Cause I was jealous cuz you favored my brother.
Though we disagreed I always loved ya and
Tell my baby mama it wasn’t my intention to hurt her
Hope you find someone that deserve ya
I hope there’s no hard feelings
If I could rewrite one sentence of my life
I would write the words I never say
Tell you I love you every single day
See if I could somehow turn back the hands of time
I wouldn’t waste a moment arguing
I’ll never put you through that shit again

Cuz If tomorrow never comes
And you never see me again
I don’t want yo last memories of me
To be filled with negativity
See if tomorrow never comes
All that fussing and fighting
Wont mean nothing when it’s said and done
If tomorrow never comes

And tell my auntie, that I was the one who broke the TV
I know that it happened in 93′
But I just had to get it off my chest, I guess
And tell my kids, that they will be especially missed
And if there’s anything they should learned from this
Is life is a gift tomorrows not promised no
If I could rewrite one sentence of my life
I would write the words I never say
Tell you I loved you every single day
See if I could turn back the hands of time
I would say what’s on my mind
And tell you thank you for being in my life

Cuz If tomorrow never comes
And you don’t see my face again (see my face again)
I don’t want yo last memories of me
To be filled with negativity
See if tomorrow never comes
All that fussing and fighting
Wont mean nothing when it’s said and done
If tomorrow never comes

I take it back, I take back every mean words that I ever said
Out of anger (take it back), and every time I hurt her (take it back)
I take it back, I take back all the disagreements
All the hurt feelings, not believing in you (not believing in you)
Tell me what can I do? But apologize to you
If tomorrow never comes
My apologies (my apologies)
For if tomorrow never comes (if tomorrow never comes)
I’ll make sure that I’m the one who says how much I can’t
I wish I was there

– Lyfe Jennings

SoMo covers Future’s “Turn on the Lights” (Video & Audio) + “My Life” mixtape download




There isn’t much to say here. After watching this video, you’ll see why. Joseph Somers-Morales aka “SoMo” is definitely the Truth! The singer, repping Denison, Texas, is sure to be all over the radio in the near future. He recently released his debut mixtape “My Life” on Sept. 11, featuring the single “Kings & Queens” (Throw It Up).

Download SoMo – “My Life” here:

Download the Audio for “Turn on the Lights (Cover) here:

Album Review: Slaughterhouse – ‘Welcome To: OUR HOUSE’ by @TrisTheBarber and @Embelievable1

Artist: Slaughterhouse
Title: Welcome To: OUR HOUSE
Label: Shady Records / Interscope
Release Date: August 28th, 2012

The year is 2008 and the internet is buzzing with rumors about 4 of the most lyrical emcees alive collaborating to create a single hip-hop super-group. Up and comer Joell Ortiz is catchin’ rec on every respectable hip-hop website that you may frequent. Joe Budden has an unmatched cult following and his fans value his Mood Muzik series of mixtapes as much as they would any one of their classics. Royce Da 5’9 has proven to be one of the most consistent rappers with quality verse after quality verse for anything he may appear on. In terms of skill, Crooked I is king of the West with a flow and command of multies that any region would love.

Come 2009, the dream group is formed and the World is introduced to Slaugherhouse with a debut album that delivers everything we’d expected from these modern legends. With the hip-hop game in the toilet and a focus on whack lyrics, ice, and money, Slaughterhouse is shaping up to be rap’s savior with their Horseman formation. The album is received very well, the community is listening, and Eminem is reportedly looking to sign the group to Shady Records. The world had not seen a single hip-hop unit with this much combined talent since the Wu-Tang Clan and with Eminem’s backing, they are destined to succeed in their quest to save the genre.

Slaughterhouse, the Super Group, the Machine, House Gang… After a strong debut (to true fans, not sales-wise), would they be able to put together an equally lyrical album while trying to live up to the hype surrounding their Shady deal and still achieve commercial success?


I approached this review in a different manner than I normally would. I figured there would be so much dopeness on this album that the best way to thoroughly review it for y’all would be to dissect each record and let ya know which Quarter of the Slaughter took each one.

Well after 2 listens I changed my mind… for 2 reasons. 1: The album wasn’t filled with the pure Slaughterhouse heat I expected. 2: Crook and Budden (although I felt Joe was shorted with verses) pretty much washed the other half of the Slaughter from beginning to end.

Now to the music… There’s 20 tracks total on the Deluxe Edition. With 2 skits, that leaves 18 songs. Of 18, there’s about 10 Standout tracks. Yes, I said 10! The group seems to shine when they discuss their personal problems, which makes sense if you listen to each members solo work. On tracks “Our House”, “Flip A Bird”, “Rescue Me”, “Goodbye” & “The Other Side”, the members describe the tough times they’ve endured, and they do so better than most. On “Get Up”, “Our Way” & “My Life”, the House Gang show us just how high the ladder to success was for them to climb. Then there’s the club bangers”Coffin” & “Hammer Dance”. Witty lyrics, dope beat and hook. Perfect song to catch the ears of the youth. “Die” is another solid effort from the group, where they get to show new fans their gritty side.

Aside from those 10 tracks, there’s still some tracks that the basic fan would enjoy. “Frat House” & “Park it Sideways” are fun. On “Asylum”, where the group does their trademark Psycho-Flow, I was a bit disappointed not to get a Budden verse. (Budden fans will see the hypocracy in that)

Every album has a track or two you have to skip. On “Throw That”, Eminem provides the hook “I’ll throw this dick on you girl” and the gang follows thru with equally unbearable lyrics to provide the worst track on the album. Today, when an album has a good budget behind it, Swizz Beatz is normally the culprit behind that track. And he succeeds again on “Throw it Away”.

This album is solid whether it moves units or not. If you compare it to their debut album, you’ll be disappointed. Crook held shit down and made this album. Although Joe’s stellar performance was on par with fans’ expectations, the lack of mic time not only hurt the album, but diminished Joe’s chance to impress new Slaughterhouse fans. Joell & Royce came in a close 2nd & 3rd, which is weird seeing how Ortiz outshined everyone on their debut. Being such a big Royce fan, I was disappointed. But he reminds me why he’s one of my favorites on a few tracks. His unorthodox flow works perfectly on “Die” & “Our House”, and his passion is prevalent on “The Other Side”.

By: @TrisTheBarber and @Embelievable1

Final Grade: B

Track Listing:
1. The Slaughter (Intro)
2. Our House feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey
3. Coffin feat. Busta Rhymes
4. Throw That feat. Eminem
5. Hammer Dance
6. Get Up
7. My Life feat. Cee-Lo Green
8. We Did It (Skit)
9. Flip A Bird
10. Throw It Away feat. Swizz Beatz
11. Rescue Me feat. Skylar Grey
12. Frat House
13. Goodbye
14. Park It Sideways
15. Die
16. Our Way (Outro)
Deluxe Edition (Bonus Tracks)
17. Asylum feat. Eminem
18. Walk Of Shame
19. The Other Side
20. Place To Be feat. B.O.B.