M.I.A. has got game. Santogold has flavor. The former A&R rep churns out the beats in her self-titled debut album. While Estelle covers ground on the soul/r&b spectrum, Santogold touches on every genre from ska to punk to hip hop. She teams up with Spank Rock on one of the catchiest jams of ’08 Shove It.  Other tracks that will getcha on the dancefloor include the M.I.A. inspired Creator and the bass driven Say Aha. Seriously, if you’ve got mad respect for the likes of M.I.A., Kid Sister and The Specials (yeah, the 80s group) you need to give her a listen–it may take a couple of listens but you’ll be hooked…I promise!

Random Anecdote: Santogold recently paired up with two of the coolest guys in the music biz, Pharrell Williams (of Neptunes and N.E.R.D. fame) and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. The deadly musical trio recorded the track My Drive Thru in celebration of the brand’s 100 year anniversary. Now, that’s wiggidy wiggidy awesome.

Looking Ahead: Sometime summer music releases are all fluff and no substance, ahem Jonas Brothers and Vanessa Hudgens, but fortunately 2008 is kind to both you and I. Check out some of the releases that has me looking ahead.

CommonInvicible Summer

Release: Midsummer

Common, the lyrical genius, is prepping for the release of his eighth (you heard me right) studio album. Word on the street is that a set summer release date has not been set because he’s finishing up some vocals with my girl, Santogold (girl is on fire). If this album is as tight as his last, it will surely be on everybody’s iPOD in no time.

BeckModern Guilt

Release: Early Summer (whatever that means)

It may seem like I’m using the word ‘genius’ loosely but Beck really is one. There’s no doubt that this musical chameleon continuously puts out boundary pushing albums time after time. With that being said, I am beyond stoked for his latest Modern Guilt. Cat Power & Danger Mouse? Come on, these days musical collaborations are a joke but you can’t help but be turned on by Beck’s choices.

T.I., Paper Trail

Release: August 12

There are very few people that get me flustered, T.I. is one of them. He brings out the 10 year old girl in me – he’s got the looks (sigh) and the talent. Shoot (no pun intended), he maybe behind prison bars but that ain’t holding T.I. back.  During his pretrial arrest, T.I. started to write his sixth album ‘Paper Trail’ – Methinks, jail time will prove to be golden for this young rapper. 

Conor Oberst (yup, sans Bright Eyes), Conor Oberst

Release: August 4

Conor Oberst writes music for the soul - Straight up - It’s honest and it’s real. However, now that he’s stepped out from his moniker Bright Eyes, I wonder just how different his music will be?

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