Give the gift of hip-hop

Leanne Armstead

‘Tis the season again and now that Black Friday has marked the beginning of the never-ending holiday shopping spree, we are all winter-wondering what to get for our loved ones. Lucky for us, music artists use the holiday season to get rich knowing that some lazy and cheap loved one would rather go to Virgin Megastore than Tiffany’s. Therefore, this Christmas, there is a plethora of holiday music releases from high-profile celebs.

Although your parents probably do not want to wake up on Christmas morning to Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like its Hot,” your younger brother might want his album as one of his many stocking stuffers. Snoopy D-O-Double G, or Snoop Dogg for the colloquially inclined, will be releasing his new CD “Rhythm & Gangsta.” With most of the CD being produced by mega hitmakers, The Neptunes, “Rhythm & Gangsta” has a relaxing hip hop and R&B essence to many of the tracks. However, Snoop, along with his frequently featured partner, Pharell, have seemed to maintain their “pimp-like” and “gangsta” flare.

And although you haven’t heard from him in a long time, Nas, who so omnipotently calls himself God’s Son, has retuned with a new joint entitled Street’s Disciple, scheduled to hit the streets Nov. 30. However, I would not be surprised if Ludacris’ new album “The Red Light District,” tells other major MC’s to “Move B#@*, Get Out The Way” of the number one Billboard spot. The prince of crunk music is scheduled to release his upcoming album on Dec. 7. Some of the album tracks include “Put You Money” and “Child of the Night” featuring Nate Dogg. With his currently released album track, “Get Back,” the success of the “The Red Light District” will do anything but stop.

Other new releases include Camron’s long awaited and narcotically-obsessed album entitled “Purple Haze,” which is scheduled to be released Dec. 7 after numerous postponements. The Black Eyed Peas, not to be confused with one of your grandmother’s Christmas dishes, are scheduled to release “Monkey Business” this season. America’s number one idol, Rubben Studdard, shares his gift of gospel with us in his new release “I Need An Angel” and has also reconnected with his idle finalists, to release the American Idol Christmas album, featuring Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken. Idol winner Fantasia has finally released her debut album “Free Yourself” and Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo has also released a new disc.

Finally, what would be Christmas without a pop diva? Christmas coversong star, Mariah Carey, is scheduled to release an album this season, and Ashanti will release her latest CD entitled “Concrete Rose.” Her latest single off of the album, “Only You,” appears to be doing quite well on the charts.

Well, that’s your holiday wrap-up. If you’re feeling unsure about Christmas gifts, go to the CD store and pick up one of these albums. At least one of them has to be worth while… “On the 12th day of Christmas I bought my new CD’s … 12 Mariah Careys, 11 Rubben Studdards, 10 Faith Evans, 9 Diane DeGarmo’s, 8 Clay Aikens, 7 Snoopy D’s, 6 Destiny’s, 5 Black Eyed Peas, 4 Lil Jons, 3 Eminems, 2 50 cent’s and a new disc from Ashanti!” Merry Christmas!