Hooked On Real
Farewell, Casanova

My Anthem '08: Fade To Black

"I'm not a baller/
But I hustle harder/
And I'm smarter/
I'm not for the bullshit/
And I don't pull clips/
I'm just trying to stack chips . . . "

-- Black Spade, "Not For the Bullshit"

Here we go again!

In 2005, it was 50 Cent's "Ski Mask Way." (R.I.P. Disco D)

In 2006, it was Rick Ross' "Hustlin'."

In 2007, it was Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" and Mims' "This is Why I'm Hot."

In 2008, my "Get Money" anthem is . . . drum roll, please!

Black Spade -- "Not For the Bullshit" (*Listen to the track)

Who is Black Spade?

Black Spade is a dope rapper-producer from St. Louis who just released the first great rap album you have never heard of in 2008. His new LP, To Serve with Love, is more than just a rap album . . . it's a "Life" album. Inspired by the 1967 Sidney Poitier movie To Sir, With Love, the 32-year-old verbalist is serving up (all puns included) some insightful life lessons that I'm quite sure you can relate to -- the struggle (whether it's paying bills or your j-o-b), reflecting on past loves, the state of Black America, self-love and other topical issues.

The standout track on the LP -- IMHO -- is "Not For the Bullshit." That is my new "Get Money" anthem for the 0-8.

You see, I'm not out here trying to pull clips, I'm trying to stack chips ("money").

Niggas -- and the ladies, too -- need to start stacking their chips and stop all of the bullshit.

Do ya feel me? Is there anyone out there? **cue the crickets chirping**

So listen to the track and watch out for the hook -- it's empowering.

Another song that is dope is the title track itself, "To Serve with Love" (MP3).

Here's what the critics are saying about Black Spade's To Serve with Love:

Craig D. Lindsey of Philadelphia Weekly:

"With half of the album consisting of Spade riffing on past loves and the other half seeing him go into revolutionary ride-or-die mode, Serve is a fascinating album that shows an MC making love and war."
Jason Jurgens of Remix magazine:
"Black Spade arrives just in time to help you remember the days when hip-hop championed creativity and fueled a culture of poetic and hungry youth."
Ali's Basement blog states:
"A great mix of smooth jazz rhythms and hard hitting kicks and ill basslines makes this a CD to cop."
SF Station blogger/writer Sarah-Jayne Couhault feels:
"To Serve with Love is classified as hip-hop, and it is -- but there is much more to it. Instead of hard-up 'gangsta rap' Black Spade's voice is somewhat soothing, even when he says things like 'your perfume is fucking with my head,' it holds a certain romanticism that makes you want to keep listening."
Mosi Reeves of Plug One magazine says:
"If To Serve with Love had a better ratio of hits-to-filler, then it would qualify as a true masterpiece instead of a promising debut. However, Black Spade's achievement, no matter how modest, can't be denied. With To Serve with Love, he has created an album that sparkles with his three-dimensional personality."

Black Spade via MySpace

Cop and download Black Spade's To Serve with Love via iTunes

I will always bring you the hot shit!