Frank Ocean, the Weeknd, Miguel: Who Will Be the Token Black Guy on Year-End Best of Lists?
Miguel, who released his second album Kaleidoscope Dream in September, is not as melancholy as Ocean or Weeknd, but can be just as daring and vulnerable. He can easily go from minimalist soul to noisy rock (occasionally in the same song). He also doesn't mind showing some insecurity when it comes to the ladies, like when he begs a gal to tell him he's the only one knocking it out the park on the aptly titled "Pussy Is Mine." While his 2010 debut All I Want Is You, is arguably better, Dream will likely get lots of year-end love.
In a perfect world, these r & b rebels would all get their due from the pale-faced criterati at the end of the year. But let's be real here: most year-end, ten-best lists rarely have more than one black music artist on their lists. (And that lone slot is usually sewn up by a great hip-hop album, which this year will no doubt be Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city.) And though others will, in fact, be overlooked -- whether it's veterans like Dwele, who once again came correct this year with Greater Than One, or newbies like BJ the Chicago Kid, who broke out this year with his Pineapple Now-Laters debut -- Ocean, the Weeknd, and Miguel have put out work deserving of year-end acclaim. Other years each would've made a fine token choice. This year, all three together may signal a change.