A Seat At Our Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is here and with it comes eating, drinking, singing and dancing (especially if you’re drinking). 2008 has been a crazy year for many artists, much like the rest of us. So while we sit at our dinner tables thinking about what we’re most thankful for, the Alternatives crew would like to share which artists they are glad are still around. Whether Rock, Rap, R&B, and everything in between, music is an essential part of our lives, and without it we’d all have nothing to listen to…and at times talk about. If you had your own Thanksgiving table to fill with music, who would you invite? Kanye West

I’m thankful for Mr. West, because he’s one of the most influential musicians of our time period. The advancements he has made in production (and fashion) are second to none. People have been “Jockin’ Yeezy” since the release of College Dropout, and they’ll continue to do so with 808s and Heartbreak.     -Roshan BhattPinkI am extremely grateful for Pink.

 

Aside from effortlessly switching genres (R&B-Rock/Pop) and convincing fans to switch with her, she sings and performs with an energy that is almost supernatural.

 

From Mizundastood to I’m Not Dead to 2008’s Funhouse, Pink is not afraid to reveal she is a mess….just like everyone else. -Kiko MichaelsRaphael Saadiq

Raphael Saadiq takes the cake for me in 2008, with his ’60s and ’70s soul-infused mosaic The Way I See It.

 

The brainchild behind Lucy Pearl and Tony! Toni! Tone! reboots today’s popcorn adaptation of retro soul by meshing contemporary lyrics with the vintage sounds mom and pop used to wop to during the blue-light special. -Brandon M. DunlapLina

In a time where retro sounds are merely a passing trend, Lina’s lifelong devotion to Jazz and Soul shines through in her music.

 

Her latest album Morning Star showcases a mature woman’s approach to love, intimacy, community, and spirituality.

 

Some say R&B and soul music are dead, but those who are up on Lina know better. -Ismael AbduSalaamMariah Carey

I’m thankful for Mariah Carey!

 

Say what you may about Mrs. Carey-Cannon, but that woman is a f**kin hot ass cougar…you gotta be 30+ to understand that! -Nia BRoyce Da 5’9I’m thankful for Royce Da 5′ 9.

 

Not only is he a dope emcee, but he’s bringing real lyricism back into Hip-Hop.

 

The feeling that once existed when awaiting the release of a new album has returned because of Royce’s hunger for raw rap. His upcoming project with DJ Premier already screams classic! -Will “ill Will” LavinBeyoncé

Queen Beyoncé has regained her throne without missing a rump shaking beat.

 

Yes! She’s even given boys and girls a reason to wear body suits and to rotate their hips like a carousel on YouTube, which is more entertaining than chopping off your hair and wearing red lipstick.

 

Sorry Rihanna. -Mo’ BMadonna

Madonna, thank you for letting us know that even if life doesn’t end at 50, our marriage can, and for proving that even Justin Timberlake can’t save a dismal record.

 

Oh, yes, and thanks for showing us that even one of the most renown recording artists in history doesn’t need a record label.

 

Can you please pass the champagne flute of Kabbalah water? -Jonathan ReyesJennifer Hudson

The recent tragedy that ripped apart singer/actress Jennifer Hudson’s family served as a personal wake up call.

 

Though I’ve never taken my family for granted, it still reminds me that I could do even more to appreciate the things that truly matter in life -that is why I’m thankful! -Isha “Ice” ColeRobin Thicke and Anthony Hamilton

These guys were two of the few keeping male R&B alive and well with good music. And with D’Angelo and Maxwell finally back in the studio, the genre may stand a good chance of coming off life support. In the words of Lupe, it just might be OK. Make way for the fellas! -Chris RichburgSolange

Being in a sibling’s shadow can be frustrating, but when your sibling is Beyoncé it can take on a whole ‘nother level.

 

Thankfully, Solange managed to not copy big sister and drop a single (“I Decided”) and album (Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams) that made people take notice.

 

With more tabloid headlines and her next album, maybe she can really come out of B’s shadow with her own “scandalous” lane to drive in. Stay tuned… -Chris RichburgM.I.A.

After nearly ruining my life by teasing retirement, M.I.A. returned after the public’s insatiable need for “Paper Planes” made Interscope beg.

 

She then lent her voice to “Swagger Like Us,” which was everyone’s favorite song until people suddenly started saying that Tip had the only hot verse (sadly, bloggers have made hating cool again).

 

Despite getting love from a hipster’s worst enemies—record companies and the mainstream—she managed to avoid a backlash and kept her spot.

 

If this was M.I.A.’s year off, I can’t wait to see what happens when she comes back from maternity leave. -Alex ThorntonAndre3000

Andre3000 is proof that an MC can wear many hats (porkpie, straw, furry, you get the picture).

 

Besides being so fly without wings, Mr. Benjamin is proof that MCs of substance still exist.

 

I’d like to send a special request out now for that “Swagger Like Us” remix that was rumored to have featured him on it among others.

 

Thank you for creating music that I can listen to forever and a face that I could stare at all day long. -Kathy IandoliAlicia KeysWho would’ve thought that little Miss Leeshy would cause as much buzz in the gossip blogs this year as she did in the music world.

 

Beyond all of that, thank you for being an artist who has never let me down and has remained consistent in creating amazing music.

 

You keep hope alive that artists today can overcome hardships and still bounce back to make the world a better place. Now can you please call Lauryn Hill and tell her all of that for me? -Kathy Iandoli

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