I think it is a good album. I guess it is just not the Will Smith people wanted at the time, which is why it has a bad reputation. That never affected me though. I do think some of the production was very much a product of it's time and did not age very well, for example songs like Act Like You Know. However, songs like Maybe, 1000 Kisses and Block Party are still some of my favorite songs of all time. Especially 1000 Kisses and Maybe exemplify what is still so great about the album. This album was never about spitting and ironically the songs that focus less on that turned out to be the most timeless ones, at least in my opinion. My favorite track is probably Nothing On My Mind, which sadly wasn't on all versions of the album. Also, I love Tra-Knox.
My cable company pays for my Spotify so that is what I use. It is very useful, especially to check out new albums or to listen to some albums or songs you don't really want to own because you'll be done with them after a few times. However, I'm not sure I would pay for it myself, cause I might as well spend those 120€ a year on CD's. I might sign up to Apple Music because all my music basically runs through iTunes and because their family sharing policy is amazing. Suddenly it's 5€ or less a person a month to use it, which is pretty damn great.
As for buying music, I usually buy CD's because they are often actually no more than 10€ these days, which means buying them digitally isn't even cheaper. For some records, I buy the vinyl copies, which now usually come with a digital code and often do not cost more than like 15€. I buy less than I used to, but not because of streaming, just because I realized I bough too many CDs and actually listened to too few of them.
My Top 15 (or 16) Albums Of 2014
1. YG – My Krazy Life (Hip Hop)
2. The Lawrence Arms – Metropole (Alternative/Punk)
3. Transit – Joyride (Alternative/Punk)
4. Intuition & Equalibrum - Intuition & Equalibrum (Hip Hop)
5. The Madden Brothers – Greetins From California (Singer/Songwriter)
6. New Found Glory – Resurrection (Alternative/Punk)
7. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek (Jazz/Great American Songbook)
8. The Roots – And Then You Shot Your Cousin (Hip Hop)
9. Ariana Grande – My Everything (R&B)
10. J. Rawls – The Legacy (Hip Hop)
11. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (Country)
12. Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow (Hip Hop)
13. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata (Hip Hop)
14. Tinashe – Aquarius (R&B)/Mariah Carey - Me. I Am Mariah (...) (R&B)
15. Rick Ross – Mastermind (Hip Hop)
I have not yet heard the 2014 releases of some artists I love, such as Ghostface, J. Cole, Young Jeezy, Pennywise, Statik Selektah and Big K.R.I.T.