Thursday, December 15, 2005

list season: top 9 rap albums of 2005.

2005 was a really stagnant year for hip-hop, let me tell you. as much as i love the art form, when you have a frustratingly mediocre rapper like young jezzy and a horrific one like mike jones [who?] being your breakout stars of the year, then something is seriously wrong with the state of hip-hop these days. lil wayne and juelz santana might have been on the list if i had listened to their records before the deadline. to name my top nine hip-hop albums of the year was a REAL fucking stretch, but i think i can do it.

9. the game- the documentary:
bol [] said it best when he summed up the tracks that just blaze produced for this album: "not only does just blaze create amazing rap records, he creates amazing rap records for motherfuckers who can't even RAP!" game's rapping talent is marginal at best [but EXTREMELY better than 50 cent's rap style], but somehow, he created one of the only hip-hop records this year that elicited more than one listen.

essential track: "no more fun and games"

8. re-up gang- we got it 4 cheap, volume one:
coke rap was really big in 2005, and due to some label drama with jive records, malice and pusha were at the forefront of it, because they do it better [and more often] than any other rapper. i'm glad they got it for cheap, but if they upped the price, i wouldn't be mad. they deserve to get the big payoff. the other members of the re-up gang, sandman and ab-liva, are great additions to the group. gun in my hand, no watch as i bear arms, indeed.

essential track: "studin y'all"

7. little brother- the minstrel show:
the minstrelization of hip-hop music is a topic that should have been touched on years ago, and thanks should go out to phonte and big pooh for having the balls to make a concept album out of it on their major label debut, making it the most punk-rock thing a rap group has ever done. although the first two listens are the most rewarding, little brother is too good of a group to get blacklisted by national black media. it's a damn shame, but it happens to the best groups.

essential track: "watch me"

6. one be lo- sonogram:
the most underrated rapper out right now. point blank, period.

essential track: "propaganda"

5. re-up gang- we got it 4 cheap, volume 2:
they did it again. two albums on the same list. i told you hip-hop had a stagnant year. not to mention that pharrell is on a hot streak as far as his rap skills are concerned. "sprinkle my kicks and snares, soundin' like little me's/it's a shame cause you make little cheese/how you gangsta or pimp with little bullets, little freeeeaks..?"

essential track: "play your part"

4. common- be:
this record was highly-anticipated when kanye west put his executive producer stamp on this album. but the star is not kanye's production, surprisingly. common delivers his best lyrical performance in years. "go" is probably one of my least favorite songs of the year, but it sure beats the hell out of listening to "my humps" for the 475th time.

essential track: "chi city"

3. think differently presents wu-tang meets the indie culture:
i was very skeptical of this project, due to the number of low-level rap projects that are wu-tang affilliated. however, i was floored by the number of quality tracks on this release. ras kass and del the funky homosapien steal the show with two tracks each, but my favorite rapper, mf doom provides the highlight reel during his verse of the release's first "single". his verse was so good, that rza went back to the studio and put a verse at the end of the song.

essential track: rza featuring mf doom- "biochemical equation"

2. kanye west- late registration:
as much as i hate to build kanye's ego even more [he's good, but not good enough to be an asshole], when he hooked up with jon brion and spent two million dollars recording the follow-up to his eponymous debut, the two of them made the most musically-ambitious hip-hop album of all time. what rap songs do YOU know have the glockenspiel on them? kanye's lyricism isn't above par, but it's good enough. i suppose i can let him talk his shit again.

essential track: "we major (featuring nas and really doe)"

1. dangerdoom- the mouse and the mask:
this is no surprise to regular readers of this blog, but honestly, noone can hold a candle to doom's lyricism. couple that with danger mouse's best beats that had nothing to do with paul mccartney, and you have the hip-hop album of the year. it's no madvillian, but this year was so lackluster as far as hip-hop was concerned, if doom would have coughed on a record, he would have made rap record of the year.

essential track: "bada bing"


Blogger largehearted boy said...

I just couldn't get into DangerDoom.

I strongly recommend MF Grimm's Scars and Memories and The Downfall of Ibilys.

9:16 AM  

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