If Premo does 25, i do 25:
Best song of the year " Stop Whatcha Doin" Apathy feat Celph-Titled prod by DJ Premier
Producer of the Year: Statik, no doubt. He worked harder this year than anyone. Joints all over this list and collabo EPs/LPs on and off this list. Best beat on PH; and Killer ones on Aathy, ED OG and more
1. Rashad & Confidence "The Element of Surprise" ...Damn Right!!! Out of nowhere - never heard of these guys. and they deliver the smartest LP of the year. Intricate lyrics and rhyming scheme over 90's style classic beats. Flawless!
(FFO: Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Nas Halftime, Mos Def, Malcolm & Martin, REKS)
2. Malcom & Martin "Life Doesn't Frighten Me..." Pretty much the same! Marco Polo and DJ Revolution beats. Smart and playful dual lyrics. Passionate and intelligent. Brilliant album that i keep going back to. Fresh ad rejuvenating style for a stale genre.
3. Apathy "Honkey Kong" Yeah! While "Wanna Snuggle?!!?" saw Ap experiment with many different musical styles; this is strictly for the boom bap!! Best rapper out there. Just raw and grimy. Many hot Joints - and my song of the year.
4. Joell Ortiz "Free Agent" The hottest spitter eschews the SH pop beats for old school boom bap. Untouchable.
i place M&M and R&C on top, because of the social lyrics and introspective approach.
5. Action Bronson & Statik Selektah "Well Done" Rough as hell. These guys get to gether and take no prisoners. Money and Bitches and Weed talk - better than most. Cop thi.
6. Saigon "The Greatest Story Never Told" This album has everything. Great stry telling. From theheart (fro the street) tales. No bullshit over ill beats. Almost like a Raekwon. *(plus, "It's Cold")
7. Pharoahe Monch "W.A.R." not only tricky wordplay - but smart as hell and down for the social causes.
8. DC the Midi Alien "Avenger Airwaves"
POLITICS!!! the smartest comp ever. Wake the fuck Up!!
9. Bumpy Knuckles & Statik Selektah "Lyrical Workout" - Bumpy is in my top5. Can't fuck with his attitude or his down and dirty flows. And with Statik providing dusty beats, this is ridiculous.
10. Ill Bill & Vinnie "Heavy Metal Kingz" adoring their love of metal and conspiracy theory - these friends deliver a grimy string of fury. Beats are awesome. Lyrics will blow you back.
11. Torae "For The Record"
One of the best new dudes; killer flow. Great beats. Torae has one of my favorite flowsout there - i miss an all Marco Polo lp - but Statik and Preem show up, so it's all good.
12. Apollo Brown & Hassaan Mackey "Daily Bread"
Apollo make ssouls albums. i could ust listen to him. Add a dope rapper; give them one 24 hour period; and you get a bomb ass album
13. Slaine "A World With No Skies"
The genius wordsmith gets a little poppy on a few; but this DMS soldier brings the dark world of the ugly streets all the sam. "Shoot You" and "99 Bottles" and "Ghosts" stand out
14. REKS "R.E.K.S."
Creative spark-plug kills it again
15. Vakill "Armor of God" The most under-rated lyricist out there.
16. Ed OG "A Face in the Crowd" The real elder stateaman. Strong flow, multi-syllable rhymes; humble and mature over soulful street beats
17. MOP & Snowgoons "Sparta" My boy said - "Snowgoons are too chill for the energy of M.O.P." - i get the point, and concede it as valid somewhat...but this LP still has fire and it thumps
18. REEF the Lost Cauze and Snowgoons "Your Favorite Rapper" I love Reef. Just true street attitude and clever. And nice to ohave Snowh=goons provide a consistent feel throughout the lp
19. Kool G Rap "Riches, Royalty, Recpect" He still has a machine gun delivery of syllabic mastery over a 70s score.
20. Esoteric "Boston Pharoah" while it isn't "1212" - kills it though. Greatest lyricist in hip hop today? yes. Add Blacastan and you get a winner.
21. The Roots "Undone" Most original lp for sure. A concept album told backwards. beautiful and solemn
22. WC "Revenge of the Baracuda" One of my favorites since "Ain't A Damn Thing Changed" ...he still has gritty style that bobs your head. And uses beats that are underground. A clever humorous and honest rapper.
23. Murs & Ski-Beatz "Love and Rockets. vol I"...a few too many girl songs for me - but when he harnesses his power, he his on point. I love Murs! Damn good beats.
24. Evidence "Cats & Dogs" solid LP. i still prefer DP together, but damn good
25. Raekwon "Shaolin vs Wu-Tang" Its what you expect from 2000 era Rae. Pretty good release. But i miss RZA; how do you not use 1 RZA beat? I am still ga-ga over "OBFCL Pt II" anyway...
KRS-One & Show "Godsville" the KRS of the last few years is Unstoppable! His best lyrics keep coming. I imagine when the full Premo comes out - it will break top 5.
Wu-Tang "Legendary Weapons"
I love the Revelations doing the live jam; but not enough lyrics...and no GZA? Not as good as "Chamber Music"
Jedi Mind Tricks "Violence Begets Violence" - after the last LP (HOV) was so incredible - i find this mediocre with no Stoupe beats. No Stoupe!?!?!? sacrilege! Still like listening to Vinnie get naughty, though.
Pete Rock & Smif n Wessun; Boot Camp Click and Choclate Boy Wonder? not the best - but pretty sweet
EPs and Mixtape Releases:
Ras Kass- Black Snow (we get Nature of the Threat II - about xmas!!!)
Apathy - "Having a Wonderful Christmas Time"
Celph & Buckwild "Nineteen Ninety More" ep
El Da Sensei - Remix (Artifacts, reunite! Jean Grae!
Ill Bill "Howie Made Me Do It vol II"
Cormega "Raw Forever" He re-records his classics with The Revelations!!
Raekwon "Wu-Tang vs Shaolin"
Planet Asia "The Bar Mitzvah" ...Too many guests, not enough PA...Bring on "Crack Belt Theatre"