View Full Version : Top 10 Albums of the Year - Pt. 1

12-22-2010, 11:23 AM
The first 5 of the top 10 hip hop albums of the year


It’s that time again, to look back on the last year of hip hop and pick the top 10 albums that arguably defined this year and are more proof that this culture is very much alive and better than ever. Last year it was impossible to limit the list to 10 (http://teacherofhiphop.blogspot.com/2009/12/top-10-15-albums-of-2009.html) and this year is no different, as there are a couple of “honorable mentions” that I’ve made up excuses for but really, I just couldn’t limit myself to ten. Also like last year I’ve included a couple albums that could have made the list but for varying reasons, did not. As always these are in no particular order as that becomes much more subjective and the purpose is not to argue about why #5 should be #4 but just to have an overall list of what albums really shined this year.

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/umqqhkdz-copy.jpgThe Roots – How I Got Over (http://www.amazon.com/How-I-Got-Over-Roots/dp/B0029LX2LC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1292604558&sr=8-3) – released June 22, 2010

The Roots 9th studio release not only takes album of the year but is easily climbing its way up the list of best hip hop albums of all time. From start to finish this album is perfect. The sequencing itself is worth mentioning as the interlude provides for an almost cassette-like feel to the album, as well as the outro which sets apart the two “bonus” tracks after it. With Black Thought more focused than ever in his sharp delivery and lyrical brilliance, guests that all held their own, and music that was both beautiful as well as lively, this album defines hip hop in the truest sense of the word, so much so that it was the first album in forever that I played all the way through and then immediately played all the way through again, that alone is something that almost no record can boast these days. It’s not even right to point out specific tracks as this is one of those records where seamless transitions sometimes make it tough to even tell when one song has ended and the next has begun, it’s hip hop perfection from start to finish.

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/dnlhimij-copy.jpgKanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Dark-Twisted-Fantasy-Deluxe/dp/B0042RUMG4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1292604615&sr=8-7) – released November 22, 2010

The other obvious choice for album of the year, this record was Kanye’s way of proving that he’s ready to take hip hop over again, as well as the fact that no matter what he does, he will never ever fall off. “Runaway” is 9 minutes long, “All of the Lights” has about 18 guests on it, and yet this album is basically flawless. Tracks that leaked were reworked so that Rick Ross delivers a nominee for verse of the year after one of the most beautiful buildups we’ve ever heard, the intro for “All of the Lights” isn’t even hip hop, yet RZA’s “Dark Fantasy” beat couldn’t be any more grimy gutter rap, but with the opera-like sound of layered vocals. “Blame Game”, with the hilarious Chris Rock skit, also has a piano line that is absolutely hypnotic. This album is a symphony, with different movements for each track, and the result is another Kanye masterpiece that transcends every genre ever created.

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/fby07jln-copy.jpgRick Ross – Teflon Don (http://www.amazon.com/Teflon-Don-Rick-Ross/dp/B003IMES78/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1292604671&sr=8-3) – released July 20, 2010

Go ahead, hate, but this album should be on everyone’s list. The guest list alone seals the deal with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Cee-Lo, T.I., Jadakiss, Puffy, Trey Songz (http://www.reppghhiphop.com/2010/09/12/trey-songz/), Ne-Yo, Styles P, shit even Raekwon was supposed to be on there but his joint was so good they had to leave it as just a bonus track. The corrections officer may still be boasting about the lavish lifestyle he certainly didn’t get to because of cocaine, but if there was ever a Scarface of hip hop that we believed in as much as we did Al Pacino, Rick Ross is it. Everything Ross does is big, and this is no exception, whether it’s Cee-Lo belting out a chorus, or Kanye making a track so big that even he went off more than we’ve really ever heard, shit even Jay-Z came right out and spoke on the Illuminati shit, what else could you want? Club joints like “No. 1” and the street’s favorite song this year “B.M.F” as well as the newest “Maybach Music” make this album amazing as the summer truly was Rozay’s.

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/c61s3pk7-copy.jpgBig Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son of Chico Dusty (http://www.amazon.com/Lucious-Left-Foot-Chico-Dusty/dp/B003FGWSL0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1292604721&sr=8-2) – released July 5, 2010

While his partner-in-rhyme stays dropping one verse every 4 years, Big Boi pushed the already experimental sound of Outkast even further on this soulful, crunk, funky album with expansive production, a solid guest list, and he proved that he should never have been considered the lesser-enjoyable wordsmith from one of the most eclectic groups. It’s one of those albums that just flows so smoothly, without many real stand-out tracks as it really all comes together as one big soundscape. But for real, “Shine Blockas” is one of the dopest tracks to come out in years. You can’t help but move to that shit, if you haven’t already been wylin off “Turns Me On”, “Tangerine” or the beautiful “Be Still”. It may not be traditional hip hop, but it’s as true to the culture as it gets, and with a mainstream appeal that makes this a perfect crossover, much like How I Got Over both radio and underground can love this shit.

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ylvqfu6f-copy.jpgReflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute (http://www.amazon.com/Revolutions-Minute-Reflection-Eternal-Talib/dp/B0039BD6SA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1292604757&sr=8-3) – May 18, 2010

Could the combination of Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek work 10 years after the original masterpiece? Surprisingly it did even while adapting to the change in the overall sound of hip hop 10 years later. Talib’s articulate vocals match just right over Hi-Tek’s syncopated production to create a landscape where both word and note are being absorbed by the listener, you feel the music but you hear the message. This is no better found than on the political track of the year “Ballad of the Black Gold. “Just Begun” is one everyone’s short list for posse cut of the year with up and comers J. Cole and Jay Electronica more than holding their own with the Black Star outfit, “Lifting Off” is an amazing weed anthem, and “In This World” is musically one of rap’s greatest recent achievements. And for all the hate it gets “Midnight Hour” perfectly captures the throwback sound of a 50s era swing track. Always informative, Talib Kweli once again blesses us with knowledge over Hi-Tek’s brilliant production.

Check back for Part 2 which will also include a couple of honorable mentions as well as reasons why some expected albums just didn’t quite make the cut.

12-22-2010, 11:28 AM
I give it to The Roots "How I got over" and Ghostface Killah "Apollo Kids"

12-22-2010, 12:57 PM
I give it to The Roots "How I got over" and Ghostface Killah "Apollo Kids"

check back for Part 2, ain't no way Ghost ain't make the list