According to ME!!
This year has been HUGE in the music community. We were blessed with with some of the best albums by the best artists in one year. Some say, Kanye dropped his BEST work yet, Drake finally hit us with his first album, the ENINEM we all love got back to himself again, and Rick Ross kept the clubs jumpin and the summer fresh with his HITS.
However, this year also opened up the doors for some new artists to showcase their work and leave a mark not only in the charts, but in our souls!
I have compiled a top 10 list of MY favorite albums to drop this year. It was a very hard decision to narrow it down to just 10, but the following album titles and descriptions will justify my reasonings.
10. T.I. - No Mercy
If you take away the endless promises to stay out of trouble and continuous apologizes to the fans out your head, you can enjoy this album. Although, he might be a bit of a hypocrite and not come through with the "messages" in his songs and previous albums, I still like his music. I love his cocky attitude, southern beats, and powerful delivery. My fav's on this album are, welcome to the world, no mercy, and I can't help it. This is definitely not the best of TI but it is good enough to keep in your ipod.
9. B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
With the huge hit "airplanes" under his belt, he became an instant sensation. I was very surprised, and more so, impressed that he was signed to Grand Hustle, and not a major label that "created" him. I love that BOB is not only a rapper, he is a musician. I think this album was a great showcase of his musical and lyrical abilities. My favorite songs are, past my shades, don't let me fall, bet I, and the kids. The only reason I didn't place this album higher was because his hits were too mainstream for me, and I'd never listen to them outside the radio.
8. Llyod Banks- H.F.M. 2
With Gunit hardly in existence, its good to see that Llyod Banks still has the hunger needed in the hip hop world. Banks is my definition of a SMOOTH criminal, in the music world. His voice is so chill and smooth but he has the capability to murder any track with his lyrics. I enjoy this album as much if not more than his last HFM. My favorite tracks from this album are, payback, unexplainable, home sweet home and start it up.
7. Waka Flocka Flame- Flockaveli
Honestly, I cannot believe I am including this in my BEST albums of the year. However, EVERY TIME any of his songs go on, I get in the best mood. The production (lex luger) on this album is SUPERB!!! I LOVE beats, and this album is filled with the hard kick of the 808. Lyrically, flocka is not good, but he knows exactly the type of music that will get you CRUNK, make you wanna fight, or just jump around uncontrollably. I'd describe this album in one word. RAW
There is no singing on the chorus, no auto-tune, no sappy love songs and or drug dealing references. THIS IS PURE FIGHT MUSIC. I LOVE IT.
6. Yelawolf- Trunk Musik 0-60
When I first heard Yelawolf on Big Boi's "You Aint no DJ" , I wasn't sure what to think, but I did want to hear more. I wasn't sure if he was rock, rap, or just in his own category. After his cypher on BET, I was instantly intrigued and curious. This album alone, has some MAJOR features for a beginner. How many new artists out now have Bun B and Raekwon putting in verses on their tracks? Overall, I am in LOVE with his album, mainly because it is VERY much influenced by the dirty south and Yelawolf keeps it REAL. He is not ashamed of his southern and hillbilly type lifestyle, and showcases it through his music and that 808. After watching his music videos, I grew more appreciation for his music. You wont catch fake flashy jewelry, rented exotic cars, or half naked strippers in his videos. He plants a picture of his upbringing, his experiences, and most importantly remains true to his roots. I put Yelawolf's album higher than the others because I believe in his longevity. My favorite tracks on this album are, trunk music, good to go, pop the trunk, daddys lambo, and I wish. His delivery, lyricism and voice are one of the most unique in hip hop now.
5. J.Cole- Friday Night Lights
I know this list is compiled of ALBUMS, and this is only a mixtape. BUT, I think it definitely holds its ground. I first heard J Cole during a Jay Z concert he opened for and I remember enjoying his music and taking a mental note about him. I think his tracklist is VERY SOLID, and the production is good too. J Cole, like Drake makes music that makes me rewind and jot down the metaphor or simile that was made. Friday Night Lights, showcases J Cole as a very confident yet humble artist. He's not playing up on a fake facade about balling, cars, or drug dealing, he instead takes us through his come up. My favorite tracks are, before i'm gone, higher, the autograph, and blow up. “What good is being “The One” when you’re the only one that knows it?”.
4. Rick Ross - Teflon Don
I don't think there is one hip person in this world who wasn't feeling like BIG MEECH or LARRY HOOVER this summer! When I heard BMF on his Albert Anastasia mixtape, I knew it was gonna be Ross's year!!! THAT BEAT, the HOOK, his cockiness and gutta delivery on the track made it the hottest song of the year. I say this EVERY year and I am positive I will continue for as long as Ross drops music, HE NEVER LETS ME DOWN. I have been a Rick Ross fan since his first album, and stay true to that today. HE doesn't care what anyone thinks about him, real or fake, he knows how to CAPTIVATE the audience, and it works! This is not my favorite Ross album, but I do enjoy it randomly popping up on my itunes.
3. Drake- Thank Me Later
The mixtape king finally dropped his first album, and although everyone was trying to rain on his parade, I believe he did a great job. I prefer his mixtape songs, but this was a good start. When I first heard the album, it was so so, but eventually it grew on me, and I started discovering songs I didn't give a chance to in the beginning. I have to say, Drake is one of my FAVORITE lyricist, with actual thought-provoking material. I have caught myself jotting down numerous song phrases and using them as an outlet of how I felt at that moment. His ability to produce an all around top to bottom SOLID song is supreme, on the levels of the greats like Kanye, and Eminem. I never get confused after listening to his songs because everything always makes sense. He is a legend in his prime. My favorite tracks are, show me a good time, light up, the resistance, and up all night.
2. Kanye West- MBDTF
After doing a lil research I have noticed that most if not ALL blog and music sites placed this album as number one of the year. I don't disagree with them. This arguably could be Kanye's finest work thus far. He is a lyrical genius, and an outstanding producer. Like Rick Ross, Kanye has a great ability to captivate the audience and keep them intrigued, and in MBDTF he did just that. Kanye's arrogance is in full force on this album, and as always, it works. He makes you feel like a giant even if you stand 5'3 like myself. One of my favorite things to do with a Kanye track is decode his lyrics. His witty lyricism and metaphoric ability is brilliant to say the least. I know Kanye gave out 5 tracks from this album for free ahead of time, but it didn't stop me from actually purchasing the cd. When I heard Blame Game, all I could say is, WOW, thats EXACTLY how I feel right now. I am going through those same emotions and it was on repeat for awhile. Dark Fantasy gives me an overwhelming feeling that is still hard to describe, but the chorus of "can we get much higher" is almost a God like calling. So Appalled is another favorite of mine, no fancy melodies, no singing or harmonizing, just straight RAW HIP HOP. Devil in a new dress and lost in the world are also favorites of mine. Overall, I feel like I fall in love with a new song every time I listen to this album. It's simply beautiful, a masterpiece!
1. Eminem- Recovery
Well first and foremost, I'd like to WELCOME Eminem back!!! Please don't leave us like that again! In his very own words Em said, " In fact lets be honest/ the last relapse album was ehh" That is exactly how I felt last year when I was listening to the album. It had a few great tracks, but overall was just garbage. Running out of personal issues like kim or his mother to rap about, I think Eminem came to a bit of a fork in the road. However, with a long drug addiction and an overdose under his belt, he got his passion back. Eminem, known for his amazing and witty lyrical ability has proved in Recovery that he didn't lose it. What I love most is the vulnerability in this album. In Talking to Myself, he really showcases his TRUE AND REAL emotions, without worrying about others think. It takes a REAL artist to ADMIT to being wrong, wanting to quit, falling off, or someone being better than them. When Eminem said he wanted to make a song dissing Lil Wayne and Kanye, I felt his pain. I knew exactly what he was talking about, because Wayne and Kanye were getting all the shine, and Eminem knows he is on their level if NOT beyond it, and it was because he gave us garbage music (relapse) the fans started to fall off. I am glad he finally realized what wasn't working for him and got that hunger back to make GOOD music with his most valuable tool, HIS TONGUE. A lyrical legend, metaphorical genius, RAW and entertaining nonetheless describes EMINEM. My favorite track on this album is No Love. I never imagined this duo, but after Drop the world, I knew they were capable of something special and this was it. The sample from Haddaway's - What is Love is CHILLING on this track and works perfectly for Wayne's and Eminem's lyrical ability to rap perfectly to the beat. Overall, this is a very solid album, I hardly have to skip thru songs, because they pull me in and keep me intrigued. Space bound, going thru changes, and seduction are some of my other favorite tracks. If you thought Eminem lost his edge, this album definitely showcases he's still got it!!