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Jan
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25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in 2009

25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in 2009

I’ll be rolling solo for this list, and we’ll be back to the Writers Build segment soon.

Here are my choices for 25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in ’09. These were either under-appreciated, didn’t sell well (blame it on the consumer), or were under the casual listener’s radar. Don’t worry, that’s what bloggers are here for.

Do your part to support these albums by clicking on the covers or titles to buy or download your copy, Enjoy!

The Salvation

1. Skyzoo – The Salvation

Let me just say this up front – this is the most complete album on this list. My first introduction to Brooklyn’s own Skyzoo was Cloud 9: The Three Day High, his collab with producer 9th Wonder. Rumored to only take 3 days to make, I was unimpressed by its lack of vision or cohesiveness. It felt rushed, most likely because it was. I shrugged off future mixtapes and features because I held a grudge against Sky for essentially wasting my time.

The Salvation turned out to be the exact opposite.

Set out to make his “most personal” piece of work to date, it is evident Sky brought his heart and soul into the booth with him this time around. It’s the type of album that, due to its density and subject matter, I had to replay it entirely over again the instant it ended. Whether it was the intense imagery of “The Beautiful Decay” or poignant revelation of “Necessary Evils,” I found myself focused on every line to extract as much as I could about Sky’s unique story.

I haven’t even mentioned that The Salvation is backed by some of the game’s most consistent producers.  In addition to 9th Wonder (whose Jamla Records distributed the disc alongside its owner Duck Down Records), the line-up remains stellar – Just Blaze, Illmind, Black Milk, Nottz, and Needlz produce the majority. I can’t even choose one that stands out among the rest, even lesser known Best Kept Secret, Eric G, and Cyrus the Great flipped heat-rocks.

Sky’s opus was one of the few times this year that I connected with a record for longer than the album’s duration. It’s times like these that I am thankful we demand more from today’s MCs, as only a select few are fit to rise to the challenge.

Days Chasing Days

2. Blame One – Days Chasing Days [MP3 Download]

I admit that even I slept on this at first. However, after revisiting it recently, the San Diego native’s no-bullshit approach to rap is appealing on many levels. Blame One is a working man’s MC (a la Talib Kweli or Brother Ali), which makes Days Chasing Days a blue-collar ode to struggling to maintain one’s family and reputation. I mean, with a heavy cosign from Exile (who produces 6 cuts) and beats from Black Milk, Oh No and Kan Kick, how could you not listen?

Ridin' High

3. Keelay & Zaire – Ridin’ High [MP3 Download]

I’ve been upping this one since I posted the sampler at my old blog. Cross-coast production crew Keelay & Zaire crafted an album of smooth tunes and smokey soundscapes ideal for MCs like Phonte, Planet Asia, Emilio Rojas, and Blu to slay verbally plus singers like Darien Brockington and Femi to let loose. “Addicts for Real” featuring Tunji is a true hip-hop anthem amidst cookie-cutter wannabes. 

The Truth Is Here

4. Brother Ali – The Truth is Here EP [MP3 Download]

Brother Ali had one hell of a year. Between touring nationwide with Evidence and Ali’s DJ BK-One during the Fresh Air tour, he not only recorded a Top 5 album (Us) but churned out a 9-track EP that was more thought-out and well-developed than most artist’s full-length efforts. “Good Lord” and “Palm The Joker” are among the realest shit he’s ever wrote. No T-Pain.

Crime Pays

5. Cam’ron – Crime Pays [MP3 Download]

Easy now, purists. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. If you don’t take Cam too seriously, this album is actually pretty good with its comical one-liners and relentless rudeness. I’d much rather listen to Cam’s seasoned ignorance than the nonsensical grumbling of Gucci Mane, premature trap-rap of OJ Da Ju’man or off-key rantings of Lil’ Boosie.

6. Beanie Sigel – The Broad Street Bully [MP3 Download]

7. Tiye Phoenix – Half Woman, Half Amazin’ [MP3 Download]

8. DJ JS-1 – Ground Original 2: No Sell Out

9. Blakroc – Blakroc [MP3 Download

10. Lushlife – Cassette City [MP3 Download]

11. Tanya Morgan – Brooklynati [MP3 Download]

12. Slum Village – Villa Manifesto

13. Marco Polo & Torae – Double Barrel [MP3 Download]

14. DJ Quik & Kurupt – BlaQKout

15. Finale – A Pipe Dream & A Promise [MP3 Download]

16. k-os – Yes! [MP3 Download]

17. Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract [MP3 Download]

18. Donny Goines – Breakfast Club

19. Diz Gibran – Soon You’ll Understand (Presented by Crooks & Castles)

20. Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

21. Fresh Daily – The Gorgeous Killer (In Crimes Of Passion) [MP3 Download]

22. William Cooper – Beware of the Pale Horse [MP3 Download]

23. Nickelus F – Heathen

24. Saigon & Statik Selektah – All In a Day’s Work

25. Sene & Blu – A Day Late and A Dollar Short [MP3 Download]

 

We’ll be right back to Writers Build after these messages..

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7 Responses to “25 Hip-Hop Albums That Deserved More Shine in 2009”


  1. 1 Jonka
    January 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

    good list. got a few more….

    De_La_Soul-Are_You_In-2009
    Capone-N-Noreaga-Channel_10-2009-H3X
    50CENT – WAR ANGEL LP
    B.G-Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood-2009-VAG
    Gorilla_Zoe-Dont_Feed_Da_Animals-2009-H3X
    Havoc-Hidden_Files-2009-RVP
    Lloyd_Banks-V5
    Ras_Kass-Quarterly-2009
    Trife Diesel – Better Late Than Never
    Triple_Cs-Custom_Cars_And_Cycles-2009
    Twista-Category_F5-2009-H3X
    Wu_Tang_Clan-Chamber_Music-2009-H3X
    VA-The_Rza_Presents_Afro_Samurai-Resurrection-OST-2009-H3X
    R.A._The_Rugged_Man-Legendary_Classics_Volume_1-2009-FTD
    Kurupt And Roscoe – Tha Tekneek Files (2009)
    Killer Mike – Underground Atlanta (2009)
    Wale_Attention_Deficit-2009

    gonna try a few of yours now! ..and the Beanie album was DOPE.

    • January 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

      That De La is real dope, definitely. Same with Category 5 and the Killer Mike.

      The Wu-Tang album is on my “Best of ’09” list, even though it was one of the shortest albums of the year.

      A couple of the other writers put Wale’s album on their “Best of ’09” lists. I liked certain songs, you’ll see when I drop my “Best Songs of ’09” list soon!

  2. January 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I Glad As Hell You Put The Salvation Up There! I’ve Been Tryna Put People On Skyzoo All Year!

  3. January 7, 2010 at 2:58 am

    co-sign that ghostface joint. i was listening to it the other day


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