Posts Tagged ‘Albums

07
Feb
10

A Tribute To A True Revolutionary – Bob Marley (Article, Albums & Downloads)

R.I.P.

A Tribute to a True Revolutionary

Originally published February 2007, © Rutgers University, Daily TargumInside Beat

Bob Marley’s genius extended far beyond music. On his 65th birthday, we celebrate..

Words can hardly express the significance of Bob Marley’s influence nor can they begin to describe the impact of his life that remains over 25 years after his passing.  The reggae superstar used music to unify, uplift, and inspire an entire generation.  His music was simple yet poignant; it transcended the barriers of race, class structure, and even language.  No other recording artist to date has been able to secure international stardom while at the same time remaining loyal to a straightforward mission of equality, peace, and love.

 Jamaican Roots

Get up, stand up/ Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up/ Don’t give up the fight

-“Get Up, Stand Up,” 1973

Born Robert Nesta Marley on February 6, 1945 in Saint Ann, Jamaica to a white father and black mother, he was challenged from day one.  His father Norval Marley, a quartermaster in the British navy and wealthy landowner, rarely saw his son and left him in the sole care of his mother, Cedella Booker.  Marley experienced poverty and racial prejudice (since he was biracial) as he grew up in Trenchtown, a slummy village in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.  Inhabitants of Trenchtown were viewed as neglected by Jamaican society.  Although Marley garnered the nickname “Tuff Gong” from friends due to his physical strength, the consciousness he gained shaped his character and would ultimately guide his lifelong energy.

After meeting a fellow street youth named Neville O’Riley Livingston, or “Bunny,” Marley became interested in music.  He and Bunny tuned into American radio, which exposed them to acts like Ray Charles and Curtis Mayfield, and followed the emerging Jamaican R&B scene.  Marley dropped out of school at 14 and, although he took up an apprenticeship with a welder, his true life passion was to make music.

In pursuit of his dream, Marley began practicing and attending informal sessions run by a famous Jamaican singer named Joe Higgs.  After impressing a local entrepreneur named Leslie Kong with his vocal ability, Marley wrote and recorded his first songs, “Judge Not,” “Terror,” and “One Cup of Coffee,” which marked the start of an extraordinary musical vision.

Rude Boy Wailin’

One good thing about music
When it hits, you feel no pain

-“Trenchtown Rock,” 1973

When his solo tracks received little airplay on Jamaican radio, Marley decided he could gain more exposure in a group.  Along with Bunny and another aspiring musician named Peter McIntosh whom Marley met during Higgs’ jam sessions in addition to a few backup singers, Marley formed The Wailers in 1963.  The group’s first single, “Simmer Down,” climbed to No. 1 on the Jamaican charts in early 1964 and established The Wailers’ unique reggae sound, a combination of tough street rhythm and urban vigor, on the Jamaican scene.

As The Wailers gained a national reputation, Marley’s mother resided in Delaware and had saved up enough money to fly her son to America.  In 1966, the group faced adversity and all but Marley, Bunny and McIntosh dropped out.  At the same time, Marley married Rita Anderson and reunited with his mother in America.  His stay in the States was brief, just long enough to gather finances needed to continue his passion, and Marley returned to Jamaica in October 1966.

R.I.P.

Rastaman Vibration

I’m a living man, I’ve got work to do
If you’re not happy, then you must be blue

-“Soul Rebel,” 1970 

Upon his return to home soil, Marley became increasingly attracted to the growing Rastafarian movement.  The Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, visited Jamaica while Marley was gone and inspired this religious development.  Rita Marley saw Selassie and converted to Rastafarianism, which Bob would soon adopt as well.  This sentiment was echoed throughout his music – the Wailers’ style drifted away from its gritty street roots to spirituality and social awareness.  This conflicted with the vision of their record label Coxsone Dodd, so the group departed to record with innovative reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry

During the Perry sessions, the group recorded reggae classics such as “Soul Rebel” and “400 Years.”  Two of Perry’s studio musicians, Aston “Family Man” Barrett and his brother Carlton then joined The Wailers.  The group released several albums with Perry, including Soul Rebel and Soul Revolution.  By the early 1970s, Jamaica had fully embraced their ground-breaking sound.  It was perfect timing to expand to an international audience.

The World Catches Fire

What we need is love, to guide and protect us on
If you hope good down from above, help the weak if you are strong

-“No More Trouble,” 1973 

The Wailers pursued an invitation to a London-based label in 1971, but were dropped before even releasing a single.  In desperation, Marley approached Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who was instrumental in exposing Europe to Jamaican reggae.  Blackwell offered The Wailers a record deal with Island, which gave them access to state-of-the-art recording facilities that no other reggae band had ever used before.

The result was the group’s 1973 major label debut Catch a Fire, an international hit album and the most innovative reggae composition of its time.  Catch a Fire addressed social and political topics with a captivating optimism – tracks like “Concrete Jungle” and “No More Trouble” embodied Marley’s view that all people could rise above struggle.  The album’s biggest hit was “Stir It Up,” a sensual love song where Bob’s vocals gently soothed the listener.  Catch a Fire began Marley’s successful tenure on Island and catapulted him to international star statusn but led to another identity change for The Wailers.

One Love

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right

-“One Love / People Get Ready,” 1977

After short tours throughout Europe and the United States, The Wailers went back to the studio to release Burnin’, an LP that included re-recordings of older songs in addition to new hits like “Get Up, Stand Up” and “I Shot The Sheriff.” Epic rock guitarist Eric Clapton’s version of the latter made it to the top of U.S. singles charts and increased Marley’s widespread fame.

Shortly after Burnin’, Bunny and McIntosh left to pursue solo careers.  Now known as Bob Marley & The Wailers and equipped with a female trio of backup singers called the I-Threes that included Rita Marley, the group released Natty Dread in February of 1975.  “Revolution,” “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry),”and “No Woman, No Cry,” the first hit single outside of Bob’s homeland, highlighted an album that showcased Marley’s committed stance of continuously revealing social inequality. 

The follow-up album, 1976’s Rastaman Vibration, experienced success in the U.S. with “Who The Cap Fit” and “War,” for which Marley borrowed words from a speech by Emperor SelassieMarley’s following among youth in Jamaica was widening, however he would soon be the target of a serious attack.

R.I.P.

Movement of Jah People

Open your eyes, look within
Are you satisfied with the life you’re livin’?

-“Exodus,” 1977

As Marley’s position as an international music star progressed, his political influence increased tenfold.  Each time the group went on tour, their message spread quicker than wild fire throughout impoverished Jamaican youth and international audiences alike. 

Although fans idolized the musician, some individuals viewed him as a threat.  In late 1976, as he prepared for a free concert organized by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Michael Manley, unidentified gunmen assaulted and wounded Marley, Rita, and their manager Don Taylor inside the musician’s home.  It is thought that the confrontation was politically-motivated; they recovered quickly and performed as scheduled despite the scare.

In early 1977, Marley departed to England to record two of his most highly-praised albums, Exodus and Kaya.  The former stayed on U.K. charts for over a year and peaked at #20 on U.S. pop charts on the strength of top-selling hits in “Jamming,” “One Love / People Get Ready,” and “Waiting In Vain” in addition to feel-good melodies in “Three Little Birds” and “Natural Mystic.”  The latter focused more on reggae ballads including “Satisfy My Soul” and “Is This Love,” which offered a glimpse into the singer’s more intimate side. 

TIME magazine referred to Exodus as the best album of the 20th century in 1998, and many critics believe it to be the climax of Marley’s career.  In 1978, at the “One Love Peace Concert” in Jamaica, Marley’s impact became clearly evident as he united leaders from the two rival political parties, Prime Minister Manley and Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga, onstage to embrace in a handshake.  Marley had fully recovered from the attack and accomplished what no other artist had ever done – used music to successfully resolve political differences.

Uprising for Survival

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds

-“Redemption Song,” 1980

Marley’s final two albums, Survival and Uprising, contrasted in meaning but proved that international achievements were never more important than his message behind the music.  1979’s Survival was fierce and political while 1980’s Uprising was intensely spiritual.  Inspired by a visit to Africa, Survival begged the continent to unify on “Zimbabwe,” “So Much Trouble In The World,” and “Africa Unite.” 

A stop in Ethiopia led to Uprising, a very personal and religious album where Marley’s lyrics reflected his spiritual journey on the worldwide hit “Could You Be Loved” and the acoustic masterpiece “Redemption Song.”  The album appeared on international music charts, acted as motivation for a major European tour, and also led to plans for an American tour with Stevie WonderMarley started the American tour at Madison Square Garden, but fell seriously ill after only two performances.

A toe injury suffered three years earlier in England caused his illness.  Due to his Rastafarian beliefs, Marley refused to have his toe amputated when it became infected and, soon thereafter, cancerous.  As the cancer spread throughout his body, Marley struggled to survive using non-toxic medication but the disease would prove to be overwhelming.  On his way back to Jamaica, Marley passed away in Miami on May 11, 1981 at the age of 36.  His final words were simply, “Money can’t buy life.”

The Legend Lives On

Good friends we’ve had
Oh, good friends we’ve lost along the way

In this great future, you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears, I say

-““No Woman, No Cry”,” 1975

Though his human voice has been forever silenced, Bob Marley’s legacy remains fully intact and has influenced a generation of music enthusiasts to continue the spread of his message.  He was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1994 and posthumously received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. 

Still, it is the continuing popularity of his music that conveys Marley’s ideas of equality, unity, human rights, and spiritual encouragement.  There are countless compilation albums dedicated to spreading the rhythmic reggae that flowed from his soul.  He never wallowed in self-pity, instead opting to use his experience to expose the world to the reality of life in Third World nations like Jamaica.  “Marley wasn’t singing about how peace could come easily to the world but rather about how hell on earth comes too easily to too many,” Rolling Stone Magazine once wrote.

Marley spoke for the underrepresented, unfortunate, and impoverished.  His music was meant not just to understand but also to uplift, not just to inform but also to involve, and not just to symbolize but also to salvage.  Even in death, Bob Marley remained true to his beliefs and passion.  It is for these reasons that mere words could never pay tribute to the legend nor entirely embody the meaning for which he lived.

R.I.P.

 R.I.P. Robert Nesta Marley, February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981

Studio Albums:

The Wailing Wailers (1965) [Purchase] | Soul Rebels (1970) | Soul Revolution (1971) | Burnin’ (1973) | Catch a Fire (1973) | Natty Dread (1974) | Rastaman Vibration (1976) | Exodus (1977) | Kaya (1978) | Survival (1979) | Uprising  (1980)

Select Compilations:

Best Of | Songs of Freedom (1992) [Purchase] | Collectorama: The Kingston Years (2008) | One Love at Studio One (1964-66) [Purchase] | Legend (1984) [Purchase]

Select Rarities & Remixes:

Wail ‘n Soul’m Singles (2005) [Purchase] | Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub (1997) | Bob Marley & Friends – Chant Down Babylon (1999) [Purchase] | J. Period & K’naan Present – The Messengers: Bob Marley

Select Live Performances:

Live in Kingston, Jamaica with Stevie Wonder (1975) | Live! – 1975 [Purchase] | Live in Sausalito, CA 10/31/1973

Interview:

Marley Speaks (From the book Marley Legend)

R.I.P.

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04
Jan
10

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..

03
Jan
10

Hold the Throne Presents Writers Build: The Best Instrumental Albums of 2009

The Best Instrumental Albums of 2009

Movin’ right along in our Writers Build segment, let’s break down the Best Instrumental Albums of 2009.

Contributors this time around are:

Jaap van der Doelen, The Rap Up Contributing Writer & Host of WildStyle FM on Maasland FM

Trav Glave, of Wake Your Daughter Up & Bloggerhouse

The musicians noted here range from full-bands to production crews to one-man beat-making gurus. Whether widely-available to purchase on Amazon and iTunes or pushed on blogs or Bandcamp for free.99, the quality is evident from the jump. Enough of my yappin’, let’s get into the picks.

Click the covers or titles to purchase or download, Enjoy!

Writers Build: The Best Instrumental Albums of 2009

El Michels Affair - 37th Chamber

Dom

1. El Michels Affair – Enter the 37th Chamber  [MP3 Download] (Cosigned by Jaap)

2. 14KT – Nowalataz LP

3. Exile – Radio

4. Paul White – The Strange Dreams of Paul White [MP3 Download]

5. Nicolay – City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya [MP3 Download]

6. Oh No – Dr. No’s Ethiopium [MP3 Download]

7. Madlib – Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute To Dilla [MP3 Download] (Cosigned by Jaap)

8. Diego Bernal – For Corners

9. Blazo – Alone Journey

10. Dert – Talk Strange (A Beat Tape Inspired by Bjork) [Shout to Crate Kings for the link]

11. Eligh – Gandalf’s Beat Machine Level 3

12. Kan Kick – Beautiful: Opus of Love Deeper Than Flesh

13. Blockhead – The Music Scene [MP3 Download]

14. Kid Hum – Fossel Fuel

15. Blueprint – Sign Language

16. Nheap – Skymotion

17. Shano – A Butterfly In Boston

18. Inf – The Go Round [MP3 Download]

19. Batsauce – Spy vs. Spy [Shout to Trav for the link]

20. Lambent – Smoothness Extract [MP3 Download]

21. Oddisee – Odd Summer / Odd Autumn [Shout to OkayPlayer for the links]

22. Sound Scientists – Instrumentally Sound [Shout to HipHopProduction for the link]

23. RJD2 – Tin Foil Hat EP

24. Samiyam – Man vs. Machine

25. K-Def – Beats from the 90’s Vol 2

Honorable MentionsCrust & Grimes – Bleezy Listening, Esoteric – Saving Seamus Ryan (Instrumentals), The Herbaliser Band – Session 2 [MP3 Download]

Diego Bernal - For Corners

Trav Glave

1. Diego Bernal – For Corners

2. Blueprint – Sign Language

3. Exile – Radio

4. Kid Hum – Fossel Fuel

5. Batsauce – Spy vs. Spy

6. Hippo – Father Funk Mother Salsa Son Flava

7. 14KT – Nowalataz LP

8. Apollo Brown – Make Do

9. Damu & Y Society – Travel At Your Own Pace Instrumentals

10. Blu – Open [Shout to the homies at TSS for the link]

11. Oh No – Dr. No’s Ethiopium [MP3 Download]

12. Kan Kick – Beautiful: Opus of Love Deeper Than Flesh

13. K-Def – Beats from the 90’s Vol 2

14. Lateef Dameer – Dairy of a Ballad Drummer

15. RCA Miles High – Da Beat Tape

16. Alex Stange – The 45 Project

17. Blockhead – The Music Scene [MP3 Download]

18. Big Quarters (Brandon Allday & Medium Zach) – Zip Disks Break

19. Sound Scientists – Instrumentally Sound

20. Es Nine – Light of Day Instrumentals

03
Jan
10

Hold the Throne presents Writers Build: The Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2009

The Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2009

 

It’s that time again!

With my new blog this year, I’ve decided to do something different. I rounded up some talented bloggers and taste-makers for a segment I’m calling Writer’s Build. Our first mission? Tackle the Best Hip-Hop Album of 2009.

Give a warm welcome to our contributors today:

Boris, a.k.a. Dj01 of Metal Lungies

Jaap van der Doelen, The Rap Up Contributing Writer & Host of WildStyle FM on Maasland FM

J Nicholson, Cornerstone Promotion National Mixshow/ Lifestyle Marketing

Trav Glave, of Wake Your Daughter Up & Bloggerhouse

This year, although hip-hop was dominated by singles and mixtapes, there were some extremely dope albums if you made an effort to find them. The diverse selections we’ve compiled cover every end of the spectrum, from commercial releases to independent efforts. Each writer took it in a different direction, so I’m proud & excited to present the first annual Hold the Throne Presents Writers Build: The Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2009.

As usual, click the album covers or titles to support the artists that dropped quality material this year, Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Hold the Throne. Except for Dom’s choices, of course.


Dom

1. Mos Def – The Ecstatic [MP3 Download]

2. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II  [MP3 Download]

3. Brother Ali – Us [MP3 Download]

4. Eminem – Relapse [MP3 Download]

5. Doom – Born Like This [MP3 Download]

6. KiD CuDi – Man on the Moon: The End of Day [MP3 Download]

7. Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2 [MP3 Download]

8. Clipse – Til The Casket Drops [MP3 Download]

9.  J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid [MP3 Download]

10. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3 [MP3 Download]

11. Wu-Tang Clan – Chamber Music 

12. BK-One – Radio do Canibal [MP3 Download]

13. Fashawn – Boy Meets World  [MP3 Download]

14. Masta Ace & Edo G – Arts & Entertainment [MP3 Download]

15. Diamond District – In The Ruff [MP3 Download]

16. Souls of Mischief – Montezuma’s Revenge [MP3 Download]

17. K’Naan – Troubadour [Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version]

18. UGK – UGK 4 Life [MP3 Download]

19. Royce Da 5’9 – Street Hop [MP3 Download]

20. O.C. & A.G. – Oasis [MP3 Download]

Til The Casket Drops

Boris B.

Clipse – Til The Casket Drops [MP3 Download]

In terms of my most anticipated album of the year, I was a little worried when I first heard “Kinda Like a Big Deal” but after a few listens it really grew on me and restored my hope. After your typical label BS/delays, the album finally delivered. With the best album intro since forever with “Freedom,” The Brothers Thornton struck a good balance with working with The Neptunes and other producers.

Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3 [MP3 Download]

Definitely not better than Blueprint, but my favorite release of his since The Black Album. It irks me that people are looking for the “old” Hov on this, when its clear he is a different person with evolving tastes and views. “Already Home” is my favorite track on this album with a great hook featuring CuDi and great strings on the beat; just perfect.

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II  [MP3 Download]

This is one of my favorite Wu-Tang solo albums of all-time, thank God that it survived all the drama of getting it released. With Rae leaving Aftermath ,I was praying to the Wu-Gods that it wouldn’t be some low-budget album with throwaway beats, that would be a disgrace to the classic OG Linx album. All of the Wu cameos were on point, Rae even found Blue Raspberry (who I last heard on Apathy’s 05 album) to join him again. Makes me wonder of how many Rae x Dre gems are in that infamous Dre vault?

Wale – Attention Deficit [MP3 Download]

In terms of anticipated album for me, heck, I’ve been waiting for this for more than 2 years. I really liked Attention Deficit, some people said that it was cohesive enough or it lacked a vision.. do you not see the title? It captures Wale perfect as a person; watch some of his candid videos, or go to a concert of his, his mind is all over the place (in a good way). Who else can go from having Lady Gage to Dave Sitek?? To me personally, I feel like it was one Just Blaze banger away from being perfect.

KiD CuDi – Man On The Moon: The End of Day [MP3 Download]

Favorite album of the year to vibe to this year by far. With relatable song content, the melodies are perfect, the beats are great, and the the album’s story is very well executed. If you are looking for Cudder to bust some impressive technical abilites with his flow or something, this isn’t the album for you. The dude just makes songs that you want to listen to.

Marco Polo & Torae – Double Barrel [MP3 Download]

ML‘s favorite Canadian producer hooks up with Torae on a great effort to capture the great dynamic between one MC and one producer. Just a great consistent boom-bap sound with Torae’s sharp lyrics through out the entire thing. “Crash The Party” made me want to attend parties in Timberlands only.

Eminem – Relapse [MP3 Download]

A comeback, sorta, kinda, maybe? A few tracks off this album, not gonna lie, I really didn’t like. But tracks like “Beautiful” made me hopeful for future Eminem releases. Bonus cut “My Darling” didn’t really fit the album but was one of my favorites and very over-looked. C’mon son, can you really hate 20 tracks of Dre beats (looks like Em took a step back from producing this go-around)?

Maino – If Tomorrow Comes [MP3 Download]

I’m probably the only person that but this album on any lists, any postion, but I gotta speak my piece on Maino. To me, his voice is the most genuine of any rapper that’s come out in years. He may not be the most adavanced rapper, but he can definitely write a song that is real and from his heart. If anything, Maino shows that when he works with a good producer like Just Blaze, Swizz, or J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, he can make a banger, though some of the other tracks it’s a hit or miss.

UGK – UGK 4 Life [MP3 Download]

My favorite Southern album of the year, a well-executed swan-song for the legendary duo. They pulled it off without any guests or producers that outshine the duo. Nothing flashy on the album, just vintage UGK tales throughout. Pimp C would be proud. R.I.P. Pimp C.

Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse [MP3 Download]

If you tried to capture a rap battle royale on a CD, it would probably sound something like this. This album just has four dudes rapping their ass of non-stop. I found myself replaying songs numerous times because you always missing something in the rapid-fire raps. Based off this effort, give these guys a major budget and I know they are cabable of creating a classic.

Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap [MP3 Download]

Hate Rawseeee all you want, but your favorite rapper wishes he had his ear for beats as Deeper Than Rap probably had the production of the year. Yeah, the collabo’s carried Ricky on a few instances but overall the album was very enjoyable.

DJ Quik & Kurupt – BlaQKout [MP3 Download]

I can’t even recall the last great West Coast album with a MC/Producer team that was this good. Virtually no guests or singles disturb this G-Funk session. Now, if Kurupt could just get that Pete Rock collabo album out..

Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City [MP3 Download]

The only rapper that could do R&Bish type stuff without me itching to press the “skip” button (see Jadakiss – The Last Kiss). I mean, Ghost had me listeing to Lloyd AND a Cheetah girl on the same album? You know it must be good. 

Jaap van der Doelen

1. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II  [MP3 Download]

2. Mos Def – The Ecstatic [MP3 Download]

3. Royce Da 5’9 – Street Hop [MP3 Download]

4. Blakroc – Blakroc [MP3 Download

5. Doom – Born Like This [MP3 Download]

6. K’Naan – Troubadour [Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version]

7. Souls Of Mischief – Montezuma’s Revenge [MP3 Download]

8. J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid [MP3 Download]

9. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse [MP3 Download]

10. Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2 [MP3 Download

Born Like This

J Nicholson

1. Doom – Born Like This [MP3 Download]

2. Jadakiss – The Last Kiss [MP3 Download]

3. Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2 [MP3 Download

4. J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid [MP3 Download]

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

6. KRS-One & Buckshot – Survival Skills [MP3 Download]

7. Mos Def – The Ecstatic [MP3 Download]

8. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II  [MP3 Download]

9. Skyzoo – The Salvation

10. Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City [MP3 Download]

11. Fashawn – Boy Meets World [MP3 Download]

12. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3 [MP3 Download]

13. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse [MP3 Download]

14. Camp Lo- Another Heist [MP3 Download]

15. Royce Da 5’9 – Street Hop [MP3 Download


 Trav Glave

1. Paten Locke – Super Ramen Rocketship [MP3 Download]

2. Poorly Drawn People – Motion Not Emotion [MP3 Download]

3. J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid [MP3 Download]

4. Cunninlynguists – Strange Journey Volume One [MP3 Download]

5. Brother Ali – Us [MP3 Download]

6. Aarophat & Illastrate as Black Noise – The Black Noise LP

7. Tanya Morgan – Brooklynati [MP3 Download]

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

9. Skyzoo – The Salvation

10. Dynas – The Apartment [MP3 Download]

11. Fashawn – Boy Meets World [MP3 Download]

12. Tha Connection – Love Royale [MP3 Download]

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

14. 5 O’ Clock Shadowboxers – The Slow Twilight

15. Slum Village – Villa Manifesto

16. LoveJones & Phys Edison – Sunday Drive [Shout to Flawless Hustle for link]

17. People Under The Stairs – Carried Away [MP3 Download]

18. Nite People – What Do You Mean You People

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

20. Pseudo Slang – We’ll Keep Looking

21. Illogic – Diabolical Fun

22. Low Budget – LaserDisc

23. Cunninlynguists – Strange Journey Volume 2 [MP3 Download]

24. Diamond District – In The Ruff [MP3 Download]

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

26. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II

27. Blaq Poet – Tha Blaqprint [MP3 Download]

 

 

More Writers Build year-end goodness coming soon, keep it locked..!!

30
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2008)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

Aight, congrats for makin’ it this far

We’ve arrived at the final Top 10 list before we venture into this year’s choices. I’ve planned something real special for the ’09 lists, so visit again soon to find out .

You wouldn’t want to miss it!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2008

1. Q-Tip – The Renaissance

2. Nas – Untitled

3. Black Milk – Tronic

4. Jake One – White Van Music

5. Elzhi – The Preface

6. T.I. – Paper Trail

7. J-Live – Then What Happened?

8. The Roots – Rising Down

9. Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter III

10. Young Jeezy – The Recession

Honorable Mentions: EMC – The Show, GZA – Pro Tools, Little Vic – Each Dawn I Die, Murs – Murs For President, Scarface – Emeritus

..Now that we’re back up to speed, let’s close the decade out right. Patience is a virtue.. Keep it locked!

29
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2006-7)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

*Sinatra voice* When I was 21 (2007), it was a very good year..

Click the covers or names to boost my Amazon affiliate cred buy your own copies of albums that will be remembered. Forever. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2006

1. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

2. J Dilla (Jay Dee) – Donuts

3. T.I. – King

4. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

5. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead

6. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

7. Cam’ron – Killa Season

8. The Roots – Game Theory

9. Jay-Z – Kingdom Come

10. Rhymefest – Blue Collar

Honorable Mentions: The Coup – Pick A Bigger Weapon, Cunninlynguists – A Piece of Strange

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2007

1. Kanye West – Graduation

2. Talib Kweli – EarDrum

3. Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens

4. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool

5. Jay-Z – American Gangster

6. Little Brother – Getback

7. Black Milk – Popular Demand

8. Redman – Red Gone Wild (Thee Album)

9. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth  

10. UGK – Underground Kingz

Honorable Mentions: 50 Cent – Curtis, Common – Finding Forever, Pharaohe Monch – Desire, Hell Razah – Renaissance Child

Only 1 more year left, then we’ll close it out with a treat ’09. Stay tuned..

28
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2004-5)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

Let’s keep it movin’, shall we?

Click the covers or names to bolster my Amazon affiliate account buy your copy at Amazon. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2004

1. Kanye West – College Dropout

2. Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib) – Madvillainy

3. The Roots – The Tipping Point

4. Murs & 9th Wonder – 3:16: The Ninth Edition

5. Masta Ace – A Long, Hot Summer

6. De La Soul – The Grind Date

7. Foreign Exchange (Nicolay & Phonte) – Connected

8. T.I. – Urban Legend

9. Cam’ron – Purple Haze

10. Nas – Street’s Disciple

Honorable Mentions: Royce Da 5’9” – Death Is Certain, Twista – Kamikaze

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2005

1. Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter II

2. Common – BE

3. Kanye West – Late Registration

4. The Game – The Documentary

5. Sean Price – Monkey Barz

6. Young Jeezy – Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101

7. Juelz Santana – What The Game’s Been Missing!

8. Notorious B.I.G. – Duets

9. Danger Doom – The Mouse & The Mask

10. Quasimoto – The Further Adventures of Lord Quas

Honorable MentionsBeanie Sigel – The B. Coming, Black Market Militia – Black Market MilitiaEdan – Beauty and the Beat

We’re half-way through the decade, stick with me ’til the end! Next up, ’06-7..





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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