Honorable Mention: "If Tomorrow Comes..." Maino
Yes, what many people overlooked. Maino really impressed me with his release, although it was long overdue after the release to the lukewarm "Hi Hater", Maino proved that he's trying to leave a footprint in this Hip-Hop game. He isn't the best lyricist, but bar for bar, the realness in his subject matter and hunger in his voice and flow is unmatched by the newcomers especially those coming out of Brooklyn. Expect his next release to be epic.
Fav. Tracks: "Here Comes Trouble" , "Hood Love (Feat. Trey Songz)"
10)"Deeper Than Rap" Rick Ross
After dropping what was his best album, Trilla, Ross came back and took it to the roots he's known for, making good mafioso music. Deeper Than Rap was a perfectly crafted body of work that assembled the best track for track album, 09 had to offer. From the infamous, "Mafia Music" (One of the best intros on an album), Ross shows that he has something to prove after dropping two mumber one albums, "But I thought about my future and the loops I could pin.
Walked out on a gig and I turned to da streets,
Kept my name low key, I ain't heard from in weeks.
I came up with a strategy to come up mathematically,
I did it for da city but now everybody mad at me.
Mothafuck em all, they sweat from my balls,
If I drop anotha album I did dat fo my dawgs.
The album's sound quality resemble a summertime-feel, with every track resembling a cool, tranquil, and mellow vibe provided by melodic beats by a superstar lineup of producers ranging from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, The Inkredibles, Drumma Boy, etc. Besides the album being perfect in terms of good music to play at your leisure, I could only play it from Tracks 1 to Usual Suspects w/ NaS. Why? After this collabo with NaS, I feel it lets loose from its perfect blend of beats to now "regular attempts at making the charts" type of tracks.
Fav. Track: "Mafia Music" , "Usual Suspect" (Feat. NaS)
9) "Ryan Leslie" Ryan Leslie
I wasn't open to listening to this at first but, that "Addiction" track was undeniably a hot track. After the first listen turned to 10x a day listening. Ryan isn't the best singer to keep the R&B dudes on their toes but, he can make GOOD music with his eyes close. Not only does he sing on every track but produces them as well. Its real clear that music is his passion, from tracks 1 to Gibberish, Mr. Leslie crooned one of the best R&B album the year '09 had to offer. Its just a shame his label didn't market him as well.
Fav. Tracks: "Valentine" , "How it Was Supposed to Be (Remix) (Feat. Jadakiss)"
8) "The Last Kiss" Jadakiss
"Top 5 Dead or Alive and that's just off 1 LP..." Jada is BACK!. After a 5 year hiatus, the homey Jada released his comeback album which had his fans(yours truly) in a frenzy. From dropping another classic mixtape with Green Lantern, and announcing a collabo w/ his best collaborator (besides Styles P): NaS and others (***Rae the Chef and Ghostface), Jada was out to prove something with this album. Unfortunately he did it halfway. From the monster intro "Pain & Torture" to the self-motivation anthem "Can't Stop Me", Jada had my ears bleeding from good music then it went south a little bit with the Pharrell produced tracks that felt like leftover beats, and a mediocre collabo with Jeezy (Jeezy could've came with more bars). The album was definitely the best rap album in the 1st quarter of '09 but, after having a 5 year hiatus, Jada had something to prove and kind of failed. Hopefully he realizes his weaknesses and come harder with the next album (Where's THE LOX album). Besides the misses, the album was the best DEF JAM selling album of '09 and that's an incredible mark for Hip-Hop and us Jada fans, showing that if you stay true to your roots, only the best is in your conclusions.
"Things I've Been Through
7) "Til The Casket Drops" Clipse
After a 4 year hiatus, the Thorton brothers were seeking to drop another another album after going through trials and tribulations with their label,conviction of their long time manager, etc. With their previous releases being considered unarguably #Classics, Malice and Pusha T backed by their new label (Columbia), seeked to prove why they are "The Best Duo Ever." From the breathtaking drums and snares on "Freedom" to the street anthem of '09 along with one of the best songs "Popular Demand", the Clipse came in to start a disturbance in this rap game. Overall, the album proved to all the haters that Malice and Pusha, are indeed the best duo ever. This album contained little coke-related raps and more conscious and mature lyrics making a solid statement that brothers are moving on with their subject matter. Although the album being a statement maker, it did not match their previous releases. This time, it seemed like the Neptune's beats should've been limited and left to DJ Khalil and Sean C & LV which was a common statement made by many. I personally feel the key Neptune tracks were everything except for "All Eyes On Me" (the worst song on the album) and "Im Good" (although being a good track for the summer, it could've been left off). I kind of felt that being that the two singles "Kinda Like A Big Deal" & "Im Good" were released too early from the album's release date, they could've also been left off because it kind of kills the anticipation when awaiting the next track to commence.
SideBar: "Champion" should've been the initial single.
Fav. Tracks: "Showin Out (Feat. Yo Gotti)" (one of the best songs on an album in '09),"Life Change (Feat. Kenna & Pharrell)"
6) "Slaughterhouse" Slaughterhouse
I still get chills playing this album, listen for yourself to understand what I mean. This group will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most lyrically destructive rap supergroup.
5) "Ready" Trey Songz
I was skeptical of listening to the album because of the ladies' response, but I can't front, its definitely that DAMN GOOD.
Fav. Track: "Say Aah" (Feat. Fabolous) , "Invented Sex" (Feat. Drake) (yea, you could check YouTube on you're own for that one)
4) "Loso's Way" Fabolous
YESSS, this album was definitely the best Fab album in our personal opinion. Check out our post on this album.
Sidebar: "Throw it in the Bag (Remix) was the first track that had a remix better than the original. Fab and Drake are a good match on a track, expect more collabos from these two.
Fav. Track: "Lullaby"
3) "Attention Deficit" Wale
Despite the Billboard numbers,and his label screwing him over with the album shipments, the true fans went out to cop and support this album and good music as a whole. Wale definitely didn't disappoint, every track is as fresh as a brand new pair of White Ups. Lyrically, Mr. DMV proves that he is nothing like the rest, and a true star in his own lane. Nobody is touching this newcomer. I'm looking forward to the next album.
Fav. Track: "Shades" (Feat. Chrisette Michele)" , "Beautiful Bliss" (Feat. Melanie Fiona & J. Cole)
2) "Man on the Moon: The End of Day" KiD CuDi
A classic by the homey KiD CuDi, point blank, if you didn't hear it, you're missing out.
Fav. Track: "Soundtrack To My Life" , "CuDi Zone"
This was definitely a hard choice but i'll give it to Rae the Chef and Hov. this is the first time you'll ever see a 1 and 1.5 in a top ten lineup of the Best of the Bestest.
Although it wasn't Hov's best album, it definitely was that DAMN GOOD. "Death of Auto-tune is a track that's so HARD! and clearly sent a message and the internet in a frenzy when it was initially released. It wasn't a classic but better than any other album this past year besides Rae's of course. From standout tracks "Empire State of Mind" to "So Ambitious", and even Beanie Sigel's favorites "What We Talkin' Bout" & "Already Home (w/ KiD CuDi, Hov proved that age aint nothing but a number and lyrically proved to undeniably be the "Best Rapper Alive." He also had a message to his critics that want him to take it back
"People keep talkin' bout Hov take it back
I'm doin' better than before, Why would I do that?"
Fav. Track: "A Star is Born" (Feat. J. Cole), "So Ambitious" ...matter of fact the whole album, its that good.
Besides being the Man of the Year in Hip-Hop, OB4CL II was the best Hip-Hop album this past year regardless of our bias. Rae the Chef did the impossible when returning with a sequel to his already classic and a pinnacle in his catalog, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and succeeding it to be another classic that hands down measures up to the first.
Fav. track: "Gihad" & "Catalina"