don’t believe the hype


Watch me go on yall as I break down my most played hip hop albums of the 2000’s.

Peep it after the JUMP

5. Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition by Murs

Yes, it only has ten tracks and it’s not Illmatic. But Murs manages to muscle his way onto my list because of his ability to give you a fresh new flavor that successfully blends humor and heavy subject matter over soulful tracks from Little Brother’s 9th Wonder. He’s not an extraordinary lyricist but he’s able to talk to you on a personal level, which I feel is more important because he directly speaks to his audience, much like the way Tupac related (relates) to his. It also helps that I met the brother and he showed me love.
Personal Favorite Song: Freak These Tales
Best Song: Walk Like A Man, Bad Man!

4. The Black Album by Jay-Z

Picking my favorite Jay-Z album was almost impossible. It was a big toss-up between The Blueprint, American Gangster, and the Black Album. The reason why I chose the Black Album was because this album has some personal sentimental value for me. It was the first album that I bought with my own money at Virgin Megastore in San Francisco. It was also Jay-Z’s  “retirement” album, meaning it was his last chance to put everything that he wanted to say into the album. Lyrically, the album represents a grown up Jay-Z. While his subject matter still somehwat pertained to hustlin’, we began to see a shift of lyrical content from the street to the suit and his relationship with fame and success. I chose this album over American Gangster and Blueprint because of the variety of content and how the album just oozed a smooth listening appeal.
Personal Favorite Song: My 1st Song
Best Song: December 4th

3. The Cool by Lupe Fiasco

Okay, I give I give. For the loooongest time, I preferred Lupe’s Food & Liquor over The Cool because of: a. sentimental value (that album just brings back so many memories) and b. the glossed soul feel (see: He Say She Say). However, after driving back from LA and listening to that album 3-4 times in a row, I realize that the Cool is fuckin’ ridiculous. Lupe is an amazing rapper who really vamped up his style to produce a much more complete and smoother album his second go-round. His flow has become amazingly smooth; it almost sounds like a blend between singing and rapping. The album itself is conceptual, but Lupe does a good job of not sticking too much to the concept and giving himself some breathing room. The result is a very complete album that both flows through and provides a good range of versatility.
Personal Favorite Song: Superstar
Best Song: Fighters, Superstar, Dumb It Down

2. Below the Heavens by Blu & Exile

2007’s most underappreciated album is also one of hip hop’s most overlooked albums of all time.  This 17-song hip hop extravaganza should have been hip hop’s Slumdog Millionaire and swept through the Grammy’s (side note: how come these critics are able to recognize relatively unknown movies like Slumdog but their only nominations for albums are pop acts? Where’s the love for the underground?). Relative unknowns Blu & Exile burst onto the scene out of nowhere and knocked other underground rappers aside to create the number one underground album of 2007. This album is stunning lyrically because of Blu’s simple conversational style opens forums for intellectual thought but still keeps a hard edge. I have a special place in my heart for this album because, well, it’s damn good. The production is handled well in Exile’s hands, who throws in a good mix of chicken soup soul and that classic hip hop bounce. Overall, this album is truly an encaptivating listen that just takes you up and away into Blu’s world.
Personal Favorite Song: The World Is (Below the Heavens)
Best Song: The Whole Damn Thing. I tried to listen to the album to figure out which song was the “best” hip hop wise and now I can’t stop listening. Shit is a motherfuckin’ musical trap.

1. The College Dropout by Kanye West

Nowadays, everything seems to be Kanye this Kanye that. But back in 2003, Kanye West was still trying to fight his way into becoming a successful rapper. I still remember the first time I heard friend Phillip (WDUP THO!) hollared at me and told me to download songs by Kanye West. “Kanye who?” I thought. The first song that I downloaded was Spaceship, which completely blew me out of the water. All Falls Down followed. And then Through the Wire. And then Family Business, and it was a wrap. I went and bought the album and from then on never turned back. My entire year was consumed by The College Dropout. Kanye really brought his A-game, providing us with a soul-heavy album that speaks with with a persistent purpose. It’s one of those blindingly honest hip hop albums which has a theraputic quality that simply takes you up and away. It really helped me get through my emotional demons at the time by relating to me on a basic humanistic level. Kanye’s heart and passion for music really shines through on every track. It’s like he opens the door to his heart and sucks you in. Kanye then > Kanye now in terms of pure hip hop. Truly a modern classic.
Personal Favorite Song: Family Business
Best Song: Through the Wire

Albums that didn’t quite make the list: The Blueprint by Jay-Z, The Fix by Scarface, The Format by AZ, Food & Liquor by Lupe Fiasco, American Gangster by Jay-Z, The Grind Date by De La Soul, The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem, Stillmatic by Nas, The Minstrel Show by Little Brother, Black Star by Black Star, and a few more I forget


6 Comments so far
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word on December 4th

Comment by edwinech

cant believe you didn’t even mention be

Comment by edwinech

I did, it’s mentioned as “a few more I forget”

Comment by caseyly16

This post Sucks

Comment by Elizabeth Chaboya

That’s a Bummer

Comment by caseyly16

exile is sicckkkk

Comment by theo

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