10. Pharoahe Monch- Desire
Those who are crowing this as the greatest thing since sliced bread are oblivious to Monch’s true potential. Despite my problems with this record, it does put a lot of other shit to shame. Desire is one of those records you enjoy but resent at the same time.
9. Marco Polo-Port Authority
This album has a lot of bangers. Port Authority transports me back to the good ol’ days when I walked to my after school job in the freezing cold attempting to work the buttons on my walkman through some thick ass gloves. Eventually I just took off the gloves and dealt with the cold. Marco Polo lets us say “did you hear that new shit?” rather than “remember when?” . Tony Soprano would approve.
8. Prince Po-Saga of the Simian Samurai
Prince Po’s newest album is a rarity in hip-hop as it features only one producer, TomC3. The consistency works wonderfully as Prince sounds sharper than ever and delivers the goods. TomC3’s use of Planet of The Apes dialogue in the intro is no coincidence. “Land of Perfect” is cinematic and suspenseful. Only thing missing is Roddy McDowell and Charlton Heston. The best thing about Saga of the Simian Samurai is the lack of fat, as most tracks come in at 3 minutes and under.
7. Little Brother- Getback
I was never really a Little Brother follower in the past, but after this album I may have to change my perspective. Getback leaves the skip button with little purpose. A head nodder that I have been playing on repeat during morning drives.
6. Sean Price-Jesus Price Superstar
Meat and potatoes. Who the fuck doesn’t like meat and potatoes?
5. Prodigy- Return of the Mac
Many will probably forget this album when it comes to their end of the year top 10 lists due to its early 2007 release. When this shit dropped it was easily the dopest album put out in 07. Sure, Prodigy has lost a step or two and only busts his guns within the confines of the shooting range, but Alchemist brings California wildfire type shit for P to spit on. If Prodigy had been able to step his lyric game up on this album it would have easily been the best album of the year.
4. Devin the Dude-Waiting to Inhale
Soulful, funky, and hilarious. If you told me 10 years ago that I would one day enjoy a Devin the Dude album more than something that Pharoahe Monch appeared on, I would have looked at you like you lost your damn mind. One of the most entertaining albums I have heard in years with numerous laughter inducing moments. One of a kind shit.
3. Aesop Rock-None Shall Pass
It took me a little while to truly appreciate Aesop Rock. None Shall Pass is a dense and murky, yet rewarding experience. At times it feels like you swimming underwater and can’t see anything in front of you. Blockhead’s production pushes boundaries and sets the bar just a tad higher for other producers. This shit gets my ears wide open.
2. Ghostface Killah- The Big Doe Rehab
No complaints here. How does Ghost keep doing it again and again? One of the greatest and most unexpected elements of The Big Doe Rehab is the reinvigorated Method Man. Did he drink some sort of special HP potion? Having wrote him off years ago, it is nice to see him steal the show on “Yolanda’s House,” one of the best tracks of the year. Ghost is the Tony Gwynn of hip hop.
1. Blu & Exile-Below The Heavens
Talk about a debut. Blu could have easily named his record Longevity as this is one of those classic gems you cross your fingers and wish for. I don’t think I checked for this album until a couple months after its release because at first I thought it was either an R&B record or that Bubbles from the Wire had started a recording career. Thank goodness I wised up. Exile out-wonders 9th wonder while Blu drops rhymes and ideas that should send past their prime cats like Common back to the drawing board.