Hello again, everyone! Today, I thought it would be nice to do something a little different. Reviews are fun and all, but let's face it, a lack of variety is doing us no favors. As Nathan Lane once said in his wonderful film The Birdcage, "one does want a hint of color." As great a movie as that was, I'd have to be a fool not to take its advice.
So, I'll bypass any further chit-chat and get right to my top ten hip-hop albums of all time. Some old, some new, all excellent albums!
What are your top ten Rap albums? Do agree or disagree with my list, and why? I'd love to know! If anyone reads this, feel free to leave your comments!
#1 . N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
N.W.A's classic Hip-Hop Masterpiece tops my list, by far. Full of pure aggression and brimming with intensity. this album is truly an experience unparalleled by any other of its kind, with each member showcasing masterful flows and lyricism. In my opinion, this really is the best hip-hop album that's ever existed.
#2. Goodie Mob - Still Standing
While I feel like Soul Food is often considered to be the quintessential Goodie Mob album, and for good reason, I firmly believe that Still Standing is the better of the two, far more balanced and consistent in terms of quality, songwriting, and individual skill of the emcees. With a vibe that manages to be chill, aggressive, nasty, and dark all at once, and with a slew of classic songs, Goodie Mob's Still Standing sets itself apart as a completely unique and incredible Rap album.
#3. Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030
Truly my favorite Hip-Hop concept album. The album's story takes place in the year 3030, where the main character, Deltron Zero tries to save the world by fighting the huge corporations that rule the world. To say this album is trip would be an enormous understatement. Filled with insane, often abstract lyrics and huge, epic production and sampling, the world of Deltron Zero becomes as immersive and real as any you've known.
#4. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Wu-Tang Clan's iconic debut takes a firm place in my top five for it's pure, underground rawness, unique flows, and of course, to remind everyone that Wu-tang Clan ain't nothin' to fuck with. With songs like "Protect Ya Neck" and, well, pretty much every other track on this album, it's hard to argue with that statement.
Yet another one of Cee-Lo's projects rounds out my top five, this time with his solo work. While many know his solo career for his excellent album, The Lady Killer, he released two solo hip-hop albums before that, this one being the definitively better of the two. With Soul Machine, Cee-Lo creates a diverse spectrum ranging from soulful and melodic to hardcore and visceral. Certainly worth a listen for casual and hardcore Hip-Hop fans alike.
MF Doom and Danger Mouse take you on a wonderful journey through the programming block on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and what a journey it is. Doom and Danger Mouse are in top form here, Doom displaying the greatest flows and rhymes of his career, and Danger Mouse, of course, brings nothing less than awesome production and some wicked beats to the mix, taking what could have been a very flimsy concept and making it into an album that's more than solid from start to finish.
Truly a masterpiece. There really aren't enough words to describe this album. Intelligent and positive in the midst of a surge in hardcore gangster rap, De La Soul release an alternative, psychedelic Hip-Hop album that breaks all barriers of the genre and still sounds fresh to this day.
Waco, Texas group Strange Fruit Project release a real doozy with this one. Jazzy, organic underground Hip-Hop with no bells and whistles, just a real, honest sound that leaves you begging for more.
Though Ice Cube has always been my favorite member of N.W.A, their first album without him, 100 Miles and Runnin', is insanely good. This album packs serious heat, hitting you with some of the most intense and aggressive rap you will ever hear. Just listen to the title track and see for yourself. Even with Ice Cube gone, the N.W.A were more than capable of standing on their own.
This album holds a special place for me. The lyrics here have some seriously emotional meanings that are both spiritual and existential, with music and production to match. Very introspective. A journey through the struggles as an artist and as a human being.