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Chrizz's Top 50 Hip Hop Albums Of The Decade

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  • Chrizz's Top 50 Hip Hop Albums Of The Decade

    Yes, another list. I've enjoyed reading other peoples lists but I feel that there has been glaring exceptions and maybe don't cover a wide enough spectrum. The noughties was quite an important decade for me in music terms. It was around the year 2000 that hip hop had completely caught my imagination and most of my spare time and money went to buying new albums or revising and getting to know the classics. In the last ten years I've went through different listening phases, from the poppiest rap to the most pretentious undeground and I think you can find gems from both extremes as well as all of the gold that populates the middle ground. I think this list reflects that, but please feel free to scrutinise and abuse it.

    Without further ado, here's #50-41...

    50. Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYoYo [2006; Big Dada]

    In 2006 Spank Rock helped pave the way for a new generation for bass-heavy hipsters where image was almost as important as substance. It sounds like a bad thing, but YoYoYoYoYoYo was original and fresh. The overtly sexual themes link-up with the strength of the electronic inspired beats which makes this album sound like an orgy of club kids.
    Listen to: Backyard Betty, Rick Rubin, Bump, Sweet Talk

    49. Themselves - The No Music [2002; Anticon]

    An album that can be initially difficult to listen to, but becomes more rewarding with every listen. Dose One epitomises a postmodern poet with an introspective and self-refferential style that can switch up between verses not just songs. Jel's production is more accessible while still being experimental, which really gives The No Music a surreal yet thoroughly likeable feel.
    Listen to: Mouthful, Good People Check, Poison Pit, Dark Sky Demo

    48. Scarface - The Fix [2002; Def Jam]

    The head honcho of the south received an unprecedented level of acclaim for his seventh album. Face had matured and his traditional telling ghetto tales of violence, guns and drugs is told from a wiser man's perspective than his earlier work. Match this with modern, pristine beats and this was another classic Scarface album that staked his claim to be recognised amongst the greats.
    Listen to: On My Block, Guess Who's Back, In Between Us, Someday

    47. The Game - The Documentary [2005; Aftermath]

    Compton's new hope The Game released The Documentary with a massive buzz, thanks in part to 50 Cent and Dr. Dre affiliations. It proved to be a solid debut, and shifted attention back to L.A. for the first time in a while. This brilliant debut helped gangsta rap back into the furore helped along with some incredible singles courtesy of Dre beats and 50 Cent hooks.
    Listen to: Westside Story, Dreams, How We Do, Put You On The Game

    46. M.O.P. - Warriorz [2000; Loud]

    Rap's hardest duo scored two unlikely hits with Ante Up (a song about robbing people) and Cold As Ice (so explicit that the radio edit was almost just the instrumental) which gave Warriorz a nice buzz. If you're looking for an album with diverse themes stop here, Warriorz is purely an album to punch people in the face to. And it's brilliant at what it does. Ad-lib-a-plenty and the best gunshot with mouth noises, it's what to expect from a great M.O.P. album.
    Listen to: Welcome To Brownsville, Ante Up, Home Sweet Home, Cold As Ice

    45. Sage Francis - Personal Journals [2002; Anticon]

    After a series of Sick Of... mixtapes Sage Francis eventually released his debut album on Anticon. It was, to be expected, an in-depth personal look at his life. Throughout the album Sage Francus explores every dark corner of his life through various metaphors and analogies. It reaches a depth you would expect from a wordsmith of Sage Francis' calibre and the simple yet effective beats offer the perfect pallet for his intrinsic rhymes.
    Listen to: Inherited Scars, Climb Trees, Smoke & Mirrors, Broken Wings

    44. Canibus - Rip The Jacker [2003; Babygrande]

    Rip The Jacker showed that the industry misfit could eventually release an album his fanbase knew he was capable of. It took masterful production from Stoupe to give a Canibus album the consistency that he had previously lacked. Bis' long, complicated rhyme style suited Stoupe's mysterious and haunting production which resulted in Canibus' magnum opus in the seven minute epic Poet Laureate II.
    Listen to: Genabis, M-Sea-Creasy, No Return, Poet Laureate II,

    43. Dilated Peoples - The Platform [2000; Capitol]

    Dilated Peoples, being dedicated boom-bap loyalists, follow a rather predictable but satisfying direction in this album. Expect intelligent braggadocio, hard-hitting drum patterns and scratching aplenty courtesy of Babu. It's difficult to dislike, Evidence and Rakaa have an incredible confident presence that enhances their whole style to more than boom-bap shtick. Some well chosen guest spots (B-Real, Tha Liks, Aceyalone and a whole crew on the Ear Drums Pop remix) help push this album from solid to essential.
    Listen to: No Retreat, Ear Drums Pop, Triple Optics, Work The Angles

    42. Lil' Wayne - Tha Carter 3 [2008; Cash Money]

    It took me a while to understand that Wayne has graduated from Masta Ace punchline to credible, innovative rapper. After a few listens to The Carter 1 & 2, I could begin to see it. Tha Carter 3 dropped and it turned me from Wayne-curious (n/h) to fully fledged fan. A delivery like no other, Wayne pushes buttons that more technical rappers would wish to achieve. Cocky and defiant Weezy took the world by storm with Tha Carter 3 and it was quite rightly his time in hip-hop.
    Listen to: 3 Peat, Mr. Carter, A Millie, Dr. Carter

    41. DM & Jemini - Ghetto Pop Life [2003; Lex]

    The first signs that Dangermouse was going to become something of a hip-hop super-producer. He teamed up with NY legend Jemini and gave him some of his best jazzy, upbeat production that suited Jemini's excitable stream-of-consciousness style. The album is portrayed in an almost cartoony style that would later become Dangermouse's signature production style on later projects. An unsung indie hip-hop gem.
    Listen to: Ghetto Pop Life, Take Care Of Business, That Brooklyn Shit, Don't Do Drugs

  • #2

    Love the short write-ups.


    • #3
      Sage Francis Fucking dope album
      Turn up the system!


      • #4
        This is going to be a dope list
        I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin


        • #5
          Great job so far, excited to see you defend what we all know will be your number one


          • #6
            Great list. Was shocked by Carter 3 on there. Though I actually like that album.


            • #7
              Danger Mouse & Jemini
              But you forgot 'the only one' & 'medieval '.
              Last edited by ShadyKB; 02-18-2010, 01:23 PM.


              • #8
                Awesome Love these lists going around.


                • #9

                  40. Cage - Hell's Winter [2005; Definitive Jux]

                  A warm welcomed change from Cage we knew before, that existed to shock. Cage changed his style to deeply introspective lyrics about his upbringing, involving a heroin-addicted father, drug abuse, and domestic violence. His presence differs slightly from past work, but the whole message is so different that it sounds like a new rapper. Showing signs to his eventual rock downfall by hiring rock musicians, but it's done just right in this album to help voice his angst.
                  Listen to: Too Heavy For Cherubs, Stripes, Shoot Frank, Hell's Winter#

                  39. Diverse - One A.M. [2003; Chocolate Industries]

                  Diverse's full length debut showed a promise that few rappers did in the naughties. Recruiting top-shelf producers (Prefuse 73, RJD2, Madlib) helped the album have a complete and clear production sound that ranged from rock-influenced to jazz and funk. Amongst some truly great hip-hop instrumentals you have Diverse over the top, who at the time seemed like a Chi-town version of a Talib & Mos Def mesh. A blue-collar storyteller that developed a love for poetry and hip-hop beats.
                  Listen to: Big Game, Ain't Right, Jus Biz, Under The Hammer

                  38. Klashnekoff - The Sagas Of... [2004; Kemet]

                  The Sagas Of... injected a breath a fresh air into a British scene when it was much needed. Rather than relying on British veterans for the good material, a young Klashnekoff released an album that surpassed most of his peers. It has promise and hunger, that unadulterated feeling from the artist that is hard to replicate on sophomore albums. The beats are dark to suit the grim story-telling of London's estates and Klash paints a picture of a society with no shared morals where poverty and violence is rife. He's the translator for his world portraying it for the unaware.
                  Listen to: It's Murda, Jankrowville, Parrowdice, Black Rose

                  37. Gang Starr - The Ownerz [2003; Virgin]

                  The closing chapter in the Gang Starr catalogue pulled no punches and was designed with the fans in mind. It's your typical Gang Starr setup: essential Premo beats (Put Up Or Shut Up, Skills), a fair measure of gun talk (Who Got Gunz?, Capture) but it was Guru who seemed to have progressed. Never the most talented vocalist, he sounds as clear as he's ever been and sounds even more suited to the Premo beats than he did in the early '90s. The album touches themes that seemed advanced for Guru and sound better than ever with a flow much crisper than before. It's a shame the transition never really worked on his solo material, but on The Ownerz Guru is essential and the beats, as expected, are typical Gang Starr bangers. An impressive final bow from a duo who's catalogue is almost unrivalled in hip hop.

                  36. Immortal Technique - Revolutionary Vol. 2 [2003; Viper]

                  I always felt quite uneasy regarding Immortal Technique. Any rapper that's over the top on conspiracy theories or militiant politics usually make me feel that they take themselves a little too serious. However, on Revolutionary Volume 2 Immortal Technique really captures a political apathy at that time in the world. He pulls it off because of a sincerity, he raps less as a rapper and as a preacher - not a propagandist. His presence is almost enhanced by his choppy flow, helping the grass-roots vibe sound more rugged. He's the voice of angry socialism, with the talent to put it into the words that make people sit up and listen. The highlights are infectious, influential and intelligent, evident of the post-reaction making Immortal Technique one of the most sought-after rappers.

                  35. De La Soul - Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000; Tommy Boy)

                  De La Soul stepped into the 21st Century almost seamlessly with this gem. It's difficult living up to previous albums, particularly when you are De La Soul and have 4 albums individually brilliant in their own way. Mosaic Thump showcased the ever-maturing, ever-progressing De La Soul. The lyrics are intelligent, socially-conscious but funky and insightful: their own unimitable rapping style. The beats are soulful, at times upbeat; it's an album that can be played at a summer party but other levels can be found listening but it equally as rewarding listening by yourself. The highlights really come through with the well-chosen guest producers (Madlib, J Dilla, Rockwilder).
                  Listen to: My Writes, Oooh, All Good, Thru Ya City,

                  34. Missy Elliott - Miss E... So Addictive [2001; Elektra]

                  Missy Elliott is everything a female rapper should be. She doesn't subscribe to other female rappers style (that is, stealing a male rappers style but switching genders). Missy Elliott is a style of her own: overweight but overly sexual, a love for recreational drugs and never taking herself too seriously. Over Timbalands best beats, which are insane by the way, she constructed an album that was a lighthearted, humourous club-smash. On the softer, slower side of the album Missy doesn't lose her footing thanks to her singing talents that let her raps stretch out and every syllable touch you.
                  Listen to: Dog In Heat, One Minute Man, Get Ur Freak On, Take Away

                  33. Mr. Lif - I Phantom [2002; Definitive Jux]

                  Lif playfully rhymes his way through what should be a challenging concept album. Touching on the typical working-class problems in a socio-commentary style that incorporates a typical Lif humourous outlook on life. From the battle with his 9-5 job, to trying to get in a top club, life, death, resurrection and ends with a bizarre nuclear holocaust at the end. It's creative, ambitious and amazingly executed. The beats help tell the story, using El-P's atmospheric style to his advantage and album highlights from Edan and Insight. This is Lif at his peak and an album that deserves more accolades than it receives.
                  Listen to: A Glimpse At The Struggle, Live From The Plantation, Status, Post Mortem

                  32. Wu-tang Clan - The W [2000; Loud]

                  A critical peice of the Wu-tang jigsaw that is often overlooked. RZA's beats had seldom been more murky, in many tracks utilising old soul samples which give the album a spooky element to contrast the Clan's in your face street realism. The album highlight is Ghostface sounding like he's breaking down on I Can't Go To Sleep, really stretching his wings on his favoured soul orientated beats. The glaring exception is the mischief of Ol' Dirty Bastard, who appears on the half-hearted MC Conditioner with Snoop Dogg. They cover their bases superbly with songs for the Wu faithful (Careful, Redbull), classic Wu singles (Gravel Pit, Protect Ya Neck Jump Off, Do You Really) and soul inspired gems opening up new doors for the Clan to broaden appeal (Hollow Bones, I Can't Go To Sleep). It was a fine tribute to their '90s style while advancing the Wu brand further.
                  Listen to: Careful, Hollow Bones, Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off), I Can't Go To Sleep

                  31. Hilltop Hoods - The Hard Road [2006; Obese]

                  I first heard this during my Austrailian hip-hop renaissance, and it seemed to sum up what the whole vibe was about. The Hard Road is a carefree without being careless. It's a homely celebration of the good things in life, although not beyond retrospective glances at past times. Suffa and Pressure bounce off each other with all the chemistry in the world and the wholesome, swinging production glues the album together in a smooth linear fashion. It's testament to their popularity in Austrailia that they reached #1 in the charts on an independent label and it really deserved some broader international coverage.
                  Listen to: Recapturing The Vibe, The Hard Road, What A Great Night, Circuit Breaker
                  Last edited by Chrizz; 02-19-2010, 11:25 AM.


                  • #10
                    Looking forward to the next 10

                    The Hard Road is a wise choice

                    I like Grind Date best of the recent De La albums though
                    I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin


                    • #11
                      terrible list so far, bad repped


                      • #12
                        MIC crying over lack of Chamillionare
                        I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin


                        • #13
                          where is the Chamillionaire? where is the Joe Budden? obviously them along with Kanye and Jay will be coming soon, if not...more bad reps and a likely de-vetting....


                          • #14
                            Still like the general direction and thought going into the list, but I honestly didn't like any of the 8 albums I've heard from the last 10 mentioned lol. Will check out the other two.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by M.I.C. View Post
                              where is the Chamillionaire? where is the Joe Budden? obviously them along with Kanye and Jay will be coming soon, if not...more bad reps and a likely de-vetting....

                              but im diggin the list
                              best class of rb...end of discussion
                              Tanner, Otto, Slyk, Dirty F, Magnum, Italian Em, Noid 4 Vet
                              XBL: Passed0utAwake
                              ^thats a zero not an O


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