Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

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Top Ten Hip-Hop Albums of 2005

Ahhhhhh. A brand new year.

I wonder why people think the day after December 31 will be any different than the day before it. It's crap. Nothing really changes. And yet, I find myself like so many others looking forward to the new year coming in. Because, well face it, 2005 was probably one of the shittiest years in history.

Of course I'm not counting anything before 1960, because everything before 1960 was pretty shitty already. But compare 2005 to many of the years after 1960, and I bet it comes in the top ten. I mean, you got the year Kennedy was shot, the year Martin was shot, maybe the year where Vietnam had the highest body count, of course 9/11 2001, and the year Wall Street collasped. I mean you gotta have a pretty shitty year to top 2005. You gotta have major massive deaths beyond Katrina. And a president or two have to get shot. That shit's gotta be bad. So, I'm actually looking forward to 2006. It's gotta be better than 2005.

Anyway, I decided to drop a long awaited load on the one or two of you who aren't fuckin' spambots. At least force the spambots to break that shit up among posts. So, I decided to drop my top ten list of the top hip-hop albums of 2005. Of course, it was hard picking 10 albums I actually enjoyed. Hip-hop sucked in 2005. Actually, rock kind of sucked, too. Just not as much. So, here's my picks to go along with the crap Xplicit dropped in December. By the way, I wonder if he's dead. I heard he's dead. I could be mistaken.

10. Prince Paul - Instrumentalist. This isn't a great album, but I like to have an instrumental album on my top ten list. And this, unfortunately, is the best of the bunch. Plus, Prince Paul is still good for a funny skit or two.

9. Blueprint - 1988. Blueprint tends to make my list each year. But that's because he's always trying something new, and coming pretty close to succeeding at it. This year it was old school beats and samples over nostalgic and battle rhymes, or what many call "the standards."

8. Big Pooh - Sleepers. This shit made my list because I played the cd constantly the first couple of months of the year. This shit was a surprise. I wasn't expecting it to be good. And I kept passing this shit up. But this was one of the top underground records of the year.

7. Common - Be. This shit made my list because, well, it was supposed to make my list. I was sort of underwhelmed by this shit. When you make a ten track album (don't count Food), every track better be banging. Instead, most of this shit was just adequate the whole way through. But I guess this shit gets points for being constant.

6. Cage - Hell's Winter. This shit was sort of hit and miss for me. Many of the El-P/Camu Tao tracks were killer. And DJ Shadow always comes through, but the rest was sort of lackluster. I wanted to enjoy this shit more than I did, but all it did was make me look forward more to that El-P/Camu Tao album that's supposed to drop next year.

5. Little Brother - The Minstrel Show. This shit is like Common's album. It was adequate and constant the whole way through. A real solid album that bored the fuck out of me in places. I really wanted to like this shit more as well, but alas.

4.Muggs v Gza - Grandmasters. Muggs goes ole' school Wu on a brother. And Gza just keeps painting those pictures. This was one of those big surprises of the fall season. I found myself listening to this shit more than some other shit I was supposed to be enjoying.

3. The Game - The Documentary. Yeah, he's a name-dropper. And his flow is choppy. And he's only been rhyming for two, now, three years. But this one wins because of the production. The first six to seven tracks on here kills most people's sloppy seconds. Probably why Fiddy was so pissed off his shit got so little care. Second best produced album of the year.

2. MF Grimm - Scars and Memories. Did this shit drop last year. Because I swear, I spent the first six months listening to this shit back and forth. Sure, it's all old shit, but damn, Grimm's old shit beats most people's new shit. I couldn't get enough of this shit. I had it in my Dell Jukebox, my cd player and my car player. I pretty much played this shit out. And although, this shit is more like some greatest hits type shit, the fact it got heavy personal rotation beats all its limitations.

1. Kanye West - Late Menstruation. Yep. The asshole wins again, just like in real life. George Bush don't like black people. Black people can't stand Kanye West. But we gotta give him his props. He drops the best produced album of the year. He can't rhyme. He can't sing. But he sure can put those beats together.