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Top 15 Albums of 2007

Wrap Up

I've been listening to hip-hop since Public Enemy's "Can't Truss It" video, and the amount of classic material from the "golden age" to 1997 is the stuff of legend.

Although that era will never be duplicated again, I don't think any of us really appreciated it at the time, or at least not as much as we should have. Towards the mid-90's it seemed like hip-hop was just getting started, and quality music would be here forever. Close to 50 classic albums dropped between 1994 and 1996 alone, so none of us predicted how badly the art form would fall off in such a short amount of time. It's for that reason, when a year like 2007 comes along, even in the midst of garbage on the radio, we should enjoy it as much as possible. There's really no telling when we'll get another one like it.
"I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is to try to please everyone."

-The Cos
Writing this made me revisit a lot of these albums and enjoy them all over again. The common denominator is that the artists seemed to have abandoned the failed formula of "having something for everybody." The internet has made hip-hop fans relatively sophisticated, to the point where everyone knows what the "radio single" is, what song is for the streets, the ladies, the clubs, the "conscious" song, etc. Fans aren't as easily tricked by marketing schemes and compilation solos, so nobody's buying the music. With album sales at a record low, the dream of being the next big multi-platinum rapper has all but vanished, leaving artists with a newfound freedom to make the music they want to. Listening to every release from American Gangster to Tha Untold, from Dirty Acres to The Cool, it seems like the artists all made the album they wanted to make, with little regard to what target audience would latch onto what songs. The end result was a lot of great music.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Black Milk and Bishop Lamont - Caltroit
  • Civilringz - I
  • Coughee Brothers - Waitin Our Turn
  • Dizzy aka Raw D.I. - From the Ground Up
  • G-Side - Sumthin 2 Hate
  • Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab
  • Kanye West - Graduation
  • Little Brother - Get Back
  • Marco Polo - Port Authority
  • Prodigy - Return of the Mac
  • Scarface - Made
  • Sean Price - Jesus Price Superstar
  • Statik Selektah - Spell My Name Right
  • T.I. - T.I. vs Tip
  • Young Buck - Buck the World

You can actually make a 4 disc mix from the best honorable mentions alone, and it would be hours of great music. That's not the half of it though. A lot of the year's best songs didn't make it to retail. Continue...

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