As we promised, here are the top 10 hip-hop albums of 2006.
10. Benny B - Worldpeace
Local favorite who has visited the studio. No frills, just 10 solid tracks.
9. J Dilla (RIP) - The Shining
Released posthumously, this album features classic Dilla production and guest appearances Common, Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes, Madlib, Guilty Simpson, MED, J. Rocc, Dwele, D'Angelo, and Kariem Riggins. An instant classic.
8. The Game - Doctor's Advocate
The Game's long-awaited Sophomore album did not disappoint, despite the conspicuous absence of Dre. Features production from Hi-Tek, Scott Stortch, Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Will.i.am and guest spots from Nas, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit, Kurupt, & Daz.
7. Soul Position - Things Go Better with RJ and AL
RJD2 and Blueprint teamed up again in '06 for another classic. This album features not only the best cover art of any album in 2006, but also an instant long crisp white tee's favorite track, "Blame it on the Jager."
6. Jedi Mind Tricks - Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
After the subpar "Legacy of Blood," JMT came back with an album full of bangers. "Razorblade Salvation" ft. Shara Worden and "Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story" ft. RA the Rugged Man will be in the Long Crisp White Tee rotation well into 2007.
5. Oh No - Exodus into Unheard Rhythms
Oh No built this entire album on samples and inspiration from Galt MacDermot. Then he brought in a bunch of his boys to lay the vocals. The result is one hell of a listen. Guests include Murs, De La Soul, Cali Agents, MED, Vast Aire, Buckshot, and Aloe Blacc, among others.
3b. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
Lupe generated allot of buzz off of "Kick Push," then turned that buzz into help from some big names in Kanye and Jay. The album is fresh. Give it a couple listens.
3a. Nas - Hip-Hop is Dead
I'm not sure I agree with the title of the record, but there's no doubt that Nasty brought it with this one. The only reason it couldn't reach #1 was the short amount of time to digest it. This is Nas' best work since Illmatic and it completely blew Kingdom Come out of the water. Maybe Nas should have let Jay use "Black Republicans."
2. Ghostface - Fishscale
Ghost gets bonus points for releasing a dope album mid-year, then ripping off another one ("More Fish") later in the year. Tony Starks brings it like he always does, and the real gem is the bonus track, "Three Bricks" ft. Biggie and Rae.
1. Mr. Lif - Mo' Mega
Here it is ... The best hip-hop album of 2006. Mr. Lif - a Boston native and member of The Perceptionists - released his most sophisticated material yet. Guest spots limited to the cream of the underground crop: Aesop Rock, Blueprint, Akrobatik, El-P, and Murs. This album is straight up dopeness from start to finish. Best wishes to Lif and other members of his tour (including The Coup) after their recent tour bus crash.
Small Axe Productions - Smithereens
Army of the Pharaohs - Torture Papers
Boot Camp Click - The Last Stand
Rhymefest - Blue Collar
Murs & 9th Wonder - Murray's Revenge
Bronze Nazareth - The Great Migration
MF Grimm - American Hunger
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury