Top 10 Albums of 2011: Numbers 4 through 1
Just wanted to start by saying I hope you all enjoyed this holiday season and wish you the best of luck going into the new year. I realize I didn’t post numbers 4 and 3 last week. Well, working 11 hour shifts at a mall during the holiday season 7 days a week leaves you little time or inspiration to sit behind a computer. So my apologies for that. Let’s finish off this list and give credit to some honorable mentions.
4A. Hell: The Sequel – Bad Meets Evil
I decided to split up number 4 into two parts. The first part of Number 4 is simply because of the fact that this is technically an EP. It’s not a mixtape though so I had to put it in my Top 10 albums of the year. The EP lived up to my expectations. The chemistry between Em and Royce makes it seem like the beef they had never happened. The way they change verses and lines back and forth with such ease is fantastic. They do a great job at painting the picture and each contributing to the story of the song. Although they both held their own, I feel as if Royce came for people’s necks now that he was finally put into the limelight. Glad to see that everything came full circle and these guys continued what they both started together.
Favorite Track: Above The Law – Love the energy in this track. Eminem just spits with absolute fury and precision. Royce outshines him lyrically in this song though. Both just burying this track. Love it.
4B. Section .80 – Kendrick Lamar
Not only did I learn about this album back when I first started blogging for KHH, but I was also informed that it is indeed an album, NOT a mixtape. Shout out to you guys for that one. Regardless, this was making my top 5. The production will not wow you, but Kendrick’s delivery and message behind each song will. An intelligent human being that has talent to use his powerful words in poetic form and then rap them with such ease. That’s K Dot in a nutshell. He has the power to single-handedly change the outlook of Compton rappers. While Game gets angrier, Kendrick is getting bigger.
Favorite Track: Poe Man’s Dreams: This is that song that you listen to when you’re buzzin, chillin with your boys, and zone in on every lyric. The beat is set up for that EXACT moment, and the words too.
3. Watch the Throne – Kanye West & Jay-Z
I just think that it’s extremely cool that two huge names in hip hop said they were going to do something that seemed like a fantasy, and then did it. And we didn’t even have to wait forever for it. Or still waiting for it (“cough” Detox “cough.”) I was very impressed and they gave us exactly what we should have expected. Sorry if it wasn’t Kanye of ’04 or Jay of ’96. Up-tempo, braggadocious, sophisticatedly ignorant, top-notch production, limited features, great chemistry. I seen N**gas in Paris 6 times in a row in Boston and if you can make a track that will make me wild out after SIX times in a row, you did your job.
Favorite Track: Gotta Have It – Shortest song on the album, but it is just too swagged out to not love. Both of them extremely on point, and Jigga with double entendre’s for days. Banger approved also.
2. Cole World: Sideline Story – J. Cole
It was just two years ago that I saw this kid from Fayetteville, North Carolina perform 3 songs as an opening act for Jay-Z. He’s come a long way. Certified radio hits in “Mr. Nice Watch” and “Work Out” as well as party bangers. Nas-esque story telling abilities. Did a great job on doing his own hooks and production on the album as well. You would never be able to tell that this was a debut album.
Favorite Track: Lost Ones – The deepest song on the album. It’s our generation’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and Cole does a great job playing both roles of the man and woman in the situation. A+ work on the story telling.Take Care – Drake
1. Take Care- Drake
If you read my review of this album, you will see why I have it at number one. As much as I enjoy songs that put me on my feet, or let me zone out, I enjoy ones that I can feel more. There was a lot of lyrics on this album that I related to directly. Speaking on emotions, and past experiences. I can play the album right through without skipping a song. A good mixture of singing and rapping on here, which is Drizzy’s killer combo that can’t be reenacted by anybody else in the game right now. The only disappointment for me on this album was the pushed back release date. Other than that, it got my album of the year.
Favorite Track: Lord Knows – Reminds me of “Light Up” from his debut album. Just spitting bars with no hook. A cameo from the boss Richard Ross is always a plus in my book also.
Childish Gambino – Camp
TM 103 – Young Jeezy
The Dreamer, The Believer – Common
Undun- The Roots
Overall, a great year for hip hop. Great music from a lot of the new faces, and the veterans in the game. Whether you agree with my list or not (we all know most of you don’t haha) I’m sure we can all agree that hip hop is continuing to head in the right direction. Let’s toast to 2012 being another great year for music, and life in general. And to seeing 2013, ha!
What’s your top albums of the year?
Follow me on Twitter: @TheMikeDaSilva