it's the shiznit

news, reviews and banter on r'n'b, hiphop, garage, grime, bassline, soul, electro and house. standard.

Sounds that shaped the year...Hip-Hop Albums

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Common - Be

Just pipping Kanye in my opinion for Hip-Hop album of the year although he did have a hand in the production is Common’s Be. In a time where Hip-Hop albums are quickly forgotten and stick to the same tired formulae of club smash, ladies joint and filler, Common’s sixth label release was much needed, perhaps not just for Hip-Hop but for the Chicago MC himself. He answered his critics that thought he went a bit strange on his last album by dropping eleven tracks straight no filler from the boom bap driven The Corner to the more soulful and melodic driven Go. If their was any doubt about his talents Be silenced the critics and with the assistance of Kanye gave Common the commercial success he deserved.

Kanye West – Late registration

Egos don’t come much bigger than Kanye’s whether he plays up to it or not and there were many who would have wanted him to fail when The Late Registration dropped. Yet he silenced the critics with another solid album full of memorable lines, great samples and heavy production whether it was his most commercial track Gold Digger or the more underground feel of Drive Slow. It can only be a good thing when music of this substance is gaining commercial success.

Slum Village – Slum Village

This won’t be on many end of year lists and will go unnoticed by many but is as good as anything out there in the Hip-Hop arena. The duo of T3 and Elzhi really stepped up their game this year and it’s a wonder how Slum Village are still making records after all the turmoil they’ve been involved in. There was no Jay Dee onboard but Black Milk and Young RJ took us back to 2000 and those Fantastic days with their soulfully blended beats. This is the best Slum Village album since those days but without the push they deserve this will be confined to only a select few.

The Mitchell Brothers – A Breath Of Fresh Attire

From tales of cheap drinks to cheap birds this was the most distinctive British album of the year and the duo Teddy and Tony Mitchell weren’t ashamed of the fact. Whether it was being stopped by police or a tale of drinking one two many on a night out there was certainly more to relate on this set than the latest G-Unit release. A landmark album for UK black music.

Sway – This Is My Promo Vol 1

Although not strictly an album release this mixtape was as important as any of the other material released this year such was the talent on display. Whether re-working J-Kwon’s Tipsy instrumental for his own non-alcohol related anthem Pepsi, or giving us the first glimpses of future singles in Up Your Speed and Flo Fashion Sway was a shining light for UK music and a second volume followed ahead of the upcoming debut long player this February.

Dangerdoom – Mouse and the Mask

These two eccentric characters became darlings of the broadsheets after their Adult Swim inspired album brought them together. Fresh off of working with the Gorillaz and producing the heavily bootlegged Grey Album, Dangemouse hot streak continued while MF Doom so continuously overlooked in the past will now have people searching for his back catalogue.

Roots Manuva – Awfully Deep

While on first listen you won’t find another Witness, you’ll soon unravel after a few listens Rodney Smiths finest album. A well-crafted album that time has been taken with and the need to create a club banger or radio single ignored – which is only a good thing. Still the favourite UK mc for non Hip-Hop heads and another reason why he is such a success, he’s not worried about fitting into a specific audience.

Little Brother – The Minstrel Show

Thanks to 9th Wonder’s association with Jay-Z and subsequent work with Destiny Child he has been able to make people take more notice of his North Carolina natives collective efforts. The Minstrel Show is a concept album due to their unhappiness at the state of Hip-Hop and how African American culture is perceived and one of the years best, yet the public will be selecting the latest effort of The Game or 50 Cent to worry about these guys – something unfortunately doesn’t surprise you.


Post a Comment


Recent Posts