For those who have been keeping track, Dilated Peoples dropped their last album, 20/20, in 2006. Eight years is a long time for a group not to put out new music, but the crew is back with their excellent effort Directors Of Photography, which comes after solo runs from Evidence, Rakaa and DJ Babu.

It’s interesting to note that from 2006 to 2014, there have been countless albums that many rap fans have called their favorites. Of those albums, a good amount are independent releases that underground heads have praised. XXL wanted to dive into the individual tastes of Dilated Peoples to get their favorite albums that have come out in the eight years since they dropped their last project. Some are expected, some are surprising, but overall it's good hip-hop all around. Put these in your weekend rotation.—Eric Diep

Blu & Exile, Below The Heavens (2007)

Blu & Exile, Below The Heavens (2007)
Evidence: Below The Heavens by Blu. That’s one of my favorite records by a newer artist. I think he belongs in a prior generation. If he had dropped when it was like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Blu. I think he could have just fit in that world to me. [You] can’t help when you’re born.


Fashawn, Boy Meets World (2009)

Evidence: Boys Meets World by Fashawn. Another Exile [record]. Then you gotta ask yourself—is the producer getting enough credit? Maybe ‘cause he’s behind one of those great ones? Things to ponder...


Step Brothers, Lord Steppington (2014)

Rakaa: Step Brothers. Great album. That came out before this one. Lord Steppington. Aside from the wild 16 that I spit, it was a really dope album. It was conceptual, but it didn’t lock you into just one zone. It just took you on a journey. It felt like a movie. It felt like people were having fun and let loose. At the same time, it felt like that fun wasn’t enough to make a light album. Lyrically, it was still pushing on the beats. It was just fun.


Madlib And Freddie Gibbs, Pinata (2014)

DJ Babu: I’m a big Madlib fan. I like all his Medicine Shows and the one with Freddie Gibbs was really dope. I liked [Pinata]. It was just a good marriage between the beats he picked from Madlib versus Freddie’s street style. I just like the texture of his voice on Madlib’s beats. It was grimy. That’s the kind of hip-hop I grew up and loved. Grimy, flipping samples. Hard rhymes.


Jonwayne, Rap Album One (2013)

DJ Babu: I liked the Jonwayne record on Stones Throw a lot. Jonwayne’s sick. He’s really slept on. Stones Throw is a label that I am associated with as well. I really trust Peanut Butter Wolf’s ear. Before Jon’s [rap album] in general, people were probably weirded out by the stuff [PBW has] been putting out. Alternative. New wave. Punk. He puts out anything that’s ill to him. I think the Jonwayne record is actually the first rap record he’s done since Madvillainy and all that stuff people know Stones Throw for. It’s funny ‘cause Jonwayne doesn’t look like he sounds. He looks like a truck driver or something. [Laughs]

Previously: Stream Dilated Peoples’ Directors Of Photography
Dilated Peoples Solidify Their Comeback With Directors Of Photography