The year nerd rap broke

Call me crazy, but I think this might be the best year for rap albums in at least the last couple of years. Not that that’s saying a whole lot.

Two things: A) A lot of these are underground rap albums, if that’s an issue, and B) I doubt any of these will go down as hip-hop classics or anything.

Still, things could be worse. Without further ado, in rough alphabetical order:

7L & Esoteric, A New Dope. A real riot of an album, this mixes some new wave-y and indie rock-ish textures with that good old-time boom bap. Some of the lyrics crack me up.

Bubba Sparxxx, The Charm. As I wrote back in April: “I can appreciate the fact that Bubba has gotten pissed off at the state of modern day hip-hop and his decided – rightfully so, I think – to take that anger out on women.”

Busta Rhymes, The Big Bang. Yeah, it’s somewhat of a disappointment, but a lot of the production is infirm. How Pitchfork managed to give this a 2.4 is beyond me.

The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon. Listening to an aging, self-proclaimed communist sings so many songs about fucking gives me a creepy Charles Manson vibe. I can dig some of these faux Cameo beats though.

Dilated Peoples, 20/20. I think the public kinda turned their backs on these guys after that “This Way” abortion, and I can’t blame them. Cop a bootleg of this somewhere though. It’s got some dope beats.

Ghostface Killah, Fishscale. The people’s favorite for album of the year, according to a poll I recently ran on my own site.

Jay Dee, Donuts. In retrospect, this was pretty thrown together and slapshod. Any J Dilla is still pretty good though.

Louis Logic and J.J. Brown, Misery Loves Comedy. Finally, a proper sequel to Logic’s 2003 minor classic, Sin-A-Matic. If you liked that album, you need this one.

M1, Confidential. I like this as much as either of the dead prez albums (yep), but it’s notably less agitated than either of them. It’s even a bit “grown and sexy” in parts.

Mr. Lif, Mo Mega. I wasn’t as crazy about that Perceptionists album, but this picks up right where I Phantom left off. The production, by El-P, Edan, and a few others, is sick.

Murs, Murray’s Revenge. I think people are generally growing tired of 9th Wonder’s shit (and who can blame them?), but I found this sequel to his and Murs’ 2003 collaboration Murs 3:16 about equally as enjoyable. Maybe I’m just a sucker for that mid ’90s sound.

Rhymefest, Blue Collar. Kanye West’s ill-fated former rhyme writer plans to finally release his album next week. You’re going to want to check it out. It’s what the College Dropout would’ve been like if Kanye could rap and wasn’t secretly gay.

The Streets, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living. I don’t know if it exactly qualifies as hip-hop, but the Streets is the shit. This album is album is like one of those old episodes of VH1′s “Behind the Music” (before it started to suck balls) come to life.

Sway, This Is My Demo. The Streets aside, this is one of the only foreign rap albums I’ve ever heard. It’s good though. I’d compare it to Slick Rick, but way more accented, if you can imagine. A similar gift for storytelling though.

T.I., King. The year’s most popular rap album by a wide margin. It’s got some expensive-sounding production and some genuinely impressive rappin’.

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  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a faggit ass nigga bol

  • projectnrm

    “Cause ya’ll been bullshittin’/
    Spittin’ that booty chatter/
    Been here for two days/
    And came with somethin’ that truly matters”
    - Bubba Sparxxx, “Ugly”

    Sadly enough, I think the music Bubba is making now can safely be described as “booty chatter”.

  • Rey

    Damm. Normally I’d stop and be witty or something, but you’re just on my fuckin’ nerves today, Bol.

    Needless to say, I’m completely and utterly shocked that neither “Blood Money” nor “Killa Season” made your list. (that was sarcasm in case anyone couldn’t tell)

  • Rey

    ProjectNRM- “Deliverance” was awesome and it made me support ol’ Bubba (nullus) by buying “The Charm.”

    “Booty Chatter” is quite accurate, but Bubba can still rap. Hopefully he’ll figure out that he can’t sell either way and just go back to making good music.

  • noz

    this is your most offensive post yet!

  • DocZeus

    Uh oh, this is going to anger the youngsters, white hipster trap hop enthusiasts, and Tara Henley alike. Underground rap music that isn’t boring and proudly nerdish! What?! What?!?! WHAT?!?!?! Must….reach….for my….copy…of….Jeeezy! Ahhhhh! I feel dumber already. Whew, too much thinking. Hurts the brain.

  • 2chéLupe

    Im comin’ … don’t worry

  • Sach

    I’m not a big fan of 7L/ES and I haven’t heard the Louis Logic record yet, but if you like those you should definitely hear the Apathy record “Eastern Philosophy”. His label was so cheap they probably didn’t shell out copies to reviewers, but it’s definitely the best album no one’s heard this year.

    Atlantic fucked up with that guy, although seeing as Little Brother has gone double styrophoam, I doubt a release would have made a difference.

  • 2chéLupe

    ^^Atlantic do be fuckin’ up

  • B-EZ

    Donuts is sloppily thrown together?!? Maybe you didnt listen to it from beginning to end and didnt see the cohesion between tracks.That is the only exuse for that comment.

  • B-EZ

    I agree with pretty much everything u said besides that tho. Although the acclaim people keep throwing at “KING” is getting kinda irritating.Theres only four good songs on it.Literally.

  • Jo Van Gogh

    Glad to see this post…this has been a dope year for hip hop and it’ll be even better when that Lupe, Outkast, and Clipse drop…

    Can’t stand all of these “hip hop is dead” posts…glad to see someone is still listening to that real shit.

  • 2chéLupe
  • khal

    damn no wonder i haven’t been listening to much hiphop these days lol

  • Unfaded Disciple

    Where the fuck is Lupe Fiasco’s album? How you gon put Blue Collar up in the list and it aint even out yet and not even put “Food & Liqour”? Youa moron…

    “It’s what the College Dropout would’ve been like if Kanye could rap and wasn’t secretly gay.”-Bol

    That had me rollin’ though

  • RandomName

    good list, there a few of those I’m been thinking about checking out. Everyone go out and grab that Rhymefest.

    Yo Lupe, u got any of the new tracks that you can put up on my space to preview or something. I’ve heard rumors of 3-6 Mafia being somehow involved and I got a little worried.

  • eauhellzgnaw

    The Streets? Dilated Peoples? 7L and Esoteric?

    This list just reinforces how weak hip hop is overall.

  • 2chéLupe

    sumthin’ special at the end jo’×06×06
    Check it out…
    …FNF Up

  • Rey

    Um… At the risk of being *ahem* “ethered”:

    What does FNF Up mean?

  • 2chéLupe


  • 2chéLupe

    Dear Rey,
    FNF stands for “First & Fifteenth” its the company I own…the logo is my the homepage..
    Emperor Lu

  • Rey

    Cool, thanks.

    Yesterday I learned HBCU, today it’s FNF Up.

    If any of my friends were ebonically inclined, I would use some of this to impress them. However, I’m pretty sure they’re all still saying “Rad”.

  • 2chéLupe

    Glad I could help

  • Gutta

    bol, u really thought bubba sparxx was better than obie trice ??? or are u also biased towards the southern movement(dj drama)

  • The Pope

    T.I. was just killed in a teabagging accident.

  • john cochran

    I’m gald you didnt dick ride and put a lot of commercial shit on their. It’s a pretty fair list. I got my own. THE 3 MOST DISAPOINTING ALBUMS:
    1 REMY MA
    2 Mobb deep- blood money
    3 Camron- Killa season

  • Chi-Town Representor

    I did like Bubba Sparxxx when he 1st came wit “Ugly”. That song was raw as hell. Now, Im not sure about Bubba now. I aint really listened 2 him much. Didnt like Ms new Booty at all. His song “Heat it up”, it’s alright. The beats nice though.

  • Herman Nesbit

    Bowl you musta meant top 16 cuz-o you forgot one album:,,3559458,00.html

  • J Ball

    ? is this guy serious? LOL!

    BTW it’s not Kanye who’s gay it’s John Legend…or both of them ::Gasp::

  • juztin

    they both gay I just had that conversation the other day when I watched them on Dave Chapelles Block Party

    Kanye West is coming out the closet soon kissing that girl on the BET awards was a good cover up then BANG he’s gay you’ll c

  • mod

    “Uh oh, this is going to anger the youngsters, white hipster trap hop enthusiasts, and Tara Henley alike. Underground rap music that isn’t boring and proudly nerdish! What?! What?!?! WHAT?!?!?! Must….reach….for my….copy…of….Jeeezy! Ahhhhh! I feel dumber already. Whew, too much thinking. Hurts the brain.”


  • washington

    Boss Hog Barbarians should be up in this bitch.

  • bol

    i’m showing you how gay i am in small increments.

  • Justice


    The comment about Dillas Donuts bein thrown together…….listen again…..know what your listening for

    Murs’ album, short…..but rides very well…..with memorable lines….somewhat a short, but a very underrated album….imo

    And Rhymefest Dynomite joint settled on me well……..

  • Playa=50=

    get rich or die tryin (ost)!!!!!!!!!

    all day, every day

  • Blaq Thought


    You messing up and forgot to mention J Dilla’s “The Shining” lp. If it isn’t the creepiest soundtrack I’ve heard in a while (considering its creator was on his deathbed).

    Check out my blog at http://WWW.MDHATER.BLOGSPOT.COM for a Maryland Hip Hopper’s prospective.

  • begs no friends

    You have no taste whatsoever…the streets?!?! damn you lost any cred. you may have had by even mentioning that wack shit. That list is depressing.

  • g r p 03

    bol where the fuck is MC Hammer’s new album at? ha

    oh yeah, and you should put more attention into mixtapes cuz over the last year there’s been about 15 mixtapes i thought were incredible and maybe only 2 or 3 albums i thought were worth listening to…real rap fans have realized this and focused their attention on that, then you dont deal with songs like “Laffy Taffy” and paul wall’s “Girl”

    can’t touch this

  • Che


  • J Ball

    I copped that Rhymefest on your suggestion…two things: It’s obvious that this dude is the grandfather to Kanye’s flow, and that he should’ve signed with Ye and got some better beats to match his lyrics because ima hearin the mark ronson influence and im not liking it….

    If you’re reading this go BUY the new Ice Cube album! Damn near classic!

  • Shortylightskin

    Bol always dissin Busta, don’t see how THe Big Bang was “somewhat” of a disappointment but whatever

  • Erik

    Dilated Peoples? Wha? It’s like Kweli, only multiple Kwelis. And THAT scares me.
    The new Streets album is by far his shittiest.

    But props on Fishscale and the Coup.

    Hell Hath No Fury – When, and if, it drops, will crush everything out there.

  • Sonny Black

    That DL stuff and your comments was foul what you said about The College Dropout and ‘Ye!! That album is a classic and better than half of the shit that’s being marketed today…Stop hating, Byron!!

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  • Prodigal Son

    At least a year and a bit older than these choices, but if you wanna listen to a good UK rap album, I think you’d appreciate Kano “Home Sweet Home”.