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L’Chaim Bitches!

I’m celebrating the holy days by listening to my eight favorite Hip-Hop albums for the year. These are the best albums that dropped this year in a year where we actually got some decent artisitic production inside the Hip-Hop genre. These may, or may not be your top eight albums as well, and if they aren’t I suggest you pull out your top eight and give them a spin for Chanukah. Just like God restored the temple in Jehruselem, the temple of Hip-Hop began to rebuild itself this year.

In record sales you don’t ever want to have a brick, but when you are re-building a foundation the brick can be your cornerstone. You already know where I’m going with this…

Joell Ortiz – ‘Bodega Chronicles: The Brick’ – Ortiz is a lyricist in the classic Hip-Hop sense by stuffing complex ideas and themes into his rhymes. His wordplay is sorely missed among rap’s new generation. While we await studio releases from Saigon, Papoose, Uncle Murda, Skyzoo and a host of other emcees in training Joell Ortiz held it down with his debut CD.

KRS-1/Marley Marl – ‘Hip-Hop Lives’ – My expectations for this album were diminished because I hadn’t heard from KRS-1 or Marley Marl in quite sometime. Combinations like this usually don’t pan out too well for aging rockers either. Neil Young and Pearl Jam anyone? Bol? Bueller… Bueller? KRS-1 avoided being too preachy and didactic while Marley Marl avoided proucing a record that would fit better in 1987 and not 2007.

Redman – ‘Red Gone Wild’ – Redman is my comeback rapper of the year. ‘Red Gone Wild’ was the slept on album of 2007. Red hadn’t lost his flair for ridiculous rhymes or for crowd surfing. Red also reunited the Def Squad and continued his meme for making Sooperman Red tracks. My secret wish for 2007 was that I would get an offer to wear the Redman mascot costume at the Def Jam holiday party. You are allowed to fondle the interns when you are wearing the mascot outfit.

KanYe West – ‘Graduation’ – Speaking of wearing the mascot costume… KanYe West hit the ball out of the park when everyone was questioning if he could do it. Now there’s another hit Barry Bonds.

UGK – ‘Underground Kings’ – It took this album a whole summer to grow on me, and I have to give these dudes their props for still being into rapping. I could go on about lyrics and themes and beats and all the shit that I pay attention to as a rap music and social critic, or I could just put this double album in my stereo and press play(no Diddy).

Sean Price – ‘Jesus Price Supastar’ – One of the hardest working emcees finally received his due this year. Sean Price could have been on some about time motherfuckers type shit or he could have kept doing what he has been doing by keeping the underground rap scene alive. God bless the spirit of Tek’s moms. Hail Meg.

Ghostface Killa – ‘The Big Doe Rehab’ – Shout goes out to the Pardon Me Duke family. Shout goes out to O.D.B. Shout goes out to the whole Wu-Tang.

For the eighth day of Chanukah I am playing ‘8 Diagrams’ all day. The Wu-Tang Clan represents everything that Hip-Hop has ever hoped to be. The unity of Black men in the collective struggling for survival. I will celebrate the survival of the Lord’s temple with the survival of Hip-Hop culture. The truth is that the Wu-Tang Clan are exactly like their ancient Hebrew forefathers because even them niggas had not been getting along ever since coming out of Canaan.

L’chaim bitches.

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