My Decade in Rap, Pt. 3 [2006-2007]

My personal trip down memory lane continues. I’ve already recapped the first half of the rap in the millennium in parts one and two, now we push past the halfway mark with 06-07. Here’s the next chapter of the past decade of music as I remember it.

2006

For some reason, I get this depressed feeling when I start thinking about ’06. Maybe it’s because I pretty much bought into Nas’ whole “Hip-Hop Is Dead” campaign. I mean, how could I not?

Being in New York it seemed like everyone was feeling sorry for hip-hop, except for them snap happy southerners. They were still getting most of the spins and pushing units—albeit of the ringtone vary—with joints like Yung Joc’s “It’s Going Down” and DJ Unk’s “Walk It Out.” Heck, even the reclusive Andre 3000 came out to rep on the remix of Unk’s dance-inducing hit.

Certainly, Jim Jones made NYC proud with his widespread hit “We Fly High (Ballin’),” and Fat Joe had the clubs poppin’ with “Make It Rain,” but that wasn’t enough to make a disgruntled New Yorker such as myself feel better about hip-hop.

Not even the return of the king himself could do it. In fact when Jay-Z did the expected by announcing his return I was actually rooting against the then-president of Def Jam. I was feeling like the old guy had lost a step and the last thing hip-hop needed was Jordan with the four-five coming off the bench to save the game.

Honestly, when Cam’ron spit, “Sign a rapper from the borough, get off Jeezy’s dick and Rick Ross…shit” on the Hov diss record, “It’s Going Down,” I was in full agreement with him. Then, when I heard Kingdom Come, my point was proven. In the court of public opinion, the album was regarded as one of Jay’s worst by far. Not for a second was I buying that “30 was the new 20.” C’mon, son!

Despite my overall gloomy feeling about hip-hop at the time I still saw some bright spots for the future. Lupe Fiasco was impressive on his debut, Food & Liquor. On my first listen of the album I couldn’t get past “Hurt Me Soul.” I must have played that track 20 times over before I got to the rest of the album. The Chicago rapper was dope and he was becoming the golden child for the budding “hipster” movement. It felt like every hip-hop event I went to there’d be dudes on skateboards dressed like Pharrell and Kanye. I couldn’t figure it out at the time.

What I did know for sure, though, was that Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’” was a hit. The big man from Miami who rapped under the pseudonym of the real life LA drug kingpin shipped plenty of units of his debut Port Of Miami, which debuted at No. 1, thanks to having a huge first single. And while I wasn’t inspired by sophomore efforts from Young Jeezy (The Inspiration) and The Game (Doctor’s Advocate), watching T.I.’s rise to mega stardom was impressive. No one had a bigger 2006 than T.I. The “King of South” went Hollywood as he starred in the coming of age flick ATL and topped the charts with his fourth album King.

Sadly, producer J. Dilla passed away before he got a chance witness the success of Donuts and finish one of my favorite albums of year, The Shining. In the end I walked away from a dim 2006 with an unexpected gem, Birdman & Lil Wayne’s Like Father, Like Son as my go to album.

Playlist Of The Year
1. J. Dilla feat. Common & D’Angelo – “So Far To Go
2. Jim Jones – “We Fly High (Ballin’)
3. Rick Ross – “Hustlin’
4. Ghostface Killah – “The Champ
5. Birdman & Lil Wayne – “Get That Money

  • ladidadida

    LUPE!!!!!! Common!!!!!!! Sadly i think 06 was the beginning of the end

  • Ladidadida

    Actually Scratch that wow u left out the whole texas takeover when all those dudes where sellin all those records at the same time chamillionaire, paul wall,slim thug, mike jones. It changed how people view an indipendent artist

  • YoungDyce

    I don’t know how anybody can overlook 40′s My Ghetto Report Card. That was me and my niggas soundtrack in the summer of 06. That bitch was a classic.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      C/S that 40 Water. And the Texas movement, which I enjoyed. And the fact you can see the fall-off of quality rap music.

      You went from ALBUMS to SINGLES.

      • http://www.jango.com/music/EmCDL EmCDL

        Yeah I have to admit that E-40 album was dope as hell. I stayed bumpin “White Gurl” at the time it came out

  • John Cochran

    No Fishscale? That was my favorite album around this time. And Doctor’s advocate was way better than the Documentary. I also rememnber being the only person I knew to bang American Gangster, cause after the horrible Kingdom Come most of my niggas wanted to part of Hov. It was a good album though.

  • Lowedwn

    Whoa…no UGK ft. Outkast on the palylist???

  • latino heat

    @ Ladidadida

    the Texas takeover was in 2005. he covered that yesterday. by 2006 it was over.

    @ YoungDyce

    cosign. My Ghetto Report Card was one of the lone bright spot’s of 2006.

    while i really enjoyed looking back at “00-”05, 2006 through present just hasn’t been the same. it seems like when the partying slowed down for me in real life the same thing happened in the music too. i’m not sure if it’s me getting old or if the music just really hasn’t had the same feeling it did just a few years ago. you know 2006 was bad when you said Like Father Like Son was your go to album. i was feeling Dr’s. Advocate and Rotten Apple though. (here come the hater’s.)

    i’m glad you gave props to Waitn To Inhale. Freeway’s album was way too slept on, i still play it today. the best album of 2007 imo though was Kweli’s, Eardrum. also Scarface’s, Made was dope too.

  • Chris S

    i think 2007 was a great year in hip hop…possibly one of the best ever.

    Common, Talib, Pharoahe Monch, Chamillionaire, and Consequence all dropped really good albums.

    Brother Ali and Kanye both dropped borderline classics (Ali’s being closer to classic status)

    and finally, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool is probably the best album to come out since Eminem Show

    …although, some of the worst songs of all time were released in 2007

  • ROCstar

    cosign Chris S.

    I remember the last six months of 07 were the most fun I had in my decade-plus of listening to hip hop.

    June: Pharoahe Monche – Desire = solid
    July: Common – Finding Forever = great
    August/Sept?: Talib Kweli – Eardrum = good
    September: Kanye – Graduation = great
    October: Little Brother – Get Back = pretty good
    November: Jay-Z – American Gangster = great
    December: Lupe Fiasco – The Cool = great

    I wasn’t “around” in 1996, which for my money was the best year in the 90s (Reasonable, The Score, It Was Written, Ironman, All Eyez On Me, ATLiens, Illadelph, etc) but 2007 was pretty damn close.

  • newyawka631

    “2007 was pretty damn close”

    ^^^^
    Are you smoking dust and/or mentally retarded??

    The Fugee’s “The Score” is better then every album on that list,and

    • Chris S

      …you obviously don’t understand the anything about The Cool

  • DV8

    i just realized there is no mention of The Roots or Tech9ine anywhere on your list.

    Now I can understand not putting Tech on there because he is really underground and most still dont know about him despite him selling over 1 million albums independently, but dude is ill, period. point. blank.

    The Roots have dropped great albums ever since Things Fall Apart but to go alnog with your theme. Phrenology, The Game Theory, Tipping Point, and Rising Down all where heaters in my book.

    Also Snoop Dogg and Ludacris have been able to weather the storm throughout the years of low album sells since 2K. And you failed to give Game his propers. Documentary was good, Doctors Advocate was ill, and LAX wasnt no punk either.

  • Sid B

    No mention of Hell Hath No Fury in 06 or Fishscale? Those were my favorite 2 albums of that year. Matter Fact I was jus bangn’ HHNF 2day!

  • newyawka631

    @Chris s,

    Negro please.What i meant to say after i wrote “and”, is i only listened to 2 of those albums and none of them are topping “The Score”,i don’t give a fuck what u have to type nigga.If hip-hop was a class,i’d have straight A’s….Lupe’s pretty nice though….I bet u my man’z Cuban Link’s album “Chain Reaction” from 2004 is hotta….Go listen,and then you’ll cum back and agree with me…….U otha dudes go peep it

  • ThingAlec

    Nas & Snoop had 2006 on lock. The had th ebest 2 albums of that year imo.

  • BIGNAT

    man it is hard to think of what year shit came out i am sure some roots cd’s since then ghostface joints. what about little brother whoever wrote this you have proved your scope is very narrow and you just jumping on whats hot. or more like what you like. how about you provide us with a list of all rap cd’s that came out that year. or at least 100 cd’s because i feel you skipping alot of good shit. the reason i can tell is from the stack of cd’s sitting around my computer. yes i still buy cd’s fuck it about to turn up that life change off that new clipse.

  • Chilly Willy

    That part of the decade, for me was:

    Fishscale (The Champ, 3 Bricks, Dogs of War)
    The Cool (Little Weapon, Put You on the Game)
    Graduation (I Wonder, The Glory, Everything I Am)
    American Gangster (everything but Brooklyn 2.0)
    Finding Forever (a flawless album, IMHO)
    Game Theory (should I really pick a track ?)
    Eardrum (The Perfect Beat, Listen, Go With Us)
    Hell Hath No Fury (Momma I’m So Sorry, Nightmare)
    Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (Gangbangin 101)
    Hip Hop Is Dead (Hold Down The Block, Money Over Bullshit, Hustler, H.O.P.E.)

    I wasn’t in the mood for party at that point in my life, so I unintentionally avoided the whole snap music takeover.

    I remember gettin mad when they put Akon to sing the hook on Bone Thugs’ single I Tried off their new album, like Bone needed someone to sing for them, the fuck ?!
    Before Curtis, when I first heard Rotten Apple, I knew the G-Unit was done. I had to let Release Therapy grow on me, it was like a whole new Luda that I heard, it was weird, I wasn’t prepared. Hustlin was the joint, though, I won’t front. And 8Ball & MJG’s Relax and Take Note. The most annoying song award goes to We Fly High, followed by Ridin’ Dirty (though I liked it when it came out first). And DJ Khaled’s approach of a posse cut made me lend an ear to this whole south thing (Holla At Me Baby). By the way, whatever happened to Ebony Eyes ?

    • DetroitDraper

      You did’nt like Rotten Apple? I really think it was greatly underappreciated and a good album….

      MAYN HOL’UP

  • caino

    the Best album l bought in the whole of the nougties was Lupe’s the cool! classic album, l bump it every day (go go gadget flow!)

    The worst album l bought in the noughties was
    Lil Wayne Carter III (bring on the hate) l’m sorry it sucked ass!! (l’m me, l’m me, l’m me times 3 !! GTFOH)

  • Enlightened

    I’m the ONLY PERSON I’VE HEARD SAY THIS,

    but to this day, “The Black Album” is trash to me and “Kingdom Come” is way tighter. I only had 4 songs on The Black Album I could listen to. I liked Kingdom Come!

    I guess that’s why they’re opinions though

    • CLINK DA 69

      @ Enlightened

      You must ne grown like me because to appreciate Kingdom Come you have to be on your grown man shit. That album was dope as hell to me. I wouldn’t go as far as you did and say it was better than The Black Album, that was my shit too. Some people hate on shit just because they are followers. Its good to hear someone be real.

    • DetroitDraper

      Black album was better to me but I greatly appreciated Kingdom Come…Beach Chair and all the songs pplm hated on I liked. Im 23. was pob 20 then but I had my grown and sexy on…

      MAYN HOL’UP

  • http://-- gaddic

    Defend Soulja Boy

    You have just lost your credibility!
    This list is rubbish!

  • latino heat

    Fishscale, Hip Hop Is Dead, Blue Carpet Treatment, HHNF. Food And liquor. you guys reminded me about all these bangers. i know most hated on The Big Bang but that album was hot to me too.

    also looking back, Ray Cash, Rhymefest and Young Dro all delivered really solid debut albums. can we please get follow up’s to these debut’s now?

    can’t forget Wayne was KILLING the mixtape game at the time too.

    so i guess 2006 wasn’t THAT bad. wasn’t that good either though.

  • Pingback: XXLmag.com - » My Decade in Rap, Pt. 4 [2008-2009]

  • YoungDyce

    @latino heat
    Cosign Ray Cash’s debut. That shit was hot as fuck. Oh, and niggas can say what they want, but Jim Jones’s Hustler’s P.O.M.E. was my shit when I was doin my thing in Vegas. That shit was jammin like a mufucka.

  • js416

    DOCTORS ADVOCATE

    DOCTORS ADVOCATE

    DOCTORS ADVOCATE

    ill spam that shit! favorite album of 2006

  • KiLLuMaNaTii

    RAP WAS BEGINNING TO DIE HERE…

  • megulito

    that 20 nigga one blood remix was good
    push it was good push it remix also
    american gangster fire and
    hustlin remix was fire

  • Twinnga

    Bro wut about the return of Busta, it wus koo but it made noise. Not 2 mention B.A.R.S, shit even Hustlanomics was decent.And wut about snoop nga, Blu carpet Treatment was pure classic.And for the record ah enjoyed Kingdom come dat shit was hard andunderstood it n ahm 17.

  • http://xxlmag.com J-Blaze

    No1 remembers hell hath no fury by the clipse??? 4real??

  • Vic De Zen

    I was not a fan of hip hop in 2006. Besides Ghostface, and J-Dilla I couldn’t get with anything on your playlist for that year. Not because I thought those were bad selections, only because those were the only selections that were available in hip hop at the time. Fishcale, BE and King were all I was listening to that year.

  • John Cauner

    2006-Hip Hop Is Dead/NaS, More Fish/Ghostface Killah, Hell Hath No Fury/Clipse, Buck The World/Young Buck, Food & Liquor/Lupe Fiasco, Blue Collar/Rhymefest, The Big Bang/Busta Rhymes, 20/20 Dilated Peoples, Magnificent City/Aceyalone, Firewater/Tha Alkaholiks
    2007-8 Diagrams/Wu-Tang Clan, Big Doe Rehab/Ghostface Killah, American Gangster/Jay-Z, The Dream Merchant 2/9th Wonder, The Kush/Havoc, None Shall Pass/Aesop Rock, Street Champ/Big Shug, Red Gone Wild Thee Album/Redman, Get Money Stay True/Paul Wall, Hidden Darts/Ghostface Killah, Don’t Quit Your Day Job/Consequence