After the gloom and doom of the previous year, I decided to snap out of my lull. I let go off my New York-centric hang-ups and jumped all the way into whatever hip-hop was offering. 2006 was aberration for me.
I’ve never been the angry, close-minded listener. I can get selective at times given my appetite for a particular sound, but I’ve never just shut things down on pure hate. For what it’s worth, I was a hater in ’06—guilty as charged. But not 2007, I got back to being me and threw some Ds on it.
Rich Boy’s hard-charging anthem “Throw Some D’s” was a favorite of mine. I even bought the ringtone for my phone. Wait a minute mother… before you get at me for ringtone shopping, I told y’all in the beginning I went all in this year. So much so I was cranking Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” to the point I was SB’s most ardent defender in debates about him ruining hip-hop. I just couldn’t accept the argument that artist like Soulja Boy were the death of the music. The artists that were complaining just needed to make better shit.
In fact, there was good stuff for people to listen to. Common’s Finding Forever was a quality album. UGK’s Underground Kingz and Ghostface Killah’ Big Doe Rehab provided something for the old heads to bop to. If you were trying to ride that last wave of the Roc-A-Fella dynasty you had Beanie Sigel’s Solution and Freeway’s Free At Last to rock to. Lupe’s sophomore turn, The Cool was better than the first. Devin The Dude’s Waitin’ To Inhale was another high point of the year. (And I don’t even smoke.) Plies provided some quality singles on his debut The Real Testament, and Playaz Circle nabbed some spins for their Lil Wayne-assisted club banger, “Duffle Bag Boy.”
Better than that, T.I. brought his inner struggle to life on the reflective album T.I. vs. Tip, while Jay-Z was on to the next one with the cinematic American Gangster. Where 2006’s Kingdom Come was a failed attempt to save hip-hop, AG proved that Hov had regained his superhero powers.
The biggest moment of the year, though, would come when rap titans Kanye West and 50 Cent squared off in a much-hyped SoundScan clash. Kanye’s Graduation topped 50’s Curtis by selling a million in its first week. Obviously, this was kinda like a big deal, but I didn’t get caught up it in. I was done with extracurricular stuff and had gone back to just enjoying the music.
Playlist of The Year
1. 50 Cent – “I Get Money”
2. Kanye West – “Big Brother”
3. Jay-Z – “Say Hello”
4. Devin the Dude feat. Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 – “What A Job”
5. Cassidy feat. Swizz Beatz – “My Drink N’ My 2 Step”
Log in tomorrow as I run through the final portion of the decade in part four. —Rondell Conway