Combat Jack’s Top Ten For ’09

Twenty Ten bitches! New year, new decade. I peeped how every other site and they mam’s (no typo) had a best of the decade list. That’s cool. I’m too lazy busy for all that going back ten years and such. As much as we like to decry the demise of cRap music, claiming the artform is dead, last year, in my opinion, was a great year for music. Meaning there was a whole lotta albums I dug over the long twelve month season. I might be late with this list, but I’m biting off the homie Ian from Notes From A Different Kitchen who loves to post his top ten or whatever lists in the new year, just because he’s lazy too busy like that. Plus, I like looking back to see what so and so critic liked what, just so’s I can either catch up on missed music or peep how wack said critic is. Note: This is my own personal list, not no professional analysis of cRap music and what not. So if you feel a kind of ways about my list, kick rocks bitch please feel free to add your own one two.

10. ‘Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City’ - Ghostface Killah: My esteemed colleague Byron Crawford only got it half right when he claimed ‘Supreme Clientele’ was greater than ‘The Blueprint’. As I see it, Tony Starks might have the claim to being best rapper of the last decade. Still, as much as Starks put in the game during these past ten years, his last album was kind of a curve ball, a record designed to tap into r&b love for the chicks. Not necessarily my thing, but Mr. Coles pulled it off. Let’s put it like this, as much as he spit fires on this concept album, wifey loved the shit outta The Wizard Of Poetry.

9. ‘Deeper Than Rap’ – Rick Ross: You might already know how Officer Ricky ain’t never been in any of my top anythings, still and all, the quality of the man’s music on this last piece was undeniable. Production, raps, story, vibe, dude came off more believable than most. On them fine summer nights, Deeper Than Rap got mad play up in my system, especially when me and my house guests was up sipping on some wines, and burning up some leaves. The kind of music I need when I needed to get my Robb Report type of motivation in action.

8. ‘Gone Fishing’ – The Cool Kids: These cats always been kind of meh to me. I downloaded this mixtape on a whim. Holy effin mackerels! Talk about dope beats. The production was so fires on this joint that I didn’t even care what dudes was spitting. Alls I knows is they delivery kept it 100 with their old school flow. If you haven’t, please cop. Now. It ain’t too late.

7. ‘So Far Gone’ – Drake: I know, Drake is such an easy target, what with all the over hype, him running with Weezy and Young Money and his image being cornier than that dude Alfonso Ribeiro. Still, way before it was trendy to ride this goofy Canadien’s knutts, I wrote about how dope his album mixtape was before it was dropped again as an album. Raps, metaphors, plus the fact that he could sing his own hooks, Drake is dope. So Far Gone was the album ’808 and Heartbreaks’ wanted to be. Eff it if I catch flack, but I stand by my opinion. Hopefully, once all the extraneous shit dies down, we can expect full debut dope album from dude. Hopefully.

6. ‘Blueprint 3′ – Jay-Z: Everybody wanted to shit on old man Hov. ‘Cause of how he dropped an Old Man rap album. Tell you the truth, I was mad disappointed upon first listen to’s of BP3. Still, the more I listened, the better it got. This wasn’t Jigga of old, that dude that most rappers wouldn’t test on their best day, this was Jay-Z at his most pop. And damn if wasn’t a hip pop album. Raps sounding stiff, but dude knew how to pick them singles. BP3 still gets mad play in my cipher. Plus the kids love it. As much as some may wanna throw stones, remember, this whole music thing ain’t nothing but entertainment, and this album continues to entertain me.

5. ‘Loso’s Way’ – Fabolous: Another album that caught mad hate last year. Like cats forgot that Fab could rap. Not a Fab fan, but after recognizing how good of a rapper he was from years back, Loso’s Way was the Fab album I’ve been waiting for. Like Deeper Than Rap, Loso’s Way was nothing less than dope production and great raps. Like Ross’ album, Fab laid the whole drug rapper schtick a lil too thick for some, but damn did this piece knock in the system, and on the radio. Almost everything on this was single worthy. And I can’t ever be mad at that.

4. ‘Born Like This’ – Doom: Dumile stays being unorthodox. One of my current favorite rappers. Born Like This wasn’t rife with radio singles like some of my other top discs, but I don’t ever want to hear radio singles from dude. Dusty, weird, gutteral, a different chamber from all the rest, Doom had me replaying cuts just so I could be certain he said the raps I thought he said. I stay needing rap like this. Never ever cRap in my book. So what if he don’t show up at his own shows?

3. ‘Crime Pays’ – Cam’ron: Upon my first listen to, I shit on Crime Pays, Cameron Giles was too deep in his own lane. And my ears was too eff’d up with all that other basura that I had gotten accustomed to. Still, after a couple of days, I felt like the album was calling me back, like a ghost haunting white folk. With no pressure and nothing to lose, I eventually found myself lost in the cloudy haze that this album was. Murky beats, ignorance at it’s best. It don’t even make sense for me to try to argue how dope Cam is to those that don’t feel him, feel his music. Years down the line, I’m certain Cam will be recognized for the rhyme genius that he is. Crime Pays was one of 2009′s most slept on albums. And that is a crime.

2. ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx 2′ – Raekwon: This here was a twofer. Old Man Cocaine rap for the win. Admit it, most of us believed the Chef was blowing smoke up our asses [||] all them years he was promising us this. But like most cats from the old school, dude kept his word and dropped an effin classic. OB4CL2 was so dope that it was a no brainer that most rap fans hated BP3, especially since they both leaked dropped the same week, a day apart. Truth be told, I wanted nothing to do with BP3 after my first listen too. As far as I’m concerned, this was the best album that dropped in ’09. That is until…

1. ‘Til The Casket Drops’ – Clipse: You already know. Delete three cuts from this and Til The Casket Drops is a no brainer. Brothers Thornton spitting conscious crack rap at it’s best. Neptunes sounding brand new. As dope as OB4CL2 is, this one was more John Blaze than that. In my opinion. Adding dope guest features with Kanye West, Cam’ron, and Rick Ross, Til The Casket Drops captured what ruled in 2009. Crack rap ain’t sound this good in  long effin time. So dope alls I can say is “eeeeeeeuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkkkk!”

So there you have it, the shit that kept your boy amped this past year. Lemme know what kept you fiending for ’09. And with that, let’s hope 2010 will bless us with more heat. cRap music ain’t never died!

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  • Thomas

    My list

    01. Finale – A Pipe Dream and a Promise
    02. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II
    03. Fashawn – Boy Meets World
    04. Sha Stimuli – My Soul To Keep
    05. Brother Ali – Us
    06. Marco Polo and Torae – Double Barrel
    07. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
    08. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
    09. Diamond District – In the Ruff
    10. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3

    * Eminem – Relapse
    * Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap
    * Joe Budden – Escape Route
    * Skyzoo – The Salvation
    * DOOM – Born Like This
    * Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: The End of Day
    * Wale – Attention Deificit
    * Clipse – Til the Casket Drops
    * Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City
    * Method Man & Redman – Blackout 2

  • renegade02

    1. krs-1& buckshot- survival skillz 2. rakim- seventh seal 3.Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II
    4. Mos Def – The Ecstatic 5. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3 6. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse 7.DOOM – Born Like This
    8. Method Man & Redman – Blackout 2
    9.Eminem – Relapse 10.Clipse – Til the Casket Drops

  • latino heat

    i’m back from my holiday vacation! i was visiting my family out of state these past 2 weeks and all i had access to was my uncle’s o.g. computer that wouldn’t let me leave comments. i know it’s late but i hope everyone had a good holiday and got some quality family time in. oh, and Grand$ your Christmas story a couple weeks ago was straight classic. back to the regular grind now my people.

    i’m too lazy to think up my own list. so i’ll just comment on some of CJ’s.

    i also dissed Crime Pays after the 1st listen. the difference is it took me about 6 months to go back and listen to it again. now it’s been in constant rotation for the last 2 months. please go listen to this album if you haven’t already. and if you have listened to it and didn’t like it, give it another try.

    i finally listened to DTR all the way through a few weeks ago and i don’t see what all the hype was about. i admit it was better then BISD but that’s not saying much. aside from the 3 singles i already heard i wasn’t feeling it.

    Slaughterhouse should be on everyone’s top ten for the year. that shit was straight crack. it didn’t have to grow on you it was just straight fire from the time you took the plastic off the cd. (when you eventually found the cd at the store)

    i might be alone here but i also liked Maino’s album. that album didn’t get any hate or love. it just went totally unnoticed. i also liked Royce, Wale ans Skyzoo’s albums. among others i can’t think of right now.

    • Tony Grands

      Good looks Heat. ‘Preciate the ‘preciation.

  • hippaToDaHoppa

    1. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II
    2. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
    3. Royce Da 5’9″ – Street Hop
    4. Wu-Tang – Wu-Tang Chamber Music
    5. Eminem – Relapse
    6. Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2
    7. Jay-Z – Blueprint 3
    8. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
    9. BlakRoc – BlakRoc
    10. Rakim – The Seventh Seal

  • Rob

    Not to be a hatin’ ass fuck ass hater…but I agree with this list from 1-4 except #1 should be #4 and everything else adjusted accordingly.

    Why does that make me a hatin’ ass fuck ass hater? Because nothing else on this list would make the top #50 of any list this year if you included ALL genres (Doom excluded…but even that shit is overrated)

  • Estanislao

    1) OB4CL II, 2) Slaughterhouse, 3) Chemical Warfare, 4) Ghostdini, 5) Street Hop, 6) K.O.D 7) Blakroc 8) Relapse 9) Deeper Than Rap 10) UGK 4 Life

  • jonny bizness

    1)bp3 2)ttcd 3)so far gone 4)dtr 5)the warm up 6)man on the moon 7)ob4cl2 and i couldn’t get to ten thats how wack rap was 2009 folks

  • alderman j


  • El Tico Loco

    1 Raekwon OB4CL2
    2 Alchemist Chemical Warfare
    3 Doom Born Like this
    4 Soul Assasins The Intermission
    5 Red & Mef Blackout 2
    6 Slaughterhouse
    7 Royce da 5’9 Street hop
    8 Joell Ortiz Road Kill(I know is a mixtape shit still fire)
    9 Sean Price Kimbo Price (see 8)
    10 Jay Z B3 (guess that’s my token commercial album)

    Everything else was pretty much garbage truck juice.

  • Moving Sideways

    1. Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx 2
    2. BK-One – Radio do Canibal
    3. Apathy – Wanna Snuggle?
    4. DOOM – Born Like This
    5. DJ Quik & Kurupt – BlaQKout
    6. Exile – Radio
    7. Pac Div – Church League Champions (mixtape)
    8. Stoupe – Decalogue
    9. Fashawn – Boy Meets World
    10. Lupe Fiasco – Enemy of the State (mixtape)

  • GregSIDE

    No particular order. Relapse, BO2, BP3, Loso’s Way, Last Kiss, Slaughterhouse/Street Hop, So Far Gone (yeah I know), Till the Casket Drops, OB4CL2, and T double D’s Finally Famous(Fuck Ross)
    Disappointment of the year (Drum Roll) Wale’

    • El Tico Loco

      Wale gets the most ironic album title too.

  • Nike Addict 707

    Wale-Attention Deficit i think is an honorable mention.

  • Willis Still Sunsweet, WWIB

    1. Raekwon OB4CL2
    2. Eminem “Relapse”
    3. Sean Price “Kimbo Price”
    4. Mos Def “The Ecstatic”
    5. Buckshot & KRS-One “Survival Skills”
    6. U-God “Dopium”
    7. Cam’Ron “Crime Pays”
    8. Ghostface “Wizard Of Poetry”
    9. 50 BISD
    10. Doom “Born Like This”

    HM1: Blaq Poet “Blaqprint” (GREAT Premo, if ya’ll can care about such a thing anymore)
    HM2: General Steele “Welcome To Brooklyn” (street album? mixtape?)


    MOP “Foundation” is docked a notch for putting Termanology, who is horrible, on.

    Not feeling Clipse, Ross, Fab (who’s GREAT in his “Wizard of Poetry” cameo), Jay, tho’ mad respect for a #1 single with “State Street” (!!) in it.

    Don’t believe the hype: any/everything related to Laughterhouse, Asher Roth, post-Eric B.-era Rakim.

  • Willis Still Sunsweet, WWIB


    General Steele “Welcome to BUCKTOWN”

  • HipHop

    1. J. Cole “The Warm Up”
    2. Jay. Z “Blueprint 3″
    3. “OBFCL2″
    4. Wale “Back to the future”
    4. Rick Ross “Deeper Than Rap”
    5. Drake “So Far Gone”
    6. Pill “The Refill”
    7. Wizard of Poetry
    8. Slaughterhouse
    9. Jay Electronica
    10. Clipse “Till the casket drops”

    50 War Angel Mixtape
    Camron BOAB Mixtape
    Mos Def

  • bollocks

    Good list, CJ…

    for you or anyone else who wants to look over a Top 100 of the Decade list, get at me:

    Otherwise – I’m feeling you on this list…BP3 was damn good for what it was, and that Drake mixtape has more quotable lines than like 90% of rap albums or mixtapes in the last couple years. (I mean, come on – “I make hits, I’m like a bitch that’s married, I ain’t miss”? siiick) His wordplay is refreshing, his R&B schtick is not…but no nitpicking, despite his overhype, he’s a damn good emcee.

    Also – Clipse = the G.O.A.T. rap duo, period. TTCD is the truth. They’re lyrical beasts.

    • El Tico Loco

      If you think those were the sickest lines off a mixtape u must not have Joell Ortiz’ “Road Kill” mixtape, too many quotables to list, not a single bar is wasted.

      • bollocks

        Actually, I gotta keep it real – I don’t have it. I do, however have Joell Ortiz Covers the Classics, and that shit is fire, as well as all his verses on the Slaughterhouse mixtape…The rest of the group is kinda hit-or-miss for me, though, so I can’t really rep their releases that hardbody. But yes – you’re right, Joell Ortiz is one of the nicest in the game, easily.

  • Master CHeef

    favorite track of 09 = Ain’t I

  • AZ40

    Since we can include mixtapes
    Jay-Z- Blueprint 3 can’t front on this
    Fashawn/Alchemist-the antidote(thought it was better than boy meets world)

    J.Cole-the warm up

    cool kids-Gone Fishing

    pac div-Church League Champs(mad slept on)

    Camron-Crime Pays (mad slept on)

    Wale-Back to the feature(Better than album to me)

    Raekwon-obcl2-literally dope all around

    Slaughterhouse-Well put together album

    It’s crazy that some of these mixtapes are better than albums i would pay for any of the mixtapes i listed

    • Combat Jack

      You ain’t lying about mixtapes B.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      “Wale-Back to the feature(Better than album to me)”

      ^^^ This

  • Jhon da Analyst

    OB4CL2 #1 and that’s all I’m concerned with. Happy New Year you dirty rotten motherfuckas!! I would just like to say after waiting 14 years for that shit, it was well worth the wait. Rae has proven that true emcees are ageless. I’m 41 and I’m glad I came up when I did. To you young motherfuckas, respect your elders. We run dis shit!!

  • Max Profit

    Good list BUT! — Fabo, Jay-Z & Ross “C’mon son”

    Mos Def – Ecstatic
    Lil Wayne – No Ceilings
    Eminem – Relapse

  • KS

    J, cole definately had one of the best mixtapes this year. a hell no to no ceilings. every track was the same. like i couldnt get the shit off repeat. nobody wants to hear him recycle the same topics over each track. pass

    • KS

      J. Cole*

  • Willard A.

    LOL, I knew you were going to say that CJ. Get off Pusha’s and Malice’s diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick(s) [||].

    Just playing fam, they were killing niggas on that album. OB4CL2, Deeper than Rap and BP3 are also worthy inclusions. What about ‘The Recession’? Oh, that was 2008.


  • beaver

    no order..

    Street Hop..Royce.
    Born Like This..DOOM
    Ecstatic..Mos Def
    BISD..50 Cent
    Chemical Warfare..Alchemist
    Escape Route..Joe Budden
    Attention Deficit..Wale..

    DOOM is da shit..
    i’m glad u put him on your top 10..

  • harmen

    no love for 50? i thought he went ALL THE WAY IIIIN on that album very cohesive effort from him

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    I’m usually not a fan of lists, but this is a good one.

    Honorable mention:


    Pac Div-Church League Champions

    Wu-Tang-Chamber Music



    Young Chris-The Network


    Happy MMX!

  • ThingAlec

    10. Blackout 2
    9. Slaughterhouse
    8. Deeper Than Rap
    7. The Last Kiss
    6. Before I Self Destruct
    5. Till The Casket Drops
    4. Blueprint 3
    3. The Ecstatic
    2. Relapse
    1. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II

  • El Tico Loco

    One thing we all agree on everybody got OB4CL2 on their list.

    • beaver

      ha yea true..
      its a dope album.

  • Tony Grands

    It was some cool ass music that came out this year, but I judged the good shit by what I still bump.

    War Angel-50
    OB4CL2-Rae & Ghost
    Deeper Than Rap-Ross
    Born Like This-DOOM
    BO!2-Red & Meth
    Before I Self Destruct-50
    Blueprint3-Jay (which really had to grow on me)

    Slaughterhouse, Relapse & Man On The Moon wore thin rather quickly, & I still haven’t heard ‘Til The Casket Drops’ in it’s entirety. Not a big Clipse fan, but we’ll see.

    Mostly though, I stayed bumping older shit.

  • Chip

    Cam…is listed…above Jay…you gotta be fucking kidding me. I have seen it all

  • Victor

    In no particular order:

    Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2

    Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Maaad slept on)

    Born Like This

    The Warm Up

    Where’s Danny? (Quite left field but i liked it)

    The Ecstatic

    Back To The Feature

    Church League Champions

    Boy Meets World (@AZ40 I personally though this was defo better than the mixtape, it was a very well put together debut)

    The Salvation

    There are a lot of releases missing deserving of HMs and there is still a great deal of music i havent listened to yet (a lot of em i havent listened to cos i wanna cop e.g. BO2, Blaqprint, Double Barrel etc).

    One thing emcees need to do though is cut album lengths! Overly long projects hampered potentially excellent albums e.g. Street Hop, Wanna Snuggle. These were still dope but in the scheme of things were less enjoyable as an entity as a result. But yeah ’09 was a crazy year for Hip Hop!!

  • jimmyrupe

    In no particular order:

    Pac Div – Church League Champions (mixtape)
    Wale – Attention Defecit
    UGK – UGK for Life
    Clipse – Til The Casket Drops
    Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx 2
    J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid
    DJ Spinna – Sonic Smash
    J. Cole – any of his mixtapes
    Drake – ditto
    Jay-Z – BP3


    I’m late as fuck. But fuck it. I ain’t even gonna lie, I don’t go too far outside of my box/comfort zone of music so my list is pretty short & sweet. J.Cole – the warm up (still in rotation after all these months). The Clipse – TTCD (niggaz die out here for snitching). T.I. – A Year & A Day (go get it). a few joints off of Young Dro – R.I.P. that’s bout all I can think of this early in the morning. these are the ones that kept my ears from bleeding all year.

  • Ali

    Raekwon – OB4CL2
    Wale’ – Attention Deficit
    Eminem – Relapse
    Joe Budden – Padded Room
    Royce Da 5’9″ – Street Hop
    Slaughterhouse – Self Titled
    Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap
    Clipse – ‘Til The Casket Drops
    Brother Ali – Us
    Jay-Z – BP3

    Rae was a classic album so it’s #1 but I bumped Wale’ the most, still bumpin’ it


    i don’t feel like doing the list i like everything on your list. except jay and the cool kids. i am glad you put cam on there his shit was slept on because of the cam effect. to me cam has no casual fans you either like his music or you think he is a fool.

  • seanblak

    10. malice in wonderland far gone
    8.only built 2
    7.loso’s way
    6. deeper than rap
    5. bisd
    4. man on the moon
    3. the last kiss
    2.till the casket drops
    1.blueprint 3

  • harmen

    no order:

    deeper than rap
    ob4cl II
    attention deficit
    loso’s way
    so far gone
    war angel
    the ecstatic
    this ain’t no mixtape

  • DANJ!

    I got about 5… I admit… I love hip-hop to death but I ain’t the rabid fan I once was.

    1- BP3
    2- Till The Casket Drops
    3- Slaughterhouse
    4- OB4CL2
    5- Last Kiss

    Crime Pays and Deeper Than Rap were good too… Loso’s Way was aaaaiiiight… I also liked a good deal of So Far Gone, especially ‘Sooner than Later’.

    Outside of that, I wasn’t feelin’ too much else.


  • Dip

    1. Skyzoo – The Salvation.

    Incredible record, and one that will be appreciated more in retrospect.

    The others are a blur. Maxwell had the nicest record of the year across the board though. Undeniable.

  • DV8

    lots of great choices up there, most I agree with. But I cannot believe nobody mention Stat Quo’s mixtapes this year.

    The South Got Sumthin To Say
    Quo City
    Checks and Balances
    The BailOut
    The Invisible Man

    all classic shit. If you dont fuck wit StatQuo then you cant possibly be hiphop. The music is that good.