Hip-Hop Editor, Jeffrey Barreau’s
Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2009
2009 most definitely will be etched as one of the more interesting and peculiar years in Hip-Hop. You would expect in the last year of the decade for hordes of new artists to be penetrating the genre, and for the genre as a whole to be undergoing a metamorphosis to facilitate a newer, younger generation of fans. However, 2009 saw the decade’s most iconic figures such as Jay-Z, Eminem and 50 Cent, blindside everyone with new albums in an efforts to solidify their claims to be the icons and trendsetters of the coming decade, as the acts that were supposed to carry the baton, namely T.I., Lil’ Wayne, and Kanye West sat in the corner occupied with legal and personal battles. This article discusses the top 10 hip-hop albums of 2009.
The year also saw many icons from the previous decade, the golden era of the 90’s, try to resurrect their careers with releases even their devout fans wouldn’t have fathomed ever seeing the light of day. This year also saw the debate over whether Hip-Hop would survive as a genre shift to whether its fad sub-genres would survive (i.e. Crunk, Auto-tune). Indeed, this was a fascinating year with a number of ill releases that reached out to every type of Hip-Hop fan. Here are the top ten Hip-Hop albums which I personally found to be the most profound artistic statements in 2009.
- Sha Stimuli – My Soul To Keep
The debut album from a lyrical mixtape monster. A strong effort, very accessible, very down to earth personal album, that touches many topics from dead beat dads, to being stuck in a dead end job, to the “Smelly Cat Song” which begs ladies to keep their hygiene situation correct. A must listen.
Major Lazer – Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
This isn’t a hip hop album per se, but Hip-Hop producers Diplo and Switch have crafted a monster of a Hip-Hop dancehall fusion album with “Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do” to add to their production catalogue of MIA’s Kala album and Santogold’s self-titled debut. In this writers opinion these guys have figured out the formula for the future of Hip-Hop, making it globally accessible while still keeping it authentic. (Wyclef figured it out years ago, but it comes out sounding perfunctory and corny). Pick up Major Lazer and put it pon repeat at your next house party and I guarantee people will not stop dancing.
Alchemist – Chemical Warfare
Alchemist second proper album provides further evidence to cement himself as one of the top producers behind the boards. This is the most diverse hip hop album that released this year, featuring tracks from the likes of Eminem, KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Kid Cudi, Three 6 Mafia and Fabolous. Alchemist effortlessly crafts beats that conform to each of these MCs respective styles but still come out sounding original with that signature ALC sound. Plus this album features the return of the Lady Of Rage and what is iller than that?
DOOM – Born Like This
This album has some of the more creative lyrics I heard all year, but that is what you would expect from an MF Doom album. Listeners of this album were also treated to a fierce solo track from Raekwon giving them a sneak preview in March what the rest of the Hip-Hop world would find out when Rae dropped his album in September.
Buckshot & KRS-One – Survival Skills
2009 saw a lot of unlikely duo albums release, such as Canibus and Keith Murray, Bizzy Bone & Bad Azz, and Masta Ace and Ed OG. Buckshot and KRS Survival Skills was by far the most polished and enjoyable, as the two veteran MCs trade verses on a array of life topics. This album also features the ORIGINAL Death of Auto-Tune track, the Havoc produced “Robot”. The Album is worth a cop or download for that track alone.