Year End Thoughts
Ahhh yes, it’s that time again. This is the part of the year where you get bombarded by “Year End” lists. I have to admit, I’m some what of a “list junkie” so I LOVE year end lists. They are only people’s opinions, but I like to see how different people think, plus they usually hype me to something I slept on or didn’t give the proper listen to.So of course I have to come with my own list. These are just my PERSONAL likes. Everyone is different and everyone has different opinions.
I’m at a certain age and stage in my life where, and I hate using this term, I’m down with more “Grown Folks” music, a more mature vibe when I listen to music. Don’t get me wrong, I still have times when I want to listen to a good “Shoot Em’ Up” album, but anymore, just give me good beats and decent lyrics and I’m happy.
As you can probably see, we are into the past glories of hip hop, but I still take the time to listen to the new releases. True, I don’t jock some of the shit the masses are, but I still love some of the newer music dropping. While I won’t say Hip Hop is dead, I do think it’s hanging out in the E.R.. There is good stuff out there, don’t get me wrong, but I think creativity is at a low. There hasn’t really been anything “changing the game” in awhile. Maybe I’m a fool thinking that there is anything left to lift the art form to a new level, but I’m kind of tired of the half hearted efforts be putting out by groups that have more to offer than the same boring bullshit that I hear from every other rap cat.
I’ll admit, it was actually hard for me to come up with 20 albums that I thought were worthy enough to be mentioned. I’ve already expressed my views on the quality of music coming out this year. Regardless, I present my own personal favorites of 2006.
Not in your traditional vein of hip hop, this was a breath of fresh air in my mind. Count Bass D has always been highly creative when it comes to his music, and thats what it truly is, music. It took me a month or so to get into this album, but when I did, I was fiending to hear it every day.
19. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead
I’ve bad mouthed this album since it dropped, but part of that is the fact Nas is such an incredible artist that he should be dropping near classics everytime he releases an album. Nas, even in his bad times, is still better than a lot of artists out there. The more I listened to the album, the more I started to like it. It’s still got it’s weak links on it, but it’s a hell of a lot better than “Street’s Disciple”.
At first, I wasn’t feeling this album at all. The Roots used to be one of my favorite groups, but the two albums leading up to this was just…Blah…for the lack of a better word. Upon my initial listens, I felt the same way about this as well. But after being hounded by some of my cohorts on mastaace.com, I gave it some more listens. While still not up to standards as “Illdelph..” or “Things Fall Apart”, this is still their best effort since those.
17. Jay-Z – Kingdom Come
Jay is in the same boat with Nas. They both put out material that can be both incredible or downright horrid. I think Nas is a better artist than Jay, but Jay always seems to be more consistant in his releases and this one was no different. While nothing reaches out and screams “CLASSIC” to me on the album, only one song makes me want to vomit in my mouth (Anything).
I’m not even going to get into the whole developing “South Vs. East” thing that’s starting to pop off, but let’s just say I can’t really get with a lot of the southern “Crunk” music that’s dropping. Not that I’m calling T.I. “Crunk”, but T.I. is one of the few artists in this vein of Hip Hop that I can get with. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to this album, since it dropped earlier in the year, but this got a lot of play at the time.
Louis Logic has long been one of my personal favorites since first hearing “Logistics 101″ back in 2000. Louis Logic is an excellent example of an artist maturing over his career. His latest project was even more mature than 03′s Sin-A-Matic. At first I was a little disappointed with it, but after a few listens I fell into a familar comfortableness with Logic. There are some deep tracks, some ignorant tracks, and straight up party tracks. Something for everyone on this one.
Being a fan of “The Listening” and both versions of “The Chitlin Circuit” I was somewhat disappointed with “The Minstrel Show” after I grew bored of it after about two weeks of listening to it. When this dropped, I was somewhat hesitant, since I spend most of my time shying away from the mixtape glut on the web. Well, it took me some time to get into this, but after I did, it became a staple in my headphones for the spring.
Being a stuffy ass American, I usually don’t give overseas Hip Hop much of a listen. Yeah, I know it’s closed minded, but it’s just hard to get with sometimes. This album though is different. Excellent production, fun lyrics, and just an easy album to listen to. It helps that its from my blogmate and I get a shout out in the liner notes.
Ghost is always consistant and this offering is no different. Solid album all the way around. I thought the Wu and their affliates had a fairly impressive year this year. Good albums from Ghost, Masta Killa, Deck, and Bronze Nazreth
I actually enjoyed this album more than “A.W.O.L”. Anthony Cruz is probably one of the more slept on MC’s in the game. He almost always comes correct on the mic and this LP is no different. No filler, just solid Hip Hop.
Not one, but two albums from Ghost this year. When I heard about this, I was very hesitant. How was he going to come with two good albums. How would he have the matrial to put out two good albums? At first I thought it was a bonafied mixtape, but when I sat down and listened to it, I was very suprised. I’m not saying this is better in quality than Fishscales, but I enjoyed this release more than the first one. “You Know I’m No Good” is one of those songs I played over and over when I first heard it.
Yeah, I know this dropped in 05′, but it’s my list so I’ll post what albums I please. I didn’t pick this up until the spring after hearing “The Lawn” rant about this. The music is right up my alley. It’s kind of laxed, but still encompasses all the raw aspects of Hip Hop.
This was a group in the past that I always heard getting a lot of praise, but I couldn’t really get with their music. This album changed that for me. This album was in the Top 5 for most of the year for me. There is some great music on here, “One’s We Miss” is a great song.
Remember me saying I enjoy the more “grown” music these days? This is the exception. Pure ignorance and bliss in all it’s glory. If you read this blog much, you know J-Zone is one of my personal favorites and Celph Titled adds a nice touch and some funk and 808 making this a fun album to pick up some booty to.
I remember hearing this before it’s offical release, before Jay’s death and not really liking it much. I’m not much on instrumentals, unless I just want something to fall asleep to. I gave it a few more listens and before I knew it, I had beats stuck in my head, leading me to play this more and more, even if it wasn’t until August that I really had it in major rotation. There is some INCREDIBLE stuff on this.
Another group I was introduced to through “The Lawn”. I was already familar with Von Pea then after hearin a pre-release mixtape, I was fairly amped for the release. The actual album made more of an impact than I could ever imagine though. Coupled with a great sense of humor in their lyrics and some jazzy smooth beats, this album was just an enjoyable listening experiance all the way around.
Took a listen to this based on Polarity’s advice. We don’t always have the same tastes, but he was right about this one. Exile is one half of the group Emanon, who had an top 5 album for me last year and is somewhat of an up & coming producer (see “Pearly Gates” on the last Mobb Deep album). This is a producer album with many different artists like Slum Village (a track that had been floating around for sometime, but still pretty dope), Aloe Blacc and even Ghostface.
3. Oh No – Exodus In Unheard Rhythms
Yet, another producer based album, but one of the more original albums I’ve heard in sometime. The beats are based on the music of Galt McDermont, which adds cohesivness that many DJ/Producer albums lack. Great songs from Pos of De La, Buckshot & Wise Intellegent.
Why this isn’t getting more attention than it is is kind of odd to me. This is Dilla’s swan song, and while it might not have been finished by Dilla himself, this is still some great music. I played the shit out of this LP with the first half of it being as good as any album that’s been released since 2000.
It’s becoming more and more rare for me, but every so often an album comes along that I won’t put down for a week straight. It will be all I listen to. Since 2000, only a handful of albums would fall into that category of “Classic” in my book (Masta Ace – Long Hot Summer & Disposable Arts, Binary Star – Masters Of The Universe, Little Brother – The Listening, Foreign Exchange – Connected) and this one would fall
into that list as well. I can’t even begin to start bragging about this album. The concept, the music, the audio imagery it presents, it’s all just a masterful piece of work that shouldn’t be overlooked. Hell, even the cover art is dope as fuck.
Trav’s Top 100 Songs of 2006
Every month, I make a CD of songs that I like. I’ve been doing this since the first CD burner I bought. Sometimes it would be stuff I just ran into on Audio Galaxy, Napster or Soul Seek, or it could be a favorite song off an album I was listening to, or maybe it was just the hot song out on the circuit at the time.
Then at the end of every year, I’d put together my favorite tracks. I have been doing that since 1990. I even have some of those tapes still. I might actually post some of them up for a little laugh sometime this week. Anyway, after a couple weeks of tweaking and changing I finally came down with a Top 100 list. This is the second year in a row I expanded it out to 100, although it’s really tough to narrow it down and put them in all in spots you want. Listening to the final version last night, I still had problems with some orders, but this is the best I’m going to do, so present the Top 100. Also, I don’t care if the song came out in 05′, if I heard it this year, it goes in this year, so save yourself from typing.
100. The Warm Up – Tanya Morgan
99. Liar, Liar – The Juggaknots ft. Wordsworth
98. Phi Life Cypher – Cypher Funk
97. Edgar Allen Floe – Floe Almighty
96. Aceyalone – Cornbread, Eddie, & Me
95. Clipse – What’s Up
94. Agallah – NY Ryder Music
92. Louis Logic – A Perfect Circle
91. Kidz In The Hall – Wheelz Fall Off
90. The Procussions – Shabach
89. Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push
88. Soul Position – Hand Me Downs
87. The Roots – Don’t Feel Right
86. Tha Alkaholiks – Turn It Up
85. Clipse – On My Shit
84. Boss Hog Barbarians – Givva Hog A Bone
83. Glue – Catch as Catch Can
82. Saigon – Don’t Do That
81. Low Budget – Handle Ours
80. Supastition – Baby Story
79. Atmosphere – Spaghetti Strap
78. Tanya Morgan – We Be
77. Krumbz – Bananaz (Duke Remix)
76. Smile Rays – Cest La Ves
75. Haji P – Whatever (Soulclap Productions)
74. Masta Killa feat RZA, Method Man, & U-God – Iron God Chamber
73. Camp Lo – Bedrock
72. Apathy – 1000 Grams
71. Chamillionaire feat Krayzie Bone – Ridin’
70. Boss Hog Barbarians – Steady Smobbin’
69. Fort Minor – Remember The Name
68. Pharoahe Monch – Let’s Go
67. Asamov (The AB’s) – Supa Dynamite
66. Motion Man feat DJ Q-Bert – Blah Blah
65. Kice Of Course – Ain’t Ready
64. Tone Deff – Pervert
63. Supastition – That Ain’t Me
62. Tear It Down – Army Of Pharoahes
61. Boot Camp Click – Here We Come
60. Caged Bird Song – Aloe Blacc
59. Supastition – Nickle Needles
58. Black Sheep – Who Dat
57. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead
56. Pack Fm – Stomp
55. Fatlip – Joe’s Turkey
54. Junk Science – House Wigger
53. Lone Catalyst – En La Ciudad
52. Boss Hog Barbarians – Rev. GetRight
51. Ras Kass feat Style P – Fly SHit
50. Brother Ali – Rain Water
Part two coming tomorrow along with 1-49 on songs