Looking back, this was a real good year. I especially had a real hard time narrowing down my top songs to 20, so I went ahead and expanded my songs to 40 (for the price of 20!), and any of the LP’s in my top 5 could easily be #1. I only had about 14 LP’s that I considered for my top 10, but there were a lot of albums that had some really good songs, but just weren’t good enough to make the top 10 LP’s.
I would also like to complain about the auto-spell check function of Microsoft Word that changes Tonedeff to Tone-deaf, Del the Fukee Homosapien to Del the Funkee Homespun and plenty of other annoying crap. So, if you see any weird spellings, that aren’t just a result of your normal hip-hop spelling, please ignore them. Just a rant.
BC’s Top 10 LP’s of 2005
10) Edan – Beauty and the Beat – There might not be a lot of stand-out songs, but listening to it as a whole really makes for a great listen and a solid LP.
9) Dangerdoom – The Mouse and the Mask – I dig this LP and I love all that Adult Swim stuff (well, a lot of it). Dangermouse is a crazy-dope producer and DOOM is one of the greats out there right now (just not live).
8) Fatlip – The Loneliest Punk – I was pleasantly surprised by Lip’s debut solo LP. It starts to trail off a bit at the end, but the first 75% of the LP is nice. I’d add “What’s Up Fatlip?” to my songs, but it came out back in 1999, but it’s the best song on the LP.
7) Busdriver – Fear of a Black Tangent – Busdriver might not be some people’s speed, but I really like him and his odd, interesting albums. I listened to this straight through numerous times with a large amount of enjoyment.
6) Blueprint – 1988 – Was 1988 the height of hip-hop greatness? I don’t know, but this album from Blueprint is straight dope. Go ahead and buy this if you don’t already have it.
5) Tonedeff – Archetype – I love this album. I think there is one song on here that I don’t like and I can’t wait to get the next Tondeff album.
4) Asamov – And Now… – This one took me a while to get into, and I actually remember posting on www.mastaace.com with Travis about this one. He was digging it, but I hadn’t gotten into it, but gave it another chance and just loved it.
3) CunninLynguists – A Piece of Strange – They came a little more mellow on this album, but it’s a good one. Kno continues to grow as a producer and Deacon, and now Natti, are well above average MC’s.
2) J-Live – The Hear After – Another solid album all the way through from J-Live. I just can’t get enough of Mr. J-Live and you get another classic from The Hear After.
1) Atmoshpere – You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having – This is the first Atmosphere LP that I really just couldn’t get enough of. I liked Atmosphere before this, but wouldn’t call them one of my favorites really, but it was always nice to be able to get some of these local folks here in the Twin Cities to go to a hip-hop show. Everyone wants to claim to be down with big local acts. Anyway, this is their first unskipable album and more than worth the 15 bucks or so it’ll cost you.
BC’s Top 40 Songs of 2005
40) Grand Ol’ Party Crash – Cage – A nice anti-Bush song with Jello Biafra (from Dead Kennedys) playing the part of W.
39) Party Hard – The Perceptionists w/ Guru – The Perceptionists LP was pretty solid and I don’t know if this was the best track on the LP, but it’s a good one and Guru is on it, so you can’t go too wrong.
38) Remember the Name – Fort Minor w/ Ryu and Tak – You have to admit this track is catchy and perfect for all those basketball or baseball ads it was featured in.
37) All in Together – GZA and Muggs – My favorite song from the collaboration from the Wu-Tang and Cypress Hill members. This is an LP that I think I need to back to.
36) Employees of the Year – Felt 2 (Slug and Murs) – A nice song from the second Felt LP. You have to like a song where the first verse starts with an interpolation of one of EPMD’s greatest songs, So Wat’ Cha Sayin’.
35) The Mask – Dangerdoom w/ Ghostface Killah – Hopefully, that DOOM/Ghostface album will come out eventually. It’s an interesting pairing of MC’s and this song gives a little taste of what may come out.
34) Let It Out – Ugly Duckling – Another fun song from UD. Play this one at a party and people will start head nodding from the horn laced beat.
33) Supa Dynamite – Asamov w/ Mr. Lif – This could be higher on the list, but it sits here for now. A real great song from Asamov’s album.
32) Smart Went Crazy – Atmosphere – Atmosphere had some uncharacteristically hard tracks on YCIHMFWH and this is one of them. The beat is a little rugged and Slug, being the versatile MC that he is, kicks a bit of a harder flow than usual.
31) World of Vibrations – Blackalicious – This song kicks off The Craft and is a catcht little diddy, if I can come off sounding like a jackass.
30) Old School – Dangerdoom w/ Talib Kweli – Talib kicks a verse about watching Saturday morning cartoons and being old school and DOOM kicks a verse about his childhood. The beat from Dangermouse creates a great horn induced funky track for them to spit over.
29) Befriend the Friendless Friendster – Busdriver – A speedy beat that has Busdriver kicking his usual unique and speedy flow. “Because you’re an undersexed lady cop.” is one of my favorite lines.
28) Side to Side – Blackalicious w/ Pigeon John and Lateef – Gift of Gab, Lateef and Pigeon John all go to a club and kicks rhymes about their different experiences at said club.
27) Poems 4 Post Modern Decay – Zion I w/ Aesop Rock – I just think Aesop Rock is the rap equivalent of what they call a change of pace back in the NFL (him and Ab Rude). When you add him to a song, he adds a little something different to the other MC(s) on the track.
26) Make Music – Emanon – One of the 3-4 real good songs from The Waiting Room. The beat is real nice and features some vocalization as part of the beat, which I always dig.
25) Birdz – Fly the Coup - Buckshot & 9th Wonder w/ Phonte – A real nice song from the Buckshot/9th Wonder LP.
24) Count Your Blessings – Emanon – Another crazy vocalized beat and Aloe Blacc does his thing, like he always does.
23) Sleepwalking – One.Be.Lo w/ Ka Di – A great song from a great LP. The singer on this track actually adds a lot to the song.
22) Lefty’s Lament – Busdriver – Busdriver kicks some lyrics about race and perception over a dope, mellow beat.
21) Lo-Fi Funk – Blueprint w/ Aesop Rock – A crazy beat with Aesop Rock handling the duties of the chorus. Blueprint does his thing.
20) Hourglass – Cunninlynguists – Again, I have never studied music, so I’m not sure, but I think the beat might feature an organ. Whether it does of not, it’s a dope beat and a real nice song.
19) Help Me Sing – Asamov – Just a great beat and a great song. A bit of a song about the fans.
18) Can’t Hold On – MED – A great back in the day song with a great Madlib beat. MED raps about his younger days and Kool Ade stains on his shirt. Dope track. A live version:
17) Writer’s Block – Fatlip – Fatlip talking about writer’s block, which might explain why it took so long for his solo debut to be released.
16) Pseudo – Emanon – When I first heard this I went nuts, and I thought they sampled the score from The Frighteners. Turns out it just kind of sounds like something from that score. Anyway, it’s a real nice track with a great beat. The LP had a few real good songs, but the mediocre songs out number the great ones, like Pseudo.
15) Aaw Yeah – J-Live – J-Live being his normal dope self. He just cranks out quality hip-hop on a regular basis with tight beats and lyrics.
14) What U Hear – Zion I w/ Del the Funkee Homosapien – The way the beat switches up when Del kicks hie 2nd verse is just crazy.
13) Porcelain – Tonedeff – A great introspective song from Tonedeff.
12) Brooklyn Public, Pt. 1 – J-Live – J-Live speaking from his experience as a teacher about fictional students in an under-funded inner-city public school.
11) The UNDERground – One.Be.Lo – This song starts off s.o.n.o.g.r.a.m. on a strong note.
10) The Arrival – Atmosphere – This song just comes hard and I love the line “ I’m just a man that loved rap!” It was anice track to be featured on Fight Night 3 (I think it was 3).
9) Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz w/ Dave (De La Soul) aka Trugoy – Again, I love the Gorillaz and this is one of the hip-hop infused tracks from their second LP. A great song.
8) Where’s Your Girlfriend At? – Blueprint – It’s 10pm, do you know where your girlfriend is at? Blueprint probably does. A throwback song with a sense of humor involving Blueprint entertaining your lady. You have to love an MC that can be both self-deprecating and cocky at the same time. “As long as 2 five’s still add up to ten, then I got options every Friday night., and a team of mediocre broads grabbing my tip.”
7) Git Loose – Asamov w/ Akrobatik – An old-school throwback track featuring Akrobatik. Another well produced Asamov song, Beatrice!
6) Children – Tonedeff – A song about how things can change from a young person to an adult. I dig the singer that is also featured on the song. “One day you’ll look back at your life and wonder, like, what the fuck was I thinking?” That sums it up.
5) Making Planets – Edan w/ Mr. Lif – Edan starts the song nice and slow and he kicks his verse, but the song slows down even more and you can just sense that something dope is coming right before Lif comes in. I’ve found myself telling people to just wait… wait… wait, then the beat switches up and Lif kicks his verse. It’s a real dope song.
4) Give It Up – R.A. the Rugged Man and J-Live (from Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture) – I love the pairing of R.A. and J-Live. The beat is solid and you have 2 top-notch MC’s at the top of their game.
3) Play Hard – Masta Ace (from Sloppy Seconds 2) – Ace and some fellas hit the club and Ace speaks on it over a catchy beat featuring a lot of “oh’s”.
2) Get Fly – Atmosphere – The beat is phenomenal and is piano heavy with a choir feel. It’s a pure head nod song.
1) Hellfire – Cunninlynguists – I looked this up when the song came out, and the song sampled is from someone called Aurthur Brown. To me, it sounded like a song from The Doors, and that’s what others have said as well. Anyway, I remember hearing this song before the LP came out and it got me pumped. The beat is chopped nicely and it’s just a straight forward dope rap song.
Pack Up (remix) – Lyrics Born w/ KRS-One and Evidence
Rocketship – One.Be.Lo
Life Vegas – Felt 2 (Slug and Murs)
Avantcore – Busdriver
Since When – Cunninlynguists
Serious – MED – Oh No produced track
Archetype – Tonedeff
That Night – Atmosphere - A song about the tragic murder of an Atmosphere fan in Albuquerque after an Atmosphere show.
Dirty Harry – Gorillaz w/ Bootie Brown
Big Girls Need Love Too – Blueprint
Zodiaccupuncture – Aesop Rock
After – J-Live
Vats of Urine – Dangerdoom
Ride Off in the Sunset – Haiku d’Etat w/ Zumbi and Deuce Eclipse from Calicomm 2004
Benzie Box – Dangerdoom w/ Cee-Lo
Fat Leezy – Fatlip
Fly That Knot – Talib Kweli
Bonus track: About 6 minutes into Liberated (track 13) of Blueprint’s 1988 is a bonus track (although it’s hidden within a song, there’s about 1 minute of nothing and a new song kicks in). The beat is ill and if you haven’t heard it, check it out.