2009 was a solid year for hip-hop and I had a difficult time with my top 10 LP’s of the year. 11-20 was a little easier, but there were still some albums that I really thought would make my top 10. So, with that, here are my 16-20 from 2009:
20) La Coka Nostra – A Brand You Can Trust
This album is just some hardcore rap music. It makes me continue to long for an Everlast solo rap album. I love his bluesy/folksy albums as a solo artist, so I’d love for him to make that as well, but I want a full-fledged hip-hop LP from Everlast. Anyway, this is a decent album from the House of Pain fellas, Slain and Ill Bill. It didn’t have a lot of staying power with me, but I liked it and it’s always nice to listen to some old school hardcore.
This is a pretty solid album and I picked it up because of DJ Premier’s involvement. It was executive produced by Premo, but didn’t feature as many songs produced by the superstar MC. That being said, this is a nice album and I like the overall sound of it, including, whatever filter they use in the booth to create a bit of an echo sound.
I love the concept on this album, and as far as I know, this has never been tried. Basically, Aceyalone is backed up by an old doo-wop group and the music is also old R&B/doo-wop influenced. The album is produced by BIONIK and as far as I can tell from my research, he sings the falsetto background vocals featured in some of the songs. If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out the track Lonely Ones. It’s a real solid concept album and an original idea that makes for some pleasurable listening.
Ali was busy in 2009. He released this EP earlier in the year before his full-length album, Us. If you didn’t know Ali was Muslim, you will after listening to this EP, which can be a little annoying. Not because he’s Muslim, but because it’s repetitive, like a rapper talking about weed every song, or a Christian rap album (I went back and listened to some old Pigeon John and found his religious references and references to being a virgin, extremely annoying, don‘t get me started on the LMNO LP I bought years ago). Anyway, you get some bang for your buck here with this 9track EP and it’s a nice complement to Us.
Australia’s Low Budget is a throwback group in my eyes. There aren’t many groups anymore with a DJ/producer and an MC, let alone one that prominently features some top of the line work on the 1’s and 2’s. Polarity’s (Debonair P) beats are nice and the MC work, handled by Gentleman Gene, is real solid. The standout track on Laserdisc is the first single, Tailor Made, with it’s crazy dope beat and some nice mic work.