Here’s my 6-10:
10) P.O.S. – Never Better
In my mind, P.O.S. just keeps putting out great material. In weaker years, this would be higher up on my list, but for the sake of my very important list, he’s #10. With tracks like “Goodbye“, “Low Light Low Life” (w/ Sims and the very nice to look at Dessa) and Savion Glover, I expect nothing but bangers in the future. And, listening to P.O.S. I wonder why I haven’t gotten into more Doomtree stuff; it’s time I do.
I really think I swapped volume 1 and 2 now that I think about it. I think this one benefited from a later release date, but looking back, I think 1 is better. That being said, this is a nice album and stands alone in it’s own right. “Running Wild” features a dope appearance from E-40, who has always had one of the craziest and most inventive flows in the game, not to mention that they’ll never be another MC like 40 until 5004. They’ll never be another MC like 40 until 5004??? One of the few tracks not produced by Kno, “Cocaine”, features production from another one of the best producers out there, J-Zone. Then, you have one of the nicest tracks, featuring EFamm, “The WWKYA Tour”. Another nice contribution to hip-hop from CunninLynguists.
8) KRS-One and Buckshot – Survival Skills
This was one of the surprise albums of the year for me. It sounds weird to say that you would buy an album and not expect much (why would you buy it them?), but I wasn’t expecting a lot here. This album ended up being solid all the way through. They used a lot of different producers, from Black Milk to Marco Polo to 9th Wonder, but the album comes together nicely. Plus, anytime someone calls out autotune for the garbage that it is (“Robot“), they score a point in my book.
7) Mr. Lif – I Heard It Today
This was another surprise, although milder, as I have enjoyed Lif’s albums in the past, but I didn‘t expect the best album of Lif‘s career in 2009. Barrack Obama is President, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Lif is going to sit back and trust the government and ignore the injustices in the country and world. If you slept on this album, which you might have, wake your ass up and buy it.
A snap y’all, it’s another shocker/surprise. Linx II has been talked about for years and years, only to be delayed on multiple occasions. It‘s also one of those “part 2 albums” that are usually a last ditch effort to recapture some sort of past glory (and sales), but end up miserable failures (I think I saw The Carnival II while perusing my local record store, when the hell did that come out???), so much so, that I expected absolute garbage from this album. Man, was I wrong. I got excited when I heard the phenomenal “New Wu” w/ Ghost and Meth, but I was still skeptical, especially when hearing about the 50 producers that were involved. Anyway, man, was I wrong to doubt this album. Raekwon could be the new Ghostface if he puts out another gem like this one, meaning that he might turn into the most relevant member of the Wu (anyone get that Ghostdini LP? Heard a song w/ autotune and didn‘t bother, myself).