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2011 Hip-Hop Project, by 6xPlatinum
I have patrolled the forum, read reviews from dozens of websites, taken into consideration the awful BET Hip Hop Award candidates… And have officially listened to every album that has been tagged with Album of the Year potential (Note: I included mixtapes). I sat down and listened to them all one by one. And then I did it again, just so I can hear them all after hearing the others. And then I made a playlist with all of the songs from each album and went about my daily routines while listening (driving, working out, etc.). I have integrated each of these albums into my life over the last few weeks and based on my experiences, this is how I ranked them:
by The Cool Kids
Proof that I don’t favor Chicago artists more! If you think The Cool Kids are good lyricists, our opinions on hip-hop differ entirely. This, to me, is rap for listeners that don’t want to have to think about the rap. I could hear this album in the background of a skate session on X Games. And I don’t like the X Games.
Favorite track: Gas Station
by Lupe Fiasco
Fuck the man yet conform to the pop culture? Not on my watch. Lupe is a phenomenal rapper, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to listen to good rhymes over the worst production of the year. It sucks that Lupe put this out… He is such a talent, but it went to shit on this album. The only reason I put this at 15th and not 16th is because of sheer rapping ability. But it takes more than personal ability to make a reasonable Album of the Year contender.
Favorite track: All Black Everything
by Ace Hood
When it came time to write this, I asked myself “Why the fuck is Ace Hood on here?” Hustle Hard is a good track. I like trap and I loved that beat and that hook. See Young Jeezy’s G-Mix for a better version.
Favorite track: Hustle Hard
by Lil B
The album is an attempt at being more serious. The guy isn’t much of a lyricist and the themes are a bit rehashed at this point. I prefer Lil B being sarcastic. On the other hand, production isn’t bad. Was that a Goo Goo Dolls sample?! If Lil B is a really good rapper, I haven’t heard it yet. But at times, I think that’s intentional. If he upped his skill level, would he be as much of a hot topic? Lil B is a smart guy; the gimmick here is the drama, and he knows it.
Favorite track: (none)
by Wiz Khalifa
Let’s get this out of the way: I do not smoke pot. With that said, this album isn’t all I hear it’s cracked up to be (not that I’ve heard people on here praise it). It makes sense that this is nominated for “CD of the Year” at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. It’s catchy, it’s cheesy, it’s average, I do not like Roll Up.
Favorite track: On my Level
by Lil Wayne
If I liked anything on Tha Carter IV, I forgot about it already. This album is so average it hurts. Wayne has fallen off and I’ve lost interest in his attempt at climbing back up; if that’s even what he’s doing… How to Hate is a miserable song.
Favorite track: 6 foot 7 foot
by Tyler, the Creator
Same deal as Return of 4Eva, I liked it — didn’t love it. There were some verses that I liked a lot. I smiled a few times at some of the lines, but that isn’t enough to be my Album of the Year. Bastard was better. Tyler must have not given a shit about production, because Goblin didn’t have anything noteworthy. Maybe that was intentional, to sound even more sloppy.
Favorite track: Nightmare
by Jay Z and Kanye West
The production outweighed the talent. Better than most, but in the larger picture, it was a bit of a let down. Niggas in Paris is an incredible beat. That shit cray. Lyrical content was rather bland on the majority of the album, per usual, Kanye and Jay Z convincing us of their popularity. A number of tracks had a good theme behind them, but nothing to write home about. Lift Off was such a scam!
Favorite track: Niggas in Paris
Wale is slowly becoming my favorite rapper. He has an addicting flow and a calm demeanor that I find truly appealing. The diss on Harold’s though… WOW does that strike a nerve. That aside, I am patiently waiting for November so we can get an actual Wale album. Not a bad mixtape by any means, but falls behind a few others released this year, which ended up higher on my list. (Or further down? It is a countdown).
Favorite track: Passive Aggres-Her
A bunch of tracks that sound like RZA production but… Zero RZA production…? What I get from this is that the only reason people throw this album into the Album of the Year discussion is the fact that it’s related to Wu Tang. Decent production, poor features, average flows make this album forgettable, not Album of the Year.
Favorite track: Snake Pond
by Bad Meets Evil
What I love about this album is that it is obvious that Eminem and Royce are driving each other to go harder, and be better. I MUST give props to Royce for the line: “She said I’m feeling your whole swagger and flow, can we hook up? I said, umm, you just used the word swagger, so no” There were a lot of good tracks, choosing a favorite was tricky. But I’m not a Stan, so this release falls short of Album of the Year.
Favorite track: The Reunion
Oneirology has wonderful production, tricky and awesome flows and an overall wonderful release. Does anyone know if this was a concept album? The album definitely has an atmosphere to it that is enjoyable. What’s holding me back from giving this my Album of the Year title, is that it’s just not pushing me. I’m not feeling anything once it’s over.
Favorite track: Murder
by Big K.R.I.T.
Not necessarily breaking the mold of Southern Rap, but there is definitely something about him that separates him from the rest. K.R.I.T. produced the thing himself, which is fucking awesome. It may not be the best production of the year, but doing it all himself, raises the bar. Overall, this is a very good release. And you get the feel that something bigger is coming.
Favorite track: Lions and Lambs
by Kendrick Lamar
Bringing the West back one track at a time! Damned good production, a couple below average hooks, but Lamar’s talent is obvious and this album really shows that there is going to be more to come. I personally think that this guy’s future is going to be awesome. It was a tough call for me to put this ahead of Big K.R.I.T.’s Return of 4Eva; both have the same end result for me, which is rappers with a stellar release and being on the verge of greatness.
Favorite track: Rigamortus
Game is one of my favorite rappers, so I’m naturally going to give him the benefit of the doubt in most cases. So I turned to a couple of other people for their opinions on tracks that I thought were really good — this way I didn’t overgrade. That said, I had a lot of ‘favorite tracks’ and choosing one was a little difficult.
Favorite track: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
by Tech N9ne
I’ve been developing, editing, and studying this entire project since I signed up to Rap Genius (just over a month). And about halfway through my experiment here, my opinion on what my Album of the Year was had shifted. I was convinced that Game’s R.E.D. Album was the winner, but shit! Tech N9ne got me. Now I have never been much of a Tech N9ne fan, for his relation to the ICP crowd, and then I heard a lot of positive things about this album. And I couldn’t agree more. This shit is good. Somehow I ended up buying (that’s goddamned right. I bought all of these albums) the Super Deluxe Edition with 31 tracks. So I had quite a lot of listening to do. Not once did I get tired of it.
Favorite track: Cult Leader
And do remember, this is my opinion. I am not a professional critic and how I rank them means nothing. I would appreciate if the only people that want to actually discuss my results were ones that also have listened to, hopefully, all of the albums as well. And if you’re going to sell yourself short and listen to only one or two of the albums, please explain your opinion; I don’t care that you love Eminem so you automatically think Bad Meets Evil is the best release this year. Now I do understand that 2011 isn’t over and there are a few albums that are scheduled to get released by the end of the year, but hell, we’ll get to talk about it all over again then!
(Note: The album/mixtape had to be released in 2011 for me to care, so eat shit Friday Night Lights and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, you’re 2010)
Very good, I agree with you on 1#, but you don’t have to be a Stan to have HTS higher on the list.
I would love to see you do a review of All 6’s and 7’s. I loved that album, and I agree on it being the best of the year. Even though I haven’t listened to them all.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy will win the Grammy for said category though.
6x hates me :(
There are several projects significantly better than Tha Carter IV and Rolling Papers. Such as Elmatic, Zero Heros, The Soul Tape, Fear of God, Covert Coup, Return to the Winner’s Circle, Weekend at Burnie’s, Verde Terrace, Childish Gambino’s EP, and hell, even Finally Famous and Best Day Ever are better than at least Tha Carter IV.
However, if your main criteria is that it must have “Album of the Year” potential, then I understand why you left out all the ones I mentioned, since none of them have been nominated for album of the year. I just know they are all better than some of the albums on your list.
All that being said, I agree with your top 10, and your bold number one choice. I didn’t see All 6s and 7s being number one, but it makes complete sense. It is a very good album.
I think you did a great job with this. It clearly took a lot of work and time.
That statement was meant to be taken as: Only a Stan would call this Album of the Year
Is this supposed to be like a general list? Or are these supposed to be the Albums of the Year
editor’s beware: 6x outformats your ass 10 to 1
good list. I would have went with RED
Great list, although the lack of ELmatic is slowly killing me inside. Other than that it’s pretty good just not the order I put it in.
Great list. And I agree with Viktor, definitely needs Elmatic up there. One of my favorite releases from this year
This is the first time I’ve seen/heard anyone mention ELmatic referred to as Album of the Year.
I would love to do a full review of 6’s and 7’s.
If you have done a review of any of the above albums, please feel free to post a link to it.
Nightmare was your fav track on goblin?????You must not have liked the album