I thought I’d share my top 10. It’s not going to resemble the exact same top 10 as anyone and some might consider some of my choices a bit strange. As I’ve always said though, if the opinions of others were to impair my judgement, I wouldn’t have listened to Hip-Hop in the first place. Thoughts are always welcome. Hope you enjoy.
AZ – Doe Or Die
Number 10 was a hard choice. If I’d have done this 12 months ago, this would probably be at number 11 or 12. However, this has been back on the iPod recently and it’s reminded me what a strong album it is. I often feel AZ was in the shadow of Nas when this came out and Doe Or Die doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. This is listenable from front to back with dope production accompanied with AZ’s distinctive lispy voice.
The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!
The Roots are responsible for many dope albums. I’d consider this their best. It doesn’t have what I’d consider their best 3 or even perhaps 5 tracks on but is solid all the way through and doesn’t have a bad joint on it. It is the high level of consistency that gets it into my top 10. I’m a huge fan of The Roots and this album really showcases the level of professionalism they put into their work.
Above The Law – Uncle Sam’s Curse
For me, this album was the pinnacle of the G-Funk sound. I was never a fan of the G-Funk sound and listening to albums like The Chronic these days make me feel like it’s a sound that has aged terribly. However, this album defies that and gets better with age. This will cost you a bit these days but is worth every penny. Even Tone-Loc makes an appearance and kills it. In the right mood with the sun shining, this album is perfection.
Lords Of The Underground – Here Come The Lords
This is one of the only albums in my top 10 where I’d say there are a few skip-able tracks. However, that is more than made up for by the rest of the album. Marley Marl was on real form with his production and in my opinion, the performances on the mic from Doitall & Mr Funke have never been touched by another duo on an album. Everybody involved just seemed to be on the same level.
Paris – Sleeping With The Enemy
I love Paris. Intelligence mixed in with raw aggression mixed in with a positive message mixed in with telling it straight. Such an interesting person and his music can be listened to just for his messages. However, when you throw in the beats on this album as well it’s easily in my top 10. Assatta’s Song shows the incredible production on the album – the minute long sax solo between the 2nd & 3rd verse still sends shivers up my spine. Days Of Old & Thinka Bout It are another 2 of my favourites that have a strong message and somewhat put responsibility back onto individuals to improve themselves.
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
A Tribe Called Quest, my favourites. If I did a top 20 albums, their first 4 albums would definitely feature. Whether The Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders is a better album is always one for great debate. They are both dope albums and both show Q-Tip’s amazing production, something he doesn’t get enough recognition for.
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – The Main Ingredient
Growing up, I considered Mecca & The Soul Brother the finest of all albums. Over the years, my tastes have changed and Mecca & The Soul Brother just my top 10. The Main Ingredient is just slightly more polished and is overall, just that bit more uplifting. This is my favourite album to blast loudly on a long drive and I shouldn’t need to tell anyone about C.L’s perfectly smooth voice over the chocolate boy wonders always dope production.
The Foreign Exchange – Connected
This is what sparked off me wanting to do a post on my top 10. People thought I was way off when posting a joint from this album claiming it was from a top 5 album. Although this is now 10 years old, I still consider it new. It was a breath of fresh air at the time and I still hold it in very high regard. Phonte isn’t the greatest of all time but he is a very good emcee and Nicolay was on fire with the production on this, his beats really made this album. It’s slightly different and sadly, Nicolay has moved on from producing like this. This is a banger from front to back and whilst some heads will find it hard to think that an album from 2004 should make it here, in my opinion, it is more than worthy of it’s place here. Made even greater by the fact that Phonte & Nicolay had never even met until after it was released.
The Pharcyde – Labcabincalifornia
This is another album that has grown on me more as I’ve got older. This is listenable all the way through and people will always know Drop & Runnin but this album is much more than those 2 tracks, She Said, Bullshit, Moment In Time, this album is packed full. If ever I need to get in a good mood, this is the one. I consider some of J Dilla’s finest work to be on this, it’s a masterpiece.
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
As if you hadn’t already guessed! For me, this is perfection. Tight beats, tight rhymes, the nostalgia that comes along with listening to it as well. Just everything about it. Electric Relxation, Award Tour, Hot Sex (edit – Hot Sex appears on European version of MM) & Oh My God are all dope joints and amongst their better know but the quality of their album fillers like Lyrics To Go (amazing sample) & The Chase Part II as well as others just round this album off perfectly.