The Top albums of the decade

So i am officially back from my winter sabbatical and i really didn't realize that this was the end of the decade until people started trotting out accolades for it. It got me to thinking, especially when you talk about the best albums of the past 10 years. I found that it wasn't even hard to come up with an initial list and no it doesn't include Lil Wayne. In fact, it doesn't even have an album that came out after 2004. Without further adieu:

1. The Blueprint 2001

The Blueprint was iconic for several reasons, number one it showcased Jay at the height of both his lyrical and popular appeal, contrary to what radio and best buy say now. The BP1 was the pinnacle of Jay's career with him both attacking the other top New York MC Nas on "The Takeover" and teaming with the best lyrical rapper Eminem on "Renegade", Jay proved that he could go toe-to-toe with his peers. He also dropped "Girls Girls Girls" and "Song Cry" while simultaneously bringing in the soul movement and future star Kanye West.

2. Get Rich or Die Trying 2003

50 Cent roared into this game with his first album which set the bar so high for himself that he was destined to have disappointment afterward. Sales aside, this album was great because it took you straight into the mind and mentality of Curtis Jackson. Thus the great disruptor was born. 50's brand crushed at least one record label and countless other careers as he started on one of the quickest upward arcs in hip-hop history.

3. College Dropout 2004

Kanye came into the game as an unheralded producer and single-handedly changed the sound of the entire industry. When he finally got his chance to get behind the mic he presented "Through the Wire" which sampled "Through the fire" and became an unlikely hit. Following that, Dame dash gave the go-ahead for the solo album and hot on the heels of 50 Cent and his gangster-rap revival came this album which took some of the focus off of the streets and opened up a new arena for artists who weren't as rugged or as rough as the previous 3 or 4 years. He also brought a new style of dress to the game which has influenced the likes of Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, to the new skinny jeans boys who can trace their style lineage directly to Kanye. Songs like "Jesus Walks" and "The new Workout Plan" were all out of the normal mold yet propelled Kanye to the top and created the monster we have today.

4. The Marshall Mathers LP 2000

Eminem is another artist who broke with tradition, being a white rapper who was neither a gimmick nor a rap and rock hybrid, he came with flows and lyrics out the ass. While his first album established him as a wacky mc, this second album took a more serious approach to his life and offered explanation of why he seemed to be so crazy. "Who New", "Marshall Mathers", "The Way I am" and "Stan" were all reason why this was an epic album.

5. Stillmatic 2001

Of all the albums on this list, this one is the best when you break it down song by song and lyric by lyric. Unlike the others, this one was less of a ground breaker on it's own as much a reactionary one. The ignition for it being the scathing response to Jay-z's "Takeover"; "Ether". But it wasn't just the beef either, this album also featured the old head who needs to grow up song "Second Childhood", "One Mic", the Prodigy/Cormega diss, "Destroy and Rebuild", "Got Yourself a Gun" and just song after song of hot lines and the best production ever put together on one Nas album.

The thing about a trying to pick the best 5 albums is that they have to have a bigger impact than just having lyrics unless, like in the case of Nas, these lyrics and songs are just about composed perfectly on multiple levels. The other four albums on this list had an impact that went well beyond traditional hip-hop merits but they all crossed over many of the usual lines that were already expected.


Popular Posts