It's the time of the year where I give my thoughts and ideas on who would be the victors at my awards show if I was having one. You been around, you know what this is, so let's get it started. This year, click on the highlighted links for my initial reviews.
5. Sheek Louch- Donnie G - Don Gorilla
So Sheek came out and dropped another solo album and of course, it was slept on by many because he is considered the weaker of the Three Lox members, but he as always bee my favorite. Straightforward with most of his lines, you know what you're going to get from him and this time, you had some decent tracks to listen to as well. Sheek is never going to get the mass appeal but generally, his albums are more solid and less uneven than Jada or Styles.
4. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)
Pharoahe Monch (aka the skinny Michael Jai White) is always one of those solid rappers who is an underground legend. He is very lyrical though sometimes I feel that he stumbles over his flow and could incorporate some more musicality in his verses sometimes-not all of the time mind you, but he needs to break up the monotony sometimes. WAR has a lot of good things about it, including the production which doesn't even seem to fit with Pharoahe's style but he handles things well.
3. Black Rob - Game Tested Streets Approved
BR is one of my favorite rappers with limited potential. He has one of the best rap voices in the game and a decent ability to tell stories yet he also can create singles that fit in with his personality. The album is a throwback with a mostly clean feel to it and songs like "Celebration" fit in with the more laid back type fan like myself.
2. Stic.Man - The Workout
Stic's album wasn't the best but it might be the most creative of the year. An entire set of songs designed to motivate and promote healthy living is something that hip-hop has sorely needed. He has always been good about choosing beats and doing something different though it was obvious that doing 10 tracks based on this topic were daunting for him as he carried the entire thing almost completely solo.
1. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told
Saigon is a guy who foolishly signed with Atlantic and had his shit pushed back, waaaaaay back. Finally his album dropped and though some of the songs may sound dated, overall it was a solid effort, better than most of the guys who dropped major label records this year. Sai manages to keep his entire album focused on relevant subject matter and not just turn to popping bottles and being the biggest and best hustler of all time. Hats off to you and a middle finger to Atlantic.