As is Hip Hop Awards - Independent Album of The Year

5. Talib Kweli - Prisoner of Concious

Kweli is very inconsistent, sometimes he can put out an album and have some real bangers and sometimes he might not. He however always has content and this album was a bit better than the previous, partially because he was able to bring in some decent features to supplement his talent. Miguel, Kendrick, Busta Rhymes, and Melanie Fiona all bring their talents to the table to support Talib in this effort.

4. Eve - Lip Lock

Eve might have had the most slept on album of the year from a mainstream standpoint. One reason might be her overseas focus that she has and the style of music she has to play over there. Songs with Missy and Snooop were actually decent and should have garnered some attention, and if those didn't work, then "Make it out this Town" was an uplifting anthem that deserved a better treatment if Katy Perry can be all over the radio.

3. Dead Prez - Information Age

Dead Prez have long been favorites of mine and now is no exception. This is one of the futuristic themed albums you can often find from underground artists talking about ills from the future in a past tense. the subject matter is typical DPG material but as usual they also prove the ability to make solid songs that would be catchy if ever allowed to hit the masses through radio.

2. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told 2: Bread and Circuses

The Greatest Story Never Told was so much anticipated and so long awaited that Saigon smartly moved quickly to drop a follow up that mixes his normal social lyrics and criticism of an industry that isn't behaving in a responsible manner. Now everything isn't a success on the album but he has enough content and song construction to make some of the more successful songs work on multiple levels.

1. Crooked I - Apex Predator

Crooked came more straight forward with lyricism than the last two entries. His solo effort is one designed to take hip-hop back to the streets keeping it real just like Saigon, but having more of the gangster edge Crooked possesses.  He manages to be slightly more socially conscious than say NWA, channeling his inner Cube to come with an effort that was surprising in its combined total effort and quality.


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