Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dart Adams presents The 100 Best Hip Hop LP's, EP's & Mixtapes Of 2009 So Far According To Me* AKA Fuck Sasha Frere-Jones

Sasha Frere-Jones thinks Hip Hop died this year. I say fuck him and the horse he rode in on. This is a list of what I consider to be the Top 100 Hip Hop LP's, EP's & mixtapes from this year so far. Please keep in mind that in order for me to even narrow this list to 100 I had to exclude instrumental albums, otherwise it would've just been ridiculous and impossible to narrow to just 100. Also keep in mind that I've heard close to 500 different projects this year and there are a fair amount of jawns I play regularly that didn't even make this list. That should give you an idea as to just how deep 2009 was with quality material.

Next time someone wants to claim that "nothing good came out this year" they need to peruse this list or one that Eric or Travis my other Bloggerhouse brethren have cooked up that will no doubt include projects that I missed in my top 100. Next writer that dare claims Hip Hop has gone stagnant or died this year will get a swift and severe throat chop or open palm to the sternum (no Ip Man). Here's my list. In the comments section feel free to gripe, bitch and/or moan about Jay-Z, Rick Ross & Fabolous' lackluster ass album not being in my top 100. I listened to WAY more Hip Hop than you this year. All you gotta do to check every Friday of 2009 on this blog for proof. Enjoy (or don't):

5 O' Clock Shadowboxers- The Slow Twilight
50 Cent-Before I Self Destruct
Aarophat & Illastrate-Black Noise
Ace & Edo (Masta Ace & Ed O.G)-Arts & Entertainment
Alchemist-Chemical Warfare
Apathy-Wanna Snuggle?
Big Tone-The Art Of Ink
BK-One with Benzilla-Radio Do Canibal
Blame One-Days Chasing Days
Braille & Symbolyc One-Cloudnineteen
Brother Ali-Us/The Truth Is Here EP
Big Quarters-From The Home Of Brown Babies With White Mothers
Camp Lo-Stone And Rob: Caught On Tape/Another Heist
Cesar Comanche-Die In Your Lap
Che Grand-Everything's Good Ugly
Chief-Collabo Collection
Common Market-The Winter's End EP
The Cool Kids & Don Cannon-Gone Fishing
Cormega-Born & Raised
CunninLynguists-Strange Journey Volume One
Currensy-This Is Not A Mixtape/The Jet Files
De La Soul-Are You In?+ Nike Original Run
Del Tha Funke Homosapien & Tame One-Parallel Uni-Verses
Diamond District-In The Ruff
Diz Gibran-Soon You'll Understand
DJ Spinna-Sonic Smash
Donny Goines-The Breakfast Club
DOOM-Born Like This
Drake-So Far Gone
Emilio Rojas-Recession Proof
Fashawn-Boy Meets World
Finale-A Pipe Dream And A Promise
Freddie Gibbs-Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik
Fresh Daily-The Gorgeous Killer In: Crimes Of Passion
Georgia Anne Muldrow presents Ms. One & The Gang/Umsindo
Ghostface Killah-Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City
The Grouch & Eligh-Say G&E!
Illogic & Ill Poetic-Diabolical Fun
J Dilla- Jay Stay Paid
J. Cole-The Warm Up
Jern Eye-Vision
Joe Budden-Padded Room/Escape Route
Jon Hope-Somekind Of Wonderful
JR & Ph7 present The Standard
Kam Moye-Splitting Image
Keelay And Zaire-Ridin' High
Kev Brown presents Random Joints
Kid Hum & Rock The Dub-Offshore Drilling
KRS One & Buckshot-Survival Skills
L.E.G.A.C.Y-Suicide Music
MAGr-No News Is Good News
Marco Polo & Torae-Double Barrel
MarQ Spekt X Lex Boogie-Guilty Party
Method Man & Redman-Blackout! 2
Moka Only-Lowdown Suite 2: The Box
Mos Def-The Ecstatic
Mr. J. Medeiros & Boonie Mayfield-The Art Of Broken Glass EP/Friends Enemies Apples Apples
Myka 9-1969
Naledge-Chicago Picasso
Nico The Beast-Dinner Is Served Mixtape
Oddisee-Mental Liberation
Pac Div-Church League Champs
Paten Locke-Super Ramen Rocketship
Psuedo Slang-We'll Keep Looking
Print-Comic Books: Unlimited
Raekwon-Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
Rapper Big Pooh-The Delightful Bars (North American Pie & Candy Apple Version)
Red Giants-Chain Reaction EP
Reks-More Grey Hairs
Rhymefest & Scram Jones-The Manual
Royce Da 5'9"-Street Hop
Roc C & IMAKEMADBEATS-The Transcontinental
Saigon & Statik Selektah-All In A Day's Work
Sandpeople-Long Story Short EP
Sene & Blu Are...A Day Late & A Dollar Short
Skyzoo-The Salvation
Slakah The Beatchild-Soul Movement Vol. 1
Tame One & Parallel Thought-Acid Tab Vocab
Tanya Morgan-Brooklynati
Termanology-Heaven Was A Mile Away/Hood Politics VI: Time Machine
Thaione Davis-Still Hear
TiRon & DJ LowKey-Ketchup
Tiye Phoenix-Half Woman Half Amazin'
Toki Wright-A Different Mirror
U-N-I & Ro Blvd-A Love Supreme
Wale-Back To The Feature/Attention Deficit
Wu Tang Clan-Wu Tang Chamber Music
yU-Before Taxes

*Doesn't include instrumental albums...otherwise I never would've finished...I'm aware the Exile's "Radio" was an instrumental album but if I left it off, I'd lose credibility. Seriously. The album is a monster.


Friday, October 30, 2009

What's New In Dart's iPod #102 AKA Before I Review New Stuff...

This week also sucked as far as writing went. All I was able to come up with is "What's The Deal With Bloggerhouse" and work on some ideas for upcoming projects this November when myself, Eric @ When They Reminisce & Travis @ Wake Your Daughter Up (Brandon @ No Trivia won't be contributing to the site as of now but he's still extended fam) will do a collaborative blog with some of my most respected peers called Bloggerhouse. Look for it on November 1st! I'll be making up posts this weekend...again! I'll be taking my nephew around for Halloween today so that'll be interesting. RIP Jam Master Jay

My beloved Patriots went to the UK and beat the shit out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45-7, this time I actually managed to post about it on Armchair Linebacker. I need to post something on on Nerd With Swag soon. The Celtics jumped out to an impressive 3-0 start by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road then destroying their next two opponents 92-59 (Charlotte Bobcats) and 118-90 (Chicago Bulls). The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-2, the Lakers lost by double digits last night to the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando's newly acquired SF Vince Carter injured himself last night. Kewl. The Patriots have a bye week so I'll be able to write without problem for a chance this weekend. The premature leaks of Wale and 50 Cent's new albums pushed this review blog back to Saturday morning as opposed to Friday morning (needed extra listening/evaluation time)

I'm continuing to pray for the quick recoveries of Hex Murda, Kon of Kon & Amir & DJ Hideo. Hex will be home some time next week but you can still contribute to the Hex Care Fund via PayPal through Peter Rosenberg decided to get on some video dissing "bitch ass bloggers who never go anywhere & stay in their parents basements". Needless to say since he didn't name any names he ended up pissing off far more than his intended targets Bol Crawford & Combat Jack. I was annoyed with his antics because if you have issues with someone you address THEM directly. He already said that he'd slap CJ in front of his kids which I personally took offense to cuz I know dude isn't built for that. It's whatever. I'll write about it later.

This week I'll be reviewing seven new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: 50 Cent "Before I Self Destruct", Ace & Edo (Masta Ace & Ed O.G) "Arts & Entertainment", Amerie "In Love & War", Chief "Collabo Collection", Dam-Funk "Toeachizown Vol. 5: Sky", Ryan Leslie "Transition" and Wale "Attention Deficit". For those of you new to this blog, I don’t rate albums on a scale or assign them a numerical value out of 5 or 10, instead I merely answer the all important question of “Is it worth buying or not?”. Here's how my recently revised "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down below:

Opinions be damned. This particular project has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and should come with a Surgeon General's warning and/or a biohazard sticker. It should only be handled by hazmat teams or bomb/demolitions squads. To quote Common & Canibus, this album is your worst nightmare squared.

Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever is dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maeby (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's in your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

It's Jay, the Jam Master, gettin' loose/2Pac had some but now I got the juice/I'm gettin' stupid, you wonder why I'm ill?/ Cuz I've been around and I still have these skills! © Jam Master Jay

Best Joints: The Invasion, Then Days Went By, Death To My Enemies, So Disrespectful, Psycho, Hold Me Down, Crime Wave, Stretch, Strong Enough, Get It Hot, Gangsta's Delight, I Got Swag, Do You Think About Me, OK, You're Right and Could've Been You

Hot Garbage: Baby By Me & R. Kelly being on the last song of the album

Dart's Take: This may easily be 50 Cent's and most focused effort since "Get Rich Or Die Trying". If I heard this album in a car I was riding in I wouldn't be mad. Production wise? Top notch. As far as 50 Cent's bars? It's 50 Cent. I wasn't rewinding verses because 50 was merking it lyrically but because the overall track was nice. This is the album 50 Cent should've made back in 2007. While it's not gonna get that much burn from me I can see this jawn get played through 2010. Since 50 Cent decided to stop catering to radio I have to give this a highly recommended maybe. Look for it November 24th. No mos def because I couldn't give more than 2 or 4 bars at a time from this album. *Kanye shrug*

Best Joints: Hands High, Fans, A's & E's (This Is What We Do), Little Young, Reminds Me, Good Music, Pass The Mic, Over There, Round & Round, Ei8ht Is Enuff and Here I Go Again

Hot Garbage: Dancing Like A White Girl (this song is so bad it could be a fuckin' HUGE hit. Seriously...)

Dart's Take: This is a nice album from two veteran emcees and two of my all time favorites. Masta Ace & Ed O.G. have occupied significant space in my crates & iTunes libraries over the years. I've known about both Ed & Ase since the 80's (I'm a Bostonian, remember). Hearing these dudes kill it next to each other on tracks is great to me. You'll be rewinding verses more than you expected you would and nodding your head throughout. It's like they got together with KRS One, Large Professor, Posdnous & Doitall (Lords Of The Underground) to show these young ass whippersnappers how to make a concise well thought out project.

Props to E3 Music & all the producers involved (DJ Spinna, Double O, M-Phazes, DJ Supreme One, Frank Dukes, Baby Dooks, Rain & Pav Bundy) for making another nice album (check their track record). I give "Arts & Entertainment" a recommended maybe. Look for it when it hits stores on November 3rd.

Best Joints: Tell Me You Love Me, Heard 'Em All, Dangerous, Higher, Why R U, Pretty Brown, More Than Love, Swag Back (is this a throwaway Beyonce song?), You're A Star (Interlude), Red Eye, The Flowers and Different People

Hot Garbage: Dear John (this sounds like a Rihanna song) and Heard 'Em All Remix

Dart's Take: I love Amerie's voice. Her last album was never released stateside...damn shame because it was pretty damn good. Amerie's debut album was a personal favorite. The followup was a bit of a step down and he last album was a return to form. This album? Is pretty damn good as well. Problem is that it's still not as good as her first jawn. The jams on here are "Why R U", "Pretty Brown", "More Than Love" and "Red Eye"...and that's it. At least we get to hear her voice & it isn't all distorted with unnecessary effects (Ciara, I'm looking at you). "In Love & War" receives another recommended maybe.

Best Joints: Intro, Felt Before, Jazz Unconditional, Love Lost, Let It Be, True Love, Once In My Life, Hello, Anyway, The Journey, Soul Brother, Demon Love, D&C , That's How We Kick It, Go Ladies, Perspective, 16 Levels, Chieflada and Outro

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Swiss beatmaker Chief was profiled by myself earlier this month in my Producers You Need To Hear list for October and this album is why. He does everything from Hip Hop to R&B (Les Nubians, Kissey Asplund & Brea of Deep Rooted) with a gang of guest appearances from the best and brightest in underground Hip Hop including Blu, Co$$, Sene, Moka Only, John Robinson, J Sands, Kenn Starr, Dynas & Tha Connection.

The smooth jazzy laid back production is perfect for you to get your head nod on to. The album finishes with a few Chief instrumentals as well. Don't sleep on "Collabo Collection" when it drops this November 3rd. I give it a mos def.

Best Joints: Come On Outside, The Sky Is Ours, New Frontiers, Spacecapades, Fantasy and Keep Lookin' 2 The Sky

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Uhh...yeah. It's Dam-Funk. Since Vol. 4 was such a monster I couldn't give this a mos def just as a technicality based on rating consistency. In any event cop the entire "Toeachizown" project on Stones Throw (it dropped on October 27th) or just cop the final part if you've already bought the others. Highly recommended maybe.

Best Joints: Never Gonna Break Up, Something That I Like, Zodiac, Is It Real Love, Sunday Night, You're Not My Girl, To The Top, Nothing, Guardian Angel, All My Love, I Choose You, When We Dance, Promise Not 2 Call and Rescue U

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Damn you, Ryan Leslie! I gave you a mos def back in January after hearing about you for 4 years at Harvard then even more after you entered the business and started Next Selection. R&B album really aren't supposed to knock like this. Something on here should've been AutoTuned or skippable. Seriously. What the fuck, man? Take your mos def and get the hell out of here! Now I gotta figure out what I'm kicking out of my iPod Touch...Thanks! Get the deluxe edition, you won't be sorry.

Best Joints: Triumph, Mama Told Me, Mirrors, Pretty Girls (still hate Gucci Mane), World Tour, Shades, Contemplate, Diary, Beautiful Bliss and Prescription

Hot Garbage: Let It Loose (meh), 90210 (too Cudi), Chillin (this version is godawful) and TV In The Radio

Dart's Take: I've been waiting for this album to drop what seems like forever. After Wale dropped a gang of classic mixtapes that were better than many of the best albums of '07 & '08 anticipation was through the roof. After he dropped his "Back To The Feature" mixtape with 9th Wonder I was back on tape. The singles "Chillin'" & "Pretty Girls" failed to blow up on radio, his album was pushed back a few more times and a bunch of appearances on recent awards shows were hit or miss so his momentum suffered.

This album needed to be sequenced differently. Tracks like "Comtemplate", "Diary" & "Beautiful Bliss" shouldn't have followed each other and "Mama Told Me", "Mirrors" and "Pretty Girls" (uptempo/high energy) jawns should have been spread out. The way it's sequenced on the album it sounds like it loses steam and you're waiting for it to get you back. Other disappointing developments are the lackluster Pharrell collabo, the boring "90210" and "TV In The Radio" and the terrible album version of "Chillin"". Fuck. I had high hopes for this album but it just ended up being pretty good...I still liked it slightly more than "The Blueprint 3". Recommended maybe. "Attention Deficit" drops on November 10th. *Kanye shrug*

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:

Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot, Son Of Chico Dusty
Pac Div-Grown Kid's Syndrome
Blu-God Is Good
Drake- Thank Me Later
Alchemist & Oh No are Gangrene
Eternia & MoSS- At Last
B.O.B.-The Adventures Of B.O.B.
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Statik Selektah & Termanology Are 1982
Lil' Fame & Termanology-Fizzyology
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
Statik Selektah-The Hangover
Buff1 & Rhettmatic -Crown Royale
Apollo Brown & Boog Brown-UPS
DJ Muggs & Ill Bill- Kill Hills

Bloggerhouse is coming! November 1st, 2009: Dart Adams (Poisonous Paragraphs), Travis Glave (Wake Your Daughter Up), Eric Coons (When They Reminisce) & Brandon Soderberg (No Trivia) (extended fam) are Bloggerhouse. Content is king and we are the undisputed kings of content. Sasha Frere-Jones said that Hip Hop was dead in 2009. We Are Respectable Negroes went in about Hip Hop critics. Peter Rosenberg decided to diss bloggers and NOT name names or be specific...We're not about all that. Stop losing sight of the real purpose of Hip Hop blogging. Journalism went stagnant & Hip Hop criticism lost it's teeth...we're here to fill that void.