Looking at my cd collection, I feel that I must make a list of my favorites. This is not an all-time favorite list, cuz over the years my cd collection has been stolen 2 or 3 times. This is just a list of ten I know I have, and love. Now in no particular order:
1. Jay-Z The Blueprint: I have banged this cd hard (pause) since 9/11. I feel (besides Reasonable Doubt) this is Jay at his best. His beat selection was great, his flow is great on every track and the bonus tracks are good. Unlike many, I feel his verses on Renegade surpass that of eminem’s.
2. Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor: The leak was better. That being said, Lupe killed this cd. His concept tracks are great. His beat selection is a bit iffy, but you get the point with why he chooses the track. His flow is like the new school version of the old school Nas.
3. Wu-Tang 36 Chambers: This is Wu-Tang at their most gritty and finest. They all kill every track. And Rza’s beats have never been more on point than here. And integrating the Shaolin movies quotes was a great idea.
4. Cody ChesnuTT The Headphone Masterpiece: This cd is pure GENIUS!! This great 2 disc cd has tracks meshing all genres and does so well. With songs ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes it’s a mixed bag of fun, love, conceit and more. If you haven’t heard this cd you’re missing out
5. Kanye West College Dropout (remastered): I must note that this is the remastered version. And it is much more crisp (not that the average listener would notice). The drums on spaceship hit much harder and Never Let Me Down is waaayyy cleaner. Kanye’s freshman effort has been called a classic by many and I will agree. All the production from song to song is different and his flow is so raw. Who knew the first nigga wit a Benz and a backpack could be so fresh.
6. Dr. Dre 2001: This was the shit from the first time I heard it. Dre’s (and others) production was ridiculous. They killed, like, the whole cd. It brings out the best raps from even mediocre artists. Hittman serves this cd as the premiere guest. Lawsuits and accusations aside, this cd is a CLASSIC.
7. Little Brother The Listening: The then trio of Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder couldn’t have had a better debut. An under the radar classic, they bring it. Phonte shows his sharp lyrical prowess and leaves some room to grow. Pooh is no slouch and has since honed his skill on the mic. 9th shows off his production versatility and starts what has become to be known as “The Snare”. This cd showcases all of the skills of Little Brother and is about as good as a debut album you can make.
8. J Dilla Donuts: The ULTIMATE beat cd. He made this all from a hospital bed, and you would never know. He takes production to another level with this cd. Although he passed 3 days after the release, this would cement his place as the best Hip-Hop producer ever! The creativity is crazy on each track.
9. Common Be: Be is Common’s finding forever. This may be his best record to date (depending who you ask). He flow is a non stop freight train, it comes hard every time. And with Kanye West on the boards you can’t lose. But Dilla came through on my two favorites on the cd. Its Your World was killer song from a lyrical and production stand point. I wish he followed through with the video for every song, but at least we got that great vid for Testify (with Wood Harris, the most under-rated actor ever)
10. Mos Def The New Danger: Talk about slept and hated on. A lot of people shitted on the cd because of the rock/soul/jazz/funk/hip-hop fusion, rather than a pure Hip-hop banger (a la Black on Both Sides). But this joint is fresh. Only his 2nd solo LP, it is great. He shows the definition of versatility and gives us a hit from front to back. My favs are Modern marvel, the boogie man song, and The Rape Over. He raps and sings throughout the cd and it’s a doozy.
**** that pic is before I put my cd’s in order…they were just scattered everywhere.