I know I'm a little late, but Happy New Year to all. I needed a day to recover, relax, and formulate the lists I will be presenting over the next couple of days. Plus, my wireless router was actin' a fool for the past couple of days, but anyway. 2007 definitely had its ups and downs, for both my personal life and the music biz, which is why it's refreshing to start fresh in '08! Now, on to the real festivities...
Before saying peace and good riddance to the year that was, [dom corleone] needs some closure. Hits from the Blog proudly presents the first ever Hit Lists for your reading pleasure:
Top 10 Albums
1. Kanye West – Graduation
‘Ye put out his best all-around LP during an eventful, humbling year for the Chi-town native which included being named the GQ Man of the Year and and the untimely death of his mother Donda. Graduation is the ideal finale for West’s educational trilogy, boasting finely-tuned production and crossover appeal while maintaining his hip-hop edge. Grabbing eight Grammy nominations and including arguably the most-recognizable global anthem in “Stronger,” ‘Ye’s third solo release is the most consistent and fulfilling in his catalog.
2. Common – Finding Forever
Common deserves the silver medal of ’07 for Finding Forever, where he packages an eclectic track-list that attracts a variety of listeners and solidifies his position as a compelling entertainer. The disc contains raw joints (“The Game,” “Southside”) alongside estrogen-friendly jams (“Drivin’ Me Wild,” “I Want You,”) combined with touching deep tracks (“Forever Begins,” “Misunderstood”) – the result: Common’s first ever debut atop the Billboard 200 and three Grammy nominations.
3. Talib Kweli – Eardrum
Kweli broke free of the designation as a strictly “conscious rapper” on Eardrum, his most commercially-acclaimed album to date released on his Blacksmith Entertainment imprint. Though the rapid-fire lyrical complexity is still present, Kweli experiments and excels with radio-ready songs “In The Mood” and “Hot Thing” in addition to the contemplative “More or Less” and the thought-provoking mastery of “Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us)” and “The Nature” featuring pop sensation Justin Timberlake.
4. Redman – Red Gone Wild… Thee Album
Redman gains respect for doing his own thing amid a hip-hop community tarnished by ring-tone rap and dumbed-down, one-hit wonders. The
5. Jay-Z – American Gangster
Jay-Z receives props for returning to his hustling ambitions on American Gangster but it’s a shame it took a Denzel film to inspire this rapper-turned-executive to finally do so. Jigga sounds the best since his premature "retirement" over dramatic sonic backdrops fit for rap's kingpin.
6. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
Dubbed as a concept album, The Cool is actually a well-rounded sophomore effort from the
7. Wu-Tang Clan – 8 Diagrams
The super-group recombined in ’07 after a long hiatus for 8 Diagrams, a musically experimental disc that proves refreshing for hardcore fans. Despite internal creative differences within the Wu, the album delivers verbal onslaughts ("Gun Will Go," "Rushing Elephants") and intriguing stories ("The Heart Gently Weeps," O.D.B. tribute "Life Changes"). Rounded out with a lil' somethin' for the ladies in "Starter" and the stealthy hit-and-run of "Wolves" featuring an off-tune George Clinton chorus, 8 Diagrams is not as gritty as 36 Chambers but rather represents a new musical direction for the Clan.
8. Little Brother – Getback
In the absence of producer 9th Wonder on all but one song,
9. Ghostface Killah – The Big Doe Rehab
The Wu-Tang Clan’s hardest working lyricist (3 albums in 2 years!) released The Big Doe Rehab one week before his crew’s latest 8 Diagrams, successfully outshining the latter with his hyper, story-telling mystique. Though the album's sales don't reflect the quality here, Pretty Toney is unrelenting in his quest to continue pleasing Wu heads and gain new fans along the way.
10. Collie Buddz – Collie Buddz
Blu & Exile – Below The Heavens
This debut album from West Coast newcomer Blu and producer Exile is the hidden treasure of ’07. With Blu’s creative, inspirational rhymes and golden era samples provided by Exile, Below The Heavens is truly satisfying for the hip-hop enthusiast.
Also Worth Checking Out (Alphabetical):
Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass
Atmosphere – Sad Clown Bad Winter 11
Beanie Sigel – The Solution
Black Milk – Popular Demand
Bone Thugs & Harmony – Strength & Loyalty
Bone Thugs & Harmony – T.H.U.G.S. (Rare & Unreleased)
Cassidy – B.A.R.S.
CunninLynguists – Dirty Acres
Dalek – Abandoned Language
El-P – I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
Fabolous – From Nothin’ To Somethin’
Freeway – Free At Last
Guru – Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4: The Hip-Hop Jazz Messenger: Back To The Future
Havoc – The
Hell Razah – Renaissance Child
J Dilla – Ruff Draft
Jedi Mind Tricks presents Army of the Pharaohs – Ritual of Battle
Mims – Music Is My Savior
Nicolay Presents – The Dutch Masters Volume 1
One Be Lo – R.E.B.I.R.T.H.
Peanut Butter Wolf Presents - 2K8 B-Ball Zombie War
Peanut Butter Wolf Presents - Stones Throw Ten Years
Pharaohe Monch – Desire
Prodigy – Return of the Mac
Scarface – MADE
Sean Price – Jesus Price Supastar
Styles P – Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Swizz Beatz – One Man Band Man
The Cool Kids – Totally Flossed Out EP
Timbaland – Shock Value
UGK – Underground Kingz
Wyclef Jean – Carnival Vol. II Memoirs of an Immigrant
There you have it, let the hate begin!
Coming up next will be Most Disappointing Albums of '07..... Peace for now