End of Year – Who Had The Best 2009?

Posted on December 29, 2009 by


Did you have a good year? I feel like I did, but I can’t really compete with the following 10 people. We thought it would be fun to make a list of who we felt had the best 2009.  This type of list is different than your average Top 10 because talent, skill and finished product aren’t necessarily relevant.  We are not judging who is the best but who made big moves, accomplished feats or generally had a positive year.  That being said, here is who we felt had the best year and why we felt that way.

10. Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s 2009 album, The Blueprint 3, reached number 1 on Billboard’s Top 100.  This was his 11th album to accomplish that feat and this album actually pushes him ahead of Elvis Presley for the most number 1 albums on said list.  That accomplishment is enough to make a great year but he also lead a very successful international tour and was named MTV’s “hottest emcee in the game”.


After taken 4-5 years off between releasing solo Cds, people had begun to wonder if he would ever come back.  And in 2009, he came back, hard! Relapse sold over 600,000 copies in its first week further distancing him as the best-selling album of the decade.  It also brought in 3 Grammy nominations for the upcoming awards in January.

8.Wiz Khalifa

Although he does not have the awards to match the previous two, Wiz’s 2009 was definitely a victory for the little guy.  After having a more than disappointing stay as a Warner Brother’s artist he was able to cut ties and released an album independently.  Having garnered a loyal following through the internet and releasing a dope mixtape with his homie Curren$y, Deal or No Deal actually reached number 1 on iTunes hip hop charts when it dropped.  If that isn’t reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.


Similar to his partner in flight up above, Curren$y was also able to get out of his poor situation as the back burner of a major record label.  The hard work of 2008 (releasing 7 full mixtapes) paid off in 2009 as he sold two successful Internet albums: This Ain’t No Mixtape and The Jet Files.

6.Brother Ali

Putting out one critically acclaimed and generally well accepted hip-hop album is a difficult task, now try doing it twice, now try doing it twice within the same calendar year.  If you got that done, then you and Brother Ali have something to talk about because his The Truth is Here and Us are both amazing.


Hailing from DC, Wale was trying to make it big as well as pave the road for fellow DC natives to crack into the mainstream.  He released a very good mixtape in Back to the Feature and followed it up with a very impressive debut album, Attention Deficit.  Although his first week sales were relatively disappointing (only around 28,000) it is said that Interscope Records drastically under shipped the album (35,000!) so everything considered his numbers weren’t as bad.  Remember that it took Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt 6 years to go platinum.  Wale was also the musical host of MTV’s 2009 MTV Music Awards and opened for Jay-Z on his Blueprint 3 Tour.

4.KiD CuDi

In a day and age where most up and coming rappers choose to flood the internet with freestyles, mixtapes and guest spots, Kid Cudi chose instead to produce quality over quantity.  With only one official mixtape to his name, he found himself co-headlining a summer tour with Asher Roth, opening for Lady Gaga on her upcoming tour and receiving 3 Grammy nominations on his debut album. He has also been filming for the upcoming TV show, “How to Make it in America” in which he has a major role.  Cudi’s hit “Day N’ Nite” was all over the place and you couldn’t turn on any radio station for a few months without hearing “Make Her Say.”

3.Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz used 2009 to maintain and expand a successful solo career while jumpstarting a supergroup, in which I feel Joell outshined his fellow members a majority of the time.  Joell put out numerous great mixtapes this year while also blessing the hip hop heads with freestyles throughout the year where he spit it so well you wished he originally put that single out.  Slaughterhouse joined the Rock the Bells tour and was very successful as well as releasing their debut album.  Overall, musically, 2009 was Joell’s best year to date although with The Free Agent due out in 2010, we will have to wait and see if it remains there.

2.Gucci Mane

IT”S GUCCI! This guy was literally everywhere between all of his major features, MTV’s #6 “hottest emcee” spot, every blog that posts mixtapes and most blogs that don’t post mixtapes.  Gucci Mane blew up this year culminating in his major record label debut, The State vs. Radric Davis. He released his “Cold War Series” containing 3 mixtapes, each with a different DJ, which dropped on the same day.  He appeared on Mario’s album, Trey Song’s, Omarion’s, Wale’s, Young Money’s, Juicy J’s, Jamie Foxx’s, you get the point.  He was out there hustling and grinding all year and he has received a major portion of the spotlight because of it.  Like his music or not, there are plenty of people who want to hear it and he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, except possibly jail – but that never stopped him before!


If you are reading this, it means you are old enough to have listened to music during the summer of 2009 which means you heard his smash hit “Best I Ever Had” which for a while, I am pretty sure, was the only song they were allowed to play on the radio here in San Francisco.  Jokes aside, Drake has been blowing up all year, reaching new heights every day.  For instance, his EP So Far Gone sold 100,000s of copies after being released as a free mixtape a year earlier.  After signing with Young Money, his verse on “Every Girl” stole the show and he also held his own on a track with hip hop heavyweights Eminem, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West on “Forever.”  He even received 2 Grammy nominations without an actual album.

There you have it, our list of who had the best 2009? Make sure to check back tomorrow for the Top 10 Mixtapes of 2009 and Thursday for the Top 10 Albums of 2009.  Until then, discuss below!

Posted in: Lists