End of Year – Top 10 Albums of 2009

Posted on December 31, 2009 by

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It is finally here, December 31st, marking the end of 2009 and more importantly, brining the final post of the year – Top 10 Albums.  The making of this list was not as smooth as the previous ones but I think we have made a nice looking Top 10.  Remember that these albums are not free, but they are definitely worth the $10 or so for a digital download at least! Hit the jump to see who and what we had to say.

10. Cunninglynguists – Strange Journey Vol. 1 + 2

This is kind of cheating but Cunninglynguists were kind of releasing their Strange Journey series as a double album despite the months a part in actually release dates.  Either way, it is very good music and that is all that really counts.  A fun concept pertaining to a road trip in a broken down van allowing Deacon the Villain and Natti to speak of shared experiences and much more. Still, their producer, Kno is the highlight of these cds bringing quality beats throughout both. Now that is impressive! Check Raph’s review!

Favorite Track: Streets

9.Marco Polo & Torae – Double Barrel

A very good “underground” release displays the chemistry between emcee Torae and producer Marco Polo better than ever.  I love it when two guys go into the studio together craft their own sound; not saying I don’t like multiple producers on an album but there is just something special when the album is so cohesive.  This album is best enjoyed when listened all the way through but really; any individual track is capable of standing alone.

Favorite Track: Lifetime

8.Tanya Morgan – Brooklynati

My guess is that when looking at the list, you got the most questions about this album.  Despite what you may have guessed Tanya Morgan is not some girl who sings or anything like that, but actually is a rap trio consisting of Donwill, Ilyas and Von Pea.  The first two are from Cincinnati and Von Pea is from, you guessed it, Brooklyn.  These guys have got that underground sound on lock and keep it at a high level throughout the entire album without a bad song.  Rarely do you get an album that you never need to hit the “fast-forward” button and this is one of them.

Favorite Track: Morgan Blu

7.Finale – A Pipe Dream and a Promise

Probably the most slept on album of our Top 10, Finale put out a stellar album.  Hailing from Detroit he has big shoes to fill, and as far as the underground is concerned, he is holding it down.  I hope to see to see this get some more mainstream rotation because it is a shame to think about how many people haven’t heard it yet.  With production from hip hop heavyweights such as Black Milk, J Dilla, Nottz and Oddisee.  This is the type of album that you can tell how much Finale really loves hip-hop just by listening to it.

Favorite Track: Jumper Cables

6.Fashawn – Boy Meets World

The Fresno, Ca native put out a near flawless debut style album.  The limited features allowed us to really get into what he is spitting but also boost a few tracks with a veteran’s touch.  This album is also produced solely by Exile, this tightens the album up and Fashawn is album to really focus on the sound of each song as an individual but also the album as a whole.  It keeps him from trying to do too much on his 1st album but displays a diverse enough set of skills that people can’t wait to hear what he does with their own personal favorite producer.

Favorite Track: Ecology

5.Eminem – Relapse

Most of the reason Eminem had such a great year was because of this album.  With people craving his Marshal Mathers LP esque “craziness” he finally delivers 3 albums later.  Although none of the beats stand out as any of Dr. Dre’s best, I think that this is one of Dre’s most cohesive projects to date.  Yes, Em seems to be using some new accent more than ever, but when he spits like he is, I don’t think it matters.  For anyone thinking he may have fallen off a little bit, please listen to my favorite track. Now listen again because I know you missed a lot of his rhyme schemes that he is dropping. Now listen again and repeat. By the way, the bonus tracks on his Relapse: Refill are worth it as well.

Favorite Track: Underground

4.Brother Ali – Us

Brother Ali has developed into one of the best storytellers out there and he proves he still belongs on Us. He does a great job of talking about his own life and struggles (he is legally blind and an albino) but also makes tracks that make you think about where society is at and where it is headed. This cd has been blowing up on all the sites that do full reviews and even after just 1 listen; it is easy to see why. There is just so much “truth” throughout the whole thing.

Favorite Track: Travelers

3.K’Naan Troubadour

Hailing from Somalia, K’Naan reminds us that even for those living in the poor parts of America – they are still in America.  With rhymes about on going Civil Wars, Child Soldiers and the many hardships of escaping a country in which you love but need to leave just to try to immigrate to an unfamiliar place – you can tell he has been through a lot.  K’Naan does a great job of infusing his African heritage to influence the song’s sound.  This is not your average cd and on top of that, it is one of the best of the year.  Did I mention that English is far from his first language!?!?

Favorite Track: Take a Minute

2.Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse

I can’t tell you how Joell Ortiz from Brooklyn, Joe Budden from Jersey, Royce Da 5’9” from Detroit and Crooked I from Long Beach, Ca got together to form this group but since they have, its been a problem! Four rappers’ rappers bring strong lyrics throughout this album with so many quotables that each listen will grant you a new 20 favorite lines.  I bought one hard copy for me and I bout an extra hard copy for Hip Hop.

Favorite Track: Onslaught 2

1.Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II


After a 15-year break between albums, Raekwon is back and it is as if he never left.  He picks up right where he left off to bring us the top album of the year.  Classic dark sounds with gritty and grimy rhymes a plenty.  Most of you guys probably have this, but if not, get off the computer and hit up your local record store!

Favorite Track: House of Flying Daggers

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