A to the L €™s 100 Favorite Hiphop Albums Of All Time (Part 9)

100 List Part 8

Let finish this shit off…

Enquiring Minds
91) Gangsta Boo – Enquiring Minds
Out of the 3546373 Three 6 Mafia-related albums, this and La Chat’s “Murder She Spoke” are the two that I return to the most. Critics can continue to point out that every album that ever came out of the Hypnotize Minds camp sounds exactly the same as the one that came before (although the success of ‘Stay Fly’ has helped to silence those shouts a little) but when you’re really looking for some ignant shit, Three 6 can be relied upon to hit the spot. Oh, and ‘Where Dem Dollaz At’ is still amazing. So there.

92) Common – Be
Its extremely difficult to hate on an album that starts off the way “Be” does. And when the album runs from start to finish with barely any dip in listening quality, then you know you’re onto a winner. Better than “Resurrection”? I certainly think so. Much as I can’t stand how Common dresses, how he carries himself and who he aligns himself with, or the amount of guavas he eats, its difficult to find fault with this album in any way. The choice of single releases from the album was perfect, the production is on point (despite ol’ Big Head doing most of it), Common isn’t as irritating on the mic as he normally is, and its SHORT. (Artists who release 26 track albums, please take note.)

Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
93) Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
Sshhhhhh…. whisper it. I’m not the biggest Outkast fan in the world. While most of the rest of the Hiphop universe was ranting and raving over “ATLiens” and “Aquemini” I remained happily ignorant for the longest before picking up copies. Sure I’d heard select cuts, but because I’d never really ‘got’ “SouthernPlayayaddayaddayadda” the way others had, I figured that ‘Kast albums 2 and 3 would be more of the same. I guess its because of my lateness to the party that they never really figure much in my listening habits. “Speakerboxxx” and “The Love Below” do however – of course Big Boi runs the Hiphop show supremely well, but despite the fact that its fallen out of favor with many Andre’s disc also still gets major play from me. I think the distinct differences between the duo’s individual albums – the reason why many hardcore Outkast fans place this double disc down their ‘Best Of Outkast’ lists – is the main reason why I like it so much – I was never into Outkast enough to miss the chemistry that heads say is missing from this joint. It makes sense to me anyway.

94) Jay Dee – Donuts
I still catch flak about once a month for my original stance on Dilla. Lets not go into that now though. This album is amazing and I wish that dude was still around to make more stuff like this. (And less like the majorly over-rated “The Shining”)

Soul Survivor
95) Pete Rock – Soul Survivor
Remember when we all use to snigger at how gay CL Smooth sounded, and wondered what it would be like if Pete did a full album with non-homo emcees (or ADOR) riding the beats? Hopefully you already know how good this project turned out… Pete at the top of his game on the boards, with 3/4 of the Wu-Tang Clan at their sharpest, a still-alive Big Pun, a pre-falling off Prodigy and host of other credible lyrical talents doing justice to the right honorable’s hard work. CL’s one appearance on here is even more noticable for its limp-wristedness when put up against all the testosterone on display, but don’t let that put you off – this is classic material right here.

The Four Horsemen
96) Ultramagnetic MCs – The Four Horsemen
Methinks that this is another one of those ‘personal’ choices that won’t feature at all on the lists of others. Darkly jazzy, cuts from “The Four Horsemen” were staples on manys a college radio station and I even recall Flex dropping ‘Two Brothers With Checks’ and ‘Raise It Up’ on his Hot 97 mix show in his pre-payola days when it used to be listenable. With Ced Gee and Godfather Don holding down the work on the boards, this album slotted nicely into the boom-bap section of Hiphop in the early 90’s.

The Turnaround : A Long Awaited Drama
97) Real Live – The Turnaround : A Long Awaited Drama
I also remember Flex playing ‘Real Live Shit’ 6 or 7 times in a row the day he got the vinyl. And as he warbled on about how grimey the shit was and continually whipped the shit back to drop the intro over and over again there was nothing you could do but agree. Although K-Def’s expertly-layered production on both that first single, and the entire “Turnaround” album was somewhat wasted on the pedestrian Larry-O, it also made it easier to listen around the at times weak emcee performances from Fat Larry. I’d commit murder for an instrumental version of this album – can you imagine emcees who could REALLY do justice to ‘Trilogy Of Error’, ‘Pop The Trunk’, or ‘They Got Me’? Scary.

The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
98) Slick Rick – The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
Y’all know I was teasing right? How could this NOT appear on here? One of the greatest emcees in Hiphop history… one of the best albums in Hiphop history… featuring one of the best songs ‘(Children’s Story’) in Hiphop history? Even putting that to the side for one second, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘The Ruler’s Back’, and ‘Hey Young World’ are both classic cuts and infinitely listenable and ensure that Rick’s debut is never too far from the stereos. As for ‘Children’s Story’? Well even though the ‘dope machine gun’ version tops the original ‘spanking shotgun’ version that appears here, its a minor point. Rick is still the ruler.

A Prince Among Thieves
99) Prince Paul – A Prince Among Thieves
The greatest Hiphop concept album of all time. Paul’s project sounds ambitious on paper, but somehow he manages to tie it all together with a concoction of dope beats and perfectly-crafted guest appearances to ensure that this album tells the story in the way he intended. Shame on you if you don’t have this in your collection.

From Me To U
100) Juelz Santana – From Me To U
The beats, son! The beats! And no matter how unpalatable it might be to admit it, Juelz has a certain swagger on the mic that his homies Camron and Jimmy just don’t possess, which makes him surprisingly fresh and listenable, especially over the the type of beats that the Heatmakerz have tossed him throughout this album. Rakim cosigns him for fuck’s sake! Squalie! This ain’t the album you thought was gonna round off the 100 was it?

2 Replies to “A to the L €™s 100 Favorite Hiphop Albums Of All Time (Part 9)”

  1. Never heard that Gangsta Boo joint. I’ll check it.
    I’m thinking I might like Be over Resurrection you know. I mean he’s way more skillfull on Res but he’s just as corny and some of them beats on Be…
    I don’t think Donuts is a proper album, its a beat tape wheras the Shining to me is a dope producer album (much like Soul Survivor) that while it wouldn’t make my top 100 is probably the 2nd best LP of last year.
    That Juelz has too much corn on it for my liking but the good bits are great. I haven’t got into the followup at all. At all.
    One Two One Two and Delta Force 3 are my SHIT but I never listen to the rest of that Ultras album. Too stodgy and Ced is too BAD.

    I like this last 10. It’s the least predictable and more interesting for it. On Outkast though your brain has been crack attacked.

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