“Kiss The Ring 2K9” – The Fifteen Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2009

01.09.10 8 years ago 98 Comments

The album may have decreased in monetary significance over the years, but few can deny the calibration it stacks onto an artist’s creative worth. Who can come the most original, pick the best beats, wedge through that sliver of possibility of reinventing the wheel, all of those ideals factor into who’s really running this rap ish.
Which bring us to this point. As the final entry for our look back into the last year of the previous decade, we give props to the ones that still honor the original template that allow the ever expanding Hip-Hop catalog to continue to burgeon. After an extensive voting process, we proudly present the top albums that displayed the best combination of superiority, visibility and replay value throughout the year. Salute to the underdogs and mixtapes but this is the cream of the crop right here.
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Royce Da 5’9″ – Street Hop
Whether or not Street Hop gains any traction in the mainstream remains to be seen, and if critics want to cite at album sales numbers as a sign of artistic weakness, so be it. Royce answers his naysayers with a 19 track opus of verbal assassinations and engrossing underground cuts. It’s not so much a coming party as it is an affirmation. — “Gun Harmonizing” – Review Of Royce Da 5’9″s Street Hop
Cop: Street Hop
Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II*
Few artists in any genre have shown an ability to make quality music over such a long time period. No you won’t hear these tracks on your local radio station, but no matter. Wu-heads and Hip-Hop fans worldwide can rejoice in the fact that the Chef’s still cooking up some marvelous shit. — “Gihad” – Review Of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II
Cop: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II
*Highest rated album in TSS History
Eminem – Relapse
From busting out of rehabilitation centers to masturbating to Hannah Montana movies on the diabolically descriptive “3 A.M.,” to giving into his withdrawals with astounding wordplay on “Must Be The Ganja,” Slim electrifies his audience with all the perversion, wittiness and downright crude humor you’ve come to expect from him over the years. Moreover, Dr. Dre can claim Relapse as his own reentry to exemplary Hip-Hop as well. — “Same Song & Dance” – Review Of Eminem’s Relapse
Cop: Relapse
U-N-I – A Love Supreme
Based on their wardrobe alone, it’d be easy to dismiss Y-O & Thurzday as any other hipster group where style trumps substance. When the curtain calls, A Love Supreme succeeds because Ro Blvd. provides a set of dynamic backdrops, allowing them to capture that time period between anonymity and stardom. That place when the sting of the struggle is still prevalent and the shine of the bright lights hasn’t yet lost its luster. — “Voltron” – Review Of U-N-I’s A Love Supreme
Download: A Love Supreme
Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap
In spite of the distinctive flaws, the album is another tally mark for Ross in claiming his spot as one of the game’s elite. The best tracks off Deeper Than Rap incorporate beautiful production with a lyrical ferocity and charisma from Ross to set the standard for high quality Hip-Hop in 2009. — “Mafia Music” – Review Of Rick Ross’ Deeper Than Rap
Cop: Deeper Than Rap
Snoop Dogg – Malice N Wonderland
With 2010 fast approaching, Mary Jane’s biggest supporter is preparing for his third decade in the game with no signs of slowing down. Malice N Wonderland proves Snoop can still make an exceptional album the masses can gravitate towards and support. — “1800″ – Review Of Snoop Dogg’s “Malice N Wonderland”
Cop: Malice N Wonderland
Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
When industry outcasts Royce Da 5’9″, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I joined Joe Budden for a posse cut off his Halfway House album, no one could have foreseen that the ensuing months would birth Hip-Hop’s most prominent supergroup since the days of Crooklyn. If you need to examine the method to their madness, then a track like “Cuckoo” plays out like a scene from Clockwork Orange: The Urban Edition. Taking inferior MCs to task, the crew obliterates fraudulent rhymers on “Microphone” right before unleashing an “Onslaught Pt. 2.” — “Lyrical Murderers” – Review Of Slaughterhouse’s Self-Titled Album
Cop: Slaughterhouse
Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3
The Blueprint 3 is a polished and calculated move by Jay-Z as he shows that he’s mastered the art of artistic commercialism and tries to get his Roc Nation imprint off the ground. For what it’s worth, Jay-Z didn’t really alter his course of action, except now his lifestyle is beyond most people’s means. While he’s always been able to connect with listeners either by drawing on his humble beginnings or giving them something to aspire to, there’s just not much of that this go around. — “On To The Next One” – Review Of Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3
Cop: The Blueprint 3
The Kid Daytona – Come Fly With Me
Combining modern sounding beats with a never-ending flow of punchlines, he’s made a project that’s certain to satisfy his fans and win over new ones. To quote the sublime “Twilight,” Kid Daytona’sfull retard when he goes in,” whether the album’s free or not. — “Air Jordan” – Review Of The Kid Daytona’s Come Fly With Me
Download: Come Fly With Me
Clipse – Til The Casket Drops
The usual blend of uncanny wordplay over enamored sound demonstrate to be a lethal combo yet again for the duo. Once the shovel breaks soil, Til The Casket Drops is conclusive evidence that the Clipse will live vicariously through the music, even in death. — “Never Will It Stop” – Review Of Clipse’s Til The Casket Drops
Cop: Til The Casket Drops
Maino – If Tomorrow Comes…
If Tomorrow Comes… is a more than solid debut that blows a breath of fresh air into New York on a mainstream level. The entire album is sequenced in a way that it tells Maino’s story from the time he’s released to the point when he’s offered a deal. The triumphant elation of “All The Above” when Maino taps into his core only helps to heighten the internal deliberation of songs like “Runaway Slave” & “Floating” when doubt begins to creep in. — “Remember My Name” – Review Of Maino’s If Tomorrow Comes…
Cop: If Tomorrow Comes…
Method Man & Redman – Blackout! 2
Most importantly, the album reestablishes an important factor that was evident on the first Blackout!: that the duo brings out the best in each-other by working as a team, despite each having considerable talent and success as solo artists. Bottom line, Blackout! 2 earns its exclamation point as a righteous Hip-Hop staple that casts a long shadow over the competition. — “Dangerous Emcees” – Review Of Method Man & Redman’s Blackout! 2
Cop: Blackout! 2
Rapper Big Pooh – The Delightful Bars (North American Pie Version)
The Delightful Bars lives up to its name because Pooh’s able to create a persona separate from what he’s achieved with Little Brother. He’s got a little dirt under his nails and he’s not afraid to show it. His lyrics are a little more abrasive at times and things move at a steady pace. With few exceptions, the guest verses keep the energy and quality of the songs up to Pooh’s level making for a good time all around. — “Nothing Less” – Review Of Rapper Big Pooh’s The Delightful Bars: North American Pie Version
CopThe Delightful Bars (North American Pie Version)
Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City
While the thought of a whole R&B-flavored album can lead to horrendous results, it’s a testament to Ghost’s mastery of his craft that he is able to provide such a varied and stellar project. Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry shines as Ghostface uses his patented knack for episodic tracks and proves yet again that he can weave a story with the best of Hollywood’s writers. — “Paragraphs Of Love” – Review Of Ghostface Killah’s Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City
Cop: Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City
KiD CuDi – Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
The production is comprehensive and cohesive, despite the diversity in each of the themed “Acts,” and CuDi’s melodic flows fit tighter than his pants. Man On The Moon: The End Of Day has it’s rough spots but it’s an enjoyable listen. The LP resembles the sound Kanye chased on 808’s but KiD CuDi makes it easier to accept and digest. — “Enter Galactic” – Review Of KiD CuDi’s Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
Cop: Man On The Moon: The End Of Day

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