“Fifteen Greats In ’08” – The Most Exceptional Hip-Hop Albums Of 2008

12.31.08 9 years ago 39 Comments

Generally, the bickering and babbling that coincides with ranking the year’s best LPs tend to blur the focus on the overall picture.

While some albums directly catered to personal preferences more immensely than others, all the selections emerged amongst the year’s best in regards to quality, visibility and of course, durability. Behold fifteen albums deserving of all the accolades and praises heaped upon them throughout the course of 2008. And their value will only solidify going in to 2009.

No order. No bias. Just noteworthy Hip-Hop.

Nas – Untitled

“From the brooding opening piano loop of “Queens Get The Money” to the uplifting snares on “Black President,” Nas channels his inner Walt Whitman as he explores the Black Diaspora. Lyrically though, his wordplay and delivery are sharp as ever as if all the attention to the title made Nas put extra effort and focus into his words…“ — From “America” – Review Of Nas’ Untitled Album

BONUS – Get familiar with Nas & DJ Green Lantern – The Nigger Tape

Joe Budden – Halfway House

“As a master of the melancholy, Budden’s been able to maintain a thriving fanbase even between record label drama as he’s able to relate to listeners through vehement emotion while remaining emotionless all the same…“ — From “Overkill” – Review Of Joe Budden’s Halfway House

Killer Mike – I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II

“You get the feeling that while he may be telling stories, there’s a lot more truth than fiction, as you can sense the honesty in his vocals. All the while, Killer Mike provides a soundtrack for listeners as they navigate through tough times…“ — From “Can You Buy That” – Review Of Killer Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II

The Game – L.A.X.

“Conceptually Game has never been too much of a prolific thinker…but the highlight of L.A.X. is watching him take steps towards those uncharted waters and venturing out in deeper territory. It’s still a step closer to the light where as he’s kept listeners in the dark for the greater portion of his career…“ — From “Los Angeles Times” – Review Of The Game’s L.A.X.

T.I. – Paper Trail

“As most will agree, legal trouble may not be good for Clifford Harris, but it certainly puts a jolt in the music of T.I. Sonically the songs are different as night and day as Tip makes sure his entire fan base understands his stance…“ — From “Ready For Whatever” – Review Of T.I.’s Paper Trail

The Roots – Rising Down

“Sonically, this is probably their most fan friendly album since 1999’s Things Fall Apart, despite their continued experimentation with their sound. Reflection on society has given Black Thought more to talk about it than his skills and in turn, keeps the album from becoming monotonous…“ — From “Get Busy” – Review Of The Roots’ Rising Down

G-Unit – T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight)

“Each member (Buck included,) has moments on the album that they dominate, while maintaining a consistent level of quality throughout. The rest of the album is a clinic on modern East Coast gangster rap….“ — From “Shoot To Kill” – Review Of G-Unit’s T.O.S.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

“Wayne puts on a show, live from the most eccentric parts of his brain, proving he’s one of Hip-Hop’s most entertaining artists. Over a decade deep in the game, there’s irrefutable evidence that he has completely mastered his flow and the ability to ride the wavelength of any beat in his vicinity…” — From “3 Peat” – Review Of Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III

Ludacris – Theater Of The Mind

“Firstly, Theater Of The Mind is not a concept album. In spite of the magnitude of some of the featureetes on the album, Ludacris plays his star role magnanimously and pulls off a thoroughly commendable oeuvre…“ — From “Undisputed” – Review Of Ludacris’ Theater Of The Mind

BONUS – Get familiar with Ludacris & DJ Drama – The Preview

88-Keys – The Death Of Adam

“Expertly chopped up samples and live instrumentation combine to make each track an eventful in Adam’s story. 88-Keys is a producer extraordinaire and he shows off his ability all album long…“ — From “Morning Wood” – Review Of 88-Keys The Death Of Adam

BONUS – Get familiar with 88-Keys – Adam’s Case Files Mixtape

Young Jeezy – The Recession

“Young Jeezy has created an album that directly reflects all the principles Hip-Hop has been founded on; touching on an extensive range of topics over his trademark bass-heavy production that’s equally satisfying as it is stimulating…“ — From “What They Want” – Review Of Young Jeezy’s The Recession

Q-Tip – The Renaissance

“Lyrically Q-Tip’s ability has slipped a half-step from his peak days, but at the same time, he’s still levels above much of the garbage out there today, unafraid to discuss mature topics like conflict in relationships, as heard on “You…” — From “Life Is Better” – Review Of Q-Tip’s The Renaissance

BONUS – Preview Of Q-Tip’s The Renaissance

Rick Ro$$ – Trilla

“Flaws and all, Trilla is still well above average as well as worth the price in admission. Naturally, Ross is at his strongest with accounts of unearthly wealth, stuffing money down the listener’s throats like some sort of ghetto Ted Diabase…” — From “Maybach Music” – Review Of Rick Ross’ Trilla

Black Milk – Tronic

“With his latest offering, TRONIC, Black broadens his production range while remaining true to his Detroit roots. It’s the equivalent of an airplane flight with no turbulence…“ — From “Long Story Short” – Review Of Black Milk’s TRONIC

BONUS – Get familiar with Black Milk – ELEC Mixtape

Jake One – White Van Music

“Each rapper seems to feel right at home over each track, allowing them to spit quality bars within their comfort zone, as opposed to trying to adapt to an unfamiliar beat. Efforts like this will guarantee that more MCs and fans will stay along for the ride to success…” — From “Great Sound” Review Of Jake One’s White Van Music

Previously Posted — Winner: Best Comment Of The Year | TSS Presents 2008: The Best Year Ever – Third Quarter | Pillow Talk 2008: The Most Slept On Albums Of The Year | TSS Presents 2008: The Best Year Ever – 2nd Quarter | TC Sings The Bricks Part DEUX!!!: The Most Disappointing Hip-Hop Albums Of 2008 | TSS Presents 2008: The Best Year Ever – First Quarter


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