The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Year in Review: The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2006

10. Method Man-4:21 The Day After
Over the past year and change Method Man has done everything possible to make people forget about the perpetually stoned and smiling, Deodorant-hawking sitcom starring persona he'd long cultivated. From bemoaning a lack of critical respect, to beefing with Wendy Williams to ranting about slights from new label boss, Jay-Z, Meth seemed hungry and eager to prove himself once again. With 4:21, he successfully channelled this rage into his best album since Tical.

This is the album that Meth should've released in 1998. Full of anger and rage at those who slighted him, he sounds revitalized, his swaggering slur flow still vicious after all these years. Sadly, few people noticed Meth's second-half resurgence (save for Oh Word), as the album received mostly middling reviews. But in a year where Ghostface rightfully garnered the lion's share of attention among members of the Wu, Method Man also deserves praise for continuing to stay relevant 12 years after his debut. Filled with vibrant guest appearances from Redman, RZA, Raekwon and other members of the Wu, 4:21 has as many strong songs as almost any hip-hop album made this year.

Download:
MP3: Method Man-"Presidential MC's" (featuring Raekwon and the Rza)

9. AZ-The Format

12 years after his stunning verse on "Life's a Bitch" made him the Next Big Thing, AZ finally delivered the album that everyone always knew he had in him. His previous five albums had their moments but none matched the sheer consistency of The Format. Commencing with the soft horns and hard drums of "I Am the Truth," AZ's flow sounds confident, self-assuring and kinetic. The lyrics might dwell a little too much on tired guns, drugs and jewels tropes, but the symphonic throwback production allow you cut AZ's lyrical redundancies some slack.

"Sit Em Back Slow" is nothing short of thrilling, with AZ collaborating with the long dormant M.O.P, whose Li'l Fame and Billy Danze remain one of the finest duos in hip-hop (until 50 Cent ruins them like he ruined Mobb Deep). "Rise and Fall" finds Little Brother dropping by, as Phonte and Big Pooh, successfully complement AZ's buttery flow. And the DJ Premier-produced "The Format" makes you think it's 1996 instead of 2006. The Format might not break any new ground, but it remains a captivating and entertaining listening, filled with mostly great beats and technically masterful rhyming.

Download:
MP3: AZ-"Sit Em Back Slow" (featuring MOP)

8. J Dilla-Donuts

It's impossible to listen to the gorgeous soul-drenching instrumentals on Donuts without thinking about "What if" questions. What if Jay Dee hadn't died in February from complications stemming from Lupus? How would his sound have evolved? How many great hip-hop songs will we not hear, now that one of the greatest producers of all time has been silenced. Lucky for us, we have Donuts to serve as a fitting epitaph for the man who produced epic songs like The Pharcyde's "Runnin," most of Common's best album Like Water For Chocolate, De La's "Stakes His High" and many many others.

Donuts is the missing link between the great soul and R&B classics of the 60s and 70s and the breakbeats and energy of modern-day hip-hop. 31 instrumentals brimming with angelic horns, infectious piano loops and funkdafied drums (No Da' Brat). While Dilla's death remains a tragedy, particularly in light the fact that he was only 32, Donuts, completed on his death bed, remains a testament to his prodigious talent, his awe-inspiring soulfulness and the indelible legacy that he left behind.

Download:
MP3: J Dilla-"The Difference"

7. The Roots-Game Theory
Left for dead after the twin failures of Phrenology and The Tipping Point, Game Theory marked a return to form for one of hip-hop's best (and most pretentious) groups. While it might not match the brilliance of Things Fall Apart, Illadelph Half Life, or Do You Want More?, the fact remains that the 4th Best Album from the Roots is better than most groups' masterpieces.

The Roots work best when they steer clear from bombastic and often pedantic cultural rants, and focus on hard-hitting drum beats, aggressive bass lines and Black Thought's technically superior (if not slightly dull) rhyming. In that vein Game Theory mostly suceeds. Sure, there's the dull sophistry of "False Media" and the Dave Matthews outtake-sounding "Livin' in a New World" but more often than not, Game Theory drops bangers like "Don't Feel Right" and "Long Time Coming." The album might not boast classic singles like "Concerto of the Desperado," "The Next Movement" or "The Seed" but Game Theory was a welcome infusion of smart hip-hop in a rap world filled with cocaine carictures.

Download:
MP3: The Roots: "Long Time Coming" (feat. Peedi Peedi)

6. Murs & 9th Wonder-Murray's Revenge

On the first track of Murray's Revenge, Murs declares "I'm better than your favorite rapper/but it don't take much these days to master the mic/most of these rappers trapped in the hype/they makin' whole albums only half of it's tight." Truth be told, dude's got a right to sound aggrieved, considering he might be the most underrated rapper in hip-hop, having released back-to-back classics in 2004's Murs: 3:16 and this year's Murray's Revenge. Plus, anyone who's seen his wildly energetic live show knows him to be one of the finest performers in rap.

In Murray's Revenge, Murs delivers his finest work yet, projecting an intelligent, complex and tough-minded personality. Unlike the one-dimensional MC's that abound in hip-hop, Murs' album showcases the myriad sides of his personality, with paeans to "Dark Skinned White Girls," the lost loves of his life, and barbershops. His "L.A." is the finest anthem written about the City of Angels since 2Pac's "To Live and Die in LA." (watch the video here) The talented 9th Wonder handles beats and in Murs he finds a kindred spirit, as both seem refreshingly anachronistic and soulful. Murs has already gone on record saying that he wants to be a superstar and its only a matter of time before the 28-year old breaks free from the "underground" stigma and actually becomes everyone's favorite rapper.

Download:
MP3: Murs & 9th Wonder: "L.A."


5. Lupe Fiasco-Food and Liquor

No hip-hop album made this year grew on me like Food and Liquor. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a fine, mostly uninspired debut. The sound of someone worth paying attention to, but far from a classic. On repeated listens, the album reveals itself as one of the finest hip-hop records of the decade. Patterned after It Was Written, Food and Liquor certainly has its moments of Nas-esque filler, most notably in "Outro" the 12 minute thank you note tacked onto the end. In spite of its self-indulgence, Food and Liquor secures Fiasco's place as one of the 10 finest rappers in hip-hop.

Simmering with lyrical complexities that only come unraveled with time and repeated listenings, Fiasco is a master of puns, similes and assonance. His intelligence shows throughout, especially on thoughtful tracks like "Real," "The Cool," "American Terrorist," and the stunning Jill Scott-assisted "Daydreamin'," where Fiasco drops perhaps the most damning and sarcastic dismissal of post 2000 hip-hop yet rendered:

"Now c'mon everybody let's make cocaine cool/ we need a few moree half naked women up in the pool, now hold this Mack 10 that's all covered in jewels, and can you please put your titties closer to the 22's/And where's the champagne? We need champagne!/Now look as hard as you can with this blunt in your hand/And now hold up your chains slow motion slow the flames/And cue the smoke machines and the simulated rain."

Somewhere, a Pitchfork writer is crying.

Food and Liquor Review


Download:
MP3: Lupe Fiasco-"Daydreamin'"

4. Camp Lo-Fort Apache (The Mix Tape Album)

Nearly five years after their last album and a decade since “Cooley High” heralded their arrival, Camp Lo returned to planet Earth to drop the year’s best mixtape. This long hiatus makes Lo’s Fort Apache: The Mixtape Album seem even more impressive than it already is. The record is the sound of the artists shaking off cobwebs with swagger intact, verbiage Technicolor bright, and flows vicious and Richard Roundtree-smooth. While most of NYC wasted the last decade squandering their goodwill with half-baked skit-laden albums, Camp Lo’s time off only made them hungrier to stake their claim and to build upon their legacy.

In interviews, the duo have described the mixtape as 80s themed—with a touch of 70s Hollywood. It’s made clear on the first track, the fierce stick-up minded “82 Afro’s.” From there, the duo take the listener underground into their paisley colored hideouts packed to the gills with ebony-skinned girls in tight jeans and afros, towering mountains of vacuum-sealed drugs, and gargantuan speakers hemorrhaging funk. “Suga Willie’s Revenge” finds Lo riding hard 80s style drums with a sinuous and infectious flute sample. Over the thudding bass, Lo put their elegantly tangled vernacular on display: (“It’s that blue funk personified / I’m the Congo in the vibe / I’m the voodoo come alive / I’m the fly frantic / Live across the transatlantic / With the panama slanted / On this true enchantment.”).And with the A Piece of the Action LPslated to drop next year with production from Ski and 9th Wonder, Camp Lo have a shot to assert themselves as the best duo in hip-hop. That is, if they aren't already.

Download:
MP3: Camp Lo-"Bed Rock"


3. The Game-Doctor's AdvocateAs far as I'm concerned there are two reasons to dislike The Doctor's Advocate. 1) Its album cover which doesn't exactly make you forget that the Game used to be a male stripper

And

2) A goddawful song called "Around the World" that features Jamie Foxx and makes people think that if Foxx had contracted permanent laryngitis right after Ray, the world might be a better place.

Here are reasons you can no longer cite to dislike Doctor's Advocate. 1) The name dropping. 2)The Dre Fascination.

It's time to get over it. Game has improved so much that it's no longer ridiculous for him to make the Nas, Biggie, Pac comparisons. Do I think he's that good yet? No. Is he close? I'm not exactly sure, but Doctor's Advocate is an important second step in that direction. The album is a masterpiece of scorching 4-alarm blazing beats, confident rhymes, diamond tough vocals and a sense of raw alienation that led Ian Cohen to rightfully compare it to the Marshall Mathers LP.

As for Game's frequent Dre shout-outs, half of the album was recorded before the split with Aftermath, so it's understandable that he'd honor his mentor. So uh...yeah.... Doctor's Advocate is pretty much outstanding. Even if that album cover really needs to go.

Doctor's Advocate Review

Download:
MP3: The Game-"Ol' English"

2. Ghostface Killah-
More Fish
No musician since Led Zeppelin in 1969 has had as good a year as Ghostface's 2006. With Fishscale and More Fish, Starks is on a run of brilliance so great it has no hip-hop analogue. In all probability, only Led Zep compares with the Staten Island bred MC. Led Zeppelin I is the equivalent of Ironman, raw and soulful works that allowed both artists to get out from under the shadow of their predeccessors (The Yardbirds/Wu-Tang). Led Zep II and Supreme Clientele were the masterfu andl assured second albums that yielded breakthrough singles ("Whole Lotta' Love"/"Cherchez La Ghost").

Both legends issued third albums that were intially regarded as let downs (Led Zep III/Bulletproof Wallets). In hindsight, most came around on them as solid if not unspectacular albums that had their own respective charms. Album No. 4 marked the come-back, with The Pretty Toney Album and Led Zep IV, both of which are often regarded as some of the best music ever recorded. Not to mention both had shameless radio ploys disguised as singles ("Rock N' Roll"/"Tush"). Though clearly Jimmy Page's guitar riffs trump Missy Elliot's feeble warblings anyday.

Fishscale is Ghost's Physical Graffiti, another triumph, and a victory lap of sorts bringing everyone up to date with More Fish, Ghostface's version of Houses of the Holy. I.E. the album destined to be perpetually underrated in light of the phenomenal success of its immediate precursor. Both however are classics. The ominous psychedelia of "Block Rock" fits as the updated "No Quarter." While the light-hearted romping "D'yer Maker" seems the rock equivalent of "Greedy Bitches." More Fish is yet another late-career triumph for Tony Starks, who like his British counterparts, will go down as one of the greatest.

Download:
MP3: Ghostface Killah-"Block Rock"

1. Ghostface Killah-
Fishscale
There's nothing left to be said about this album or Ghostface Killah really. All you can do is debate whether or not he's the greatest of all time. At this point, he's released five classics, or as many as Biggie, Pac and Nas combined (Ready to Die, Life After Death, All Eyez on Me, Makaveli, Illmatic). As for Jay-Z, he has four in Reasonable Doubt, In My Lifetime Vol. 2, The Blueprint and The Black Album. But let's be honest with ourselves, only Reasonable Doubt and Blueprint can hold a candle to the consistent brilliance of Ghost's five gems.

In Fishscale, Ghostface released arguably his greatest work. It might not have the gritty underground vibe of Ironman or the cerebellum shattering Rza beats of Supreme Clientele, but Fishscale is Ghostface as Barry Bonds, taking the juice late in his career to smack 73 bombs. "Shakey Dog" ranks among the finest hood stories Ghost has ever crafted. "Kilo" sounds like it could've came from the Only Built For Cuban Linx outtakes. "9 Milli Bros." is every rap nerd's fantasy, a fierce Wu-Tang posse cut over a stoned MF Doom beat. "Whip You With a Strap" is filled with childhood anecdotes so vivid and colorful that you'd think Ghost had been studying The Mountain Goats' The Sunset Tree. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if "Underwater" ends up starting a new hip-hop movement: psychadelic
rap.

Maybe I was wrong before. Maybe Fishscale isn't Physical Graffiti. Maybe it's the rap analogue to another work from brilliant artists on the latter half of their career: The Beatles' and the White Album. Both are works of genius, as the musicians experiment and switching styles up on each song. Because they can. To show exactly how Good they are. So I suppose all this talk about rock's G.O.A.T. brings me back to myoriginal question. Is Ghostface the greatest of all-time? It's definitely up for interpretation. But if I you wanna' know what I think, the answer's yes.

Download:
MP3: Ghostface Killah-"9 Milli Bros." (feat. Wu-Tang)

25 Comments:

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Rap Jack Bauer said...

Weiss:

I think you and I should act as press agents for Camp Lo, since no one else seemed to notice the "Fort Apache" mixtape.

I have no problem saying Ghostface is my favorite MC who ever walked the earth--he's had me hooked since I saw the video for "Daytona 500" with the Speed Racer character rhyming in '96. But most people say he doesn't have the sales or the influence or the streets on lock or the....you get my point.

Regardless of who is the greatest MC, Ghostface has to go down as the MOST ORIGINAL EVER. With the exception of "Bulletproof Wallets" (which the label cut up and watered down), Ghost has never bowed to the industry or played off the latest trend. Even "Cherchez La Ghost" still to this day, while overtly commercial, sounds like nothing on radio, nor did it back in '00.

Ghost can be emotional, spiritual, psychadelic, violent, hilarious, vivid, cinematic, and energetic. He can rap to the ladies flawlessly. He's got cocaine stories for the streets. He's got ridiculous vocabulary for the nerds. He's the total package--just watch the entire string of "The World According to Pretty Toney" clips from MTV2 on YouTube--the best 6 minutes in hip hop of '05-'06.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

That Daytona 500 video blew my mind when I was 15...it's weird. if you'd asked anyone in 94-95 who was the best in the Wu, I bet almost noone would've said Ghost but now, it's unquestionable in terms of solo work at least. The guy really evolved and developed into a true artist. I think really the only one in the Wu whose had half of as good of a solo career is the GZA. those world of pretty toney videos are incredible by the way.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous bob didi said...

Well-done piece of writing. Overt love (read: kissin ass) for Ghost is nowhere near unwarranted. He's been the hottest wu-member since "Ghostface! Catch the blast of a hype burst..."

Simimlarity between Led n Ghost is something I've never thought of - pretty legit comparison right down to both of the best albums (IMO) bein the first LPs.

Not tryin to force any music upon u, but, f- it, yes I am "A Piece of Strange" by Cunninlynguists. Give it a shot n u won't be dissapointed. Best production, hands down, of the year. DJ Kno = best beatmaker as of right now.

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous fresh said...

Weiss, did you listen to Nas' album yet? I'd be curious to see where (or if) you'd rank that in the top 10.

For me personally, Gza's Liquid Swords was the best Wu solo album but I will concede that Ghost's career has been the most consistent out of the group. Haven't heard More Fish yet, but Fishscale was dope.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

I've been listening to certain tracks but haven't made it through the album. Unfortunately, I just haven't given it the time it deserved. So I guess for all practical purposes, it wasn't really factored in. I like a lot of what I've heard, but as always there are the duds.particularly that song where he imitates Sammy Davis Jr. or Edward G. Robinson or someone. I imagine if I'd given it enough time it would've probably slid into one of the last three spots. And by the way, I'm with you on Liquid Swords. It's always been my favorite Wu record. That and ATliens are probably my two favorite records of all time.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

"Block Rock" may be the best thing that Madlib has ever done in his career. I wish I hadn't done my singles of the year list cause that would've been the best song of '06.

Solid list, but no love for the Clipse?

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

I almost had them as an honorable mention along with the Masta Killa album, but I figured why bother, they
get so much love anyway, they didn't exactly need it. The thing is while I like the best songs from the Clipse album more than I like the Best AZ or Meth songs, AZ has a higher percentage of good songs (in my opinion) while the Meth has about 10 good songs, while Clipse went about 6 good/6 bad for me.

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Longtime reader, first time poster.

I understand that music is a very subjective area of criticism, and I am a huge Ghost fan (I bought both CDs this year and saw him in concert), but I think it's a little silly to say that he has 5 classics. He's the most consistent rapper ever, but consistency doesn't equal constant excellence. Throwing that word around just invalidates that whole list for me. I was enjoying it up to that point. It's funny that you took that shot at pitchfork, since your Ghost Love almost parallels their coke infatuation.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Anon: With all due respect, I don't know how you can argue against Ironman, Supreme Clientele and Fishscale. Most people consider Pretty Toney a classic and while I think More Fish won't get as much respect (mainly since it came on the heels of Fishscale), it's an instant classic in my opinion. Plus, there's Only Built For Cuban Linx which probably should count as at least a partial Ghost album, not to mention his performances on Enter the 36 and Wu-Tang Forever.

I don't think you can compare being a fan of a rapper for 12 years with being fascinated with Young Jeezy or the latest coke rapper du jour. I found the Clipse overrated. I think Jeezy is flat-out bad. I think Rick Ross is worse. You can't put Ghostface in the same league as those guys.

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose that I agree that the comparison to those guys was inaccurate at best, but let me put my grouse in clearer terms: Pretty Toney is not a classic. Fishscale is not a classic. More Fish (I just got today, sounds promising - I think I prefer it to Fishscale). Ironman is arguable. In my opinion, Iron isn't as good as Supreme and as a result, both can't be on the same plane.

Ghost makes beautiful music, but all those albums you are calling classics have inexcusable filler and redundant subject matter (that's ok in rap though!). The fawning is a little much. The coup de grace was the whole 5 classic = Ghost, 5 = Pac, Nas, Big. That just stung. Read like something over at the village voice.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

I see your point of course and I'm not definitively stating that he is or isn't a better rapper at his best than those guys. Though I think Supreme Clientele holds up against Illmatic, All Eyez on Me or Ready to Die. It might not be better, but if it isn't, it's debatable.

I'm also not stating that Ghost has had the impact that those guys had. Clearly, he hasn't. 2Pac will always have more fans than Ghostface. So will Biggie and Nas. But while those acts either had their lives cut short without amassing a lot of great albums or spent half their career doing BS like "BRaveheart Party" or Nastradamus, Ghost has stayed consistently great. Babe Ruth might have had a higher batting average and more home runs per at bat than Hank Aaron, but Hank Aaron still hit more bombs over the long run. And that's why he holds the record. (for a little while longer at least)

I'm not saying its a fact, just my opinion, but I hope that this explains where I'm coming from a bit better.

 
At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and one more thing. I find it a little hypocritical that Nas does the 1920's Noir-Detective thing with the Cagney voice and all the nice culture tie-ins and you seem to dismiss it almost immediately, but Ghost can rap about spongebob the pimp, the ocean, islam and mermaids in one song and you find that to be so mind-blowing. Ghost does the abstract stuff all the time and it's creative, but not Nas? Let's not even get into the stream of consciousness shit he did throughout Supreme Clientele.

On a less confrontational note, thanks for repping the Camp Lo's Fort Apache disc, I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised.

 
At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my comments and responding too. I may end up doing this a lot more in the future.

One could argue that Bulletproof Wallets = Nastradamus. Outside of The Forest, The Hilton and Flowers, I wouldn't disagree if someone called that whole disc a weed plate.

On a semi-related tangent, I think that Nas' catalogue is unfairly maligned because of how good Illmatic is. I'm sure that you heard it a million times. Go listen to It Was Written again. I had never heard Stillmatic with Braveheart party until a week ago and I think it stands up very well without it (That song blows chunks). I honestly can't point to a weak song on God's Son.

If every longtime fan rationalizes for a sufficient period, he or she can always start believing that albums are better than they really are. I think you have done that with Ghost.

In the interest of full disclosure and just in case you have missed it, I am a Nas fan.

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

I actually like it when Nas gets creative. "I gave you Power" is one of my favorite songs ever and "Rewind" from Stillmatic was great. But that strange voice didn't work for me, if I wanted to hear Sammy Davis I'd pick up his CD. Nas is a great rapper he should rap as much as possible. It just seems self-indulgent.

You're right about It Was Written. Fair enough.If I'm counting Pretty Toney, It was Written should count. Stillmatic is solid so I won't argue that you can make a case for Nas having three classics. My problem with the dude isn't skills. It's just he can get a bit preachy at times He's bright but I majored in history in school. I've had enough pedantic history teachers. I've been listening to Hip Hop is Dead today and I like but don't love it.It definitely would slide ahead of the AZ and the Meth though. Glad you liked the Camp Lo though. And thanks for the comments.

 
At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies in advance if this is a repost...

POTW, thanks for the intelligent discourse. I'll definately be back to bother you in the very near future. I'd yap about the indie stuff, but my knowledge begins and ends with the garden state sdtrk (sad, I know).

As for Nas being preachy, guilty as charged on occasion. He can sound like KRS minus a few nut hairs at times.

I also think that it should take more than one listen to love a CD, especially if you aren't predisposed to loving it in the first instance. My boss may have never become a Ghostface/Wu fan if I gave up on Supreme Clientele after the 3rd listen. Maybe that just makes me dense. Adios!

 
At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Rap jack bauer said...

Annon:

Welcome to the Passion. We're glad you jumped in.

I'm a HUGE Ghostface fan as well as a pretty big Nas fan.

I think Nas is the best writer in the history of hip hop. He's so vivid, poetic and intelligent while keeping it raw. However, Nas doesn't make great albums--he makes GREAT songs. I hear you on "God's Son" but I thought that album was average at best--just my opinion.

Is it fair to judge every Nas record as a failure if it isn't better than "Illmatic?" No. But a reason for Nas' uneven albums is that for a while ("It Was Written" up to "Stillmatic"), Nas hopped on a lot of trends that are no longer relevant. Even Nas admitted to seeing Big and Jay-Z doing commercial songs and getting more love than him, which led him to do "Hate me Now" and "Nastradamus."

Ghostface has never done that. He's been himself, whether or not his album sells. "Ironman" went platinum. "Fishscale" didn't even go gold. But Ghostface has been the same dude, he's just refined his craft in the years since he came out. When "Supreme Clientele" dropped, that entire year people were calling Ghost crazy because his rhymes didn't make sense. Six years later, everyone agrees that album is classic.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Commish CH said...

Great list, I cant argue with anything there. J Dilla- I wondered how he was going to factor into these lists since there was no MCing on his album. Murs- Love that album, except for the length (about 35mins) Lupe- That verso on the Jill Scott collabo is probably my verse of the year. He says it all in that one. Big ups.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rap Jack Bauer...

I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly. That's the one major stain on Nas' career. However, he did those things as well as or even better than anyone else, but since Illmatic was and still is hovering over his head, it affected this commercial viability.

I don't think Ghost even gave himself the option of trendhopping. Wildflower put the kibosh on all that and ensured that the only ladies that would ever truly dig his stuff are the groupies at his concerts. I say TUSH = YOU OWE ME, but that was the only real mistep along the way. The Carl Thomas shit is forgivable.

Once again, I agree wholeheartedly and thanks for the warm welcome. I'll be back.

P.S.: Chuck Norris owns Jack Bauer any day of the week!

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Bernie said...

Ghost is definatly my favorite rapper out there, but he is no Pac. "More Fish" is a pretty average album, not the #2 rap album of the year.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger The Human Resource said...

I respect and enjoy this blog (although you write for Stylus... J/K) but I was a little shocked by some of your proclamations.

More Fish is a classic?
Classic is a big word that people use too often. Kelefa Sanneh is the worst abuser of this term.
A song about celeb poker?
Cmon, there is some throwaway shit on More Fish.

And Supreme Clientele has skippable songs.

You can't say Ghost has 5 classics.
He has 5 hot albums. But c'mon man.

What does classic mean to people?

People get a little too radical with their Ghost love because he's one of the few good rappers about there that deserves love.

But "Hip-Hop is Dead" is better if not close than More Fish.
How could that not make your list?

I never understood how everyone put out top ten lists without hearing a year of music.
Cmon Weiss, this is Nas' most respectable work in about 5 years.

And I don't understand the pass you gave Game.
No Coup?!

I gotta update my list for posting soon. You got me motivated.

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

HR, thanks as always for the comment. Sometimes, I'm guilty of hyperbole no doubt. Partially, it's because it makes for more thought-provoking discussions such as this one, partially because I read too much of the internet and get used to people making outlandish statements and end up making my own.

You're right though in the usage of the term classic. Especially if we're going by the old-school 5 mics/classic def, Ghost probably has only 3 in the first two + Fishscale (not counting Only Built 4 Linx, which prolly should count on Ghost's tally since Raekwon never did anything half as good).

That being said, I think More Fish is a really really good album. Sure, the Theodore unit guest appearances aren't mind-blowing, but Trife has come a long and while Shawn Wiggs is nothing to write home about as an MC, I think Pokerface is a cool track. That beat is ridiculous and Ghost still owns the hook. Plus, I think the beats on the album as a whole might be the best ghost has ever had. No weak ones, which makes up for the weed carriers weed carrying.

But why do I think its as good as it is...it's consistency mixed with some explosive moments. "Block Rock" and "Alex (Stolen Script)" are easily two of the five best rap songs recorded this year. Both are just huge huge tracks. "Josephine" is incredibly moving." It might not be a classic worthy album, but its close. Plus, if we hadn't heard any ghost in years, people would be falling over themselves to praise this record. It's certainly better than Pretty Toney (which I used as an example because others regard it as a classic, even if you're right it is prolly overrated but still good).

RE: Nas. It leaked too late.I've been putting up a bunch of lists and needed to get them in. Sadly, it didn't have time to be considered.But you're right.It is a good album and it definitely would've ranked ahead of the Meth and the AZ, if not even higher.

As for Game, dude is dope. Listen to him on that Nas track and tell me you aren't convinced that he's become a top shelf rapper (even if Documentary was overrated and even if no one ever thought he would become this good).

And I haven't heard Coup, so that expalins that. But thanks for the comments, they really are appreciated. I'm going to try to be more careful about throwing the term classic around in the future.

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger 911 said...

Move a few up a few down a couple of additions and subtractions...pretty much. I guess then that would pretty much make it my list.smh. Good post.

 
At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What defines "Classic" in the world of rap? I'm confused these days. Can a classic album have filler tracks? How many skits are we supposed to tolerate? The same applies to guests. We need a rap board to figure this shit out.

Hip Hop Is Dead is definately one of the 3 best rap albums of the year and I need to know what it is about Block Rock that's making everyone froth at the mouth. Is it Madlib's presence or what? Ghost brings it as usual.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger w said...

totally agree on the guest rappers stepping it up for the game album and a key opposite example with kanye/pharrell

similarly the game's guest spot on HHIDead is amazing as well

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Ghostface is nowhere near being the greatest emcee of all time. None of his albums can touch Illmatic, and you talk about greatness without mentioning Rakim and KRS-One?

2. Where's Nas' album? I thought it was a masterpiece.

3. Doe Or Die beats the crap out of The Format, but I still like the latter.

4. I DO like Ghostface, don't get me wrong.

 

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