The Year 2006 in Review
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
TOP 10 RECORDS OF THE YEAR
10. Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening
Out of all the record on my list, this is the one you are least likely to have bought,
but most likely SHOULD have bought. So much emphasis is put on the arts of writing
rhymes and making beats that it's often forgotten that the original M.C.'s (as in Master
of Ceremonies) WAS the DJ, who for the sake of getting people involved in parties
often rhymed over the records they mixed. Cut Chemist is the bridge between old school
and new school - he's not rapping over the records, but he knows when to have an MC step
up and do it for him, and he knows when to simply let his incredible selections and
turntable skills speak for themselves. Chemist represents for the DJ like no other.
9. The Game: Doctor's Advocate
Game ends up in this spot two years in a row, but this year he got it late instead of
coming in way early and almost being forgotten. In all likelihood this record will
continue to build momentum in 2007 once the epic "One Blood" remix gets played out
and a few more singles are spun off the disc - there are a LOT of potential
singles on this disc. Repeat value is high, and Game's confidence continues to increase.
8. J Dilla: Donuts
2006 will be remembered as the year we lost two of the best names that started with
James: James Brown and James Yancey, the Godfather of Soul and J Dilla respectively.
One's career has already been measured and considered great, the other's may unfortunately
have been too short to really amass a comparable catalog. If he had to go out on a high
note though, "Donuts" was just about the highest possible. Cop this if you haven't already.
7. Ghostface Killah: Fishscale
If the Wu broke up tomorrow Ghostface would still be standing tall the next day.
The man is literally unbreakable - he gets a little more eccentric and more eclectic
and still does it to death with his own impeccable Shaolin charm. When the Book of Wu History
is written they will simply say that like Sinatra, Ghostface did it for New York his own way.
6. Murs: Murray's Revenge
Best concert I saw this year, and one of the best albums I bought this year.
Murs makes you remember why you loved hip-hop in the first place - NUFF SAID.
5. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
This is a very strange album, and that's part of what merits including it on this list.
Strange may throw people off; it certainly did Pedro when he dropped his review on it.
The strangest thing of all though is how the album grows on you over time - at first you're
not sure about it, then it's kind of okay, and then when you look back over a year
filled with humdrum mediocre bling-tastic rap you realize just how much it stands out.
4. Jedi Mind Tricks: Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
Passionately violent, Vinnie Paz is one of hip-hop's most anarchistic and militant
advocates. There's no shades of grey in his stance - you're either with him or FUCK YOU.
It's that cajones up, bitches down approach and the always excellent Stoupe beats that
gets the blood pumping in your veins. JMT makes you want to break stuff, in a good way.
3. De La Soul: Impossible Mission TV Series Pt. 1
The truly Impossible Mission may be finding a copy of this album at retail, but keep looking!
De La Soul never dissapoints.
2. Nas: Hip Hop is Dead
This one only missed the top spot by virtue of being released so damn late in 2006;
and even for coming out at the last minute it's just that damn good. Nas is a lyrical
craftsman who pays tribute to the old school while sounding as modern and fresh as
anybody else in the business. Sleep on this album at your own risk.
1. Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor
Never has a debut hip-hop record been this anticipated or so fully lived up to
all of its expectations. If you didn't buy this one months ago you'd BETTER
go and take some of that Christmas cash and cop it. East coast, West coast, third
coast, don't fucking matter a God damn bit where you're from or what you like
because Lupe Fiasco makes a soulful and heartfelt album straight out of the
Midwestern United States that speaks to EVERYONE. He's as real as it gets.
TOP TEN RUNNER UP ALBUMS FROM FLASH
Aceyalone: Magnificent City
Busta Rhymes: The Big Bang
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury
DL Incognito: Organic Music for a Digital World
Field Mob: Light Poles and Pine Trees
Method Man: 4:21... The Day After
Oh No: Exodus into Unheard Rhythms
People Under the Stairs: Stepfather
Rhymefest: Blue Collar
Originally posted: December 26, 2006