For the record this is the same “Best Of” list I compiled for the annual Pazz and Jop feature of New York’s critically acclaimed Village Voice magazine. Do me a solid and pick up the 2009 edition on newstands when it drops. The only thing I’ve removed is the actual scores – you have to assign a total of 100 points to your 10 choices with none getting less than 5. You’ll just have to guess how much weight I gave to what as you scan the list, and then read the magazine to see which albums from my top ten were also chosen by music critics as a whole.

10. k-os: Yes!
9. Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3
8. Tech N9ne: King Of Darkness (K.O.D.)
7. Us3: stop. think. run
6. KRS-One & Buckshot: Survival Skills
5. Slug & MURS: Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez
4. Slaughterhouse: Slaughterhouse
3. Souls of Mischief: Montezuma’s Revenge
2. Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon: The End of Day
1. Gift of Gab: Escape 2 Mars

For what it’s worth, these are my “honorable mention” albums of 2009 which didn’t make my cut for Pazz and Jop, but are still pretty damn good and in some cases OUTSTANDING. 2009 was the best year for hip-hop in a long time.

* Brother Ali: Us
* Busta Rhymes: Back On My B.S.
* Danny!: Where Is Danny?
* Del and Tame One: Parallel Uni-Verses
* DJ Quik & Kurupt: BlaQKout
* DOOM: Born Like This
* Eminem: Relapse
* Masta Ace & Edo.G: Arts & Entertainment
* M.O.P.: Foundation
* Mos Def: The Ecstatic
* P.O.S.: Never Better
* Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II
* The Regiment: A New Beginning
* Royce Da 5’9″: Street Hop
* Wale: Attention Deficit