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Burn and Franco's Top 10 Albums Of 2007

Author: Burn and The Captain
Thursday, 20 December 2007
3D’s resident hip hop heads, New Yids On The Block, take some time out from celebrating Hanukkah to throw down their picks for albums of the year. Crank Dat Kosher Boy!

BURN THE DISCO INFERNO

Pharaohe Monch – Desire
I waited eight years for this album and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Pharoahe, in my humble opinion, is the greatest lyricist to have ever graced the mic and Desire (although not his greatest album) is still one of the best albums of 2007.

Apathy - Hells Lost and Found
Apathy is a greatly underrated MC, sure he’s a white boy from Connecticut but he has some serious skills when it comes to wordplay story telling and his delivery is more on point than Australia Post. This album is a compilation of b-side unreleased tracks and freestyles but is substantial enough to hold its own as a long player.

Y- Society - Travel At Your Own Pace
Y Society are Damu the Fudge Monk and Lyricist Insight. These two have a great synergy, Insight’s lyrical depth is beautifully complemented by Damu’s West Coast jazz styled beats and it reminds me of a time when East Coast hip hop was at the top of its game.

Peanut Butter Wolf - 2K8: B-Ball Zombie War
Let me tell you a few reasons why this is one of my favourite comps for ‘07. Guilty, Med, Dilla, Madlib, Supreme Team, Arabian Prince, Q-Tip, Kweli, Quasimoto, MF Doom. Need I say more-

Phat Kat - Carte Blanche
I’m not even sure if this album came out in 2007 or earlier, but I’ve only been listening to it this year so for argument’s sake let’s just assume as such. Phat Kat kills it! Plain and simple he was probably the highlight of the Slum Village tour and Carte Blanche just has this grimy and gritty feeling to it that you would only expect from Detroit.

Black Milk - Popular Demand
Black has really stepped up to the plate this year - as well as producing tracks for Pharoahe and Phat Kat he unleashed bombs on Popular Demand. Not a bad MC but beats are where this guy’s talent lies, with some seriously sick chops going on, there’s definitely something in the water in Detroit.

Redman - Red Gone Wild
Look Red I wanna make this clear to you, you got on this list by default because you’re one of my favourite rappers out there. Sure Put It Down was great and it warmed my heart to hear you, Keith Murray and Biz on the track, good enough to make my top ten but I know you can do better.

Marco Polo - Port Authority
I’ll be straight - I had no idea who this cat was and probably wouldn’t have picked up on the album if it wasn’t for the who’s who of ‘90s rappers featured on this album. The production on this is so good and so few people are still making hip hop like this anymore. Polo’s beats are up there with cats like Diamond D, Large Professor and Pete Rock.

J Dilla - Ruff Draft
“Straight from the muthfu*kin cassette.” Thanks Stones Throw for reissuing this little gem, this album was pretty leftfield but I love Dilla for not being afraid to step outside the mould he and other Detroit artists have been cast in. R.I.P.

Ghostface Killah - Big Doe Rehab
Ghostface AKA Tony Starks AKA Ghostini AKA Ironman AKA Pretty Tony AKA the Wally Champ AKA Paisley Fontaine obviously has far too much money and needs to seek rehabilitation for his problems. One problem he doesn’t need to fix is his ability to effortlessly spit hot rhymes and weave stories like no one else.


THE CAPTAIN

Jay-Z – American Gangster
So, finally in 2007 rappers start realising that nobody is actually buying albums anymore (because 90% are garbage). Who do they call on but the Black Superman to get consumers back into the shops and keep the registers ringing. Inspired by the Ridley Scott film of the same name, Jay takes listeners back to his Reasonable Doubt sound with ‘70s soul influenced beats. Say what you want about Jay, sure, this album probably didn’t sell as well as his 2006 atrocity Kingdom Come, but as far as for the culture of hip hop (and yes, there still is a culture) I don’t think there was a more important album this year! And the winner is…

Little Brother – Get Back
In a past life these guys could have been part of the Native Tongues Movement with Tribe. This time round Rapper Big Pooh & Phonte went for dolo (double-solo), dropping any major label involvement and also their third member and in-house producer 9th Wonder. It was a home run decision, although the album leaked (supposedly by Phonte himself). Breakin’ My Heart feat. Lil Wayne would have to be one of my favourite tracks of the year.

Joe Budden – Mood Muzik 3
This literally got released this week, and so far I’ve listened to it about six times back to back. After a highly publicised split from his label Def Jam (and a rumoured dislike for how President Hov was running things up in the oval office) Joey Jump Off finally gave the true fans what they’d been asking for. Ok, so it might be looked at as more of a mixtape than an album, but lyrically (yes, people still do listen to lyrics) no one gets close Budden right here… Oh yeah, and he takes some humorous subliminal shots at Jigga man too!

Kanye West – Graduation
Yeah, it was predictable, but you know what, SCREW YOU PAL! After a tiring faux battle against 50 Cent for the top seller (or marketing genius) of 2007, Kanye came out with one of the most consistent albums of the year. He stepped his rap game up from 2006’s Late Registration, and production wise, he chose to get a lil’ help from possibly the most buzz-worthy boardsman of the year DJ Toomp.

Evidence – The Weatherman
I know what you’re thinking. Evidence- What- Don’t sleep on this album. Mr Slow Flow delivers on his first solo effort away from the Dilated Peoples camp. All the production is split between Alchemist & Ev himself, giving the perfect backdrop to tell the story of his LA. Also featuring the crème de la crème of underground stars, Evidence is sure to make it storm in 2008.

UGK – Underground Kingz
Firstly, let me start by saying rest in peace to Pimp C. His tragic passing two weeks ago has left the hip hop world pretty shaken up. That being said, after serving his bid a freshly released Pimp C and his partner in rhyme (the king of Trill) Bun B dropped the critically acclaimed (in this reviewer’s opinion anyway) double CD Underground Kingz. Not just keeping it Texas based, the Port Arthur natives reeled in guest appearances, from Dizzee Rascal and Big Daddy Kane to Outkast and Talib Kweli, proving once again why UGK are cemented in the history books as legends.

DJ Envy & Red Café – The Co-Op
Red Café brings his old pal DJ Envy onboard for an independent collaborative album to create hype for his already much hyped debut on Akon’s Konvict Muzik. Putting a new spin on the MC/DJ that Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince would be proud of, Red’s gritty street rhymes and Envy’s production bang are a marriage made in heaven. Or hell, you decide, he’s talking about some pretty rough stuff!

Scarface – M.A.D.E.
Again, this one only dropped in the last week, but Scarface never disappoints. Neva! Keeping the guests to a minimum, and as always mostly soulful inspired production, Mr Face Mob may be old, but he’s proved he can keep up with the young bucks of the game and still shows them how Southern Music should sound.

Statik Selektah – Spell My Name Right
This reads like a ‘who’s hot in New York’ hit list. I’m not gonna say too much, except peep this CD and then try and tell me that Termanology isn’t unsigned hype of the year. I dare you. I double dare you.

Kardinal Offishal & Clinton Sparks – Do The Right Thing (mixtape)
You read correctly, it’s a mixtape. And apart from Clinton’s annoying ass drops all over the CD, Kardinal shines brighter than a shooting star on this throwback to a better time (e.g. the ‘90s, when referring to hip hop!). Flipping the script on classics such as How I Could Just Kill A Man, Rappers Are In Danger and Time’s Up, Kardi proves that old classics don’t always fade away quietly, sometimes they sound fresher over 10 years later. Seriously though, Clinton, SHUT THE HELL UP!

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