Ketchums x Metro Times – Top 10 Albums of ’08

31 Dec

I know I’ll get a few eyes rolled at this, but it’s still dope to me when my opinion is considered important enough to ask me about my opinion on music. Metro Times and contacted me this year to ask me to submit my Top 10 albums of the year, and even though both lists had their differences since I changed my mind so much, I think this was a great year for hip-hop. As I’ve said, wack shit is falling by the wayside these days, and it takes either outstanding quality or a brilliant marketing plan to make something really sell these days. Standards are getting high again, and that’s something that I love to see.

For my full list, follow the jump.

1. Nas
 — Def Jam
His most focused effort since the seminal debut Illmatic. Here, Nas uses elaborate concepts and a flawless technique to investigate the “N” word and the national-global black experience.

2. Black Milk
 — Fat Beats
Criticism that he’s a clone of the late J Dilla should end right here, as Black exchanges his sped-up soul samples for a synthy, futuristic updated sound, adding some agility to his already efficient flow.

3. Killer Mike
I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II
 — SMC Recordings
The Outkast protégé has finally come of age, compiling an energetic set of songs built to motivate without degrading, and to stand for the underrepresented without exploiting them. The beats knock as hard as anything out of the South in years.

4. T.I
Paper Trail
 — SMC Recordings
Effortlessly switching between passionate stream of consciousness rhymes, introspective material, witty boasts and radio-ready hits, T.I. cements himself as a bona fide star before he serves a year in prison for gun charges.

5. The Roots
Rising Down
 — Grand Hustle/Atlantic
The Philadelphia rap band gives a piercing critique of contemporary society with statements about poverty, crime, race and politics. The expansive guest list — including Mos Def, Common and Saigon — only proves the message is universal.

6. Jake One
White Van Music
 — Rhymesayers
Jake One brings together artists from every end of his versatile client list. Simply put, absolutely everyone — whether it’s Detroit’s Elzhi and Royce Da 5’9″ on the show-stealing “Glow” or M.O.P. on “Gangsta Boy” — brings their A-game.

7. Buff1
There’s Only One
 — A-Side Worldwide
Using a clear, digestible flow and robust melodies from the Lab Techs production team, Ann Arbor’s Buff1 raps about destructive relationships, the pitfalls of street life and a slew of other universally relatable topics.

8. Invincible
 — Emergence
After paying her dues for years as a writer-performer on MTV’s Lyricist Lounge Show, Detroit’s own Invincible delivers a solo debut full of slow-burning rhymes about gentrification and the power of hip-hop.

9. 88-Keys
The Death of Adam
 — Decon
On his Kanye West-produced debut album, 88-Keys tells the story of Adam, a man who dies due to his over pursuit of sex, with each song acting as a different scene in the tale.

10. Lil Wayne
Tha Carter 3
 — Cash Money
As the world’s biggest rapper circa 2008, Lil Wayne took a lot more chances than he had to. But that’s what makes this album so engaging, using experimental production from the likes of Maestro, Kanye West and Cool & Dre to create a classic.


3 Responses to “Ketchums x Metro Times – Top 10 Albums of ’08”

  1. jrems December 31, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    *rolls eyes*

    JOKES! Dope list homie.

  2. Oyem January 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Feel the bass, rock the bass! One of the best things about bass in jazz is that pounding tempo it sets for a song. It’s takes a song that’s tearing it up and brings it depth, and then the other musicians go into the beat even harder. Here are some of the best bassists on stage. “A Milli” ‘s bass was pretty good, but check some of this moving bass….

    Ron Carter
    Ray Brown – mosted recorded bassist in jazz history.
    Stanley Clarke
    Rich Curtis
    Charles Fambrough
    Lonnie Plaxico
    Marcus Miller
    Gerald Veasley
    William Parker
    Cecil McBee



  1. Buff1, “Dream Streets” (Video) « Speech Is My Hammer… - January 9, 2009

    […] Buff1 just released the video for “Dream Streets,” one of my favorite songs from his Top 10 of ‘08 album There’s Only One. As dope of a writer as I am, I’ma let the song and video speak […]

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