This has been a long time coming. We know. But certain logistical difficulties made our list of favorites likely the last "Best of '07" to go up. For that, we apologize from our collective hearts, mashed up like some freakish Girl Talk creation (how has that motherfucker not gotten the shit sued out of him???). I think it is important that our list still go up, because, though everyone is entitled to their individual musical tastes, the massive Blogsphere, in our opinions, has missed some very obvious choices. By sheer coincidence, our top 3 are also three of the most criminally slept on albums of the previous year. Before we begin, we should formally introduce Jed (aka Bluntimus Prime), especially because he put the two of us on to our favorite album of the year. I'm, personally, not so in tune with the specifics of his musical tastes/knowledge, but he can clarify that for everybody when he gets the opportunity (Bring it on, homie). Other blogs have counted down 10 to 1, theatrically, like their opinions actually mean something, but what we're going to do is present our top 3 albums Olympic-style and then list the remaining 7 in no particular order. What do you think?
Gold: Bullion - "Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee"
You may be thinking "Who the fuck is Bullion?" and "Is he really chomping the Beach Boys?"
For the first question, he's some guy out of Britain with an MPC (or some other kind of sampler) who Jed is a crazy motherfucker for digging up. As for the second question, he chopped up the Beach Boys' classic album in the style of J Dilla's (R.I.P.) "Donuts" and dedicated it to the late and great producer. Running less than 30 minutes, the results are classic and kept us nodding our heads all year. Check out his myspace page for the link: www.myspace.com/bullionness
Silver: Dela - "Atmosphere Airlines Mixtape"
This second album also received no love on other Top 10s, as far as I could tell. The French producer with the smooth, Jazzy touch deserves attention simply for bringing Apani B Fly out of the woodwork when it seemed that even the Polyrhythm Addicts couldn't find her. Dela's style is reminiscent of Pete Rock when he was working closely with Large Professor (the latter, who, incidentally, appears on the album), rocking the Tom Scott-style sax like it never went out. Assembling a talented group of known and lesser known MCs, holding his own on instrumental tracks, and transitioning between songs without a hiccup, Dela reminded us (those that forgot) what a mixtape should sound like.
Bronze: Marco Polo - "Port Authority"
Toronto producer Marco Polo's been starting to get a little shine lately, and it's well deserved. Of the three albums on this list, "Port Authority" was featured most on other Top 10s. I forsee him going the way of Jake One, producing Boom-Bap for underground artists before garnering some recognition from commercial MCs. This album showed that Marco has a very good sense of lyrical talent and an ear for the beats that are appropriate for these artists. On this effort, he brings out the best in Masta Ace, Large Professor, Edo G-affiliate Jaysaun, as well as little-known Critically Acclaimed. If I didn't know better, I'd think this dude was from Brooklyn and not Canada. Stop sleeping! Bring that real New York sound back!
The remaining 7 in no particular order:
Y Society (Insight & Damu the Fudgemunk) - "Travel at Your Own Pace"
Speaking of resuscitating New York Hip-Hop, Insight and Damu made huge strides in making this happen. If only people knew about this album... If you haven't seen Damu's videos on YouTube, you need to check them out immediately. His MPC work isn't groundbreaking, but really aesthetically pleasing. Insight, on the other hand, can also hold it down on the boards, but letting Damu grab the wheel has clearly allowed him to concentrate on the rhymes, and the results are very very good. Check it!
Brother Ali - "The Undisputed Truth"
RJD2 - "The Third Hand"
Citizens of Sleep - "Copyright Laws"
Talib Kweli - "Eardrum"/"Liberation"
Blu & Exile - "Below the Heavens"
Links Coming Soon