Here are the top 5 picks:
Lupe Fiasco, 2007
Edward – Although it was released late in ’07, this was easily my favorite rap album through most of ’08. Lupe’s creativity and lyrical prowess is outstanding. If not for some head-scratching concept songs, this would have been much higher on the list.
Javacia – Lupe’s one of the few reasons I haven’t totally given up on rap.
E- Well, according to him, he’s only releasing one more album.
J – Sigh. So I heard. LUPEnd.
E- Have hope. You have at least one more album full of Matthew Santos songs to look forward to.
J – Don’t be hating on Matthew Santos. The boy can sing!
E – You’re such a sucker for those sad-sack folk singers.
Mary J. Blige, 1992
E – Yeah, yeah, yeah, this came out way back in ’92 and I foolishly waited over 15 years to purchase it. Regardless, it’s easy to see why this is heralded as a classic. Every single track has influenced dozens of artists.
J – I never bought this album either. Though I was a Mary fan I didn’t worship her like all the other black girls my age seemed to back then. Ladies, what was up with that?
E- From what I was always told, sistas could relate. Although I appreciated her talent I couldn’t stand her attitude back then. She always looked like she had to use the bathroom during her interviews.
Keith Sweat, 2008
E – Now before you give me grief about ranking Keith this high, just know that it’s justified. Keith’s last studio album wasn’t much to write home about, so my hopes weren’t terribly high for this release. And boy, did he prove me wrong – combining old-school songwriting with current production was a thing of beauty.
#2. Because I Love It (import)
J – While you’re at it see if you can get auto-tune banned.
E- Everyone said Nas’ best days were behind him. Including me, and I’m a huge fan. His last couple of albums were good, but nothing earth-shattering like his 90s cataloge. Untitled brings him back up to form. Strong concept tracks, a great message and a venomous tounge makes this required listening. Without a doubt it’s the best album of 2008.