I gotta be honest, 2008 was one of the most disappointing years I can remember in terms of Hip Hop for me personally.  Lil’ Wayne was the top grossing rap artist of 2008.  Now, no disrespect to the man and his success, but Lil’ Wayne has never really been considered a lyrical genius and to be honest, I really ain’t feeling him.  I never have, and I don’t think I ever will.  Like my  man Common said “If i don’t like it, i don’t like it, it don’t mean that i’m hatin.”I mean Rick Ross was in the top 5 selling rap albums of 2008.  RICK FUCKING ROSS, that hurt just writing it.    

There were some good albums that dropped in 2008, but nothing that made me say “I definitely need to have that joint in ma collection.”  Some of the albums that stood out for me in 2008 were T.I.’s “Paper Trail”, Ludacris’ “Theater Of The Mind”, GZA’s “Pro Tools”, Elzhi’s “Preface”, Q-Tip’s “Renaissance” and Scarface’s “Emeritus.”   While all of them were good albums, I wouldn’t say any of them were instant classics.  I can’t remember many years where there wasn’t at least one album that was an instant classic.  

However, 2008 is over and the disappointment is over.  It’s 2009 bitches and with it comes anticipation.  A lot of anticipation.  There are some BIG names dropping albums this year.  I’m looking forward to 2009.  I expect Hip Hop to rebound this year.   Oh and in 2009, i’ll bet my house that Rick Ross won’t make it into the top 5 best selling albums of the year.  There should be a rule, any year that Rick Ross makes the top 5, it’s a disappointing year for Hip Hop.    With heavy hitters like Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Big Boi, Kanye West, Rakim all dropping albums this year it should be a great year for Hip Hop.   Here’s the thing though, as impressive as that list there is, they ain’t even the guys i’m most looking forward to.  My top 10 anticipated albums of 2009 is as follows…

10. Raekwon: “Only Built For Cuban Linx II” – The first one was a classic.  Knowing that RZA is gonna be handling the production on this one got me thinking, Rae’s got another classic in him.





9. Mos Def: “The Ecstatic” – Now I gotta be honest, “The New Danger” and “True Magic” were very disappointing.  But, there’s some rumblings going on about this album.  People are saying Mos is going back to the “Black On Both Sides” formula with this one.   That he actually took time away from his acting career to concentrate on this one.  If that’s true, I can’t wait to hear this.





8. Method Man & Redman: “Blackout 2” – Meth & Red together again took too long to happen.  I still bump “How High” all the time.   On their own, over the last little while, they really haven’t put out much to talk about.  I’m hoping the two of them re-uniting will spark a forest fire of music.






7. Outkast: TBD – Now they’re both droppin’ solo joints this year, but after that they hook back up for an Outkast album which should drop at the end of ’09.  I really hope it does.   I know I’m looking forward to it.





6. Jay-Z: “The Blueprint 3” – I gotta be honest, Jay hasn’t dropped anything worth talking about since “The Black Album”.  I mean “Kingdom Come” was okay, but you expect better from Jay.  As for “American Gangster”, I won’t even talk about it.  I just hope we see the same Jay we saw on the original Blueprint and if that’s the case, FIRE!




5. Lupe Fiasco: “LupEND” – Lupe is one of the best new lyricists Hip Hop has produced.  He definitely has provided some of the best albums of this decade with “Food & Liquor” and “The Cool”.  So to hear this is to be his last album is disappointing.  However, we’ll see if that really lasts.   I’m looking forward to a bunch of hits from Lupe, but a 3 disc album?  I don’t know if you wanna be going out with a 3 disc album.




4. Common: “The Believer” – Common is one of my all time favorite emcee’s.  Lyrically, he’s a genius. Now “Universal Mind Control” was a little different, he was experimenting again, kinda like “Electric Circus”.   You also remember what came right after his experiment, it was “Be”.  So I’m thinking, Common might have got that experimentation part of him done.  If I’m right, we could be talking about the album of the year when it’s all said and done.






3. Eminem: “Relapse” – We’ve been waiting for this a long time Em.  Seriously, what the fuck took you so long?  I’m really excited about this for two reasons, for one, Dre will be doing most of the production.  The other, you ready for this?  I’m thinking you might wanna sit down before you read this.  DJ PREMIER AND EMINEM.  DJ Premier confirmed that Eminem asked him for a track.  I just hope Em doesn’t pull a Jay and leave it off the album.  I can’t wait to hear Em on a Premier track, oh man… I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.


2. Royce Da 5’9″: “Street Hop” – DJ Premier is the executive produce on this and will handle most of the production on the album.  Have you heard “Shake This”?  If not, GO LISTEN TO IT NOW.  I MEAN IT, NOW! I’ll wait………………… Now I’m bias, I’m a HUGE Royce fan and I think he’s one of the most under rated lyricists in Hip Hop.  And to be honest, Royce and Premier always make incredible music.  “Boom”, “Hip Hop” and now “Shake This”.  Royce & Primo are kinda like the new Gang Starr, do I even need to say more?



1. Dr. Dre: “Detox” – So he says this is the year it’ll finally drop.  Dre, don’t play with my emotions.   Dre, I ain’t joking, seriously.  You better drop this shit this year.  You been teasing us way too long.  It’s like the stripper that teases you in the back room getting you all excited thinking you’re gonna get to fuck, and then 3 minutes later at the end of the song she just ups and walks away.  And all you can say is… DAMN!

The movie Notorious comes out today.  I still remember back in November when I first found out about this movie.  I mean, a full out movie about Biggie Smalls aka Biggie aka Notorious B.I.G. aka Big Poppa aka The Black Frank White aka Christopher Wallace.  R.I.P.    I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a movie, except Transformers.  I’m listening to “Ready to Die” as I write this.  Possibly one of the greatest Hip Hop albums ever made.   For those of you who don’t know… Now you know…  

Those of you that know me, know what a Hip Hop Head I am and while I always say DJ Premier is a Hip Hop God to me, Biggie Smalls is a very close second.   I don’t think there was anyone better on a Premier beat that Biggie.  I still remember all the Tupac vs Biggie debates when I was in high school, and while you truly can’t compare the two, I always thought and always will think that Biggie was better.  Biggie’s flow was incomparable, his word play was just flat out CRAZY!  Biggie had the ability to get you out ya seat and say… “OH SHIT, THAT WAS DOPE.”   Even 12 years after his death, there isn’t a rapper today that could compare to Biggies flow.   I get chills thinking of Biggie rapping over some of today’s beats.  

I remember this one story  I heard Premier tell about Biggie.  He was on the corner of Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, freestyling.  No deal, no recognition, he didn’t have shit.  Premier was established putting out Gang Starr records and knew Biggie as the young kid on the corner.   As Premier walked by, Biggie called out to him and said, “One day I’ma rhyme over one of ya beats.”  Well,  he did, better than any other rapper ever did.

Now… I don’t know if this movie will do Biggie Smalls’ story any justice.  I don’t know if the movie will be any good.  Good or bad, who gives a fuck.  It’s Biggie Smalls, and if you’re a Head, you go watch it just out of respect for in my mind the greatest rapper of all time.  So from Mississippi down to the East Coast go watch this movie ’cause you know… Biggie, Biggie Smalls is the ILLEST.

I’ll leave you a few Biggie Videos for you to enjoy in honor of today.