2009 has ended and it’s about that time where everyone is compiling their list of albums of the year. Well here’s mine, simply titled “THE ILLEST: 2009’s Most Impressive Hip-Hop Albums According to Darrick.” Follow…

NUMBER TWUNTE (20): THE GROUCH & ELIGH – SAY G&E

LEGENDARY MUSIC INDEED!

Album Favorites: “Say G&E,” “Push On,” “Old Souls,” “I Know You Wanna Feel,” “Do It Again,” “Rivers Run Dry,” “Worried About The World,” “Sign of the Times”

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NUMBER NOINTEEN (19): FINALE – A PIPE DREAM AND A PROMISE

I was shocked at how ILL this album was. If you’re a fan of Detroit Hip-Hop, cop this album! It won’t disappoint!

Album Favorites: “Arrival & Departure,” “The Waiting Game,” “One Man Show,” “Jumper Cables,” “Motor Music,” “Heat,” “A Pipe Dream and a Promise,” “Paid Homage”

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NUMBER AITEEN (18): DJ QUIK & KURUPT – BLAQKOUT

I might be 22 but I grew up listening to these guys. Kurupt is still one of the ILLEST on the mic on the Left Coast and Quik…AMAZING. One of my favorite producers. Gotta support!

Album Favorites: “BlaQKout,” “Do You Know,” “F**K Ya’ll,” “Hey Playa,” “9x’s Outta 10”

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NUMBER SEVUNTEEN (17): M.O.P. – FOUNDATION

Very impressive, grimy, hardcore Hip-Hop with production by DJ Premier.

Album Favorites: “Stop Pushin,” “What I Wanna Be,” “Blow The Horns,” “Brooklyn,” “Forever and Always,” “Crazy”

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NUMBER SICKSTEEN (16): ALCHEMIST – CHEMICAL WARFARE

I’ve been a fan of his since the Mobb Deep days. Alc’ is still dope on the boards and has stepped up to the mic. ILL features on this as well. Can’t wait for the Step Brothers release with Evidence.

Album Favorites: “Lose Your Life,” “Chemical Warfare,” “Grand Concourse Benches,” “Therapy,” “That’ll Work,” “Smile,” “Some Gangster S***”

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NUMBER PHIFETEEN (15): TANYA MORGAN – BROOKLYNATI

A lot of people sleep on these guys but this is a really DOPE album. Jazzy beats matched with ILL lyrics. Real Hip-Hop is coming back!

Album Favorites: “On Our Way,” “So Damn Down,” “Bang & Boogie,” “Hardcore Gentlemen,” “She’s Gone,” “Never 2ndary,” “Morgan Blu,” “We’re Fly”

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NUMBER FORETEEN (14): DOOM – BORN LIKE THIS

The masked villain! An album strictly for the ‘heads. Love the art work + packaging.

Album Favorites: “Gazzillion Ear,” “Ballskin,” “Yessir!,” “Absolutely,” “Lightworks,” “Batty Boyz,” “Angelz,” “More Rhymin’”

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NUMBER THURTEEN (13): UGK – 4 LIFE

RIP PIMP C! This is the very last album from one of the South’s finest acts. Super Dope!

Album Favorites: “Still on the Grind,” “Everybody Wanna Ball,” “Swishas & Erb,” “Purse Come First,” “Da Game Been Good To Me”

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NUMBER TWELFE (12): J DILLA – JAY STAY PAID

One of my favorite producers EVER! New album. ILL beats. Crazy features. Supervised by PETE ROCK! Get on the bus!

Album Favorites: “King,” “Smoke,” “Digi Dirt,” “Reality TV,” “Fire Wood Drumstix,” “Make It Fast,” “24k Rap,” “See That Boy”

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NUMBER ULEVUN (11): KID CUDI – MAN ON THE MOON: THE END OF DAY

An album that sounds like a soundtrack, I digs. This isn’t a lyrical album at all. In fact, it can be quite corny at times. Musically though, it’s the shit!

Album Favorites: “In My Dreams,” “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Simple As…,” “Solo Dolo,” “My World,” “Sky Might Fall,” “Cudi Zone,” “Hyyerr,” “Up Up & Away”

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NUMBER TEIN (10): JAY Z – THE BLUEPRINT 3

Another Nice album by HOV. I don’t play it as much but still it deserves to be mentioned.

Album Favorites: “What We Talkin’ About,” “Thank You,” “Empire State of Mind,” “On To The Next One,” “A Star is Born,” “Already Home,” “So Ambitious”

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NUMBER NOINE (9): SLAUGHTERHOUSE

SLAUGHTERHOUSE!!! The ILLEST Hip-Hop group in quite some time. Consisting of Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, & Crooked I. These guys have BARS. Don’t sleep!!

Album Favorites: “Sound Off,” “Microphone,” “Not Tonight,” “The One,” “Cuckoo,” “Onslaught 2”

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NUMBER AIGHT (8): METHODMAN REDMAN – BLACKOUT! 2

One of the ILLEST duos to ever do it manage to pick up where their last album left off. Filled with funkee beats and punch lines. The chemistry amongst the two is still strong. If you haven’t already, cop this!

Album Favorites: “I’m Dope Ni**A,” “A-YO,” “Dangerous MCees,” “Errbody Scream,” “Hey Zulu,” “Father’s Day,” “Dis iz 4 All My Smokers,” “Four Minutes to Lock Down”

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NUMBER SEVUN (7): WU-TANG CHAMBER MUSIC

Imma keep this short. If you ever thought that Wu-Tang fell off, COP THIS ALBUM!

Album Favorites: “Kill Too Hard,” “Harbor Masters,” “Radiant Jewels,” “Evil Deeds,” “ILL Figures”

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NUMBER SICKS (6): SKYZOO – THE SALVATION

Skyzoo’s official debut on Duck Down/Jamla Records bangs! I was anticipating this release for a while, gathering his mixtapes and studying his flow. Dude really has nice wordplay and is backed by ILL production by 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Black Milk, and Nottz. Another dope debut by an emcee who actually has something to say.

Album Favorites: “Return of the Real,” “The Beautiful Decay,” “My Interpretation,” “Like a Marathon,” “Dear Whoever,” “For What It’s Worth,” “Easy to Fly”

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NUMBER PHIVE (5): CLIPSE – TIL THE CASKET DROPS

Clipse, check! Neptunes, check check! I am a supporter of anything these guys put out. This album is full of fresh beats and ILL rhymes. A nice album to close out the year.

Album Favorites: “Popular Demand,” “Kinda Like a Big Deal,” “Showing Out,” “I’m Good,” “Door Man,” “All Eyes on Me,” “Counseling,” “Champion”

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NUMBER FORE (4): EMINEM – RELAPSE + REFILL

The return of Eminem! It’s damn near a lyrical video game full of guts, metaphors, and humor. Entertainment indeed!

Album Favorites: “3 a.m.,” “My Mom,” “Insane,” “Medicine Ball,” “Stay Wide Awake,” “Old Time’s Sake,” “Deja Vu,” “Underground,” the entire Refill disk

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NUMBER THUREE (3): FASHAWN – BOY MEETS WORLD

Boy Meets World is the perfect example of how a debut album should be done. A concept album produced entirely by 1 ILL ass producer (EXILE) and with minimum features (Blu, Aloe Blacc, Evidence, Mistah FAB, Co$$). This is a very soul debut that I hope everyone enjoys. An instant classic! Left coast stand up!

Album Favorites: “Hey Young World,” “Stars,” “Life as a Shorty,” “The Ecology,” “Samsonite Man,” “Father,” “Sunny CA,” “Boy Meets World”

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NUMBER TOO (2): RAEKWON – ONLY BUILT FOR CUBAN LINX PT. II

The long-awaited follow-up to the classic ‘purple tape’ of the same name is out! Full of bangers too! This is one of those albums that ‘heads patiently waited for but constantly was pushed backed (Detox?). No, this is not just an album that Wu ‘heads will enjoy. This is straight grimy, disgusting Hip-Hop at its finest with Rae’ on his lyrical game. ILL beats backed with dope features. Not enough? The album made TIME’s top album list of the year! Cop the album!

Album Favorites: “House of Flying Daggers,” “Pyrex Vision,” “New Wu,” “Penitentiary,” “Broken Safety,” “Have Mercy,” “10 Bricks,” “About Me,” “Kiss The Ring”

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NUMBER WON (1): MOS DEF – THE ECSTATIC

If you personally know me, you know how I feel about this album. I haven’t been this blown away by a Hip-Hop album since Q-Tip’s The Renaissance (!!!**!*@!). Given that Mos is one of my favorite artists ever, I can honestly say that The Ecstatic is one of the most enjoyable, moving albums of the year. Not just by ‘heads of Hip-Hop but music consumers alike. The album plays almost like chopped scenes of a movie. The first 3 songs being the opening segment followed by the developing story, surprise twist and so on. It’s a great listen from start to finish.

Album Favorites: “Supermagic,” “Auditorium,” “The Embassy,” “Pistola,” “Pretty Dancers,” “Workers Comp,” “History,” “Casa Bey” (The Entire Album)

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