I like doing year end lists. Here is mine. Don't judge me, otherwise I will be forced to pretend you're W. Bush and hurl my shoes (both of them) violently at you.
Best Song..."Royal Flush"- Big Boi feat. 3Stacks and Raekwon
Man, just think back to how you felt when you first heard this song leak. If you're anything like me, you listened to it like 7 times in a row. Then on the 9th listen you fully comprehended Dre's "they say change is dang-erous as a King standing on a terrace..." (don't front like I'm the only slow one) and you listened 10 more times in a row. You then ran and hopped in your bathtub and yelled "Go 3000!"
-"Warrick Avenue"- Duffy
-"Violet Stars (Happy Hunting)"- Janelle Monae
-"Daykeeper"- Foreign Exchange
Best Overall Album.... New Amerykah Pt. 1: 4th World War- Erykah Badu
I know a lot of people thought this album was weird, off-kilter, not as jamming as Mama's Gun or whatever. But just listen to the lyrics, on "That Hump" or "Master Teacher." I'm telling you. This is one of the those albums that maybe like 7-10 years from now people will get hip to and not understand why it wasn't more appreciated when it was released.
The Death of Adam- 88 Keys
-Leave It All Behind- Foreign Exchange
Best R&B/Soul Album....Foreign Exchange- Leave It All Behind
This really wasn't a good year for soul or whatever you want to call it. Really, I'm not even sure that FE's album really fits into this catagory, but for the sake of saving unnecessary confusion I'm saying it is. I know everyone loved the Raphael Saadiq album (Raphael is my favorite contemporary artist period and is severely underappreciated) but to be honest, I'm not feeling it like that. Yes, it's great musically, but I'm not interested in hearing him channel the 60s on his solo projects. I would've much rather have had a straight Saadiq project, ya know? Anywhoo. Foreign Exchange's production is elaborate and flawless... Tay's writing is complex and rich the vocals are soothing and emotive. This is a very moody, wonderfully sculpted project.
Jazmine Sullivan- Fearless
(Have you listened to her? This kid can't be 21. If she is, she clearly needed more parental guidance becuase she was definitely in some age-inappropriate relationships as a teen.)
Anthony Hamilton- The Point of It All
Best Hip Hop Album... 88 Keys- The Death of Adam
Now, I went back and forth between this, Q-Tip's Renaissance, Killer Mike's I Pledge Allegiance 2 and Face's Emeritus, but ultimately, the concept album wins out. Maybe it works best because dude pulled some of the best emcees in the game and got them all focused on delivering themed, in-depth verses (namely Redman). This jams though and shows what hip-hop is still capable of.
Killer Mike- I Pledge Allegience to the Grind
Best Verse... "I Gotcha" (first verse)- Killer Mike
I know this probably isn't actually the best verse of the year. Maybe I should just say it's my personal favorite because damned if I didn't ride down 85 blaring this through by blown tweeters, reciting this verse with all of might...
"...I'm the voice of Mike Vick sayin 'suck my dick!'/treat me like an animal and love them pits/hate to see me ridin but you love my 6/while your kids at the Best Buy buyin my shit/got me feelin like Tupac/hoppin out a new drop/got me feelin like a new pop/cuz I give the dope boys hope on the block/Michael Luther King to the sellers of the rock, ahhh!"
"Royal Flush"- Andre 3000's verse
Okay, I would do more but I've decided I'm tired and am now finished.