Exclusive!! Hip Hop Enquirer Magazine’s Top 12 Hip Hop Albums of 2011

| January 3, 2012 | 0 Comments
  1. Watch The Throne (Jay & Ye)

The Throne was more than just collaboration; it was more of a world wide phenomenon. Topping the list, Jay and Kanye managed to have 2011 in their hands with their two month tour that was the best ticket to buy. True art, true music, true entertainment, true talent.

  1. Bad Meets Evil (Em & Royce)

Eminem and Royce had the best lyrical collaboration by far. Why not number 1? Some production failed to meet the quality of lyrics, while the buzz for the album died by the end of summer.

  1. Section 80(Kendrick Lamar)

Kendrick’s ideas and social reasoning resemble something hip hop hasn’t seen since Kanye West.  The album lacked a national radio presence but that’s how hip hop works these days. Why number 3?  Let’s just say The sky is the limit for this Compton young gunner.

  1. Sideline Story (J.Cole)

The best true solo hip hop album of the year.  Solo is key because Cole produced and wrote majority of the album, a true artist.  Cole is a one man army but it’s incredibly hard to make classic music by yourself. Imagine if Cole had beats from Dr. Dre ,Noah 40 Shebib, or any other of the game’s elite? Who knows, he might in the near future

  1. Take Care (Drake)

The second most popular album of the year behind The Throne can be viewed in two ways. For one, It can be viewed as the soundtrack for people who are in relationships with amazing production and catchy lyrics. Second, it can be viewed as the most confusing and emotional hip hop album in recent memory. However some may view it, Take Care was an interesting album none the less.

  1. TM 103 (Young Jeezy)

Tm 103 represents Gangster rap at its finest. There aren’t many real gangsters left in hip hop, (A topic on the album) so when a real one decides to release some music it’s always a pleasure for the ears. The mature production and fitting features emulate an original blend of Jeezy’s first three albums.

  1. Self Made (Maybach Music)

While other rappers question Rick Ross as a true gangster, there is no doubt he is a boss. The Maybach music collaboration album had two of the year’s biggest tracks as well as a surprisingly good pool of album fillers. It’s a well known fact that features make the album a step above a solo output, but the production meets those features eye to eye.

  1. Lil Wayne (Tha Carter 4)

Despite being a letdown, the “Best Rapper Alive” still managed to live on the charts. The features and production saved Tha Carter 4 from being off of the list. To Wayne’s defense, if every track was not leaked and “John” wasn’t out for so long Wayne would be up higher on the list.

  1. Radioactive (Yelawolf)

Catfish Billy had the most surprising debut of 2011. Yelawolf has established himself as one of the elite of the next generation of new emcees. Being the only southern artist in Shady’s camp, Yelawolf’s  Radioactive debut was an incredible example of how hip hop is evolving. Credit due to Yelawolf, his lyrics and flow put him right under the living legends dominating southern hip hop at the moment. 2012 will be a big year for Alabama’s favorite white rapper.

  1. Common- The Dreamer The Believer

Common’s lyrics combined with No ID’s production is one hell of collaboration. Going back to the days of one DJ and one Emcee, The Dreamer The Believer displays Common’s lyrical strengths as well as No ID’s sonic talents as they paint an incredible picture through sound and word. Common’s diversity throughout the album proves he belongs on the list with his veteran talents.

  1. Big Sean (Finally Famous)

Sean is Finally Famous and his debut album is much to blame. Detroit’s second rapper on the list broke 2011 wide open with “My Last” and “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay”, solidifying a spot on the list. Along with being one of the biggest artists of the year, Sean’s album had quality sales, features, and production.

  1. Wale (Ambition)

The last spot on the list is reserved for one of the “best thinkers’ on the list. One of 2011’s  most anticipated albums Ambition didn’t receive praise after its initial release. It was the one album of the year that had to grow on you. To Wale’s credit some of his metaphors and similes take a little while to comprehend. Although “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “That Way” reserved Wale some consideration for the list,  the album in its entirety is well worth the 12th spot.

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Hip Hop Historian and accomplished photo journalist

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