This is very likely the last poll we will be posting for 2009. This one & all the other polls will be open & posted on the right side of the site for the remainder of the year. At the beginning of next year, we will post the results as well as who each of us (myself, Moe & Dre) voted for. Thanks to everyone who participated & made their vote count.
Slim Thug – Boss Of All Bosses
Slim Thug dropped the first good down-south album of ’09 on March 24th. This time around Thugga made an album that sounded more “Texas” than his 2005 debut, Already Platinum (which was mostly produced by The Neptunes). More than half the tracks on Boss Of All Bosses were produced by Texas legend, Mr. Lee. Jim Jonsin ended up producing two of the singles “Run” (ft. a hook by Yelawolf) & “Smile”, with the former becoming a nationwide hit. All the features are from Texas (except Yelawolf & Mannie Fresh) & they help give the album that Texas sound. On “Associates”, Slim is joined by Z-Ro & Boss Hogg Outlaw member, J-Dawg to make one of the better tracks of ’09. Ro handles the hook & also drops one of the better featured verses from this year. At just 13 tracks long, the album flows very smoothly & there’s no need to hit the fast forward button. Other tracks to check for: “Hard” (ft. Scarface & J-Dawg), “Leaning” (ft. UGK w/ an extended Pimp C verse), “Top Drop” (ft. Paul Wall) & “I’m Back” (ft. Devin The Dude).
UGK – UGK 4 Life
After Pimp C’s untimely death in 2007, Bun B promised one more UGK album. Less than a year & a half later, UGK 4 Life was released back on March 31st of this year. From start to finish, minus the Akon track of course, both Bun & Pimp deliver lyrically exactly what UGK fans had come to expect from the Texas duo. The production was handled by Pimp C (4 tracks & the interlude, “7th Street”), Cory Mo, Steve Below, DJ B-Do & even Mannie Fresh. And they all do their best to try & capture that classic UGK sound that Pimp would of blessed the entire album with. UGK 4 Life has features from Ron Isley, Raheem DeVaughn, Sleepy Brown, Lil Boosie, Webbie, Snoop, Too Short, B-Legit, E-40, 8Ball, MJG & Big Gipp. Bun did a good job at choosing the features as I believe all of them have worked with UGK at some point in the past. “The Game Been Good To Me”, found near the end of the album, showcases Pimp C at his finest. Backed by his signature Country Rap Tunes sound, Pimp delivers 2 verses & a hook that reminds everyone why he was one of the greatest ever from the South.
Curren$y – This Ain’t No Mixtape
After dropping countless mixtapes in 2008, Spitta finally dropped his debut album, This Ain’t No Mixtape digitally through Amalgam Records in 2009. The former No Limit & Cash Money member linked up with up & coming producer Monsta Beatz to craft a solid album all the way through. The lead single, “Blown Away” is a laid back track that set the tone for what the album would be offering. Spitta stays in his own lane throughout the album rapping mostly about weed, clothes, fly bitches & old school Chevys (but sounds incredible in doing so). This could of been better with less features, but Young Chris’ verse fits in perfectly on “Sail On” & Bun B drops a dope verse (as usual) on “Cook Up”. Even though some of the hooks are weak, Spitta makes up for them with his seemingly effortless flow. Other standout tracks include: “Scared of Monsters”, “16 Switches”, “Get It Ya Self” & “Elevator Muzik”.
Playaz Circle – Flight 360: The Takeoff
In September, The Duffle Bag Boyz released their 2nd album Flight 360: The Takeoff on Def Jam / DTP Records. This album is the follow-up to 2007′s Supply & Demand which was released following the success from “Dufflebag Boy”, which featured Lil Wayne. This time around they had more time to craft a complete album rather than just throwing songs on a CD & releasing it. The street single “Look What I Got” was actually first released back in 2008 & quickly became a favorite down south. The lead single, “Can’t Remember” (ft. Bobby V) is actually pretty good for a single that got some airplay on radio. The next single was “Hold Up” which was more street oriented & had all the trappers saying “Hold up, hold up, roll up, roll up, po’ up, po’ up, I’m toe up, I’m toe up”. The guest features mesh well with Tity Boi & Dolla on “Gettin Rich” (ft. Ludacris), “Stupid” (ft. OJ Da Juiceman), “Weight Droppin” (ft. Raekwon), “DJ Know Me” (ft. Young Dro) & “Ghetto” (ft. Cee-Lo). But “Big Dawg” w/ an auto-tuned chorus from Lil Wayne & “Quit Flossin” w/ The Casey Boys are probably the only low points of the album. Best track on the album to me: “Big Wheel Whippin”.
G-Side – Huntsville International
Huntsville International (released for free download) is the follow up to G-Side’s (ST 2 Lettaz & Yung Clova) 2008 album, Starshipz & Rocketz. G-Side, along with production group Block Beattaz are without a doubt
down south’s hip-hop’s best kept secret. Here they link up for 8 of the 14 tracks to provide some of the best music to drop this year. “Rising Sun” showcases ST & Clova at their best over one of Block Beattaz instant-classic beats. Slim Thug is sampled for the hook & a relatively unknown artist, Kristmas proves he can hold his own amongst Alabama’s best. “Feel The (Chris Bown)” (ft. 6 Tre G & AC) is another standout that will have trunks rattling & leave you saying “I beat that bitch down, call me Chris Brown”. Mick Vegas also comes through to provide production on one of the standouts “Paradise” & the radio-friendly “My Aura”. Yelawolf drops a dope opening verse on “Who’s Hood” which samples Nas’ classic, “The World Is Yours”. Other standout tracks include: “The Rain” (featuring a great verse from Bentley), “So Gone” & “So Wonderful”.
Max Minelli – Pain Medicine
On November 24th one of the South’s most underrated artista, Max Minelli dropped what has come to be one of the better albums of 09. The former “Concentration Camp” member gets together with longtime collaborator Happy Perez to put together an album which is lyrically top notch with lots of replay value, more than what you get today in raps current mainstream climate. The first leak “If It Wasn’t For Love” featuring Frankie J set the pace for what you would be hearing from the album, deep heartfelt lyrics that connects with it’s listener. Only two mainstream features on the album both singers, LaToya Luckett on “Be With You” and Frankie J. Max handles the majority of the verses himself. Other standouts include: “Louisiana Sky”, “Doors On A Lambo”, “American Hustler” & “Money I Made Today” (Feat. Russell Lee). – Dre
Z-Ro – Cocaine
Cocaine was originally released as a double disc mixtape, but Rap-a-Lot trimmed it down to 17 tracks & released it as an album. Z-Ro handles most of the production himself, but Beanz N Kornbread produced arguably the best track on here, “Doing Just Fine”. Z-Ro seems to be at his best when he mixes his harmonizing with rapping on songs. “Haters Got Me Wrong” features the very unlikely collaboration with Gucci Mane (also Chris Ward). Gucci drops a nice verse, but Z-Ro is the star on this one. For an album that was made out of a mixtape, Cocaine is a solid effort & will keep Z-Ro fans happy till the release of Heroin. Other tracks that stood out: “One-Two”, “Quarterback Vision”, “Intro” & “On My Grind”.
Gucci Mane – The State Vs. Radric Davis
This December, Gucci released the most important album of his career with The State Vs Radric Davis. After dropping 6 official mixtapes since getting released from jail back in March & collaborating with pop acts like Mariah Carey & Mario, Gucci’s buzz had reached an all-time high & an album was in demand. The first single, “Wasted” w/
Plies Algernod wasn’t meant for the album but after releasing it during the summer, it became a nation wide hit. The first “official” single was “Spotlight” with Usher, but it left his long-time fans feeling very disappointed. Fortunately for us, he followed up by releasing “Worst Enemy” (arguably his most honest song to date), “Heavy” (prod. by Shawty Redd) & “Lemonade”; all of which are what his fans have come to expect from The Gooch. Other standouts include the intro “Classical”, “Stupid Wild” (ft. Lil Wayne & Cam’ron), & “Kush Is My Cologne” (the new smoker’s anthem ft. Bun B, E-40 & Devin The Dude).
B.G. – Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood
After many, many delays B.Gizzle’s Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood finally dropped recently on December 8th. While the album featured a few tracks that have been out for a year or more (“I Hustle”, “Keep It 100″, “4 a Minute” & “Ya Heard Me”), there are plenty of new songs to keep everyone happy. B.G. & Mannie Fresh reunite for the first single “My Hood” as well as “Chopper City Is an Army”. While these 2 songs don’t quite capture what they did back in the 90′s, it’s good to know that they are back working together to give fans what they have been asking for. Magnolia Chop laces “Back To The Money” with one of the best hooks on here,, while B.G. keeps it street with his verses. Other tracks to check for: “Like Yeah”, “Fuck The Game Up”, & “My Wrist Game Sick”.
Other notables: Project Pat – Real Recognize Real
Juicy J – Hustle Till I Die
Trick Daddy – Finally Famous
Lil Boosie – Superbad
Raekwon – OB4L2
M.O.P. – Foundation
Cam’ron – Crime Pays
Killer Mike – Underground Atlanta
Twista – Category F5
Pastor Troy – Feel Me or Kill Me
Clipse – Til The Casket Drops
NOTE: DGB will always be anti-police, so no
Rick Officer Ross nominations here.