19 December, 2011@6:41 pm
2011 may go down in hip-hop history as the year of the disappointing LP. Lots of big let downs from a handful of usually reliable emcees. We regret to report the following…
10. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 – Capitol – Not a bad album, but since when do The Beasties deliver something that’s not quite up to snuff? Too many classics preceding this one.
9. Travis Barker – Give The Drummer Some – Interscope – This LP from the Blink 182 drummer boasted appearances and super-collabos from various members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, Busta Rhymes, and tons more, but ultimately didn’t work. The whole thing unfortunately lacked chemistry, as many of the guest shots sounded like guys simply clocking in, dropping 16 bars, and clocking out.
8. Mac Miller – Blue Slide Park – Rostrum – Mac Miller’s buzz leading up to the release of Blue Slide Park would make you think this was the second coming of Eminem, boasting a million Twitter followers and religious fanbase, singing along to every word at his shows. Blue Slide Park was the first indie LP to debut @ #1 on the Billboard charts since The Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food in 1995 (!), however ultimately the album was criticized for having no clear direction, with Miller still struggling to find his sound.
7. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers – Atlantic – The story of Lupe’s Lasers is an intriguing one. After three years of delays and a very public lashing of his record label, Atlantic bent to the will of the people, just before they found a mob of angry fans occupying the streets outside their office. This led to Lupe’s biggest and best selling LP ever, despite being blackballed by some disgruntled members of the blogging community. Unfortunately, despite this sensational success story, the LP was blasted by critics as a lame attempt at crossing over. Go figure.
6. Wale – Ambition - MMG – We’re happy for Wale’s success, but it came at the expense of his underground following. True, Wale did deliver this year on the mixtape front, but his MMG debut, Ambition, did little to carve an identity for himself among the rest of his labelmates. The Bawse raised the level of quality in production for his own Teflon Don LP, we can’t understand why that same level of respect wasn’t shown here.
5. Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers – Atlantic
Wiz’s career exploded late last year with the release of Kush & O.J. and “Black & Yellow” shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, the direction Wiz took with his major label debut, Rolling Papers, was one of sappy love songs and passable attempts at radio play. Wiz should have done Wiz, rather than delivering a watered-down version of what made him famous in the first place. In his defense, we ain’t mad at the Mac & Devin Go To High School LP w/ Snoop.
4. Redman – Reggie – Def Jam – Another album plagued by delays, Reggie Noble’s return to the game went virtually unnoticed, thanks to this LP’s questionable direction. We hear Muddy Waters 2 is in the works – hopefully he’ll bypass the attempts at commercial radio play and reunite with Erick Sermon for another classic.
3. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV - YMCMB – Despite selling almost a million copies in it’s first week (!), Tha Carter IV did little to live up to the status of it’s predecessor, or it’s first single, “6 Foot, 7 Foot”, for that matter. With Wayne going away to prison, and releasing a rock album (Rebirth) and a compilation (I Am Not A Human Being) while inside, we all expected him to deliver his A-Game when it came time for Tha Carter IV. Unfortunately, he’s in a position where if he releases anything it well sell, seeming like he more or less phoned it in this time around. Someone get this man some drugs and alcohol.
2. The Game – The Red Album – Interscope – This album suffered a long series of delays, which is usually never a good sign. Game had a hot streak with his first two LP’s, The Documentary and The Doctor’s Advocate, but after LAX‘s lukewarm response, he ended up ultimately letting us down by the time The Red Album dropped. A series of mixtapes thrown out up until Red’s release ultimately showed some better material than what was picked for the actual LP’s final tracklist, which ended up looking more like a checklist of hot guests and producers.
1. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch The Throne – Roc-A-Fella – Don’t get us wrong, WTT is a good album, but not a great one. And when you are dealing with two gentlemen that have numerous classic records under their belts, the bar is set so high that “good” simply isn’t “good enough”.
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