Best Hip Hop Album of 2009

Reader's Pick


Jay-Z "Blueprint 3"

The Blueprint 3 was more than just another dope album from the great Jay-Z; it was a fitting culmination to a decade spent at the top of the game. Featuring instantly-classic cuts like the trend-killing “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and Billboard smash “Empire State of Mind,” the platinum-certified full-length was Hova's 10th to debut at number one, breaking the record he'd previously shared with Elvis Presley. Not to mention, the music was pretty damned dope.

Staff Pick


Raekwon "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II"

Blueprint 3 was a smash, and Relapse announced the return of Eminem, but only one truly classic hip-hop album was released in 2009, and it was Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2, an album that improbably managed to be every bit as dope as its original. Aspiring rappers take note, this is what quality hip-hop sounds like. Always trust a chef to serve up a completely satisfying musical meal, and as long as Raekwon is dishing out music like this, we'll be eating it up.

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