Best Hip Hop Album of 2009
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.
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.