5 COMEBACK ARTISTS
While Biz had been holding it down as a great DJ, his artistry hadn’t been seen since ’94. Biz’s biggest budget album (minus the sample suit), is something to warm your winter. Thank you for making the record funky Biz.
Kool G Rap
G Rap’s album last year was too little, too late. But his new group, 5 Family Click, and guest drops has the streets of New York, and everywhere else, talking.
One of the greatest MC’s to ever do it, let alone females, Lyte still finds her place in the scene fifteen years deep and got a Grammy nomination.
DOOM dropped not one, not two, but three plus albums in ’03. And all three were welcomed, unique, and celebrated. DOOM is a champion of the underground. We’re looking forward to three more in ’04.
The Hate Monster reared its ugly head at Ja for all the wrong reasons. His 2003 album, Blood In My Eye, saw the return of the hardcore rhymer we loved on “Holla, Holla.” Even though it was a lil’ heavy on the 50 Cent, this one can be considered a comeback even though in 2004 the “regular” Ja plans to come back.
6 ALBUMS WORTH ANTICIPATING FOR 2004
Nas Untitled (Columbia)
Beef aside, when Jigga steps down, will Nas reign? It’ll take a hard album to prove it. Will he poke shots at 50 Cent? Will he have an ode to Kelis? Hopefully Nasty Nas learned a thing or two from the remix albums of ’03. Take it back back back.
O.C. – The Professional (Grit)
We’ve heard part of it. Expect an album comparable to "Word Life" with O.C.’s triumphant return. Production will be handled by Soul Supreme, 9th Wonder, and maybe even Large Professor. Can we get a Buckwild track? Whatever, O.C. is DOPE! Still so funny when it comes to the snaps.
Kanye West – College Dropout (Def Jam)
This album will either be bananas or peels. Kanye’s performances on Def Poetry Jam, and his lead single were impressive. Too many guests may hinder this album (and internet leaks…thirsty bums, but timing is everything) soon as dukes gets his mouth fixed, we wanna hear what comes out.
A Tribe Called Quest – Untitled (Violator)
For five years people refer back to Native Tongues as a point of GREAT, MISSING hip-hop. Tribe and De La Soul will give us both a reason to be joyful. Hopefully Tribe will keep it in-house and very consistent with their previous work, heavy on the bass, low on the treble
Konfusion – Untitled (Grit)
Like Tribe, Organized Konfusion is another group we need back. Pharohe Monch, Prince Poetry, and newly added affiliate, O.C. will be on to bring the heat. Preemo, Large Professor, and others are already on the production bill. Grit is what Rawkus could’ve been.
Ghostface Killah Pretty Tony
Wallabe’s are still a staple but colorful robes and the ill Versace piece always puts Tony Starks in a class of his own. If “Run” with an amped Jadakiss is any indication then the Wu’s king of abstract but voracious lyricism will drop another scorcher.
5 ALBUMS YOU SLEPT ON (Just Cop Them)
Sheek Louch – Walk Witt Me – Sheek crafted a solid foundation for D-Block Records.
Memphis Bleek – M.A.D.E. – Honestly, some of us have been rockin’ Bleek more than Jay.
State Property – The Chain Gang – Radio rocked the single but missed the album.
Raekwon – The Lex Diamond Story – Damn near classic.
Macho Man – Randy Savage Be A Man – Macho Man made the funniest album of the year. Hot beats too.
5 ARTISTS WE EXPECTED TO SEE, BUT DIDN’T (The AHH C.P. Time Award)
Kanye West: We’ve heard it and it’s banoodles.
Foxy Brown: Please, baby, please, please, please. Find a label!
Rakim: Dre rejects Primo beats only to never even put a single out? We still believe in The R.
Method Man: we’ve been waiting on this one since 2002.
Beanie Sigel: Humbly falls back to let his protégés get some shine. Stay free Beans.
And let’s not forget…Dr. Dre, Skillz, Redman, Black Rob
TOP INDIE LABELS
Shark Award for Companies Making Beaucoup Bucks Off Hip-Hop Culture
Universal Music Group: this music conglomerate has their hands in some of the years biggest release by owning some of the games most successful labels [Interscope Records (Shady, Aftermath, G Unit), Def Jam (Roc-a-Fella), Geffen (Common, The Roots)
MTV: Try as they might (they did give Little Brother & our own Jean Grae some shine) any given week you will find only find videos from about 7 rappers on this channel. And as entertaining as it was, Making the Band with “Da Band” was not a good look.
Reebok: Since Nike has the athletic endorsers on lock, Reebok gave rappers their own sneaker lines and have been laughing all the way to the bank since.
The A-1 Award for Silliest Beef
Ja-Rule vs. 50/Eminem/Dre: Sitting down with Farrakhan on the day his album dropped was just not a good look for your favorite balladeer…ahem, rapper.
The Source vs. 50/Eminem/Dre: This is like GQ bringing it to Pierce Bronsnan.
XXL vs. The Source: A pen can take an eye out but can you really beef on paper?
The Sausage Award
This award is for throwaway beef no one really cared about or was just unnecessary
Lil’ Kim v. 50 Cent: We liked “Magic Stick” but alas it was never an official single, thus Kim’s ire
Fredro Starr v. 50 Cent: Noticing a trend here?
Da Eastsidaz v. Snoop: Come on Snoop, Tray Deee and Goldie Loc – the West needs you.
The Top Trends We Would Like to See End Soon
Leg Warmers in the Summer
Spinners on station wagons
Shout Outs to Jacob the Jeweler on wax
Big Trucks, Benz, Beamers & Maybachs: only because our salaries at AllHipHop.com prevent us from partaking in this trend ourselves.
All you corny stylists out there for letting rappers kill the throwback jersey look.
Sphincter Awards (@ssholes of the year)
Bill O’Reilly – needless to say he won’t be invited to any Jay-Z or Ludacris platinum parties.
George Bush – kicks it in Iraq for Thanksgiving, conveniently finds Saddam Hussein right before Christmas. C.O.N.Spiracy. Those weapons of mass destruction must be chillin’ where Tupac is. Prediction: Bin Laden before election day.
Jayson Blair – deluded midget reporter wreaks havoc at The New York Times and makes it that much more harder for credible journalists of color to make it happen.
Rapper’s for Hire of the Year Award
These rappers were known for cameo verse whoring in ‘03
The Better Cash in to Your Fame Right Now Award