The last twelve months have been far from an easy ride. Economically, Wall Street stocks plummeted to astronomical lows causing our country to go into a financial collapse. Tragedy struck in all shapes and forms with the losses of all star comedian Bernie Mac and iconic Soul artist and composer Isaac Hayes. Furthermore Pop songstress Jennifer Hudson would suffer a great loss with the murder of three family members and newly appointed president of Def Jam Records passed due to an apparent suicide.
Within the spectrum of Rap, things werent as tragic but far from a smooth sail.
The Yonkers, New York patriarch DMX continued to slip further and further into a life of despair with several arrests for various offenses. Queens own Nas pushed the social and creative envelope with his then titled album N*****. 2007s musical darling Kanye West went left with the exasperating auto-tune laden 808s & Heartbreak which was met with mixed reviews.
Even the respected but somewhat still fresh faces had it tough. Infamous for his often admitted cocaine background, Rick Ross was exposed for being a correctional officer during his earlier years. On a lower scale, Yung Berg probably had it the worst with community uproar, beat downs, and missing jewelry.
Amongst all these aforementioned let-downs, the bright spots that did occur during 2008 illuminated the skies. We saw Barack Obama make history by bobbing and weaving through the personal character attacks on his way to win the Presidential election. Additionally, Lil Wayne had a monumental year with the release of sixth album Tha Carter 3.
To put this year in its proper perspective, we polled our AHH YEAR IN REVIEW Hip-Hop brain trust to see what were the best and of course worst moments of 2008. While all the replies dont match, youll see what made your favorites think and blink.
Black Milk: Besides Tronic dropping, Barack Obama getting elected as our next President was the biggest moment in 08. I dont think there has been a bigger moment then that in the past decad, especially for black people. I just hope he can actually bring change like he always talks about.
Ol’ girl that dropped the song titled “Its So Cold In The D” was the worst moment. Yo that joint wasn’t the best representation of Detroit’s musical talent but it was funny as hell though; guess Im hating because she got more pub then I did for Tronic.
Wale: Obama winning over McStain! My president is Black or half Black, but who’s counting? [Worst moment was] Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes [dying] in one week was a f***ed up week. Mac was the funniest comedian. “I aint scared of u n****s”
Kardinal Offishal: My best moment in 2008 was performing on the beach in Malaga, Spain in front of 250,000 people! They spoke very little English, but knew all the words to Dangerous. That was an event that opened my eyes to the power of Hip-Hop and the power and universal energy of music in general.
The worst moment of 2008 is when I realized that the more successful you are, the less time you have to spend with the people with whom you want to share your success with.
?uestlove: Escaping a fatal crash in Paris without a scratch; I couldn’t enjoy my brand new president, or my new job, or my first trip to Africa, or my tenth record, or discovering my schoolmates on Facebook, or not going under after the Wall Street debacle, or seeing [George] W [Bush] pardon John Forte, or see the remaining episodes of Soul Train, or hear some lost Dilla scraps, or end my feud with DAngelo, or witness the Glow In The Dark tour, or the Fela Kuti musical twelve times, or cracking mad applications on my IPhone 3G, or guest lecturing at Princeton with a job offer, or bringing Hip-Hop culture to all corners of the globe or seeing my tireless staff survive another year despite the stress if I were not in working order huh (laughing)?
[With the worst moment] as a by product of post Obama thinking I’ve turned every negative into a positive. However waiting for new boondocks and DAngleo aint making me all that happy either.
Juelz Santana: Yeah, Barack that was definitely it and me voting for the first time. It was a special thing to be apart of political change, it was history made. Im glad I could be apart of that. That was definitely the biggest thing year for me. The worst and disappointing sh*t are some of these artists. They not doing what they supposed to be doing, I think people too comfortable. They think they can do whatever the f*** they want because they got fans already. So I thought that was disappointing to see some of these artists doing what they did this year. I dont want to name the individuals, just artists in general.
Chamillionaire: Its not a good time when a man cant be proud of his middle name, his nationality, and his religion, and there were a bunch of those moments on 08. Seems like 08 was dominated by the bad moments and negativity and every time I turned on the news I saw something that surpassed whatever was the worst moment. Once I saw Barack win that election and the excitement on so many people’s faces, that cleaned everything bad in 08 off the slate for me. You never get to witness something like that in a lifetime and I feel more powerful everyday when I wake up because of that moment.
[Worst moment] was watching the Hurricane Ike storm rip through Texas had to be one of the worst moments of 08 for me. You see it happening to other people all over the world all the time but when it happens to you the way it did for Texas it can be a real wakeup call. So many people had no lights, no money, and nowhere to go. That storm left a lot of people that had nothing with less than nothing.
Joe Budden: Barack when they found out that he was elected and Stevie Wonder Signed, Sealed And Delivered came blasting through the speakers. That was the best thing in the universe. Worst moment, I dont know what happened in 08. You know what lets go with Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes. Im definitely an Isaac Hayes fan, Bernie Mac also.
Sheek Louch: In 08, I had a couple of great moments. Definitely [Hot 97s] Summer Jam with fifty five thousand people and we destroyed that. We brought out LL Cool J out. One of our LOX shows at BB Kings was sickening to see the crowd and that love. Those are a couple. Worst moment, I cant really think of one right now.
Charles Hamilton: Swagger Like Us, Slaughterhouse, Change Gon Come. Those are moments because they show how rappers with different viewpoints on life, be it swag or culture, if there’s a difference, can co-exist on a track together. [As far as bad moments] this wasn’t really a bad year for Hip-Hop to be honest. Anything I mention would look like I’m hating. We actually progressed. There were moments that had me tight, but everything was pretty cool. The [Yung] Berg thing was pretty wack though [laughs].
Mick Boogie: Wayne selling a milli the first week [was the best moment]. In this era of no one selling sh*t anymore, it was refreshing for a good, quality album to do its numbers. It shows that it can be done; just has to be done right. Worst moments for me are just the sad by-products that come from Hip-Hop stars being normal people too. MC Breed’s sad death, AM’s plane crash, etc.
Corey Gunz: I dont want to be cocky or anything, but the attention that Corey Gunz got was ridiculous. All the exposure I got this year. I got to thank XXL period for even picking me as one of the top ten dudes. I got to thank the fans and the public. If you like real Hip-Hop I am not going to disappoint you. The worst in Hip-Hop, sh*t I dont know man. Im really trying to focus on the positive.
Alchemist: The best moment was Barack Obama getting elected to be president of the United States. I was on the Method Man and Redman tour, we were backstage and everyone was watching it on the TV. It was just a joyous moment. Things are crazy and the world gives you a little bit of hope that things can turn for the better. I never felt like we could ever have a president that would even acknowledge or know the music we create. Its just incredible to have a president that you feel you can have a regular conversation with and him respecting you. I think its going to be a good look for Hip-Hop. It just puts a positive charge into everybody and that will hopefully trickle into the music. But well see where it goes.
Worst moment was in 08 was the plane crash with my man DJ AM and Travis Barker. It was great they survived but it was a tragedy that Lil Chris and the security guard passed away. It was a terrible tragic moment. I go way back with AM. He did beats before I did. He thought me how to use the ASR-10. Its funny he taught me how to produce and I taught him how to DJ.
Paul Wall: The best moment had to be when Obama won. That was the first time I evervoted. It was an incredible feeling watching the election coverage on television and seeing him win. Not only because he’s Black, but because he’s a real leader. He’s not a politician trying to please everybody and bullsh*tting all of us, he’s a real leader. Our country hasn’t had a real leader like this in my lifetime.It was a good year for me but losing my friends has to be the worst. My friend Emanuel Hobbs was murdered and then Lil Chris and Che died in a plane crash. They were very close friends of mine and they will always be remembered and missed.
Shawty Lo: The best moment in ’08 for me has got to be when Barack-O became president. I’m not just proud because he’s black but also because he was the most qualified candidate and I think he’s going to really make a positive change in this country. Also, I won an Ozone Award and a BET Hip-Hop Award so those were some of the best moments of my year.My worst moment of ’08 has got to be my projects where I grew up off of Bankhead Highway, Bowen Homes are being torn down. Just to see them boarding up the apartments and not letting anybody else move in and having the elderly and families moving out, starting over, it’s been rough for me to see, it’s crazy. I’m sad because that’s the place I was raised but when I think about it, I hope that the people find a better place to live because it was a lot of crime, so even though I hate it, it’s probably for the best.
D Nice: The biggest moment for me is Barack winning the presidential election. When I voted I snuck my camera and took a picture of it as well. This is so real, just being thirty eight years old I was around the Black Power era during the Public Enemy era where we never thought we would ever see this day. So to be in the position to pull the lever for a Black man; and not even for just a Black man, like Chris Rock said If it was Flavor Flav I wouldnt have voted for him. Standing there voting for a qualified Black man to run our country was big.
As far as my worst moment, Im going to be absolutely honest with you. I have nothing against like Soulja Boy, but that record was the worst thing for me watching it. Like I listen to a lot of music and thats the one thing I didnt understand. I dont understand super soaking hoes and all of that in this time. What was disappointing to me about that song was that the song was actually degrading to women. It had such a catchy hook that the kids were singing and didnt know what they were saying. That part was definitely disappointing. It wasnt something I supported at all.
Killer Mike: July 4 thru 8th Pressure dropped on Myspace on July 4, and Youtube went crazy. Pledge II did a meager four thousand (downer). Pledge II went on to do a constant one thousand a week and developed whats growing into a cult following. I am Still in my greatest moment. Thanks to every supporter of the grind. Disclaimer I did not use the Barack is President line because I know other Rap n****s are going to claim that and I want that and King day to be my best day in 09 when he becomes official!
[Worst moment was] Big Boi smashing on me at [DJ] Envy’s Show [laughing]. Man I was hot! That n**** wiped me down with Rap vet precision, whew. Lucky I was ready and counter attacked with a wrestling spoof youtube video which actually lead to us mending our differences. Not so bad after all. Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son Of Chico Dusty coming soon, 16 In The Kitchen coming soon.
Slim Thug: Musically it was Lil Wayne selling all those records first week. That was big for the South. That was big for Lil Wayne to sell over a million records, who topped that? But Barack winning the election was the biggest moment for me outside of music. As far as worst moment, ah man. I cant even think of nothing.