Top 10 Mainstream Hip-Hop Albums of 2011

With 2011 coming to a close, I can now say that I am proud of all the quality Hip-Hop albums released this year. Although it was a huge year for the independent scene, that doesn’t mean that the mainstream didn’t create a splash. Whether you agree or disagree, let us know how you feel.

10. Wale: Ambition: The man that leaves women’s knees weak as he spews haikus that speak to the very depths of their souls. Many question if Wale is progressing in the right direction, but it’s hard to debate such when he’s on a worldwide tour and selling 200k+ copies in the first week – a second chance that most artist don’t receive. Even with it’s flaws, Ambition is an album that can be appreciated by the masses. Mainstream or underground, men or women, he covers a range of topics that will only expand on the building he calls a fan base.

9. Wiz & Snoop: Mac & Devin Go to High School (soundtrack)- This album is incredibly one dimensional, but what can you expect from a Wiz and Snoop collaborative project? The biggest flaw, however, is also the biggest achievement: by staying true to themselves, they delivered the kind of album you would expect. Smooth beats, marijuana references, and plenty of name-spelling. The chemistry is perfect and they play off one another naturally. Juicy J, Bruno Mars, and Mike Posner all make great additions to the overall abidance of the project.  I think it will be overlooked sales wise, but if you’re a fan of Snoop or Wiz then this is a must have.

8. The Game: Red Album: There was a time when I considered this album obsolete. We were given more release dates than actual tracks, the singles were making mediocre impacts on the charts, and the overall buzz for The Game was dwindling. The album was worth the wait, carrying a hungry sound that can only be presented by The Game. Even if you don’t want to listen to this entire album, I highly recommend “My City (featuring Kendrick Lamar).”


7. J.Cole: Cole World: The Sideline Story: Probably one of the most promising artist touching the mic is J.Cole. His debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was highly anticipated and well-received. With a few features and handling a bulk of the production, Cole didn’t drop the ball. His Grammy nomination is also another great addition to the list of growing accomplishments. Hopefully he takes that golden man home.


6. Yelawolf: Radioactive: Yelawolf is the first member of the new Shady world order to drop an album. Even though he’s being presented to a bigger, larger demographic of listeners, his relentlessness on tracks hasn’t changed. Pure lyricism mixed with hard-hitting Southern Rock ‘n’ Roll production makes it hard to say he sold out in any sort of fashion. The album length is the only aspect that left me with any disappointment. It draws on for a while, but Radioactive is still explosive.

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