Best of 2009

I know. I’m late. I’m not sorry. It’s here. Best of Albums, Mixtapes, Songs, Videos and more.

Best TV Show

The League – FX Network
Six episodes was all it took for me to scour the internet and ask friends to find out if they had been renewed for a second season. And now after finding that information I can’t wait for the next 13 episodes that will be season 2. Based around grown men, close-friends and family and how their obsession with fantasy football affects each. If anyone is a part of a fantasy sports league this is hilarious.

Entourage – HBO
Yeah I’m biased because it’s been my favourite show for years, and the only one that has ever seen any burn on FOTO, but it’s also because it was ACTUALLY good this season. The return to selling each and every man a dream, if not “the” dream. Matt Damon had the performance of the season though. Hands down. Summer 2010 can’t come soon enough for both the weather and for at least 12 weeks of Entourage.

Best Movie:

Avatar – James Cameron – 20th Century Fox
No other movie had a chance, let’s be honest. This movie is a beast. It’s still selling out in IMAX theaters across the GTA, and I’m sure in your area too. I’m glad I saw it in 3D when I did. While I might think that the experience is a little bit cooler than the movie itself, I also wasn’t bored for 30 seconds in 3 hours. I didn’t want any time back after sitting on my rear for 3 plus hours. That’s a win in Mr. Cameron’s books. Has he lost yet? I don’t need to say he’s Canadian, do I? ha.

Honourable Mentions:
Star Trek – Paramount
-I absolutely hate the old Star Trek. I know people appreciate it for how cheesy it is, but I couldn’t stand it for that reason. This movie completely flipped me. Star Trek II can’t come soon enough. That opening scene?! Damn.
Notorious – Fox Searchlight
-A decent portrayal of Biggie’s rise. I’m just happy to relive those moments while watching this, to be honest. Mediocre acting, mediocre plot, but it’s Biggie.
Taken – 20th Century Fox
-Um, Liam Neeson can whoop some, can’t he? I need to watch this again soon.
[The Hangover – WarnerBros.]
[Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen – DreamWorks]
[Inglorious Basterds – Universal Pictures]
[The Blind Side – WarnerBros.]
[Sherlock Holmes – WarnerBros.]
[I Love You, Man – DreamWorks]

Top 10 Albums:

In no particular order whatsoever.

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II
-Raekwon took it back to his OB4CL days and gave the album title it’s due respect. The only rap album to make it on Time Magazine’s “Albums Of The Year” for 2009, it’s not there by accident. This is some pure hip hop for the heads right here. I’m still playing this on the regular. I almost gave it more burn than Jay’s Blueprint 3 (and we all know how I feel about Jay…G.O.A.T)

Jay-Z – Blueprint 3
-While I could sit here and say that it MAYBE didn’t deserve to be the third in the Blueprint trilogy, that’s just me being the Jay fan that I am. Regardless of my little, irrelevant-to-the-quality-of-music point this album just goes and goes. There are a couple of tracks where you tilt your head, raise and eyebrow and wonder…but even two of the tracks I originally did that to have grown on me now. Given that Jay is supposedly going for an “international vibe” when he finally is “onto the next one”, it’s nice that we have some solid bars from the God MC, J-Hova, for now. Not to mention the ones from J. Cole and ‘Ye right?

Wale – Attention: Deficit
-I know, I know it actually came out as “Attention Deficit” but when Wale first tweeted the album title he had the colon in there. I like the version with the separation better, it’s clever as hell. Think about it. Anyway, it’s something more appropriate that they took it out as there was definitely a deficit of attention paid to the great production, wordplay, story-telling and lyricism displayed track by track on the album (see: sales). Not that anyone should care about sales when they are building what will hopefully be a CATALOGUE from Wale. Stop sleeping on this album kids. Seriously.

Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
-Oh Cudi. Only you could put together such a complete album months after saying you were fed up with rap and wanted to “quit”. You crazy man, you crazy, but I like you. I guess the reception you received from this amazing debut was enough to fuel you to put together another one for us, the one we can expect in 2010? Alright in all honesty though the depth Cudi shows going over Kanye to MGMT tracks is something to appreciate. Perfectly adapts to either and perfectly pens either. Pursuit of Happiness indeed.

Skyzoo – The Salvation
-Teaming up with 9th Wonder is always a good idea for anyone. For Skyzoo in particular, it means putting out unforgiving, lyric by lyric unfiltered hip hop. Another album people of course slept on because they can’t just do E and sing along to it (see: Black Eyed Peas), this one has tracks upon tracks. Skyzoo remembered the great New York artists and their story-telling and then went and made himself one of those great NY artists with his own story-telling and wordplay. 9th Wonder gets it, I get it, do you?

Eminem – Relapse
-What’s an Encore again? This album wasn’t his best I will say that off the bat, but it’s far from his worst. More than anything this album is in the Top 10 because it brought glimpses, better than just brief ones, of the monster that Marshall Mathers is behind the pen and in front of paper. Relapse 2 promises to be just crazy after this one. Then again, it’s got something to live up to. This one only had to beat Encore. Step up Shady!

Mos Def – The Ecstatic
-Similar to the reason Eminem is here, this Mos album brought me back to the Mos Def I first knew. Not all the way back to him being a RAPPER on both sides, or a Black star…but at least the actor/rapper made me feel like he took some time to be a rapper/actor this time around. Casa Bey is still so hypnotic to me.

Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom
-She just doesn’t miss. She doesn’t. She makes it cool to like songs like this too, not that I’d care if it wasn’t. Her music is worth it. That Drake track gets continual, literally every day since I got it, burn. Then just when you think she’s too good to be true she goes and sings these tracks better live than she did recording them, all while playing them on the piano at the same time. Damn Alicia. Another Grammy sweeper in your hands.

Clipse – Til The Casket Drops
-Can’t play it around all my friends because not everyone can deal with the Clipse’s wordplay or their “aggressive content”. But for me, when you’re looking for some cocaine-raps and some street-stories there is nothing out right now that is better than Malice and Pusha T. Production from their VA family doesn’t hurt the fact that their wordplay is some of the most potent out. There are one or two misses, and they completely overhyped their cover artwork but the MUSIC (the important part) is uncut raw for the most part. Pun intended.

Honourable Mentions:
[Method Man & Redman – Blackout 2]
[Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap]
[Fashawn – Boy Meets World]
[Asher Roth – Asleep In The Bread Aisle]
[Trey Songz – Ready]

Top 10 Mixtapes:

In no particular order whatsoever after Drake #1, J. Cole #2, Pac Div #3

#1 Drake – So Far Gone
-The fact that I have to link to a purchasable version of a MIXTAPE should tell you exactly why it’s #1 for 2009. Spawning a North American tour of his own, second billing on a Weezy tour and props from everyone from Jay-Z to Soulja Boy to Mary J. Blige and Alicia this boy has it going on. Hailing from my stomping grounds doesn’t hurt the #1 spot either.

#2 J. Cole – The Warm Up
-This would have been the tape of the year any year but this one. While not necessarily his “debut” mixtape, it’s certainly the one that introduced him to the WORLD instead of just us heads. While The Come-Up came first, this comes first in most minds. Tracks like Lights Please, Grown Simba, Dollar, Dreams and then some solidified his spot atop this list long ago. And if he had more original production he might’ve just knocked Drake off top spot.

#3 Pac Div – Church League Champions
-I think these guys are the absolute future of the West Coast, and I thought that based on a couple tracks I heard previous. Then they went and released what could’ve been a purchasable album, for $free.99…? They are tops of the tops. Yeah, there are other hopefuls I’m definitely rooting for but Fashawn is the closest to these three dudes. Maybe I just connect with what they talk about? Sports references galore and lyrics to GO!

#4-#10 in no order
Dom Kennedy – FutureStreet/DrugSounds
Donnis – Diary of an Atlanta Brave
Trey Songz – Anticipation
TiRon – Ketchup
Jon Hope – Somekind of Wonderful
Lil Wayne – No Ceilings
Cool Kids – Gone Fishing

Honourable Mention:
[Wale – Back To The Feature]
[Le Da Soul: 20 Years Of De La Soul]

Best Music Videos

I don’t want to even hear it Kanye. Get the f* off my stage with your Henny breath.

There’d be more here, but honestly the fact that artists and labels have a problem with spreading their artists video (embedding disabled by request) is retarded to me. Kid Cudi would’ve had two more videos here if not for that. Mrs. International by Meth&Red…just boggles my mind why they prevent that.

Best Tracks

Pretty much to each their own here, and I’ll open this up for discussion in the comments section. But my top 3 tracks for the year are Just Begun – Refelction Eternal, Exhibit C – Jay Electronica and November 18th – Drake. And as cliche as it might be, I’m gonna have to give lyricist of the year to Jimmy as well. Aka Aubrey Graham. Aka Drizzy. Aka Mr. Rogers. Drake.

3 Responses to “Best of 2009”

  1. 1 Nate Thiessen
    January 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Very nice bro,

    how about B.o.B vs Bobby Ray
    and mike posners one foot out the door/ A matter of time, those are dope mixtapes too.

    love the blog though dude, keep it up.

  2. January 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

    B.o.B vs Bobby Ray should be an honourable mention you’re right.
    Posner needs a little bit more for me, but he’s real good too.

    Thanks for the comment Nate. Glad to hear you like the blog.

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