Essential Bobby

Though you have probably inferred everything you need to know about me by this point, I thought it would be helpful to present the essential things about myself and the music I am passionate about via the cornerstone of hip-hop criticism; Top 10 lists.

My Top 10 Albums Period:

10- Hotter than July/ Stevie Wonder 1980

9- Exodus/ Bob Marley- 1977

8- Yeezus/ Kanye West- 2013

7- Kid A/ Radiohead- 2000

6- Off The Wall/ Michael Jackson- 1969

5- Channel Orange /Frank Ocean- 2012

4- Aquemini /Outkast- 1998

3- XXX /Danny Brown- 2011

2- In Rainbows /Radiohead- 2007

1- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy /Kanye West- 2010

Honorable Mentions

Take Care/ Drake

House of Balloons/ The Weeknd

Speakerboxx/ Love Below (mostly Love Below) Outkast

Blonde/Endless/ Frank Ocean

To Pimp A Butterfly/ Kendrick Lamar

Top 10 Rap Albums (omitting the ones listed in best of any genre list and honorable mentions just to keep it interesting)

10- Jeffery/  Young Thug/No, My Name Is Jeffery

9- 56 Nights/ Future

8- Summertime 06/ Vince Staples

7- Piñata/ Freddie Gibs and Madlib

6- Hell Hath No Fury/ Clipse

5- Low End Theory/ A Tribe Called Quest

4- The Black Album/ Jay Z

3- The Money Store/ Death Grips

2- Stankonia/ OutKast

1- Graduation/ Kanye West

Honorable Mentions:

Rodeo/Days Before Rodeo- Travis Scott (very tight tie)

Tha Carter III- Lil Wayne

Take Care- Drake

10 Day- Chance The Rapper

The Blueprint- Jay Z

Notable Omissions from Album Lists

Atrocity Exhibition/ Danny Brown

-Labeling this as a rap album is a disservice to albums I love that are straight rap/hip-hop and disservice to the power of this record, was trying to avoid multiple artist entries to a list as often as possible, RH and Ye had multiple inclusions and that took up 4 slots right there, I like XXX more than Atrocity despite the fact that I think Atrocity is better/more important.

-Kendrick Lamar

More on him later. Every project after Section 80 is so near perfect I find it very difficult selecting my favorite Kendrick record, furthermore by that logic he could have 4 albums in the hip hop or any genre list it’s just not fair

-Every Other Kanye Album

Every solo album other than Pablo is classic and innovative, pretty much same as Kendrick, there are three Ye albums that are so undeniably important to me i had to put them in.

West Coast Hip-Hop

-I appreciate it but I think music matters most in its moment and that moment was before my time, felt inauthentic putting albums I understand to be classic in my personal favorite list

East Coast Hip-Hop

-I detest the vast Majority of New York rap save Jay Z and Rocky, honestly. Big up Killa Cam and Dipset tho.

Extension of above, Pac and Biggie

-Pac’s straight up not that great of a rapper IMO but I recognize his importance and hold him in high regard, Biggie had 2 albums and they’re both good but neither particularly resonate with me. Neither rapper is in my top 10, slight spoiler.

Why I Rate Graduation and MBDTF So Highly

MBDTF requires very little justification at this point. The album’s influence is still revealing itself, and was truly an NBD artistic experiment in hip-hop to that point. It’s purpose is so clear, Kanye is so sharp, so authentic to himself. Considering his work since, which for the most part I’ve enjoyed, it feels more and more like a peak on the most impressive mountain range on the terrain of popular music in the 21st century. It is a lasting testament to the artistic, emotional, and personal confusion and anguish Kanye was experiencing, having been effectively exiled from the white mainstream following the Taylor Swift incident through the project’s completion. TLDR; it is somehow a perfect snapshot of a brief moment in hip-hop history, and a timeless, living manifestation of the convection of pain and talent.

Top 10 Rappers

10- Jay Z

9- MF DOOM

8- Drake

7- Lil Wayne

6- Pusha T

5- Phife Dawg

4- Kanye West (he’s my favorite, but I don’t think he’s the best. Compromise)

3- Kendrick Lamar (regarding flow, lyricism, beat selection and versatility, the best rapper ever IMO, but nowhere near my favorite. Compromise)

2- Danny Brown

1- Andre 3000 (The best rapper ever prior to KDot dropping DAMN and convincing me, the best rapper in my second favorite hip-hop act ever. Compromise)

Honorable Mentions:

-Vince Staples

– Frank Ocean (he doesn’t rap enough to crack the top 10 but every time he does i’m shook)

– Juelz Santana

– Pimp C

– Snoop

Top 10 Non Rappers

10- Aaliyah

9- Jimi Hendrix

8- Gil Scott Heron

7- Marvin Gaye

6- Michael Jackson

5- Prince

4- Beyoncé

3- Ms. Lauryn Hill (was very close to putting her in top 10 but her definitive project, Miseducation, is great because of her singing and she sings much more than she raps so it didn’t feel right considering I don’t think of the Fugees as highly as the other acts on that list)

2- Frank Ocean

1- Radiohead

Honorable Mentions

Stevie Wonder

Steely Dan

Daft Punk

Bob Marley/Scratch Perry

Mary J Blige

Top 10 Basketball Players*

10- (Lakers) Shaq

9- Dwayne Wade

8- Chris Paul

7- Russell Westbrook

6- Michael Jordan

5- Kobe Bryant

4- Allen Iverson

3- Tracy McGrady

2- Kevin Durant

1- LeBron James

* I am not considering anyone pre merger. I understand that Wilt, Bill Russell ‘nem are best-ever-locks and hugely impactful on the game. The basketball they played is nowhere near the basketball I know and love, my only knowledge of them is statistical and anecdotal, I have no way to fully understand their greatness, it’s not fair and it is inauthentic. My list is comprised of players that I’ve seen/can appreciate their influence on contemporary basketball.

My order of Kanye Albums

MDBTF

Yeezus

The College Dropout

808s and Heartbreak

Graduation

Late Registration

The Life of Pablo

My top 10 Video Games

10- Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

9- Runescape (‘07 yrrrrrrrr)

8- Kingdom Hearts II

7- Pokemon Silver

6- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

5- NBA 2K11

4- Fallout: New Vegas

3- The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

2- Final Fantasy VII

1- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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