Home > Album Reviews, Hip-Hop, Music > The Lost Reviews of 2010 Part 2: The Five

The Lost Reviews of 2010 Part 2: The Five

I should have posted this weeks ago, but January was a very busy month for me. So… since we’re already a month into 2011, this post is strictly for archival purposes. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 and feel free to leave comments or add your favorites. Also, if you haven’t heard or don’t own any of these albums, as always… act accordingly.

Previously: The Lost Reviews of 2010 Part 1: The List


βββββ – Classic (i.e. “Forever” Music)

ββββ – Superior (i.e. “Good” Music)

βββ – Average (i.e. “Typical” Music)

ββ – Needs Work (i.e. “Save Your Money” Music)

β – Garbage (i.e. Hot Garbage)



Artist: Kanye West

Album: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

Rating: ββββ (Album Average 4.4)

Defining Moments: “Devil in A New Dress”, “POWER”, “Dark Fantasy”, “Lost In The World”

Logic: It’s been about 3 years since we’ve had a rap album from Mr. West (not including 808’s & Heartbreak), and on this project he delivers another groundbreaking hip-hop record. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy combines all the elements that have made Kanye West great over the last 10 years. From a production standpoint it has the soulfulness of College Dropout, the symphonic sounds of Late Registration, and the luster of Graduation. Lyrically Kanye West hasn’t missed a beat… MBDTF may be the darkest album in Kanye’s catalogue, touching on subjects such as escapism, drugs, decadence, sex, and grandiosity. One thing I’ve always applauded Kanye on was his willingness to share his intimate and personal experiences through his music without compromising his viewpoints. MBDTF may not have the same amount of social and political content as his previous efforts, but Kanye is more brash and straight forward than ever on his 5th studio release. Like all of us, as we grow and learn our point of view tends to change, and that’s the exciting thing about great artists like Kanye West. I look forward to seeing where he takes us on his next release.

Visual: Video: Kanye West – “Power Portrait”


Artist: Big K.R.I.T.

Album: K.R.I.T. Wuz Here

Rating: ββββ (Album Average 4.5)

Defining Moments: “Hometown Hero”, “Children of the World”, “2000 & Beyond”, “Something”

Logic: Over the last 10 years, southern hip-hop artists have reached levels of mainstream success that hadn’t been seen in the early stages of the genre. However, hip-hop purists (especially those familiar with the golden era of southern rap) have been holding their breath waiting for another voice to emerge from below the Mason-Dixie Line to carry the torch; that artist is Big K.R.I.T.  K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, which was actually released as a mixtape, is easily one of the best releases of 2010 and one of the best projects to come out of the south in years. You can hear the influences of southern greats (UGK, 8Ball & MJG, Goodie Mob) throughout the album, and yet K.R.I.T. still lets his own style and sound shine. Over soulful samples, K.R.I.T. delivers conscious lyricism  about spirituality and religion, politics, pimps and hoes, poverty and the ghetto, and black pride. There may be one or two filler tracks on K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (it is a mixtape), but for the most part the album is solid from start to finish. There has been an emergence of new artists who are restoring the faith in southern hip-hop and K.R.I.T. is leading the way.

Visual: Video: Big K.R.i.T. – “Hometown Hero”


Artist: Janelle Monae

Album: The Archandroid

Rating: ββββ (Album Average 4.5)

Defining Moments: “Tightrope”, “Neon Valley Street”, “Cold War”, “57821”

Logic: I’m going to keep this brief. The Archandroid was one of my favorite albums released last year. It’s hard for me to compare it to anything I’ve heard from R&B/Soul music in a long time, and that’s hard to say these days. As I’ve stated several times before on this site, I’ve been a fan of Janelle Monae for a long time and I’m glad that she is finally getting the support she deserves. This album is ahead of it’s time and at the same time a blast from the past.

Visual: Video: Janelle Monae – “Tightrope” Feat. Big Boi


Artist: Nas & Damian Marley

Album: Distant Relatives

Rating: βββββ (Album Average 4.7)

Defining Moments: “Strong Will Continue”, “Dispear”, “Patience”, “Friends”

Logic: This collaborative effort from Nasir Jones and Damian Marley fuses hip-hop and reggae flawlessly, with lyrical themes covering ancestry, spirituality, poverty, and the plight of Africa. Distant Relatives serves as a refreshing and much needed break from the normalcy of today’s hip-hop music. There are a few minor flaws, but the great records on here overshadow any missteps.

Visual: Performance: Nas & Damian Marley – “Dispear”


Artist: The Roots

Album: How I Got Over

Rating: βββββ (Album Average 4.8)

Defining Moments: “Dear God 2.0”, “Radio Daze”, “How I Got Over”, “The Fire”

Logic: The Roots have provided hip-hop fans with brilliant and forward thinking records for over 20 years. Over the last decade, the word “classic” has been thrown around by hip-hop fans so much that it’s beginning to lose it’s meaning. However, How I Got Over is a classic hip-hop record.  On their 9th studio album, The Roots have created their most complete album to date. HIGO combines the consciousness of their last two efforts, Game Theory and Rising Down respectively, with the classic Roots sound of their earlier works. The collaborations are well placed and Black Thought’s rhymes are as potent as ever. With that said, I award How I Got Over as the best of 2010.

Visual: Video: The Roots – “How I Got Over”

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