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With summer almost over, I’m counting down the ten best albums that were released during our time away from school. Before summer I counted down the ten most anticipated albums of the summer, so how did that list compare to what was actually released and lived up to the hype? Check out the Top 10 Albums of the Summer below along with a few honorable mentions!

Before I get this list officially started I want to countdown a few honorable mentions that were barely snubbed of a spot in my Top 10:
The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles (review)
Tech N9NE – All 6’s and 7’s
Rockie Fresh – The Otherside Redux (review)
DJ Khaled – We the Best Forever (review)
Dom Kennedy – From the Westside With Love II

10: Game – The R.E.D. Album (review)
Released: August 23rd
Features: Beainie Sigel, Big Boi, Chris Brown, Dr. Dre, Drake, E-40, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Lloyd, Mario, Nelly Furtado, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, Tyler The Creator, Wale, Young Jeezy
Standouts: The City, Drug Test, Martians Vs. Goblins, Good Girls Go Bad, Born In the Trap, California Dream
Yes it was a disappointment as an album, but it was still a solid effort from the Compton emcee. The R.E.D. Album didn’t come in on my most anticipated list because I didn’t really think it would be released on that date. After all the man had pushed the album back for three years and the album almost reached Detox status. With a lot of duds on the LP, it looks like I’m just going to have to put The City on rotation for a long time.

9: Na Palm – Late At Night
Released: August 16th
Features: Machine Gun Kelly, Don Trip, Kobe Honeycutt, Ben One
Standouts: Outta Here, She Like That, Cakeboss, Two Days Straight, Grown, Believe In, Sex Drugs Hip-Hop, Going Going Gone
I think this pick will surprise most people, it has gone under the radar since it was released a week ago. Nay flow’s has without a doubt improved since his last effort, Dirty Girls Like Dirty Beats, and while I liked that project; this one is better in every way. There is dubstep, electro, pop, rap, hip-hop – chill tracks, party tracks, deep tracks, and so much more. With this wide range of variety, you can tell that Na Palm has most definitely gotten better at his craft and plans on continuing his success.

8: Jay Rock – Follow Me Home (review)
Released: July 26th
Features: Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Tech N9NE, Krizz Kaliko, Lil Wayne, J. Black, Rick Ross, BJ The Chicago Kid,
Standouts: Say Wassup, Kill or Be Killed, Westside, No Joke, Hood Gone Love It
I was actually impressed with Jay Rock’s debut album. While the lyrics might not be the best, the beats are the strong points throughout as they all bang. The lyrical content is nowhere near par of the other three Black Hippy members, but Jay Rock did have his moments. 2011 is gearing up to be the year of Black Hippy. All we need now is a Black Hippy group album, that would solidify it as their year to take over hip-hop.

7: Big Sean – Finally Famous: The Album (review)
Released: June 23rd
Features: Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Roscoe Dash, The-Dream, John Legend, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Pharrell, Dwele, Wiz Khalifa, Chiddy Bang
Standouts: High, Don’t Tell Me That You Love Me, Don’t Wait For Me, What Goes Around, 100 Keys
Big Sean may have finally reached fame nationwide, and he has dropped one of the best albums of 2011. But he still has a ways to go as an artist and a musician. This album had its low points, but they were out weighed by the high points. All in all, it was a solid debut from the G.O.O.D. Music artist.

6: Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel (review)
Released: June 14th
Features: Bruno Mars, Slaughterhouse, Mike Epps
Standouts: Welcome 2 Hell, The Reunion, Loud Noises, Echo
There is something for everyone on here, you have the classic Shady on The Reunion, the posse cut on Loud Noises, the radio hit on Lighters and then a classic Em and Royce track on Welcome 2 Hell. This album is a success as it lived up to my expectations for it as you have two great emcees going at it for eleven tracks. Overall for the album I’m gonna have to give the edge to Royce for out dueling Eminem and that’s saying quite a lot considering some people say Eminem is the best rapper of all-time. This will definitely be on rotation on my iPod for a long time to come.

5: Royce da 5’9″ – Success Is Certain
Released: August 8th
Features: Travis Barker, Eminem, Kid Vishis, Nottz, Adonis, Joe Budden
Standouts: Merry Go Round, My Own Planet, Security, Writer’s Block
One of the more underrated tapes of the year is a solo project from Royce. After the whole “hate Royce” era in Detroit you can definitely tell he is now on top. Ever since hanging with Em, Nickel Nine’s flow has improved tremendously and so has his song writing ability, this LP proves that. Most of the tracks, Merry Go Round and I’ve Been Up, I’ve Been Down just to name a few, deal with the ups and downs and what Royce has been through in his life. It is amazing to hear the struggles he endured and then to see where he is now, that’s perseverance at its finest.

4: The Weeknd – Thursday (review)
Released: August 18th
Features: Drake
Standouts: Life of the Party, The Zone, The Birds Pt. 2, Rolling Stone, Gone, Lonely Star, The Birds Pt. 1
With this effort I’m going to say that The Weeknd is one of the most talented musicians out there today, period. Thursday is full of lush production and amazing vocals from Abel. I just can’t state enough how talented this man is. So far his two projects, Thursday and House of Balloons, have been top notch in every category you can think of. And with another one of the way, titled Echoes of Silence, expect The Weeknd to establish himself as the leader of a new wave of signers along with Frank Ocean. While this effort is not as amazing as House of Balloons, it is still an incredible project from the Canadian singer.

3: Hoodie Allen – Leap Year (review)
Released: July 26th
Features: Tayyib Ali
Standouts: Songs For An Actress, The Chase Is On, You’re Welcome, Moon Bounce, Can’t Hold Me Down, Every Time You Go, Dream On, Sticks & Stones
I was completely blown away. Hoodie really outdid himself on Leap Year. It has killer production (thank you RJF), insanely catchy hooks, killer verses, amazing samples and standout tracks all the way through the tape. Hoodie has come such a long way since his first release and has grown exponentially in talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this tape ended up in my Top 5 for the entire year when it’s all said and done, it will definitely be in my Top 10. Hoodie’s fan base is growing at a fast rate and yet he still remains humble to everything that is happening to him.

2: Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch the Throne (review)
Released: August 8th
Features: Otis Redding, Beyoncé, Mr Hudson, Curtis Mayfield, Frank Ocean
Standouts: No Church In the Wild, N****s In Paris, Gotta Have It, New Day, Who Gon Stop Me, Murder to Excellence, Made In America, Illest M**********r Alive, Why I Love You, The Joy
Yeah I know I said this was better than Section.80 in my review of WTT, but now that it has settled down a little, it’s not as good. With that being said, I think you are looking at the first classic album of the new decade. It is amazing from start to finish as Jay and Kanye rap over everything from bangers, to soul influenced beats, to piano driven melodys, to 80′s rock ballads, to Indian style jams, they’ve got everything. I can’t find any faults with this album as a whole (except for H•A•M), it just seems to be flawless.

1: Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 (review)
Released: July 2nd
Features: Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, RZA, Colin Munroe, GLC, BJ The Chicago Kid, Astro Bot
Standouts: F**k Your Ethnicity, Hol’ Up, A.D.H.D., No Make-Up, Ronald Reagan Era, The Spiteful Chant, Keisha’s Song, Rigamortis, Members Only, Ab-Soul’s Outro, HiiiPoWeR, Tammy’s Song
Without a doubt this is my favorite album of the year (what a surprise right?). Kendrick not only drops hard hitting tracks, but also flows smoothly and intellectually over soul driven beats. He has everything you want in a true MC and brings a much needed sense of honesty to the game. He’s starting to blow up, but I have no doubt that Kendrick will never sell out. A few years from now, who knows? He could be as big as Kanye or Hov, heck his album was better than them combined.

Now I was wondering if I should hold up on this post and wait for Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV to drop? Then I thought and I realized that it might not even make this list. After all it does have tracks called Blunt Blowin’ and Abortion (??). Prediction: Abortion will be a s****y version of J. Cole’s Lost Ones. Oh wait we have another prediction, Lil Wayne’s album will sell 350,000 to 450,000 in the first week but be criticized by critics. I’m only looking forwards to about three songs on the LP, and that’s because of guest features. So I guess we will just have to wait until after the VMA’s this Sunday to give it a listen.

  1. MaxHud says:

    section.80 was my favorite by far too. it has so many great songs

  2. eptarheels23 says:

    couldn’t agree any more

  3. […] understand what he is singing, maybe rapping, screw it I’m not sure what to call it. As I said before, this is a crappy version of J. Cole’s Lost Ones. However upon listening to this, it has […]

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