1 .Q-Tip Kamaal The Abstract
Q-Tip does funky reflective fusion and it works.
2. Raekwon Only Built For Cuban Linx 2 More than competent return from Wu-Tang grime master.
3. Al B. Sure Honey I’m Home Classy R&B from a New Jack Swing era surviver.
4. Teena Marie Congo Square More timeless soul from the original vanilla soul child.
5. Sa Ra Nuclear Evolution: The Age Of Love Freaky free funk in the middle of a calcified R&B mainstream.
6. Blackroc A hodgepodge of mostly New York rappers backed by the hillbilly rock of The Black Keys presented by Damon Dash
7. Chico Debarge Addiction Soulful sensuality from the Debarge tenor on par with Long Time No See
8. Chrisette Michele Epiphany Jazzy R&B sweetness mediated by pop sensibilities.
9. Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 Hova representing for his hometown with his superior slick hardness.
10. Mos Def The Ecstatic Dante Smith may act most of the time but he still raps well.
11. Jesse Johnson Verbal Penetration Former Time guitarist releases first solo album in
thirteen years and his chops are still intact.
12. Maxwell Blacksummer’s Night Everyone’s favorite male “neo soul” singer makes good again after an eight year hiatus.
13. J.Dilla Jay Stay Paid Another lovely but sinister posthumous release of divine beat science from the Detroit master.
14. Whitney Houston I Look To You A nice comeback record from the ’80’s and ’90’s pop darling
15. Living Colour Behind The Sun Funk metal kings assert their deadly acumen once more after scaring fake rock fans with the brilliant Collideoscope.
16. Meshell Ndegeocello Devil’s Halo The R&B deconstructionist rightfully picks apart the usual musical assumptions proving again why she is the most important R&B artist of her generation.
17. Ledisi Turn Me Loose– The singer reinvents her sound with a much needed faster pace and fire.
18. Buckshot & KRS One Survival Skills The Boot Camp Clik hustler and the legend collaborate on a back to the basics type of hip-hop album.
19. Melanie Fiona The Bridge Sassy but not tacky R&B from the Canadian newcomer.
20. Snoop Dogg Malice In Wonderland Party music from everybody’s favorite West Coast rapper.
21. The Clipse Til The Casket Drops Potent cocaine rap.
21. Shabazz Palaces Abstract funky hip-hop from Digable Planets’ Ishmael.
22. Souls Of Mischief Montezuma’s Revenge A much appreciated reappearance of the West Coast’s Wu-Tang Clan type crew.
23. Kam Moye AKA Superstition Splitting Image Down to earth lyricist willing to be himself in world of flossy rappers. Refreshing.
24. Wale Attention Deficit Punchy delivery from the D.C. rapper with one of the biggest buzzes this year.
25. Q-Tip The Renaissance Ok it came out at the end of 2008 but it’s nominated for a Grammy and it should be. Soulful hip-hop without the extraction of the boom bap.