1. Buck 65 Situation (Strange Famous)
This is a return to classic rap form by one of the last great influences on my own music. The album's content revolves around the events of 1957, which is very relevant in a time when America has returned to ultra-conservatism.
2. Brother Ali The Undisputed Truth (Rhymesayers)
A rapper appearing on late-night television to perform "Uncle Sam God Damn"? Brother Ali brings social relevance back to hip-hop, as it’s made upbeat and appealing through Ant's production.
3. El-P I'll Sleep When You're Dead (Def Jux)
This album is yet another multi-layered soundscape with lyrics that sometimes require a decoder ring. Ain’t no shame in making the audience work for the reward.
4. Bernard Dolan The Failure (Strange Famous)
This theater of the mind took a decade to come to fruition. A concept album focusing on post-apocalyptic cabin fever, mixing style and content in a way that could only be created in a bomb shelter.
5. Macromantics Moments in Movement (Kill Rock Stars)
America still doesn't seem to be ready for a female MC with strong lyrics (especially when delivered in a non-American accent), but this album is what the media pretends M.I.A. is all about.
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