I love making lists about music more than most things, so I feel this was inevitable. I’ve been stuck on about 70 albums for months, but then found too many and thought “fuck it, lets make it at ever so slightly different to the top 100’s”
May write some stuff about some, may not. Will try and do at least a couple a day, but will probably fail on days off. THE EXCITEMENT.
can’t wait for number 106!
Still um-ing and ah-ing with the order, so bare with me. Just wanted to get a placeholder down so I don’t forget. Top 50 is pretty set, the rest is fluid, so just fine tuning it.
Suppose I should get started…
107: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana (2019)
It’s not exactly a surprise that the list is not only hip hop heavy, but also starts with a hip hop album (but will it end with a hip hop album? ). I know many think Pinata is better than this, but for me, this is far more consistent and has far better beats. Freddie’s gruff flow and wordplay work so well over Madlib’s soulful beats. Add a stellar list of features and there were not many better albums that this released in 2019
106: Clipping. - CLPPNG (2014)
A perfect example of an album that clicked properly after seeing them live. I’d listened to this and their previous album a bit, but never enough for it to click. But after seeing them live, everything just came together and I haven’t been able to get enough of this album in particular since. Probably my favourite album of theirs and probably one of Daveed Diggs best performances on a Clipping. record.
Really like this album. Soul Right particularly is such a good closer.
After posting this, I notice they’re playing London in August
My list is on my work laptop because I forgot to email to myself. Balls. Nothing more till Monday, I guess
105: A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders (1993)
I know a lot of people prefer this to it’s predecessor, but to me, this is the lesser of the two. Though it’s not a “lesser” album, not in a million years. It is a bit like having sex vs getting head. Both are fucking great but everyone has a preference on which they prefer. I’m rambling. I’ll go into a bit more detail on Tribe when we get to the predecessor, so i’ll just say that this album is fucking great and probably should be higher, but I can’t be bothered to fuck around with the list again, so it sits here.
104: Sixtoo - Chewing On Glass and Other Miracle Cures (2004)
I miss Sixtoo.
At the time this came out, i’d heard a few of his tracks, but favoured other instrumental hip hop like Blockhead & Dabrye. However, when I heard that this featured members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (they’re both Canadian), I was all on board. This was the album that made Sixtoo really click for me and became a massive fan after that. Probably got more of a trip hop vibe overall and fits in perfectly on the Ninja Tune roster.
Also found out Damo Suzuki from Can contributed vocals on one of the tracks too. Pretty cool and something 21 year old Paulo definitely didn’t appreciate at the time!
Never heard of this, cool album cover though
103: Liv.e - Couldn’t Wait To Tell You… (2020)
Not sure what to say about this one. A really fucking great mix of experimental RnB, jazz & beats that clocks in at 20 tracks long but flies by in no time. She’s one of my favourite current artists and give it a year and her new one from this year could have sneaked in on the list too.
Ohhhh happy to see this Sixtoo album here, I love it and find it very under-rated & under-appreciated. It was the first I heard from him, then I grabbed a lot of previous CDs including his rap ones which were interesting - not wholly consistent but still good. I really like Duration and his last one Jackals and Vipers in Envy of Man, I revisit those now and then. I really miss him too.
Also never knew about members of GY!BE or Damo Suzuki playing on this. Probably because I didn’t listen to either band at the time.
102: Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2 (2014)
I think I finally OD’d on RTJ in the last year or two, so this is a lot lower than it may have been 2/3 years ago. Yet there’s no denying that it is their best album by a long shot. It also has the best one two punch of their careers in Oh My Darling Don’t Cry and Blockbuster Night Part 1. I still remember the pic they released before it came out with them in the studio with Zack De La Rocha and it blowing my tiny little mind.
Don’t really need to say much else. Everyone knows this.
101: Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go (2019)
This one took me by surprise when it came out. I’d seen her name thrown about and heard a few songs and thought she was ok, but nothing special. Then she released You Should See Me In A Crown. And then Bury A Friend. Two absolute bangers that were far better than I was ever expecting. And then the album came out and I couldn’t stop listening to it. Still think it’s her best album (yeah, she only has two, blah blah) and had to include it on here.
100: Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid (2016)
One of two Aes albums on the list. Could have been a lot more if i’d done a top 150 or even a top 120, but just two made the cut. This one has surprised me over the past couple of years. I enjoyed it when it came out, but the past year or two, it has become my second favourite album of his and it’s probably not even close. It has some of my favourite Aes tracks on it. It’s production and his wordplay was probably at his peak and it has one of my favourite videos he’s done ever…
It’s not an overly complicated video, granted. I just like the combo of puppet Aes and a playful kitten.
99: Danny Brown - The Hybrid (2010)
Shit album cover aside, this is still my favourite Danny Brown album. I know XXX is the one that turned a lot of people onto him, but this is the one that piqued my interest. I remember him getting some buzz before XXX, so dumbass me tweeted “Who is Danny Brown?”, which he proceeded to retweet. I thought fair play and checked it out and that voice made me nearly turn it off straight away. But I persevered and eventually each song wormed it’s way into my brain. Guitar Solo, Exotic & Greatest Rapper Ever were the stand outs and still are. Don’t revisit it as much anymore, but still my favourite of his.
Got a run of 5 non hip hop albums coming up now. How exciting!
98: Blood Brothers - Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003)
A favourite of 20 year paulo and after listening to it again recently, a favourite of 40 year old paulo. A lot of the post hardcore/screamo/etc from the early noughts tends to give me that sad nostalgia feeling, whereas this gives me the good nostalgia feelings. Chucking myself around my room pretending to do that weird convulse like dancing the vocalists did and air drumming to something I could never drum to in a million years. Pretty good live, too.