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Best Music CDs of 2008

The Best Rap, Hip-Hop & R&B CDs of 2008

Home  »  Music  »  Best of 2008  »  Rap, Hip-Hop & R&B
The Renaissance (CD) ~ Q-Tip (Artist) Cover Art
The Renaissance (CD)
Universal Motown

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It's been years since Q-Tip has released any solo work, but Renaissance proves that it was well worth the wait. Laid back, genuine hip hop, this album is near perfect - and exactly what mainstream rap needed this year.
Nas (CD) ~ Nas (Artist) Cover Art
Nas (CD)
Def Jam

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Nas' original album title was pulled because of sharp criticism. Still, the album is a rythmic battle-cry against insitutionalized racism, full of intensity and strong beats, Nas letting passion take over and demonstrating his subversive lyrical skill.
Year of the Gentleman (CD) ~ Ne-Yo (Artist) Cover Art
Year Of The Gentleman (CD)
Def Jam

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Ne-Yo celebrates chivalry over the ladies man with "Year of the Gentleman." With his silky R&B inspired album, Ne-Yo proves he is a perfect gentleman as well as a genuinely gifted songwriter.
Remind Me in 3 Days (CD) ~ The Knux (Artist) Cover Art
Remind Me In 3 Days... (CD)
E Pluribus Unum (Uni

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These New Orleans natives take hip-hop in a new direction, listing Led Zeppelin and the Strokes as influences. Blending old-school styles with grungy guitar and often playing their own instruments, they've created a raw brand of hip hop that's less about bling, and more about music.
Thr33 Ringz (CD) ~ T-Pain (Artist) Cover Art

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T-Pain initiated the auto-tone craze that swept through the hip-hop scene this year, breaking ground for both Lil Wayne and Kanye West. Both appear on "Thr33 Rings," along with Ludacris and Bow Wow, making it truly an album that's got something for everyone.
Shine (CD) ~ Estelle Cover Art
Shine (CD)

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Estelle infuses the best of R & B with London street rap, creating a sound that might be a lovechild of Kanye West and Lauryn Hill. This album is both soulful and tough, and proves that Estelle is the real deal.
The Way I See It (CD) ~ Raphael Saadiq (Artist) Cover Art
Raphael Saadiq The Way I See It (CD)
Raphael Saadiq

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A tribute to Motor City soul, "The Way I See It" also features guest appearances by Jay-Z and Rocio Mendoza, bringing contemporary flair to vintage sound.
Paper Trail (CD) ~ TI (Artist) Cover Art
Paper Trail (CD)

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When southern rapper T.I. was placed under house arrest, he filled his time by concentrating on a new album. The result is a tight, crisp collection of tracks with clever lyrics and unbelievably catchy riffs that prove T.I. is a hit-maker.
Tha Carter III (CD) ~ Lil Wayne (Artist) Cover Art
Tha Carter III (Edited) (CD)
Lil Wayne
Cash Money

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In what was probably the most anticipated rap album of the year, Lil Wayne delivered the goods with "Tha Carter III." The tracks show diversity in his style, but each one demonstrates his huge lyrical talent and unstoppable wit.
Lay It Down (CD) ~ Al Green (Artist) Cover Art
Lay It Down (CD)
Al Green
Blue Note Records

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Like Green's classic work, "Lay It Down" blends Southern soul, funk, jazz, blues, and balladry into a gorgeously smooth concoction that is steamy, surging, mellow, and moving all at once. "Lay It Down" is a latter-day soul gem from one of the genre's masters.
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