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Well fellas, I think it’s safe to say we’re officially in the dog days of summer. The Reds are six feet under and football season hasn’t quite started yet, so while we have a little break in the action I figured this would be as good a time as any to throw out something I’ve been working on for a couple days now. As you may or may not know, last week was the tenth anniversary of Young Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101” which just so happens to be one of my favorite rap albums of all time. That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to take all the great hip-hop albums that have been released over the years and have them face off in a bracket style competition to figure out which album can wear the crown of the best rap album ever made? The answer, ladies and gentleman, is yes. The only problem with that is there’s like a billion rap albums that have been released from the time hip hop music first burst onto the scene in the late 80’s to today. A lot of those were a little before my time, so I figured to kind of narrow the field I should just pick a decade and roll with that, and what better time frame to choose than the 2000’s? My golden age of hip hop. All the songs and albums that were the soundtrack to my middle school dances and early morning drives into high school. Everybody loves them some early 2000’s rap music, so without further adieu, let’s jump right in.
Couple things right off the bat:
1.) I’m no music critic, in fact, I think people that spend an inordinate amount of time trying to break down the social impact of a song or start Twitter beef over who’s better rapper are fucking losers. With that in mind, the field of 32 is totally subjective. Obviously I included all the classics and most of the Grammy winners but there’s a few surprise entries as well. I’m sure a couple of those will no doubt ruffle some feathers but if you don’t like the bracket then put together a field by yourself and start your own tourney. Then get back to me and tell me how easy it was. No joke, choosing 32 albums to compete for the throne was one of the harder things I’ve had to do in the last half decade.
2.) No greatest hits albums. That means no Biggie “Life After Death,” no posthumous 2pac albums, no Ja Rule “Exodus,” no Snoop’s greatest hits. Those are all fire albums, but obviously those are all a collection of songs that have been put together over the span of several decades and this is a strictly 2000’s tourney. Original albums only.
3.) Seeding (just like the field) is completely subjective. Obviously the Grammy winners and all the joints that still get a lot of rotational play got the higher seeds, but outside of that it was more or less a crapshoot, aka whichever albums I liked best seeded accordingly. Salute me or shoot me.
4.) No regional play. That means no East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, and Dirty South regions. Just the best of the best squaring off in good ol’ rap battle fashion. I did try to arrange matchups based on rivalries and genre aka the 50 vs. Rule beef or Tip vs. Jeezy and the ATL connection.
5.) Winners and advancement will also be decided by… You guessed it, yours truly. Again this thing was a bitch to put together and I haven’t even really looked at the bracket a second time since I put it together so I’ll be just as intrigued and dumbfounded by some of these matchups as the rest of you. Although I will say that any tweets or comments as to who you think should win each matchup will heavily influence the board (me) so send your selections to @TheBeerLeague_ or @QuineTime if you want to get in on the action.
Well, that’s pretty much it. This is going to be a multi part series that will probably span a week or two, so expect to start seeing the results here in the very near future aka whenever I get around to it. Again, this thing has been a blast to put together so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how this thing plays out, so if you want to get in on the action feel free to get at me. Let me know your winners, favorite songs, snubs, and any other general commentary you have about the tournament.
Off we go