Album: Tha Carter III
Artist: Lil' Wayne
Label: Cash Money/Universal/Young Money
At #20 is Lil' Wayne, and his grammy-nominated album, Tha Carter III. And I know what people may be thinking- "Number 20? That's it?"- and I hear you. Trust me, this is where the album belongs, but I will say that it is the best hip hop album of the year that lacks pop or rock appeal, and is absolutely deserving of its grammy nomination. This year, III has been able to do what most records could not, which is kick ass. From start to finish, Weezy lays down track after track of pure gold, with his signature southern drawl and nearly incomparable flow. Oh, and he's probably one of the most famous people in the country now, if you didn't know. The dude's got his own blog on ESPN! (which is great, by the way).
Without a doubt, III possesses what I feel is one of the best intros ever. Check that- the first two tracks may form one of the best intros ever. The first, "3 Peat" jumps right into it, setting the tone and giving the record the initial burst of energy which is contagious for the first four or five tracks. Then, the year's best rap song, "Mr. Carter" happens. This grammy-nominated gem is basically Wayne's coming out party, for those who didn't know him before. It features hip hop legend, Jay-Z, and is where Lil' Wayne seems to be at his best, and most comfortable. Even though his claims that he should be mentioned with 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G. and the aforementioned Jay-Z are a bit of a reach at this point, he may just get there at this pace. Comparisons- T.I., Young Jeezy, The Game
Best Track: "Mr. Carter"