COMPLEX Magazine’s 100 Best Albums of The Decade

I think this is pretty self-explanatory. I’m going to just post the Top 10.

10. Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (2006)

“Pusha T and Malice had something to prove. All but written off by the game that welcomed them less than half a decade ago, the Clipse hit the studio with The Neptunes to craft a measured meditation on the pitfalls of success—What happens when your main hustle is taken away from you? How to manage when your back is against the wall and those who were supposed to be on your side suddenly turn against you? It’s enough to give one nightmares, but these guys turned it into beautiful music.”

9. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter II (2005)

“Although it didn’t feature any of Top 10 smash hits that would later define Weezy’s Billboard prowess, C2 is still the best full length of his illustrious career. What made this well-rounded album even better was the fact that it was released post-Katrina. Weezy shouted out his Hollygrove hood on each and every song.”

8. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (2007)

“In the past decade, the indie world has been inundated with danceable, electronic indie pop, but none did it quite like LCD Soundsystem. “All My Friends” is the perfect example of the glaring difference. It captured something that the usually lighthearted genre never came close to touching: powerful, almost overwhelming nostalgia. Instead of dropping a hot album and fading into the background, the weight of Sound Of Silver made LCD Soundsystem one of the most important acts of the past 10 years.”

7. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

“If Kanye West’s fifth solo album (and fourth consecutive number-one debut) felt even more painfully, soul-baringly honest than the rest of his oeuvre, consider the circumstances of its creation. Following West’s meltdown at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and the ensuing media shitstorm, he went into self-imposed exile, and even toyed with the idea of abandoning the music business altogether.

Instead, he took some time to regroup and then camped out in Hawaii with a group of trusted collaborators including Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Q-Tip, and RZA, as well as a good friend or two.”

6. Jay-Z, The Black Album (2003)

“Nearly 10 years later, The Black Album still boasts many of Jay-Z’s biggest crowd-pleasers, including “Public Service Announcement,” “99 Problems,” “Encore,” and “Dirt Off You Shoulder.” Its greatness was bittersweet at the time—as Jay opted for retirement—but for a generation of rap fans, The Black Album is what elevated Jay from one of the best rappers alive to the greatest of all time.”

5. Eminem, The Eminem Show (2002)

“Although it’s not better than his magnum opus The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show is still one of the most brilliant rap albums of the past decade. In 2002, before drugs ravaged his life, Em was riding high off success. Mostly self-produced, the album found Shady rhyming over the best set of beats found on any of his solo albums. Meanwhile, his legendary wordplay was as sharp as ever.”

4. Justin Timberlake, FutureSex / LoveSounds (2006)

“If his solo debut made Justin Timberlake a breakout star and helped him transcend his boy-band roots, FutureSex/LoveSounds truly pushed the boundaries of pop music. With Timbaland (and his gifted protege Danjahandz) playing Quincy to Justin’s Michael, they hit with a quirky techno dance record (“SexyBack”) long before the genre was the “in” sound it is today.

Then they came back with a soulful slow groove in “Until the End of Time” so dope that Beyoncé had to jump on the remix. And let’s not forget the T.I.-assisted “My Love,” which was a major R&B hit as well. LoveSounds is one of those rare albums whose playback ability remains high almost six years later. And that’s a great thing, cause if the guy keeps on rolling as an actor, we might have to wait another six.”

3. The White Stripes, Elephant (2003)

“By 2003, the effects of grunge had all but died off, and most rock music in the mainstream arena was watered down with gimmicks and trends and stuck with the “alternative” label. Elephant marked The White Stripes’ major label debut, and it was anything but gimmicky or trendy. The noisy duo went in with dark, relentless, unfiltered rock n’ roll and bombastic anthems like “Seven Nation Army,” proving that epic could still be cool.”

2. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2003)

“Created in a whirlwind—50 Cent, Eminem, and Dr. Dre conceived and recorded seven songs in five days—Get Rich sounded like nothing else at the time. Though it was packed with the sort of harrowing street tales that defined most New York rap, the album was essentially regionless, devoid of either soul-based boom-bap or Cali G-funk. The production was as epic as the grandiose hood superhero image being pushed by the guy on the cover with the designer print gun holster. And then there were the hits.

50’s ability to make even the most savage of songs sound radio-ready—with sticky choruses and slick, easily digestible flows—shone doubly bright on the songs he actually meant to be sent to radio. While pop stations played “In Da Club” and “21 Questions,” hip-hop mix shows were wearing out every single album cut. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ wasn’t just an album title, it was a mission statement. Mission accomplished.”

1. Kanye West, Graduation (2007)

“Think about it, Graduation had it all—an experimental Daft Punk-sampling hit record with “Stronger,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” which still basically functions as Kanye’s mission statement, a synthed out banger that didn’t need radio success to set it off in the club (“Flashing Lights”), and oh yeah, it even outsold 50 Cent when the Queens titan went head to head with Ye in a much-hyped release day battle. To put it plainly, Graduation made Kanye king. No cap and tassel needed. He took the crown.”

For the entire list click HERE


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