The Year In Hip Hop: 2007

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal 
-There are many years in hip hop that tend to go overlooked. I'd like to think 2007 is one of those years. When I look back on 2007, I think 50 vs Kanye, ringtone music, Hov, Common, Ghostface, Lupe, and a number of underground releases I cherished. Blu and Exile, Little Brother, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli and his solid Eardrum album, Black Milk, and Sean Price all released dope projects this year. This would also be the year that one of my favorite songs, "International Players Anthem" by UGK and Outkast released, and I still rap the words every single time. Young Buck released a solid album in Buck The World, and Fabolous released From Nothin To Somethin. On the mixtape side, one of the best mixtapes of all time, Da Drought 3 by Lil Wayne garnered headlines heavily as well. T-Pain reigned supreme with the Epiphany album, though it's not necessarily hip hop per se, it was still impactful. Today, we look back at 2007.

2007 in some ways was a big and competitive year for hip hop and might be the last good year there is for hip hop. It was the year of the big battle between 50 Cent & Kanye West with Curtis & Graduation (Kanye won by the battle by like 200,000 or 300,000 copies), the year UGK released their legendary album Underground Kingz, and also the year Pimp C died. Rest In Peace. Soulja Boy blew up with Crank Dat and his debut album. It was the year Jay-Z released his 2nd comeback album, American Gangster, which received a lot of positive reviews although I personally didn't like it. Ask True. It was the year Lupe Fiasco released The Cool which helped him gain a bigger fanbase after his successful release of Food & Liquor. Consequence also released Don't Quit Your Day Job! with a legendary track with Kanye on the album. It was a pretty good year in hip hop and most would say it was the last good year. Some would disagree however, saying 2015 is (I agree).

2007, what a good year. There were plenty of albums I absolutely liked in this year. I have to say Blu and Exile’s Below the Heavens is an amazing listen and the album is soulful. This is my favorite album of that year with Blu’s lyricism and the beats of Exile. Songs like “Dancing in the Rain” and “The Narrow Path” are just deep stories of Blu’s struggles. “No Greater Love” is one of my favorite love songs. “Graduation” by Kanye West is a different approach from Late Registration and College Dropout with more of an upbeat pop style. It’s more cohesive as an album with less fillers and songs like “Good Life” with T-Pain’s harmonizing lyrics , “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and my personal favorite “Homecoming”. “Flashing Lights” is so great production wise and so is “Champion”, which are the general standouts. If only “Drunk and Hot Girls” was never made, as that is his worst song to date.

Jay-Z’s “American Gangster” also is worth mentioning. A tale of Ridley Scott's film interpreted in the eyes of Jay-Z. A great 70s vibe shakes this album like the Blueprint to my liking. It’s an entertaining listen as I can’t point out favorites in this album because if I did, the story is incomplete. Common’s “Finding Forever” was also a good album. Similar to his ’05 drop of “Be” and mostly produced by Kanye, it’s a good album. It’s not “Be”, as it just feels bland to my taste, but it was still good. It just doesn’t have that wow-factor of BE. “The People” is a great song by him. “Black Maybe” is that anthem. All in all, 2007 was a good year.

Kanye's Graduation album, the biggest album to come out in '07 besides T.I. vs T.I.P. We can't forget about 50's album either. However, the only one I can really talk about thoroughly is Graduation. That album is a classic no doubt, and it's still one of the lower Kanye albums on my list. It sold almost 1 million copies the first week. His flow is awesome, and lyrics are always clever as fuck, yet so simple. It's hard to explain how Ye's lyrics are always so clever yet so simple, it amazes me. The production is dope everything. People even think Daft Punk took Kanye's beat he made it so popular. It was a big thing in the pop culture. Changed and help set up a lot of things for the music that followed from him and tons of other artists.

2007 was great for music. Don't let the fact that it also featured the mainstream debut of Soulja Boy dampen your love for this year. I mean, you had Lupe, Kanye, 50, Blu, and so many other artists drop some great music (some classic, some still pretty good). Overall, check out the albums above, fall in love with 2007 and just enjoy the vibes.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal 
-With a year like this one, you remember the highlights more so than the bad. Now, trust me, there was some bad. Plenty of it. The fact remains however that we got American Gangster, Finding Forever, Graduation, Desire, Big Doe Rehab (a slept on Ghostface album), Below The Heavens, Getback, Eardrum, The Cool, Underground Kingz, and much more in one year. That alone makes this year worth it. Ringtone rap was the norm and slowly taking over in a way, but it was all in good fun. Some of those same songs we hated back then are looked at as party classics now. That's just how generations work I believe in music. Regardless, 2007 is one of the last really good years in hip hop. 2015 was good as well, and perhaps we shall cover that one soon. Until then, reflect on 2007 and enjoy. And RIP Pimp C.



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