DAR Hip Hop: 6 Underrated Albums Of 2006

By @TrueGodImmortal

2006 was not the greatest year for hip hop. Albums from legends like Nas and Jay-Z seemed to disappoint, and the sales market was down overall. Still, there were some bright spots in 2006, some of which failed to grab the attention and sales that they deserved. Today, I wanted to look back at 6 albums that I feel were underrated on the year. Now, every album on this list should have received more credit and love than it did, thus the inclusion on the list, but a few of them were mildly popular at periods or remembered for their quality more so now. Which albums do we feature on this list? Let's take a look.

*Clipse- Hell Hath No Fury

-While not really considered an underrated album to many, I think this is probably the best mainstream album of the year and it doesn't get the proper recognition it deserves. Perhaps this album is loved by fans of the duo, but sales wise and mainstream attention wise, it deserved so much more. The Neptunes provide Pusha and Malice with some excellent production and the duo doesn't disappoint on tracks like "Keys Open Doors", "Nightmares", "Momma I'm So Sorry", "Ride Around Shining", and more. This album is one of my personal favorites on the year and I wish it was mentioned with the classic albums of the 2000s because it was good enough to be in the company of many great albums.

*Kidz In The Hall- School Was My Hustle

-I was never really a fan of this duo, but I would be lying if I said they didn't have some good music and that their debut wasn't solid. The Chicago duo would release their debut album on the newly reborn Rawkus Records, as Naledge was the MC and Double O was the producer. MC/Producer duos have a tendency to work well due to their immaculate chemistry and of course, this duo had plenty of that. While both men had room to grow as artists and producers, this album showcases their talent well with tracks like "Go Ill", "Ms. Juanita", "Wassup Jo", and "Move On Up". This album was far from a classic, but does deserve a little more credit than it received that year and should have sold a little more.

*Ghostface Killah- More Fish

-So, Ghostface released one of the best if not the best album of the year with Fishscale, then he would release an underrated follow up to it later in the year full of leftover tracks and a couple of new songs. The result is one of the more engaging albums of the year, where Ghost seems to be in a top tier creative zone and goes out of his way to provide some lyrical gems and comedic verses along the way. The production here is amazing, as Ghost assembles tracks from MF DOOM, Madlib, Hi-Tek, Mark Ronson, and more, crafting classics such as "Josephine", "Blue Armor", "Guns N Razors", and "Block Rock". Ghost always manages to deliver on his albums and More Fish is yet another win in his excellent catalog.

*Murs and 9th Wonder- Murray's Revenge

-I always felt Murs was an underrated MC, but there were plenty of reasons why I never really listened to his music too heavily. However, when he got with 9th Wonder, I decided to pay a little more attention, and was glad that I did in the long run, mostly due to this album and the project before it. With 9th providing the production and Murs handling the lyrical side, these two made for a great combination and would end up with gems like the flawless "Love And Appreciate", "Dreamchaser", "Silly Girl", and "Barbershop". This album was a huge highlight on the year and many people look at this album as a near classic in the underground. Murray's Revenge was a great album that had some amazing production and some great lyricism.

*Busta Rhymes- The Big Bang

-I might be reaching putting this one on the list, but I truly believe this album was slept on. It was one of the Busta albums that wasn't nearly as playful or animated as his others, and it showed Busta more focused in some ways before. Working with Aftermath and Dr. Dre, Busta would put out one of his most cohesive projects that only has one or two songs that truly miss the mark. Aside from having Dre produce tracks for this project, Busta enlists J. Dilla, DJ Scratch, DJ Green Lantern, and more to contribute to the sound, while artists like Nas, Raekwon, Q-Tip, Stevie Wonder, and more are guest appearances on the album. The highlights here include "Goldmine", "Don't Get Carried Away", "You Can't Hold The Torch", "Been Through The Storm", "Cocaina", and more. Busta delivers an album that was successful on the charts somewhat but hasn't received the appreciation it deserves by far.

*Skyzoo and 9th Wonder- Cloud 9: The 3 Day High

-One of the more underrated MCs in the game has always been Skyzoo, and one of the most elite producers has always been 9th Wonder. When they would combine forces for a collab album, it would be something special. The title is based on the fact that this album took 3 days to complete and despite the fact this was done quickly, it doesn't weigh down the quality at all. Tracks like "Live & Direct", "Bare Witness", "A Day In The Life", and others are top highlights on this 12 track project. Skyzoo is a rugged lyricist with a dope flow and he definitely fits well over the 9th beats. This album, like the others listed should have been discussed more in a year that saw hip hop slightly declining.



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