Danny Brown - XXX

Spin hasn’t given us its full and complete year-end list, but the magazine has just dropped a genre-specific list: Its 40 best rap albums of the year. Many of the list’s selections, including chart-topper Danny Brown’s XXX, are still available as free downloads. There are some gallingly obvious deliberate snubs that smack of contrarianism (Drake, ASAP Rocky) and others that could just be oversights (Meek Mill, Nacho Picasso, TKO Capone).

Mostly, though, it’s a smart list made by people who take the shit seriously, and they get bonus points for being the only year-end list to honor my personal favorite mixtapes of 2011, Don Trip & Starlito’s Step Brothers and Fiend’s Tennis Shoes And Tuxedos. Also, this is probably the only year-end list with any love for an album released on Insane Clown Posse’s Hatchet Family label. (That’d be Dayton Family’s Charges Of Indictment.) Check it out below.

40 Trouble – December 17th
39 Serengeti – Family And Friends
38 Kool G Rap – Riches, Royalty, Respect
37 J Rocc – Some Cold Rock Stuf
36 Juicy J & Lex Luger – Rubba Band Business 2
35 Death Grips – Exmilitary
34 Gun$ Garcia – Bad Bitches Bomb First
33 Cam’ron & Vado – Gunz N’ Butta
32 Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Lost In Translation
31 Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2
30 Tity Boi – Codeine Cowboy: A 2 Chainz Collective
29 Roc Marciano & Oh No & Alchemist – Greneberg EP
28 J Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
27 Kristmas – W2 Boy
26 Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
25 Dayton Family – Charges Of Indictment
24 Elzhi – Elmatic
23 Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day In Hell
22 Gunplay – Inglorious Bastard
21 Stalley – Lincoln Way Nights
20 Schoolboy Q – Setbacks & Ab-Soul – Longterm Mentality
19 Curren$y & Alchemist – Covert Coup
18 Shady Blaze – Rappers Ain’t $​#​!​% Without A Producer
17 Cities Aviv – Digital Lows
16 Clams Casino – Instrumentals
15 E-40 – Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift
14 Phonte – Charity Starts At Home
13 Main Attrakionz – 808s & Dark Grapes II
12 Fiend – Tennis Shoes And Tuxedos
11 Killer Mike – Pl3dge
10 Mouse On Tha Track – Swagga Fresh Freddie
09 DJ Quik – Book Of David
08 Don Trip & Starlito – Step Brothers
07 Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
06 Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
05 Big K.R.I.T. – Return Of 4Eva
04 Das Racist – Relax
03 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
02 G-Side – The ONE… Cohesive
01 Danny Brown – XXX

Check the list out and read their rationales at Spin.

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Comments (12)
  1. no bon iver??

  2. I’m gonna pretend that this is a “The Best Rap Albums of the First 11 Months of 2011″ list so I don’t freak out about The Roots not making an appearance. But maybe they just didn’t like it somehow? Is that possible?

  3. the omission of action bronson & a$ap is puzzling. and even though take care is basically r&b, technically it has more raps on it than that clams instrumental tape (which is awesome, but doesn’t deserve to be on a list of best RAP albums).

  4. regardless of who makes these lists and who doesn’t, list season is one of the best times of the year for a music fan like myself, mainly bc i love being introduced to music i haven’t yet stumbled upon.

  5. They might be technically counting Drake as a “rap” album but no ASAP Rocky is a huge fail.

  6. love the danny brown pick. i’d do the same.

    i’d probably put 9th wonder as my #2. he’s not on here.

    cognitive dissonance.

  7. #16, 13, and 6 are some of my favorites this year. #13 got SLEPT on big time.

  8. Glad to see some of that G-Side love! Glad to see a big magazine giving underground hip-hop in 2011 some serious love. Take Care and WTT were aight but Black Up, XXX, Lost In Translation, 808s and Dark Grapes II, Digital Lows, Section.80, No Kings (was that on here, if not it should have been), and The One…Cohesive were all way, way better IMO.

  9. Glad to see some of that G-Side love! Glad to see a big magazine giving underground hip-hop in 2011 some serious love. Take Care and WTT were aight but Black Up, XXX, Lost In Translation, 808s and Dark Grapes II, Digital Lows, Section.80, No Kings (was that on here, if not it should have been), and The One…Cohesive were all way, way better IMO.

  10. Love that DeathGrips made it, although they should be higher. No Childish Gambino – “Camp”? I agree that his previous efforts are better, but I think “Camp” definitely makes the top 40.

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