Annal: 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2005.

Album:Late Registration

Late Registration

Kanye West

For haters eager to see Kanye hit a sophomore slump—no such luck. Late Registration can’t replicate the novelty of last year’s College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album. Lyrically, Kanye’s only improved a notch but musically, the album sounds incredible, especially with co-producer Jon Brion helping polish the songs to perfection. Tracks like “Heard ‘Em Say” (featuring Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) and “Hey Mama,” are richly textured in their soulfulness while the flint-edge of “Crack Music” and “Gone”…

Album:Be

Be

Common

Though heralded as an instant hip-hop classic by some, Common’s Be doesn’t quite live up to the hype, though it is still has several strengths going for it. Compared to the esoteric themes and production of his last album, Electric Circus, Be is far more grounded in street-level beats and rhymes, especially on songs like “The Corner” and “Real People”—Common’s odes to personality and places ‘round the way. At only 11 songs, this is a very compact album, both a blessing and curse by keeping the pacing brisk but it also amplifies weaknesses…

Album:The Cookbook

The Cookbook

Missy Elliott

With The Cookbook, the innovative Missy Elliott proves to the masses she is a musical mad scientist whose artistic abilities are unparalleled and without peer. Elliott is a quadruple threat: rapper, singer, songwriter and producer; add that to her woman-empowered lyrics and Missy’s ability to be a musical and mental role model is inarguable. As a producer, Missy Elliott knows how to build a great project by incorporating the best talent available, an easy task since so many want to work with her. Not surprisingly, The Cookbook is filled with a…

Album:Encore

Encore

Eminem

Eminem’s fourth album offers few surprises, but still enough pleasures to carry the day. As evinced by Em’s pre-election, pro-voting “Mosh,” this is not exactly the same Eminem who seemingly crapped on anything and everything. Encore finds a surprisingly mature Eminem waxing reflective about his battle with Benzino (“Like Toy Soldiers”) rather than unloading both barrels. However, it’s not all elder statesmanship: “Puke” goes after his ex-wife Kim with incredible scorn, and “Big Weenie” brings the familiar juvenile humor that made him famous. If…

Album:The Massacre

The Massacre

50 Cent

50 Cent is now a full two dollars, according to pop culture exchange rates. His sheer influence on music charts, and thugs hearts, changed things. So why then on Massacre is the ‘hood drama that one would think he’d want to leave behind even more front-and-center than on Get Rich or Die Tryin’? It’s hard to say, but 50’s developed a questionable gun fetish here. With firearms plastered all over the liner notes, and throughout most of his lyrics—on “In My Hood” he retorts “…I don’t go nowhere without my strap”—apparently his nouveau rich status has…

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