Dark Light

2006 was the official year of coke rap. While the year initially made headlines with the return of Jay-Z, Nas’ grumpy old hip hop head dissertation, and Lil Wayne’s incredible mixtape run, at the end of the day, it was all about the trappers.

Whether it was Ghostface and his one-two punch of Fishscale and More Fish, the coronation of T.I. as one of the best rappers of the 2000s with King, Young Jeezy following up his 2005 masterpiece with his sophomore, or the Clipse dropping quite possibly the best album of the decade, 2006 was a banner year for coke rap.

Meanwhile, we also had the debut of Lupe Fiasco, who would go on to forge one of the most respectable careers in hip hop history, The Roots making their Def Jam debut, J Dilla’s sample-rich Donuts, and the rise of Jim Jones.

From Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor to Ghostface Killah’s Fishscale and Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury, here are the top 25 best hip hop albums of 2006.

25. E-40 – My Ghetto Report Card

Released: March 14, 2006

Label: BME, Sick Wid It, Warner Bros.

Singles: “Tell Me When to Go”, “U and Dat”

Features: T-Pain, Kandi Girl, Keak Da Sneak, Turf Talk, B-Legit, UGK, Juelz Santana, Mike Jones, Al Kapone, Too Short, Budda, 8Ball, Bun B

24. Ice Cube – Laugh Now, Cry Later

Released: June 6, 2006

Label: Lench Mob, Virgin, EMI

Singles: “Why We Thugs”, “Go to Church”

Features: Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Jon, WC, Kokane

23. Busta Rhymes – The Big Bang

Released: June 13, 2006

Label: Aftermath, Flipmode, Interscope

Singles: “Touch It”, “I Love My Bitch”, “New York Shit”, “In the Ghetto”

Features: Q-Tip and Marsha Ambrosius, Missy Elliott, Swiss Beatz, Stevie Wonder, Rick James, Raekwon, Nas, Mr. Porter, Kelis

22. Masta Killa – Made in Brooklyn

Released: August 8, 2006

Label: Nature Sounds, Fontana

Singles: “Ringing Bells”, “It’s What It Is”, “Iron God Chamber”

Features: Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Victorious, K. Born, Free Murder, Killa Sin

21. Ludacris – Release Therapy

Released: September 26, 2006

Label: Disturbing tha Peace, Def Jam South

Singles: “Money Maker”, “Grew Up a Screw Up”, “Runaway Love”, “Girls Gone Wild”, “Slap”

Features: Young Jeezy, Field Mob, Beanie Sigel, Pimp C, C-Murder, Pharrell, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and Bobby Valentino

20. Snoop Dogg – Tha Blue Carpet Treatment

Released: November 21, 2006

Label: Doggy Style, Geffen

Singles: “Vato”, “I Wanna Love You”, “That’s That”, “Candy”, “Boss’ Life”

Features: E-40, MC Eiht, Goldie Loc, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, George Clinton, Nate Dogg, B-Real, R. Kelly, Damian Marley, The Game, Ice Cube, Akon, Western Union, Jamie Foxx, Warzone, Dr. Dre, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder

19. AZ – The Format

Released: November 7, 2006

Label: Quiet Money, Fast Life Music, Koch

Singles: “The Format”

Features: M.O.P., Little Brother, Fresh, Samson, Jha Jha

18. Jim Jones – Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment)

Released: November 7, 2006

Label: Diplomat, Koch

Singles: “We Fly High”, “Emotionless”

Features: Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Hell Rell, Jha Jha, Lil Wayne, Stack Bundles, Max B, Rell

17. The Game – Doctor’s Advocate

Released: November 14, 2006

Label: Geffen

Singles: “It’s Okay (One Blood)”, “Let’s Ride”, “Wouldn’t Get Far”

Features: Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Nas, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Jamie Foxx and Xzibit

16. Three 6 Mafia – Most Known Unknown

Released: September 27, 2005

Label: Hypnotize Minds, Sony Urban, Columbia

Singles: “Stay Fly”, “Poppin’ My Collar”, “Side 2 Side”

Features: Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Trick Daddy, Mr. Bigg, 8Ball & MJG, Young Buck, Remy Ma, Bow Wow, Kanye West, Lil’ Flip, Hypnotize Camp Posse

15. The Coup – Pick a Bigger Weapon

Released: April 25, 2006

Label: Epitaph Records

Singles: N/A

Features: Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Jello Biafra, Silk E, Tom Morello

14. Murs & 9th Wonder – Murray’s Revenge

Released: March 21, 2006

Label: Record Collection

Singles: N/A

Features: Rapper Big Pooh, Joe Scudda

13. Ghostface Killah – More Fish

Released: December 12, 2006

Label: Def Jam

Singles: N/A

Features: Theodore Unit (Cappadonna, Shawn Wigs, Trife Da God, Sun God), Redman, Sheek Louch, Killa Sin, Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Eamon, Ne-Yo, Mr. Maygreen

12. Birdman & Lil Wayne – Like Father, Like Son

Released: October 31, 2006

Label: Cash Money, Universal Motown

Singles: “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy”, “Leather So Soft”, “You Ain’t Know”

Features: Fat Joe, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Tha Dogg Pound and All Star Cashville Prince

11. OutKast – Idlewild

Released: August 22, 2006

Label: LaFaceJive

Singles: “Mighty O”, “Morris Brown”, “Idlewild Blue (Don’tchu Worry ‘Bout Me)”, “Hollywood Divorce”, “The Train”

Features: Scar, Sleepy Brown, Khujo, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monáe, Killer Mike, Macy Gray

10. Rick Ross – Port of Miami

Released: August 8, 2006

Label: Slip-N-Slide, Poe Boy, Def Jam

Singles: “Hustlin'”, “Push It”

Features: Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Dre, Akon, Mario Winans, Rodney, Lloyd, Lil Wayne, Triple C’s

9. Jedi Mind Tricks – Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell

Released: September 19, 2006

Label: Babygrande

Singles: “Heavy Metal Kings”

Features: Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Sean Price, R.A. the Rugged Man, Block McCloud and Army of the Pharaohs members Chief Kamachi and Reef the Lost Cauze.

8. Young Jeezy – Thug Motivation 102: The Inspiration

Released: December 12, 2006

Label: CTE, Def Jam South

Singles: “I Luv It”, “Go Getta”, “Dreamin'”

Features: R. Kelly, Timbaland, Keyshia Cole, Blood Raw, Slick Pulla, T.I., Project Pat and Three 6 Mafia

7. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead

Released: December 19, 2006

Label: The Jones Experience, Def Jam, Columbia

Singles: “Hip Hop Is Dead”, “Can’t Forget About You”

Features: Kelis, Kanye West, Jay-Z, will.i.am, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Chrisette Michele, Tre Williams, Marsha Ambrosius

6. J Dilla – Donuts

Released: February 7, 2006

Label: Stones Throw

Singles: N/A

Features: N/A

5. T.I. – King

Released: March 28, 2006

Label: Grand Hustle, Atlantic

Singles: “What You Know”, “Why You Wanna”, “Live in the Sky”, “Top Back (Remix)”

Features: Young Buck, Young Dro, DJ Drama, UGK, Jamie Foxx, B.G., Young Jeezy, Pharrell, Common, Governor, PSC, Young Dro

4. The Roots – Game Theory

Released: August 29, 2006

Label: Def Jam

Singles: “Don’t Feel Right”, “In The Music / Here I Come”

Features: Dice Raw, Malik B., Porno, Wadud Ahmad, Peedi Peedi, Bunny Sigler, John-John, Jack Davey

3. Lupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor

Released: September 19, 2006

Label: 1st & 15th, Atlantic

Singles: “Kick, Push”, “I Gotcha”, “Daydreamin'”

Features: Gemini, Jay-Z, Matthew Santos, Jill Scott, Jonah Matranga, Sarah Green

2. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

Released: March 28, 2006

Label: Def Jam

Singles: “Be Easy”, “Back Like That”

Features: Wu-Tang Clan, Cappadonna, Shawn Wigs, Trife, The Notorious B.I.G., Ne-Yo

1. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

Released: November 28, 2006

Label: Re-Up, Star Trak, Jive

Singles: “Mr. Me Too”, “Wamp Wamp (What It Do)”

Features: Pharrell Williams, Slim Thug, Ab-Liva, Re-Up Gang, Roscoe P. Coldchain, Bilal

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