2007 HipHopDX Awards
Album of the Year
Kanye West Graduation
Its not yet 6 months old and Graduation has already aged very well. Despite a couple flaws, its easy to upgrade Yes third album to classic status. The man may not appeal to everyone, but his tireless and obsessive dedication to his music sets a standard this genre solely needs.
Runners UpJay-Z American Gangster
Brother Ali The Undisputed Truth
Little Brother Getback
Emcee of the Year
Andre 3000 (of Outkast)
When it came time for us to make a list of the years best verses, Andre had three different verses listed by damn near everyone (and we only submitted five). When the man only rapped seven verses this year and they were all that good, he is doing something right. If he ever decides to start rapping full time again, hell shut the game down
Runners UpLupe Fiasco
Phonte (of Little Brother)
Verse of the Year
Andre 3000 on Outkast's "Da Art of Storytellin' pt. 4"
He was his own toughest competition here, 3 Stacks stole the show with every guest spot he had. But this one on DJ Dramas Gangsta Grillz put the whole damn album to shame. We can only hope a grown man like Fat Joe heard Dres brilliant take on making it rain and felt adequately embarrassed by the stupidity and ignorance of it. Its step yo game up time indeed
Runners UpAndre 3000s verse on "International Player's Anthem"
Lupe Fiascos verse on "Put You On Game"
Jay-Zs verse on "Ignorant Shit"
Rookie of the Year
After turning down deals from an assortment of labels, including Death Row, Blu seemed to be the perfect complement to the mainstreams Game, in what Pharcyde was to Snoop. With common man themes, a positive attitude and lethal Exile production, this was the one new voice of 2007 that required no assistance in getting his point across lovely.
Runners UpJoell Ortiz
Produer of the Year
Polow Da Don
Five years after finding introductory success, Polow Da Don followed Red Hot Lover Tones move from mediocre rapper to top-shelf producer. By being the backbone of Rich Boys success amidst hits for Young Buck (Get Buck) and carried over success from Ludacris and Fergie, this versatile master of the boards brought a sound that couldnt be pinned down and an energy to Interscope similar to what Just Blaze and Kanye offered Def Jam a half-decade ago .
Runners UpKanye West
Movie of the Year
With a movie so good that Jay-Z had to un-retire once again, its almost a no-brainer that this modern day Scarface took the award home for Movie of the Year. Powerful performances by Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe drove this intense flick to the good praises of both fans and critics alike. It faced stiff competition from the Tarantino/Rodriguez B-movie fest, Grindhouse, but prevailed with its wicked tale about the rise and fall of the notorious Frank Lucas.
Runners UpGrindhouse: Planet Terror/Death Proof
Non Hip-Hop Album of the Year
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Sure, shes nuttier than a fruitcake but boy can this gal wail. Channeling the 60s with her awesome voice and biting tales about drugs and love, Back To Black floored the states after finally arriving in 2007. Its a wonder how Europe kept this girl a secret for so long. She began to earn cool points when The Roots ?uestlove endorsed her after hearing Winehouses voice on Ghostfaces You Know Im No Good but her talent spread across genres when the album finally arrived. Hopefully she can stay sane long enough to give us more.
Runners UpRadiohead - In Rainbows
Ne-Yo - Because of You
Modest Mouse - We We're Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Most Dissapointing Album of the Year
Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
For Wu-Tang fans everywhere, this was as upsetting as it was disappointing. Nobody wanted to believe the words of Raekwon and Ghostface as the public inched towards its first Wu album in years. But when it finally smacked us upside the head with its overbearing mediocrity, there was hardly a Wu fan who could honestly get behind this project. It didnt help that Ghostfaces Big Doe Rehab was heads and shoulders better than this lump of coal in everyones Christmas stocking.
Runners UpT.I. T.I. vs T.I.P.
50 Cent Curtis
Hi-Tek Hi-Teknology 3
Comeback of the Year
After simply being feature mongers for Young Jeezy, T.I., Young Buck and others, Pimp C and Bun B proved that the momentum rightfully carried into album-making. With the hit of their careers, the duo earned new fans 15 years after they started in International Players Anthem. Although neither Bun or Pimp had ever really faded to earn a comeback, UGK as a unit returned to mean to the masses what the streets had known since Super Tight.
Runners UpTalib Kweli
Worst Trend of the Year
Blaming Hip Hop for Everything
[We] missed the part when it stopped being about Imus. Whether Jena 6, Don Imus views or the Virginia Tech shootings, MySpace banner ads weren't the only things trying to assassinate rappers. Much of the media, not only the Right, pointed fingers at rap music for every turn. Even better, Anderson Cooper used Camron as others used Snoop as Hip Hops defendants. In numerous failed scapegoat attempts, the truth always came out in the heat of the mic.
Runners UpCrank Da Soulja Boy/Batman/Superman/Spider Man/Obama, etc
Making It Rain
Lil Wayne Guest Appearances
Story of the Year
Kanye West vs. 50 Cent
If you think sales equates a good artist or a good album, youre sadly mistaken. But that doesnt mean the showdown of Kanye West and 50 Cent wasnt a thrilling ride. It was largely 50 who set the tone with his continuous shit talk and most notably his vow to retire if Ye outsold him first week. So to see 50 served a big ass slice of humble pie when he got waxed first week, it was the ultimate pay off even if 50 doesnt hangem up.
Runners UpDon Imus
Pimp C passing
T.I. locked up for guns
Slept On Album of the Year
Blu & Exile Below the Heavens
There are some albums that are so good that you dont feel bad sharing the file with friends so they can at least hear what youve stumbled upon. Below The Heavens was that album. Matching brilliant lyricism from Blu with beautiful production courtesy of Exile, Below The Heavens caught everyone who listened by surprise. Were still curious how long something this good can stay beneath the radar for long. Hopefully by 2008 the public will stop hitting snooze on this wonderful album.
Runners UpBrother Ali The Undisputed Truth
Little Brother Getback
Pharoahe Monch Desire