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DJ Premier’s Top 25 Albums of 2011

Like every year DJ Premier presents to you his top 25 albums of a year, also in 2010 he did that. There’s always a big commotion around it but check out Premos top 25 of 2011:


25. Large Professor & Neek The Exotic – Still On The Hustle
24. Edo G – A Face In The Crowd
23. Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz – Heavy Metal Kings
22. Greneberg – Greneberg
21. Action Bronson & Statik Selektah – Well Done

20. Apathy – Honkey Kong
19. The Away Team – Scars And Stripes
18. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
17. Torae – For The Record
16. Bumpy Knuckles & Statik Selektah – Lyrical Workout
15. Common – The Dreamer, The Believer
14. Maffew Ragazino Sr. – Rhyme Pays
13. Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel
12. Drake – Take Care
11. Statik Selektah – Population Control

10. Random Axe – Random Axe
09. Malcolm And Martin – Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
08. Royce da 5’9″ – Success Is Certain
07. Phonte – Charity Starts At Home
06. 50 Cent – The Big 10
05. Reks – R.E.K.S.
04. M.O.P. & Snowgoons – Sparta
03. Evidence – Cats & Dogs
02. 9th Wonder – The Wonder Years
01. Game – The R.E.D. Album

Honorable Mentioning: Fresh Vetz “Fresh 2 Def”, Pharoahe Monch “W.A.R.”, Raekwon “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang”, Rasheed Chappell “”Future Before Nostalgia”, Sadat X “No Features”, Showbiz & KRS-One “Godsville”, Skyzoo “The Great Debater”, The Regiment “The Panic Button”, The Roots “Undun”.

Voila. Sorry Elzhi, Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun, J-Live & Tyler, The Creator.

Closure Note From DJ Premier:

For all of you dumbfucks that are late or not hip to my yearly list, this is my own list of what I was bumpin’ for my enjoyment in 2011… Even though there were so fuckin’ many LPs that came out, I wish we had time to do Top 40 but fuck that… So if you don’t like my list, make your own… I ain’t mad atcha… Hate it or love it, I don’t give a fuuuuuck !!!

Note for DJ Premier for ’09

I judge my list based on dope beats, dope rhymes, scratchin’ and cutting, creativity, uniqueness, originality, and overall packaging of the product’s integrity. I don’t care if you sold a million copies, that does not make it dope. I went through more than 60 LP’s released in ’09 on major and indie labels over and over to get it as close as i possible could to being satisfied with the list so here it is along with the list.

“Be Glad or Be Mad” -DJ Premier

DJ Premier’s Top 25 of 2010
DJ Premier’s Top 20 of 2009

Related: Best DJ Premier Beat of 2011

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56 Responses to “DJ Premier’s Top 25 Albums of 2011”

  • Comment from SirBiatch

    if Game’s album is the best hip hop album of 2011, then lets just say that underground hip hop is REALLY on life support.

    so many wack and mediocre rappers. weak beats, weak rhymes.

  • Comment from O.B.G.

    Shitty list, starting to question his taste in hip hop

  • Comment from dredknight

    I cant understand why everyone take this list so seriously…

    here you have 25 albums in the top without counting the “honourable mentioning” list…

    I want ONE person who listen to more than 30 new albums each year?

    I don’t…

    yes he is a DJ this is his job to create music and do critics but he has so much things to do…

    He does shows, go over old pieces of music in order to get some raw material for a new beat./a lot of people are on the queue for them…/ I am not even going to mention the live from the HQ show, Europe tours, and the few times where some other DJ requested a sitting of his own show.

    From my point of view he does his best;)

  • Comment from Boombap

    Yo preem… Ev ‘cats and dogs’ has gotta be number one… Hottest album of the year by far.

  • Comment from kam93

    sadly I’m starting to think the same than OBG…

    “I judge my list based on dope beats, dope rhymes, scratchin’ and cutting, creativity, uniqueness, originality, and overall packaging of the product’s integrity” OK but seriously Preem….you seriously think that the RED album, Bad Meets Evil, Success Is Certain, Common’s LP, Watch the throne and even FUCKIN DRAKE’s album all match those criterias????

  • Comment from DJ JS-1

    Time for me to QUIT!!!!!!

  • Comment from Dwight

    Dunno about you guys but I really loved The RED Album, very underrated album in my eyes, you should give it another listen.

  • Comment from horribleboss

    I cant believe you put game up there if it was based on dope beats and lyrics, originality and shit then bad meets evil or even kendrick lamars should have been first..but nahh you put aa mixtape drakes take care better than watch the throne and bad meets evil fucking shit list, i cant believe it tho drake better than common, jayz and eminem and royce? da fuck

  • Comment from LovePremierButHisTasteIsWackSometimes

    troll lol the game red album lololollololololololololololololol

    nigga premo wtf is wrong with u nigga

    some of my fav artist seriously co sign wack niggas sometimes that i dont really care for ur list opinions lol

    ill just listen to ur beat though

    cats and dogs and reks though >>>>

    suprised premo didnt put lil wayne on that list troll ololokokokoklolol

    hurry up and release premier vs pete rock already nigga the niggas is waiting

  • Comment from PremosWackTaste

    and lol at putting The Game at number 1 because he is the only mainstream rapper that wanted a beat from you troll lol

    Premo ur the shit but nigga stop putting trash list ya dig?

  • Comment from DJ 1Mic

    Easy to tell who’s a lame and who’s out in the world

    The Game album was actually really good, it had good lyrics, great beats, really well put together, if you didn’t like it, there’s something wrong with you, not premo…

    in my best chamillionaire sqeaky nerdy white kid voice “im entitled to my own opinion and it sucked, yeah game sucks man!”

    game doesn’t suck 50 stan, hes a good emcee who picks amazing beats and features, and if you didn’t like it, its YOU who actually sucks… and fuck you for being apart of the problem in hip hop, go listen to shitty alternative rock, cause you’re fired we don’t want you as a hip hop fan anymore, go pound dirt fuckboys

  • Comment from Philaflava

    I love Preem and he will always be a legend in the game but the man is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO disconnected and has the worst taste.

  • Comment from Brannu

    Preem …

    You sleepin’, dude. I love everything you’ve done for hip-hop … but …

    The Roots?
    Pharoah Monche?
    Dr. Lecter?

    All five of those joints are better “Pop The Throne.”

    … and the fact that you have Drake anywhere near a top 25 is blasphemy. 50? Really?


  • Comment from Dilladawg

    Game… What is going on?

    So disappointed with the number one.

    Evidence cats and dogs dopest album of the year bro.

  • Comment from SirBiatch

    DJ 1Mic,

    STFU. Game has NEVER been a great rapper. ever. His rhymes and delivery are mediocre at best. 50 isn’t even that great a rapper and ATE his food on “Hate It Or Love It”, which is probably Game’s best record. In fact, you bring up corny white kids. Everytime I’ve heard a Game album being blasted, it’s usually coming from some corny white dude.

    I could care less about a rapper’s features. Hip hop started going down the toilet when everyone started reaching for features instead of making dope albums themselves.

    Nobody will be listening to the RED album a year from now. And this is why I say hip hop is on fucking life support, especially in the underground. Are ANY of these albums fucking with Madvillainy (which wasn’t a perfect album but had some AMAZING and fresh material), the first Foreign Exchange album, or Masta Ace’s “A Long Hot Summer?”

    Even Cuban Linx 2, which wasn’t perfect by any means, but had a couple bangers. Murs 3:16?

    seriously man. I’m so sick of underground fans/rappers bitching about the state of mainstream music YET these same underground rappers will turn around and make shitty, myopic music.

  • Comment from retard

    Everything would be fine with me if J. Cole’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story” made the list. Sleepin’ on this, and The Roots, J-Live, Raekwon, etc., ect. is the main reason we don’t hear real stuff on the radio anymore. We gotta, you gotta support that. But, oh well, to each his own.

  • Comment from hutch1377

    No Rashad & Confidence? that album has EVERYTHING!!! Apathy kills it with the Boom Bap – an its #20? Those are my hands down Top 2.
    I love Dilated, and i love Ev, but he isn’t the strongest MC to rank #2. Malcolm and Martin brought the most refreshing album – at least top 5. Torae, top 10. Statik x2. KRS & anyone, REKS, MOP, Ed OG, Ill Bill and Vinnie – all my top 10. top 10 also: Pharoah came back hard this year!! No Hassan & Apollo? PumpkinHead, JMT, Joell Ortiz is a hell of a rapper. Roots went out and got mad inventive for a great album. Haven’t heard Common – but i cant imagine the Game or 50 Cent dropped better albums than anyone i mentioned

  • Comment from jb

    sirBiatch ur a clown and maybe u should STFU! his list is his list hate it or love it ! just like premo said in his closure note “to all the dumbfucks ” he was obviously talkin bout guys like urself loserr

  • Comment from hutch1377

    PartII – also: DC the Midi Alien “Aveneger Airwaves”, Saigon “Greatest STory Never Told” was incredible – i went back and could NOT dig his earlier mixtape stuff, he stepped it up for this full length; Bumpy & Statik; and how to have Fifty, Game and (uggggghhh) Drake… and no WC “ROTB”, Wu-Tang “Legendary Weapons”, Kool G Rap “RRR” – were they classics? No, but they have some good production, dope beats and tried and true lyricists that are better than any pop crap.
    Slaine dropped a dope albu, – some thihooks and singing dropped it a few levels for me – but NO RAPPER can touch this guys lyrical skills. laine slays all competition. SKSYZOO is amazing with some mass appeal. he knows how to balance that thin line.

  • Comment from Rixawr

    nice list, my only disappointment is number 1

  • Comment from ONE 3volution

    Premo dope ass list non the less, also agree with almost all entrees u picked 😀 one love boss man!

  • Comment from Dick B.

    undun >

  • Comment from crackdaddy

    success is certain is one of the wackest albums i’ve ever heard… how can it be on the list?

  • Comment from Machiventa

    Great list! I personally would swap out a few albums and rearrange some. I would definitely swap out Drake, 50, and Kanye/Jay Z for Hassan & Apollo, Rashad & Confidence, and yU. Glad to see some love for Neek and Large Pro. Dope ass album that went under the radar.

  • Comment from fortydogg

    decent list premo but raekwon should been in top 5 fa sho/ drake shouldnt be on anybodys list(ever been to toronto) there hoods are areas that are middle class and the rawest ni99az are like white boys there alwayz a few years behind wit everythang

  • Comment from SirBiatch

    jb, I’m aware that it’s his list. stupid moron. If you actually read what I posted, you’ll see I’m not even disagreeing with his list – I’m just disappointed at hip hop in general.

    but of course, it’s ‘dumbfucks’ like you who are incapable of a critical perspective and just bandwagon.

    next time you want to comment on something I wrote, read it first.

  • Comment from MarcusMarcel

    No Kendrick – Section 80? Smh…

  • Comment from Straight jacking

    Wack ass list preem, your listening taste sucking donkey balls, js-1 no one cares, Dj doom temple of doom, sky zoo, m.o.p, so much doper jointz then your wack ass list!!!! Stick 2 doing beats!!!!

  • Comment from DJ Excellence

    Drake ? Wtf ?

  • Comment from rollo

    chill ya’ll

    primo just want dudes to hire him na-mean

  • Comment from rollo

    oh and on the real to real…that neek the exotic shit is crazy legit…it ain’t illmatic but its a remarkable and most importantly heartfelt album…#1 to me.

  • Comment from megashawn

    I can’t even believe preem is serious with this list, he is one of the best to ever do it but cmon man some of those lp’s shouldn’t ever be in anybody’s list

  • Comment from OldHead

    J. Cole Cole World The Sideline Story >>>>>>> Everything on that list.

  • Comment from DERAnged

    i seriously don’t know what the hell i would listen too if it weren’t for this guy. no one else comes close .. i can t even begin to but i will always try and the shit i hear on the radio in ny just blows.. DERA TDK…

  • Comment from DERAnged

    as far as the list.. its not his fault .. my album commin out next month. and who the hell are we to judge….i listen to slayer then primo right after. i would have put megadeth in the mix somewhere.

    but thats me.

  • Comment from nOF

    I just can’t believe Pete Rock X Smiff N Wessun is not even on the list…

    The Game nr1? I bet it’s because Preem got the loudest payment from that camp this year smh..

    A couple of other good names are missing from the list as well.

    Preemo must have been listening to cracked up speakers this year. Either that or he’s starting to decline..

  • Comment from Dry Cup

    This list was interesting a little bit back in 2009 but now it’s so watered down to fit his industry friends into it that it’s not even worth looking at now. Still got nothing but respect for Premo but this list is just stupid, stop doing it. “Drake – Thank Me Later” ?? come on!

  • Comment from dj kearns

    What the fuck was jay z & kanye album doing there,that album was a whole load of commercial bullshit….. Where was js-1,hassan mckay & Apollo brown,u tellin me these album,s can,t make the top 25…….bullshit.

  • Comment from DJ 1Mic

    LOL, again… Those of you hating on this list are whats wrong with hip hop…

    ALOT of people fuck with game’s album, just not the internet commandos, for some reason ya’ll fuckboys HATE the fucking guy like fucked ya mamma’s, ive never understood why the net hates game so much… i agree no one on the net was fuckin with the red album, but in the city, on the college campus’s people with lives outside the net were bumping it because it was really good music.. it had the most memorable replay worthy tracks, “Ricky” was epic, the primo joint was like 5th or 6th best track for real, so stop hating and go give the man a chance, i mean the greatest hip hop producer of all time agrees with me, so MAYBE just MAYBE im not crazy, YOU ARE LOL

    fuck ya self haters, like i said go buy a nickelback album you’re fired from being hip hop fans

  • Comment from kap.a

    How the FIDDDDDDUCK does the RASHAD & CONFIDENCE album “The Element Of Surprise” NOT make this List ?! ……. Best album of 2011 ….. HANDS DOWN ! …… If you didn’t check it, do it NOW !

  • Comment from G

    The Red Album? Really? This nigga is trippin’, Game’s album was pure gimmick, not like his other albums

  • Comment from JC

    Piece of sh1t list, I don’t believe this from Premo.

    I’ve always loved Premo beats and production.

    But I don’t have any love for this.

    I agree, there has gotta be some major conflicts of interest manifesting itself in this list. What a shame, one of hip-hops last real artists also now corrupted by the wack sh1t going on.

  • Comment from Dj 1mic is a fucking dumbass

    all i gotta say is no rasheed and confidence…?!?! best hip hop album of 2011 from start to finish… every track is a banger, couple of whack albums on this list but its w/e.

  • Comment from flipski

    i don´t know why you guys are screaming like bitches about this list and saying primo sold out whatever because he put jay&kanye, drake and game into the list. those were some of the best major releases this year just concerning production and execution. as a dj you want to play music that hast that thump, so there you go. plus he put lots of underground/independent release into his list so why bother. random axe, reks, torae, greneberg, 9th wonder, … personally i would have added daily bread, elzhi, kendrick lamar, currensy x alchemist, m.e.d., has lo, pete rock & smif-n-wessun into the list, but well, thats personal taste. the only thing i really want to complain about is, that most of the major AND indie artists don´t put out vinyl anymore, from primos list only 11 albums made it to vinyl. including the 120€ release of watch the throne… roots: no vinyl yet, common: no vinyl yet, torae: no vinyl yet. and the list goes on.. so all you underground artists: you really can´t afford 1500€ to press up some vinyl anf then complain about downloading? so big up stones throw, mellow music group and rhymesayers e.g. some of the only labels still releasing nearly every record on vinyl. outta here.

  • Comment from Brian

    The group’s name is Rashad & Confidence NOT Rasheed and Confidence. How the fuck are you gonna say an album is the best album of the year and not even know the real name of the group.

  • Comment from Mac Lethal

    Damn, let Premier, a GROWN MAN, live.

    He’s allowed to have a list like this if he wants. Mothafuckas is acting like he is wrong or incorrect or something. If Preem wants to bump the new Game album all year long more than any other album HE’S ALLOWED TO.

    Make your own list if you got a problem with it. Some of y’all sound like 5 year old girls, straight up. Get off Preems balls.

  • Comment from Rixawr

    anyway thanks for telling us about Rashad & Confidence album, i just listened to it and i have to agree that it’s dope

  • Comment from mr b.

    it’s a list people. it has no bearing on what you like or what he creates. it may influence his beats, but you would never know it when you hear one. it’s ironic that people say premier has no taste when in fact he clearly does for the fact that he makes incredible music. i think many of these comments come from people who only have a taste for one type of album. diversify, friends.

  • Comment from Whoa!

    DJ Doom – Temple of Doom (2011) and DJ JS-1 – No One Cares (2011) are two hardcore-straight-raw-pure-uncut boom bap albums yet you have the audacity and nerve to put Drake’s Take Care album on your list? That’s extremely odd,strange,and too suspect altogether. And what’s even more odd and strange is the major fact that Bumpy Knuckles,KRS-One,M.O.P.,O.C.,AG,Jeru Da Damaja,Slaine,and Ill Bill have their features spread throughout that DJ JS-1 album and Blaq Poet is on both DJ Doom’s and DJ JS-1’s albums and these are guys that Premo has worked with that are friends of his. Strange to say the least.

  • Comment from Grant

    The premo track was the only track I enjoyed from The Game’s album, it was a freaking R&B album!
    How he puts Game’s album 20 places higher than Apathy’s which is lyrical and superior beat-wise…is beyond me.

  • Comment from MicDem

    no Soulkast?!?…that’s strange :/

  • Comment from Whoa!

    yeaahee yeaaeee

  • Comment from Jean Ferrat

    SirBiatch is right.

    for the dicksuckers complaining : “what do you critize his list?” let me explain sth.

    Primo’s list, from my perspective, shouldn’t be a list composed of LP coming from friends…we talk here about legacy. In five years time, 1O years time anybody landing on that blog page should be able to think : “it’s a list from Premo, if i want to show friends what hiphop is supposed to sound like (as would say AG) those albums are landmarks to the hiphop culture”.

    all i am seeing here is compromise…to what? ask Premo, not me. someone said he is a DJ, so basically that DJ judges that from everything he has heard last year, the top 25 are from US.

    where is the houselight? where does he show us the way?

    again, check my previous posts, Premo’s personality speaks for itself. even though being down with the dope beat-making, he is loved by the mainstream (maybe not the industry but by the artists definitely yes). he has nothing to prove to himself or to us, he pulled the weight when needed and he makes us shut the fuck up.

    however he has his addiction on being worshipped by all. for years i see his fan base spitting at Jay (for good reasons)but he still want his 5 min of shame on mtv with him.

    on one hand he is complaining about the industry, on the other he sticks with the industry. so his dual personalities make him unique, but it’s easy to detect when he acted like an underground cat, or like someone who want to please the kings.

    we are here on this blog interested in his underground side, and we are out of rage when we see lists like that which are not matching what we think legacy should be.

    I’m not bad, not mad Preem. i have read your list, have forgotten it immediately. Unlike ur mixtape backs in the days, no one will share this with friends, so you won’t make history with it. hopefully for us you have made history, in a splendid manner, and this is ONLY what we will keep sharing with the next generations.

    Make some noise for Preem, one love

  • Comment from bangyahead

    disappointed.. but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.. so I won’t trip but what I will say is.. not putting rashad & confidence even in honorable mention was a huge mistake.

  • Comment from mikeeee

    naw… I dont understand how Elzhi- Elmatic is not on here…. it makes no sense. anyone whose heard that damn tape knows that man is the truth.. premos just buggin cuz Will sessions was fuckin with his beats and elzhi was doin nas almost better than nas.

  • Comment from MAGNUS

    Tech N9ne’s All 6’s and 7’s deserves to be in the top 5. Good list for the most part though!

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