Submitted by Sintaxtheterrific (solo artist and Deepspace 5 member)
1. The Roots - Game Theory
This is the album of the year. It is an absolute five-star treatment in every facet. Impeccable production, flawless lyricism, and compelling hooks. It is such a raw record but simultaneously so accessible. To me, Game Theory is the first time that the songs on a Roots album, as a whole, actually keep pace with what Black Thought is doing individually. There are four songs in the middle of the record that constitute the best run of songs I have ever heard on an album. Of course, the caveat being that there is some material and language that many people of faith might find objectionable. Artistically, it's one of the best rap records ever made.
2. PC Tools - All Smilez
This is dishwashing music right here. When I'm trying to take care of my grown-folk responsibilities around the house, I put on All Smilez and I can make it through. Man, it's soulful, humorous, poignant. Fred and Playdough have such an effortless chemistry, best homies-on-the-mic-type style. The beats move perfectly and both of these guys saddle-up every time. Playdough's verse on "Red Hat Letter" is worth the price of admission alone. Amazing depiction of God's unrivaled love for us.
3. Derek Webb - Mockingbird/I See Things Upside Down
I'm not sure when these came out but they've both had a million spins with me in '06. Derek's sense of despair in his own brokeness really resonates. He says things about Christianity and personal faith that few are willing to. God works tremendous conviction in my life with each listen.
4. Pigeon John - ...and the summertime pool party
Man, my children love to do the Pigeon, homeboy. If you're a rap star, but your hauling three toddlers in a mini van, Jimmy John is about the only thing that can keep you and them happy at the same time. This record has been in the heaviest rotation. The collaborations on this thing are insane. I just can't tell you how impossible it is to have PJ and Brother Ali on the same track. It literally made my year. And if you're 30 or older and have ever held dreams of moving the crowd then "Growin' Old" will make you cry like a baby. Pigeon brings an approachability to faith and God that is lost on a generation of kids who think that religion is too rigid to embrace them.
5. Surreal - Future Classic
Man, bump that. This is a bonafide ESPN instant classic. A lot of people claim true school emceeing but Surreal is the definition of it. To me, it's honestly, like RA revisited. He has a timeless delivery and matchless voice. He never chooses the wrong beat. He is an emcee that can talk about his faith as naturally as his next breath. He speaks with immense credibility on the mic concerning issues of God and spirituality.
Sivion - Spring of the Songbird
For more information on this series, visit the Most Spun 2006 main page.