Note: Whenever anyone asks me this question I tell them this list will change every time you ask me the question. Well this is the time I’ve been asked and this is the list as it stands now.
The Show, the After Party, the Hotel–– Jodeci Is this album as good as Forever My Lady or even Diary of a Mad Band? No. But this final album saw the group go all in on the freak nasty shit they been hovering around with tracks like Feenin’ and Alone. The very first lines of “Freek N’ You” are “Every time I close my eyes/ I wake up feeling so horny”. I remember when we thought Color Me Bad singing “I Want to Sex You Up” was scandalous. By this point 90’s R&B had went all in and these guys were right there, humping the air like champions. Also, “Get On Up” is my jam.
Bayani–– Blue Scholars Even if this album title wasn’t the same as my last name I’d still choose it. On a visceral level Sabzi’s beats with Geologic’s lyrics manage to not only create music that is immediately pleasurable to listen to, but seeks to inform and becomes a living document of two people’s culture and history. After all, the word “Bayani” exists in both Tagalog and Farsi where it’s meanings are “hero” and “divine word”. Did I mention that’s also my last name. Just so we’re clear on that.
Siamese Dream–– Smashing Pumpkins Yes, Billy Corgan is kinda... well he’s very Billy Corgan. I stand by this, though. This album was great.
Mitch All Together–– Mitch Hedberg I’m pretty sure top five albums does not exclude comedy. I love Mitch Hedberg’s comedy. Like Steven Wright, he challenged the way we receive language and information. He was a master of making the third line turn after the punchline. And he had the delivery to bring it on home. This album in particular covered some of his best bits at the moment he hit his stride. I love Strategic Grill Locations but this one gets the nod because I really could have done without the jazz bass throughout the whole thing.
My Ghetto Report Card–– E-40 My love of E-40 is something I make very clear. To me he can do no wrong. This is a man who has been in the game since the early 90’s and releases an album just about every year. He’s always around and always making hits, but this particular album came out during that brief moment when “hyphy” started going mainstream and E-40 came out like, “I’m still dropping heat!” And as a complete album it might be the best in his catalogue.