By year’s end, the soft glow of nostalgia is going to smother us all. First, there was the months-long Illmatic campaign by Nas and his tax attorneys. By December, we will have trotted out the twenty-year parades for Ready to Die, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Resurrection, Warren G’s debut, Organized Konfusion’s Stress: The Extinction Agenda, Scarface’s The Diary, and maybe a handful of others. (Word…Life retrospective, anyone?)
Even if you halve the looking glass, a handful of beloved records see the decade mark come and go in 2014. The mid-2000s are not often held in high regard in rap circles—odds are at least ten of your Twitter followers bought Hip Hop Is Dead t-shirts—but 2004 was an exceptional year, giving us Madvillainy, The College Dropout, A Long Hot Summer, and a host of others. Naturally, a few gems are bound to go overlooked. Here’s a closer look at two: P.O.S’ ambitious debut, Ipecac Neat, and Joe Budden’s bitter lament from label hell, Mood Muzik 1: The Worst of Joe Budden.
Read more: Underground Revisited