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Top 10 Rap Albums for November 2011

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Hip-hop is gearing up for what may be the strongest quarter of the year so far. With young stars Drake, Yelawolf and Wale all dropping albums this fall, rap fans are in for an exciting time. Here's a breakdown of November's Top 10 and their respective release dates.

10. Big Pooh - 'Dirty Pretty Things'

© For Members Only

It was something like a sport, calling Big Pooh the weak link in Little Brother. That was until his 2005 solo debut, Sleepers, put that argument to shame. Since then LB has experienced its share of group drama, which led to Pooh's conspicuous absence on Phonte's Charity Starts at Home. Some of those highs and lows form the crux of Pooh's narratives on his second outing, the long overdue Dirty Pretty Things. As always, he's starkly honest and thoroughly reflective.
Guests: Nottz, DJ Khalil, and Focus.
Release Date: November 21, 2011

9. Mac Miller - 'Blue Slide Park'

© Rostrum Records

Mac Miller is a rising star from the City of Bridges, and like most MCs he reps his hood to the fullest. His debut, Blue Slide Park, is titled after Frick Park (also known as Blue Slide Park) in Pittsburgh, where Mac spent quality time hanging out as a young boy. Mac also has family on his mind--he tapped his older brother, Miller McCormick, to design the album cover for Blue Slide Park.

Release Date: November 8, 2011

8. Statik Selektah & Action Bronson - 'Well Done'

Action Bronson kicks rhymes with the precision of a swordsman. His Ghostface-inspired imagery and sense of urgency suggest that he studied one while shaping his craft. Not a bad role model for a budding star. Well Done pairs Bam Bam Bronson with one of the hardest working producers around, Statik Selektah.

Release Date: November 21, 2011

7. Eligh & Amp Live - 'Therapy At 3'

© Legendary Music / Live Up

Eligh is a member of the west coast posse Living Legends. Amp Live is the DJ half of Zion I. They're both very talented people who aren't always fully appreciated within the dynamics of their respective groups. Here, they're the focus of an entire LP, their full skillset on full display throughout.

Release Date: November 15, 2011

6. Pusha T - 'Fear of God 2: Let Us Pray'

© Fontana

The music business is a weird place sometimes. A rapper of Pusha's ilk and quality normally wouldn't need an elaborate campaign to set up his solo album, but here we are. Push has to play the game and do a zillion warm-ups before the main event. As long as he's rapping his butt off, no one's complaining.
Guests: Kanye West, Young Jeezy.
Release Date: November 8, 2011

5. Mobb Deep - 'Black Cocaine'

© Red General

Legal drama and label limbo have prevented Mobb Deep from putting out an album since 2006. With those issues behind them, however, Hav and P are back cooking up heat in the studio. P is finally letting bygones be bygones, hooking up with one-time nemesis Nas on Black Cocaine. Their full-length LP will follow in 2012 with appearances by Waka Flocka and Rick Ross.

Guests: Nas, Alchemist
Release Date: November 21, 2011

4. Black Milk & Danny Brown - 'Black and Brown'

© Fat Beats

Black Milk and Danny Brown are two of Detroit's finest. They worked together on several songs, including one actually named "Black and Brown" which later spawned a similarly titled EP. Here they go together like bread and jelly, Black's fours-to-the-floor loops a perfect match for Brown's razor-sharp rhymes. Stream it now.

Release Date: November 1, 2011

3. Yelawolf - 'Radioactive'

© Shady / Interscope

"Plenty of white boys to pick from this year," Yelawolf rapped at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop cypher as if to remind himself to stay sharp. Good thing he's already miles ahead of the rest. And with the #1 white boy behind him, Yela has to like his chances. Radioactive is the first album to drop on Eminem's revamped Shady Records. All eyes on Shady.

Release Date: November 21, 2011

2. Wale - 'Ambition'

© MMG/Warner

Wale has a burning desire to prove to his fans and critics that, despite his lackluster performance on Attention Deficit, he's still capable of spinning spiderwebs out of syllables. That extra drive has already spawned one of '11's strongest mixtapes in The Eleven One Eleven Theory. And judging by the slew of hits in rotation--"Bait," "Focused," "Lotus Flower Bomb,"--he didn't empty the vault on a freebie. Ambition is a dangerous thing.
Guest: Rick Ross, Kid Cudi, Miguel, Big Sean.
Release Date: November 1, 2011

1. Drake - 'Take Care'

Drake - Take Care
© Cash Money / UMG

Drake has his work cut out for him. For all its imperfections, Thank Me Later was still a memorable debut that earned a platinum plaque and four Grammy nods. If Drizzy's going to top that performance, he has to look outside the window for inspiration. And he does, recruiting Andre 3000 and the stunningly gifted songwriter The Weeknd to join the usual suspects--Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne--on Take Care.
Guests: Andre 3000, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne
Release Date: November 15, 2011

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