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Top 10 New Hip-Hop Albums for May 2010

New hip-hop album to check for this month

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Common unearths his classics. Kweli returns with mo' revolution-on-wax. Necro scares us to death. Some old-timers hang out with T.I. There's some quality hip-hop in there somewhere. Here's May's Top 10 Rap Albums.

10. Trina - 'Amazin'

Trina - Amazin'

The self-proclaimed baddest b-tch in the game is back with an album of new material. Give Trina credit for her staying power in an adrenaline-filled industry, but Amazin' probably won't win her any new fans.

Street Date: May 8, 2010

9. Common - 'Go! Common Classics'

Common - Go

Common made some of his best music at RCA Records, where he released fan favorites such as Be and Like Water For Chocolate. The Chicago MC signed off on this compilation, which features cult classics "The Light," "The Corner," "The B--- in Yoo" and "The People." It also features a new song, "Next Time," from his latest movie Just Wright.

Street Date: May 25, 2010

8. Sage Francis - Li(f)e

Sage Francis - Life

Sage Francis describes Li(f)e as a critique of organized religion. Musically, it draws strands from various genres, particularly rock. Sage pairs up with an indie rock artist on every track, so it should be an interesting ride.

Street Date: May 7, 2010

7. MF Grimm - 'You Only Live Twice'

Ever wondered when record labels will finally offer consumers more than just a CD and a lousy plastic case? Wonder no more. MF Grimm's new LP, You Only Live Twice, comes loaded with a 13 page comic book! Artwork done by Jim Mahfood, aka Food One! Full title: "You Only Live Twice: The Audio Graphic Novel".

Street Date: (Pushed back to June 8, 2010)

6. Necro - 'DIE!'

Necro - DIE

Death-rap great Necro is back with another enthrallinig album. DIE!, Necro's sixth LP, features songs about death, sexuality, life, war, and much more. What makes DIE! special? Here's the man in his own words: DIE! is basically like saying 'F--k you,' without the profanity," Necro explains.

Street Date: May 18, 2010

5. Esoteric - 'Fly Casualties'

Esoteric - Fly Casualties

Don't you just hate it when your favorite rapper takes forever to release a new album. Esoteric understands how frustrating this can be for fans, so he's strung together 25 old and new tracks to hold you over while he finishes his upcoming album, 1212. "At your request, I've released a small percentage of what was sitting around the Pterolab for the past 5 years or so," he says of Fly Casualties. Fly Casualties comes packaged in a four panel fold out wallet with liner notes from the 'Dactyl himself. Another win for innovative CD packaging.

Street Date: May 18, 2010

4. Reflection Eternal - 'Revolutions Per Minute'

Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute
© Warner Bros.

Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek had a 10-year layoff time between their Reflection Eternal debut and their second go-round, but you wouldn't know it from listening to Revolutions Per Minute. It picks up where the first one left off, offering more fist-pumping lyrics and chest-pounding beats.

3. 8ball & MJG - 'Ten Toes Down'

8Ball & MJG - Ten Toes Down
© Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records

8Ball & MJG have been in the game for 200 years. Compared to these rap elderstatesmen, T.I. is a booger-eater. But the duo is looking to Tip's Grand Hustle records for help on their latest effort, Ten Toes Down. Hey 8Ball, step to the mic and tell us why we should buy this album. "Ten Toes Down, in my opinion, is one of the best 8Ball & MJG albums ever. It's a heart-felt, soul-filled, portion of the lives of 8Ball & MJG. 8Ball & MJG sounds and feels like 8Ball & MJG on this album 4sho!"

2. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - 'Uni5: The World’s Enemy'

With 15 years of adversity and triumphs amongst them, Bone Thugs have enough material to fill an album. The group has had its share of drama, but this new album is about moving on to do what they do best -- see how many multi-syllabic rhymes that can rattle off in three seconds or less.

Street Date: May 8, 2010

1. Nas/Damian Marley - 'Distant Relatives'

Distant Relatives
© UMG

If you're not excited about Nas and Damian Marley's collaborative album, you should check your pulse rightaway. Better yet, check out the leaked cuts and then check your pulse. Indeed, Distant Relatives is one of the most wanted rap albums of 2010. Damian Marley handled a bulk of the production duty, with a little help from brother Stephen, 9th Wonder, and Salaam Remi. The album features guets vocals from Joss Stone, Lil Wayne, and K'Naan.

Street Date: May 18, 2010

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