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Top 10 Rap Releases for June, 2006

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Crucial rap releases expected to drop this month include Busta Rhymes' The Big Bang, Lord Jamar's The 5% Album, and Kool Keith's The Return of Dr. Octagon. The albums are ranked in order of anticipation, relevance, and timeliness.

1. Busta Rhymes - The Big Bang

Release Date: June 13

The Big Bang is not only Busta Rhymes' trendiest release in years, it also features some of Dr. Dre's most prestigious boardwork since 2001 (no pun intended). Collaborators include Stevie Wonder, Missy, Q-Tip, and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.

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2. Ice Cube - Laugh Now, Cry Later

Release Date: June 6

Hip-hop O.G. Ice Cube gets his grown man on for the most part of Laugh Now Cry Later. But, the two Lil' Jon collaborations will probably make die-hard Cube followers cringe. Not to mention a thin-veiled diss to Public Enemy hypeman-turned-VH1-heartthrob, Flavor Flav.

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3. Lord Jamar - The 5% Album

Release Date: June 27

Like Dreddy Kruger mentioned in his interview, Lord Jamar's 5% Album is the first of its kind. The 5% message taps into a belief that the black man is the original man, and that mathematics is a superior form of understanding. Freedom, justice, and equality are also some of the traits being championed by 5 Percenters or Nation of Gods and Earth. The 5% Album features Raekwon, Young Justice(GZA's son), The RZA, and other Wu-Tang fam members.

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4. Obie Trice - Second Round's on Me

Release Date: June 20

As the title suggests, Second Round's On Me is Obie's second installment in his alleged four-album contract with Eminem's Shady Records. Eminem, 9th Wonder, and Alchemist all contribute to the album's soundscape.

5. Kool Keith - The Return of Dr. Octagon

Release Date: June 27

Keith Thornton or Kool Keith earned his stripes as part of the legendary New York crew, Ultramagnetic MCs. Keith avoided the limelight for many years before staging a comeback with the aptly titled The Return of Dr. Octagon. The Return is an electrifying head-scratcher for those who think they have hip-hop completely figured out.

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6. Yung Joc - New Joc City

Release Date: June 6

He may be 'yung' but he's definitely no amateur. The 23-year old ATLien has rocked the mic with established peers like Slim Thug and T.I. Also, the chart-topping success of "It's Goin' Down" makes Joc the first Bad Boy artist to have a song in the Top 40 in the past two years. New Joc City features Marques Houston, B.G., and fellow Bad Boy newcomer, Cheri Dennis

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7. Tha Dogg Pound - Cali Iz Active

Release Date: June 27

Tha Dogg Pound will attempt to enliven west coast hip-hop with Cali Iz Active. Some artists involved in the project include Daz, Kurupt, Snoop Dogg, RBX, Nate Dogg, and Bad Azz. Production is being handled by Battlecat, Fredwreck, Jelly Roll, etc. The album is slated to drop on Doggy Style Records with distribution by independent giant, KOCH Records.

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8. DJ Khaled - Listennn...The Album!

Release Date: June 6

Listennn... is the debut album from Terror Squad producer/DJ Khaled. The album's incendiary first single "Holla At Me" features Paul Wall, Lil' Wayne, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, and Pitbull.

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9. Mr. Lif - Mo' Mega

Release Date: June 13

One-third of The Perceptionists, Mr. Lif is one of alt-rap's most awe-inspiring wordsmiths. Mo' Mega is the sort of futuristic soundbomb that usually gets sidelined for the complimentary fact that there's not much analogous to it.

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10. Spank Rock - Yoyoyoyoyo

Release Date: June 20

On first listen, it's hard, almost impossible to believe that MC Spank Rock was mentored by Mos Def. The music conjures 2 Live Crew's dirty-mind rap, with a more playful side.

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