“Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends” by Coldplay
“Tha Carter III” by Lil Wayne
“Year of the Gentleman” by Ne-Yo
“Raising Sand” by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
“In Rainbows” by Radiohead
ESSENCE.com Pick: Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III”
With the highest-grossing hip-hop album of the year, Lil Wayne let the world know hip-hop is not dead. Instead, he gave the people what they wanted: a thumping club banger (“A Milli”), a thoughtful tribute to New Orleans (“Tie My Hands”), and a duet with Jay-Z (“Mr. Carter”) that became an instant rapper’s delight.