Producer: Kanye West
Album: Be
Label: G.O.O.D. Music, Geffen

After Common's fifth album, Electric Circus, was seen as a flop, failure, and letdown in the eyes of die-hard fans (the album wasn't that bad in hindsight), hip-hop had written off Com as a tragic victim of Baduizm. It also didn't help that he was dressing like a boho hobo and proposing to deaf women via cue cards in his music videos. How do you resurrect your career after such public scrutiny and backlash? Well, you show up on The College Dropout and murder everyone on their own shit, that's how. After the reaction to Kanye and Common's pairing on "Get 'Em High," it was only right that Yeezy bring Common into the G.O.O.D. Music fold to help get his rap career back on track. Bringing it back to his b-boy roots, Common returned to Chicago to craft Be (an acronym for "Basement Elevation"), arguably the most important album of his career. Winning over critics, fans, message boards, and the streets, "The Corner" was the perfect reintroduction for those who'd written off Rash as a granola-eating weirdo.Andrew Barber