This was a hard one to pick because how do you shut down classic releases. This was not about fan fare or who was liked better. This was about the statement made from the creation of 2 stellular projects. Let's break this down:
Double O released the Classic The Huntsmen Volume 1 and this was the New Jersey Hip-Hop unity album. People had a chance to hear people like Big Stomp, Wayne Danja, Runt Dawg, Dot Bundini, Quas Amil, Chops tha Savior, O-Solo, Pushbuttinz and so many more people to name that the average Hip-Hop fan would not be able to name. This was a boom bap hardcore rap fans dream project because here LYRICS MATTERED. The Mcs that were present had bars and messages on this release and from the mouths of the people I interviewed about his project "EVERY TIME I listened to this album I had a NEW FAVORITE song". Take that into account when how picking the winner of this award came to be.
Samad Savage released his second album The Grey Area this year and the response was stellular as well. Track about dealing with parental misguidance, and seeking a higher self helped this artist reach a level of respect that not many receive on a underground level. Samad Savage's song Watch out is an attention grabber that made even the hardened old school Mcs take notice and say this young man is a problem. When interviewing people about this project I quote one person by saying "Look at my arm, this album gives me goose bumps".
Personally these albums are more than just that. It is the connection of old school and new school holding the culture up and I will be damned if I penalize either album due to preference of Lyrics and bars, and social media followings. They both have great fan bases and Here is to hoping we get a song of these 2 artists together where we can appreciate them both and celebrate our NJ Hip-Hop culture and Hip-Hop in general. Salute to Double O and Samad Savage.