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THE BEST OF 2007 | HIP-HOP

Rappers hit by social conscience

December 16, 2007|SOREN BAKER

Kanye West, "Graduation" (Roc-A-Fella). The Chicagoan's famous brashness rivals his musical prowess on this stellar album.

Common, "Finding Forever" (Geffen). After 15 years in the business, the Chicago rapper hits a smooth, socially aware stride.

Talib Kweli, "Eardrum" (Warner Bros.). The Brooklyn rapper's winning mix of lively wordplay and political commentary makes this collection linger long after the music stops.

WC, "Guilty by Affiliation" (Lench Mob). The Los Angeles-based rapper's latest is an exemplary example of thinking man's gangster rap.

Consequence, "Don't Quit Your Day Job!" (G.O.O.D./Columbia). Blue-collar rhymes from this Kanye West affiliate shows that rap isn't only about flash and bling.

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