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The Best of 2006
The best part of The 411 Online's "Best of 2006" is that the seven writers who submitted their picks have different tastes, just like our readers. Sometimes we all have the same favorites from the year, but often we don't. The best album category was once again far from unanimous, but T.I. edged the field by a couple of votes. So King is just that among albums this year. But Snoop Dogg ruled among MCs, pictured because he was picked the most for artist of the year and made an appearance in almost every positive category. The fact his name appears so often on this list is reason enough for the honor. The picks for best single, video, collaboration and others were varied as well, making for a lot of honorees once again. And, it should be noted here that several choices came in for categories that did not exist on the list sent out to all of the writers. Rather than ignore them, we'll award them by default. So The Roots won group/duo of the year (Cvere), Rebels Advocate took home "best group you never heard of" honors (The W), Lil' Jon was named "best featured artist" (Mary Jane), Joe Budden's Mood Muzik 2 was the winner for "best mixtape" (Mr. Freez) and Snoop Dogg and Black Sheep's Dres split the vote for best lyricist (Mary Jane and Mason Storm). Below are The 411 Online's picks for "The Best of 2006."

Best album
T.I., King THE GAME, Doctor's Advocate SNOOP DOGG, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment JURASSIC 5, Feedback PUBLIC ENEMY & PARIS, Rebirth of a Nation

El Patron (formerly B.J. Maniac): T.I., King
Brentwood: T.I., King
Cvere: THE GAME, Doctor's Advocate
Mary Jane: SNOOP DOGG, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
Mr. Freez: T.I., King
W the Infinite: JURASSIC 5, Feedback
Mason Storm: PUBLIC ENEMY & PARIS, Rebirth of a Nation

Best single
El Patron: RICK ROSS, "Hustlin'"
Brentwood: T.I., "What You Know"
Cvere: (tie) LIL' WAYNE, "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" & T.I., "What You Know"
Mary Jane: REMY MA, "Conceited"
Mr. Freez: T.I., "What You Know" (The South got the most play in '06, but none more than this joint)
The W: JURASSIC 5, "Work it Out"
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG & R. KELLY, "That's That"

Best remix
El Patron: T.I., "Top Back" featuring Young Jeezy, Young Dro, Big Kuntry & BG
Brentwood: JIM JONES, "We Fly High" featuring T.I., P. Diddy, Julez Santana, Baby & Young Dro
Cvere: LLOYD, "You" featuring Andre 3000 & Nas (Two words: Spandeau Ballet)
Mr. Freez: DRE, "Chevy Ridin' High" featuring Pusha T, The Game, Fat Joe, Rick Ross & Dirtbag
Mason Storm: BLACK SHEEP, "U Mean I Don't" (15 years later)

Best video
El Patron: SNOOP DOGG & R. KELLY, "That's That" Watch it
Brentwood: BUBBA SPARXX & YING YANG TWINS, "Ms. New Booty" Watch it
Cvere: (tie) TALIB KWELI, "Listen" Watch it & RHYMEFEST, "Fever" (best Chicago el-train ride ever) Watch it
Mary Jane: T.I., "What You Know" (for roller skates on spinners and champagne splashes) Watch it
Mr. Freez: FAT JOE, "Make It Rain" (What can I say? I'm a sneaker fiend... yeah, that's it) Watch it
Mason Storm: KANYE WEST, "Touch the Sky," because it cost $1 million and starred Pamela Anderson well past her prime (Happy now, Kanye? How about a liner-note thank you? Or some ads?) Watch it

Best lyric
El Patron: YOUNG DRO, "Teck Nine for some, Mack 90 for others / Lethal Weapon on Ducatti's I got on my Danny Glovers / Nah, this ain't the movie but I shot four brothers / And plus I got a Chevelle that flop four colors / Cars wit out the covers, my beat down low / And my rims sittin' high, I'm the best thing blowin out, Dro" on "Top Back" remix
Cvere: GAME, "But I never left fingerprints on my Old English" on "Ol' English"
Mary Jane: How about worst? L.L. COOL J, "Zzz-zzz-zzz / zz-zz-zz-zz" on "Control Myself"
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG & DR. DRE on "Imagine"

Best hook
El Patron: (tie) AKON & SNOOP DOGG, "I Wanna Love You," and FAT JOE & LIL' WAYNE, "Make It Rain"
Mary Jane: ICE CUBE, SNOOP DOGG & LIL' JON, "Go To Church"
Mr. Freez: YUNG JOC, "Its Goin' Down" (I simply judge this one by gauging how many 2 yr. olds know it)
The W: BUSTA RHYMES, "Touch It"
Mason Storm: AKON & SNOOP DOGG, "I Wanna Love You"

Best sample
Mary Jane: CLIPSE & PHARRELL, "Mr. Me Too" (Is that Simon?)
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG & R. KELLY, "That's That" ("Coming to America" intro)

Most underrated album
Brentwood: BUBBA SPARXX, The Charm
Cvere: AZ, The Format
Mr. Freez: MURS, Murray's Revenge (Commercial or Underground, this was my "album of the year")
The W: BUSTA RHYMES, The Big Bang
Mason Storm: (tie) SNOOP DOGG, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (by me, based on how much I've listened to it since) & BLACK SHEEP, 8WM/Novakane (by everyone else)

Best producer
Cvere: J DILLA
Mary Jane: TIMBALAND
Mr. Freez: JUST BLAZE (Will.I.Am. did his thing as well; look out for The Runners & J.R. Rotem)
Mason Storm: TIMBALAND

Best new artist
Brentwood: RICK ROSS
Cvere: LUPE FIASCO
Mary Jane: REMY MA
Mr. Freez: Chamillionaire (Though he ain't new to me)
Mason Storm: (tie) RHYMEFEST, NALEDGE & LUPE FIASCO (Give it up for Chicago)

Best hip-hop collaboration
El Patron: TERROR SQUAD presents DJ Khaled "Holla At Me Baby" featuring Lil' Wayne, Paul Wall, Fat Joe, Rick Ross & Pitbull
Brentwood: 50 CENT & EMINEM, "Jimmy Crack Corn"
Cvere: NAS & JAY-Z, "Black Republican"
Mary Jane: ICE CUBE, SNOOP DOGG & LIL' JON, "Go To Church"
Mr. Freez: NAS & JAY-Z, "Black Republican" (This sh-- is magical!)
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG, "Candy" featuring E-40, MC Eiht, Goldie Loc, Daz, Kurupt and a Digable Planets sample

Best hip-hop/R&B collaboration
El Patron: AKON & SNOOP DOGG, "I Wanna Love You"
Brentwood: SNOOP DOGG & R. KELLY, "That's That"
Cvere: (tie) KANYE WEST, CONSEQUENCE & JOHN LEGEND, "Grammy Family" & ROBIN THICKE & LIL' WAYNE, "Shooter"
Mary Jane: AKON & SNOOP DOGG, "I Wanna Love You"
Mr. Freez: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & T.I., "My Love"
The W: JURASSIC 5 & DAVE MATTHEWS
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG & R. KELLY, "That's That"

Best comeback
Cvere: GHOSTFACE KILLAH
Mary Jane: ICE CUBE
Mr. Freez: NAS (Can't really call it a "comeback", but a new deal, a #1 album proclaiming Hip-Hop Is Dead have placed Mr. Jones back into a lot of internet, television, and radio discussions)
The W: BLACK SHEEP'S DRES
Mason Storm: BLACK SHEEP'S DRES

Best exit
Mr. Freez: JAMES BROWN (R.I.P. 12/25/06. What a "gift" he was to the world of music, especially hip-hop. The most sampled artist in hip-hop history)
The W: KANYE WEST, every time there's an awards show
Mason Storm: DAVE MAYS & BENZINO, booted from The Source about 10 years too late

Biggest sell-out
El Patron: JAY-Z
Cvere: WILL I AM
Mary Jane: PAUL WALL (a song and video with Brooke Hogan?)
Mr. Freez: Isn't this just looked at as "gettin' money" nowadays?
The W: CRUNK (with Black Eyed Fergie a close second)
Mason Storm: JAY-Z (the run-up to Kingdom Come was overkill)

Bust of the year
El Patron: DIDDY
Cvere: DIDDY
Mary Jane: L.L. COOL J
Mr. Freez: Dip, Dip, Dip, DIPSET!!! And I actually like a lot of Dipset stuff (Hell Rell is that dude). But all of that balleristic talk and name callin' doesn't mean a thing when every member of the set has lackluster Soundscans.
The W: K-FED
Mason Storm: L.L. COOL J

Artist of the year
El Patron: SNOOP DOGG
Brentwood: T.I.
Cvere: (tie) T.I. (beginning of the year was his), THE GAME (took over mid year) & NAS (blew up at the end)
Mary Jane: SNOOP DOGG
Mr. Freez: T.I. (big year with music and movies)
The W: COMMON (and all he did was a Gap ad)
Mason Storm: SNOOP DOGG

Now that you've seen The 411 Online's picks, tell us yours.

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