Released just 10 days before New Year's Eve -- and about two weeks after most critics turned in their year-end lists -- Ghostface Killah drops Apollo Kids, easily one of the best hip-hop albums of 2011.

This is a must-own for any Ghostface fan and a set of good ol' street anthems in a year when most big names in rap have opted for house music, David Guetta-style crossovers, rap-rock, messy one-off mixtapes or a combination.

It was hard to pick a sample song from this banging, aggressive return to classic form, which critics have already likened to Fishscale and Supreme Clientele. They're streaming at Ghostface's MySpace page, so I guess choosing the right one wasn't too big a deal. Start at the beginning, I guess...

Ghostface Killah -- "Purified Thoughts"