Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Hip Hop of 2011

Happy 'End of 2011' everyone. It's been a long, trying year for me. Things are always better than they could be though. This is a list of the music (released this year) that served as my life's soundtrack.

Because the line between albums, EPs, and mixtapes has been further blurred in Hip Hop, I just put together a list of my top 25 favorite projects of the year, an honorable mention list for other projects I recommend, and a list of some of my favorite songs (which I have conveniently included a link for, if you're interested). I try not to be too negative on here anymore, as it's much more productive to talk about the things I like. But, there are a few disappointments that I felt I had to mention as well.

Try not to take the order too seriously. Good is good. But, please feel free to agree or disagree (if you dare. Ha!). And, do what you can to support the artists you like. See ya in 2012.

Top 25 Projects
The Roots - Undun
Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows
9th Wonder - The Wonder Years
Money Making Jam Boys mixtape
Mohammad Dangerfield
Big K.R.I.T. - Return of 4Eva mixtape
Atmosphere - The Family Sign
Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R.
Zion I & The Grouch - Heroes in the Healing of a Nation
Skyzoo - The Great Debater
Jean Grae - Cookies or Comas mixtape
Jermiside - Live & Let Live
Kendrick Lamar - Section 80
eLZhi - Elmatic
Cunninlynguists - Oneirology
Fresh Daily - The Quiet Life
Random Axe
DJ JS-1 - No One Cares
Focus - Music of the Misinterpreted
Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun - Monumental
Hassaan Mackey & Apollo Brown - Daily Bread
Evidence - Cats & Dogs
Phonte - Charity Starts at Home
Tanya Morgan - You & What Army EP
J-Live - S.P.T.A.

Other Notables (25 More Ha!)
Consequence - MOD 2
MC Esoteric - Boston Pharaoh
Fashawn - Higher Learning 2
Malcolm & Martin - Life Doesn't Frighten Me
80 Blocks From Tiffany's mixtape
Edo G. - A Face in the Crowd
Fly Union - TGTC
One Be Lo - Laborhood 1
Outasight - Figure 8 EP
Astronote - Weapon of the Future
The Doppelgangaz - Lone Sharks
Bad Meets Evil
STS - The Illustrious (STS is GOLD)
Casual - The Hierophant
Apathy - Honkey Kong
Rapper Big Pooh - Dirty Pretty Things/Fat Boy Fresh Vol. 1 mixtape
yU - The Earn
A-Plus - Pepper Spray
The Away Team - Scars & Stripes
Torae - For The Record
Strange Fruit Project - A Dreamer's Journey
The Black Keys - El Camino
Self Scientific - Songs of the Blackhearted EP
Murs & Ski Beatz - Love & Rockets Vol. 1
M.O.P & Snowgoons - Sparta 

Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told - This album got a love, but I think it's bullshit. You'd think after how ever many years it took to get this out he would've come with an undeniable classic. But, I'm denying it. The whole thing sounded thrown together to me, and was overall boring.

Lupe Fiasco - Lasers - Give me a fucking break.

Watch The Throne - No doubt this album was a defining one of 2011. There is some good material on it, but lyrically I think it fell way short of expectations. Plus, "Lift Off" and "Made in America" are two of the worst songs I've heard all year by any artist.

Some Favorite Songs
"25th Hour" - Reks (prod. by DJ Premier)
"AfriKingStyle" - Spec Boogie
"Back to Back" - Fresh Daily
"Beautifully Bad" - Idle Warship
"Black Hand Side" - Pharoahe Monch f/ Styles P. & Phonte
"Chewbacca" - Random Axe f/ Roc Marciano
"Dance Pants" - Recess f/ Donwill
"Daydreams" - Green Street f/ Donwill
"Designer Drugs" - Skyzoo
"Distractions" - Talib Kweli
"Dreamin' - Big K.R.I.T.
"Epic Salutations" - Murs & Ski Beatz
"Fake I.D." - Consequence f. Q-Tip, Large Professor, & Havoc
"Fast Lane" - Edo G. (prod. by DJ Premier)
"For Certain" - Oddisee f/ Diamond District
"I Used to be Vegan" - Zion I & The Grouch
"Kidnap Your Boyfriend" - George Watsky
"Make Some Noise" - Beastie Boys
"I-10" - Murs & Whole Wheat Bread
"One Time" - Rapsody f/ Tab One, Charlie Smarts & Phonte
"Palin/Vick" - MC Esoteric
"Put Some Money On It Remix" - Slaughterhouse f/ The Lox
"R.I.P." - Jean Grae f/ Style P. & Talib Kweli
"Shady 2.0 BET Cypher" - Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse, & Eminem
"The Times" - Apollo Brown f/ Oddisee
"Whatever That's Mine" - Tanya Morgan
"You Don't Like It (So What)" - Jean Grae

Link: Favorite Songs of 2011

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