Runner ups and honorable mentions:
- Wu Tang vs. The Beatles (review)
- Main Source-Return of the Castle (review + link)
- Bun-B-On the Block. (Link)
- Oddisee-Odd Spring (Review + link)
- Fashawn-That Buck that Bought a Bottle Could Have Struck the Lotto. (Link)
- Kotchy-Baggy Spandex (review + link)
THE TOP TEN!
That’s right, I didn’t pick Joe Budden this year. His latest Mood Muzik was too much like the others. Hit the break.
10. Scheme-Same Rebel, New Cause. My wild card pick, because I’m an indie blogger not a hip-hop blogger so I feel the need to expose you to something you haven’t heard before–but with a grimey, Jedi Mind Tricks kinda flow, and guest shots by Mikkey Halstead and Emilio Rojas and Astonish, among others, maybe you should.
9. Free Ice Cream Dot Net-Bohemian Rap CD. Queen beats and terrific flow. Remember how rap can sometimes just be about having fun? These guys do. (Review + link)
8. J. Cole-Friday Night Lights. J. Cole brings raw soul. Smooth beats and hard flow. A unique style, and skillful rhymes. If you like Kanye West, you’ll probably like this. (Link)
7. Fabolous-There Is No Competition 2. Everyone talked about Jeezy’s 2010 mixtape, which was definitely solid, but this one is so much more versatile. How is it that Fabolous can’t make a decent record, but his mixtapes burn like hell? (Link)
6. Das Racist-Sit Down, Man. Channeling the spirit of Basehead
5. Chiddy Bang-Air Swell. Y’know how white people are always trying to make cool black music? Well, now the opposite is true. Time and again in 2009, rappers took hooks or whole ideas from indie rock hits. But nobody was better at it than Chiddy. It’s rap for indie rock fans, but it’s also hip hop for the heads. No sell out.
4. Big K.R.I.T.-K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. Mississippi twang can be boring as hell, but not this time. K.R.I.T. is imaginative and moving–and his beat choices are perfect. Review.
3. 8thw1-No Room For Dessert. Humor + street cred = Awe-inspiring. (Review + Link.)
2. Sugar Tongue Slim-Demand More 2. Okay, so STS is actually better than Jay-Z, and proves it by doing a thinly veiled “tribute” to the Black Album, going track to track against Hova. At least he’s better than “Life and Times” Jay-Z, if not “Blueprint” Jay-Z.
1. Homeboy Sandman-The Good Sun. Homeboy Sandman defies genres and is, quite simple, unparalleled in the industry today–or at any other time. Just ask him. Seriously, if this album doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks and knock your jaw to the floor, you just don’t like rap. Brilliant word choices, sick flow, and moments in every single song that turn your mind inside out and keep the listener asking: How the fuck did he do that?