Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top Hip-Hop Albums of 2011: 30-21

30. DJ Revolution - Steel Wheel

From: Long Beach, CA

This beat tape would be higher but it's so hard to find I wasn't able to listen to it much. From what I did listen to, it was excellent. All types of different styles here, from 80s b-boy shit to blaxploitation, something-bad-bout-to-happen, cinematic shit.

Key tracks: 'Street Beat', 'Break Loose'

29. E-40 - Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift

From: Vallejo, CA

At this point, E-40 is just on autopilot. The Bay Area creates a new crop of producers and MCs every couple years and a number of them prop up this muthafucka's career into his mid-40s...haha

Key tracks: 'Slow it Down', 'Gunz', 'Stay Gone'

28. Maybach Music Group - Self Made Vol. 1

From: Miami/D.C./Philadelphia

Not a fan of Ross or Wale, but as usual, anything associated with Ross has superb production and Meek Mill is finally gettin some shine after years toiling in the Philly mixtape circuit.

Key tracks: 'Tupac Back', 'By Any Means', 'Fitted Cap'

27. One Be Lo - L.A.B.O.R.

From: Pontiac, Michigan

One half of snob rap favorites, Binary Star, One Be Lo dropped a lot of material this year. L.A.B.O.R. is his first proper album in 4 years.

Key tracks: 'Ox y moron', 'LabORhood'

26. Apollo Brown - Clouds

From: Detroit, Michigan

Just a straight up beat tape from dude who's behind a lot of good stuff coming out of the D. Record static, boom bap drums, soul samples, you know what's up.

Key tracks: 'Shoot the Heart', 'Push', 'Black Pearls'

25. Jadakiss - I Love You (A Dedication to My Fans)

From: Yonkers, New York

I think we all are starting to come to terms with the fact that Jada ain't gonna make the mafioso classic we all wanted, so at this point, we gotta be satisfied with whatever he drops.

Key tracks: 'Hold You Down', 'How I Feel'

24. Gangrene & Roc Marciano - Greneberg

From: LA/Long Island,NY

Mid 90s revivalist Roc Marciano teams up with The Alchemist and Oh No for this EP that thankfully sounds like ALC got to contribute the majority of the beats...

Key tracks: 'Hoard 90', 'Jaws'

23. Kendrick Lamar - Section 80

From: Compton, CA

I know folks is puttin dude out there like he came to save hip-hop from itself, but I think he is a tad overhyped right now. Still...Section 80 is solid.

Key tracks: 'Hol Up', 'A.D.H.D.', 'Chapter Six'

22. Apathy - Honkey Kong

From: Willimantic, Connecticut

Underground whiteboy gets a lot of production favors on his album. Dude has mad connections. Possibly best single of the year on here, too.

Key tracks: 'Stop What Ya Doin', 'Check to Check', 'The Villian'

21. Young Chris - L.I.F.E.

From: Philly

The fact that this cat ain't HUGE is testament to the fact that the hip-hop industry is fucked up. I mean, Jay-Z pretty much ganked the kid's flow to re-invigorate his own career, while Young Chris is back on the mixtape circuit. SMMFH.

Key tracks: 'U R', 'None of Dem is U (Remix)', 'Me & My B*tch'

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