Definitive title eh? 🙂 Okay. So this is my first list ever and I wanted to include some on-the-rise emcees but that list is ridiculously long, so I figured, of the major leaguers there’s been a nice batch of music this year that hasn’t been done to death on these year end lists.
My list is full of “bigger” artists and their mixtape cuts, no radio hits (here’s looking at you “Ima Boss”…). I had to double check myself in creating this, because a lot of music I liked this year came out on EPs (Kendrick, Thurz, TiRon & Ayomari… I could go on.). Enjoy. Oh and for your convenience, the links are posted as well, just hover over the name/title…
GOOD Music’s Cyhi made a cool lil’ jam with this one. It just feels like spring’s first day. All four windows down, fresh air. “I’m having a good ass day” music. The Stone Mountain native makes it all sound so easy.
I cheated. You actually may not know these two guys from Chicago, but I had to throw this on the list. It reminds me of the Native Tongues era. And I need to feel young again, I’m pushing 30. 😉 The link for this one takes you to their DatPiff link, just click on “Who R U Dreamer” and thank me later. *Drake hand*
This WB signee surprised the shit outta me when I did my research on him this year, and I told him as much when I interviewed him a couple months back. This is the same cat who did that insipid “What Yo’ Name Iz.” There’s some depth in this that I think you may find surprising too…
I was late to Los. Major shouts to my homie J for putting me on in the nick of time though. This dude is nice. Quite possibly the next big thing coming out of Baltimore. Who knows? Baltimore has so many different flavors to be so small. But this cat’s flow and all, is to be commended, so follow Diddy’s lead (o__O) and do so…
Flint, Michigan’s own Jon Connor dropped his Season 2 this winter. You can hear the grit of his city all in his flow over this track. Flint ain’t no joke BTW. He’s spitting some honest to goodness intellect on here though, particularly when he talks about what “the radio” says we need to be doing. No frills, no thrillz.
Just Jeezy. You know Jeezy. And ‘you don’t really want it with Cool J’… LOL. It was between the intro on Part One and Part Two, both versions are chock full of shit talking which I absolutely love. Especially with that voice of his.
My Mississippi home slice did it again this year with the release of Return. KRIT is good for making tapes that sound like actual albums. He’s been all over magazines and websites since. The bounce of this track, with the soulful loop and that syrupy tone, just sets the tape off perfect although, um, it’s track number 3.
Freddie Gibbs is so aggressive. LOL. So. Aggressive. Even on stage with no shirt. Even then. Anyway, on this one, he spits some of that hard 21st century gangsta rap he says he’s rebirthing. And Cold Day is another tape that has that album feel. I’ve heard more than a couple people say they’d pay for it. I love it for the way he weaves in and out and around that beat (layered to death) which also isn’t anything to sneeze at.
50 came back from hiatus and landed at number three on my list. I have a serious soft spot for soul samples and Mr. Jackson excels at twisting them to fit tales of street shit. The perfect combo in my opinion. When I first heard it come on, I thought he was gonna be on some loving type vibe. The hell was I thinking? LOL.
One of my favorite artists getting some radio shine, Meek has had a couple big hits this year but “Tony Story” to me is the beacon of light on his first official MMG-sponsored tape. I mean, “Ima Boss” was huge. Huge. I still play it on repeat but ”Tony” embodies his storytelling spirit down to the smallest detail. Nicely done. Oh and of course Jalil Beats does the instrumental much justice.
Pusha T push a ton, and “Blow” is what puts this half of the Clipse over that mark. Coke rap is some ignorant shit, LOL, but his delivery, his excitement to be on the court- is Pusha T’s edge. He’s a showboater for sure. Slick lines all up and through this track including the one about the young and old chicks sharing commencement ceremonies. Truly skillful that Pusha.