Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meeting of the Minds: Top Releases of 2010, Personal Five (Part 2)

There were a lot of fresh releases this year, and yesterday Egypto and I gave you what we believe are some of the top releases this year. Those were the ones we agreed on. These are our personal five. Egypto gives you Janelle Monae, Big Boi and others. I give you Eternia & MoSS and Donwill and others. There were a lot of fresh releases this year and our list is just a snapshot of what we believe are the top joints. Check out our individual five after the jump. Enjoy.

Egypto's Picks

Janelle Monae - The Archandroid

An amalgam of everything from rock to soul to all spectrum in between, Janelle Monae proved that in 2010, her album The Archandroid straddled all those spectrum and then some. Not only did she do that, her dynamic vocal range and the arrangement of the record as a whole proved merely as a walk in the park for Miss Monae, creating one of the most fluid and adventurous releases this year.

Dance Or Die

Big Boi - Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

There's many things one can say about this release. They can say it's enjoyable, entertaining, enthralling, and many things can be said about Big Boi too; no longer is he just "the other guy in OutKast (like he ever was!)" that his delivery is something to be marveled and reckoned with, that the cameos on this record are rarely out of place, that the beats on this record go from old-funkadelic-crunkness to eerie crackling soul. But there's one thing to say, something that many have said and yet the person still refuses to listen. To Jive Records/BMG/Sony: YOU FUCKED UP.

You Aint No Dj

Celph Titled & Buckwild - Nineteen Ninety Now
Celph Titled has been a longtime member of the Demigods. And to be honest, The Demigods never got their fair due, because they long brought back East Coast golden-era rap, when the beats were just boom baps and the samples were shredded jazz chops sequenced seamlessly. Buckwild by the same coin, had done beats for years, eventually becoming a longtime staple of DITC (Diggin' In The Crates) and along with Showbiz & Diamond, becoming one of the trio of producers who made some of the most memorable pieces of that same era. When the two paths intersect, you get Nineteen Ninety Now, their first collaborative effort that felt like something you pulled out of a time capsule from 1994. And after hearing it, you probably will cherish it more.

Step Correctly

Sade - Soldier of Love

There's many a thing that can be said about Sade. One of my favorite phrases to use is that she is missed. Seemed like after Lover's Rock came out, that was it. There was not a word spoken about where she was, and nary a peep from the media outlets and such. But she's also very guarded and knows how to keep excellent surprises, such as Soldier of Love was. It's very much a whimsical album, and Sade herself, as well as the backing band hasn't lost that step either. From the militaristic sounds of the title track to the eerie breakup song "Skin," there's many details that were labored over, and in the end it was well worth the wait.

Solider of Love

Atmosphere - To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy (EP)
Slug, ANT and company have all spent a crazy amount of time touring after the success that accompanied them when they released When Life Gives You Lemons...You Paint That Shit Gold. Again, this EP came kind of unexpectedly and serves as a welcome thank you for the fans waiting for the next Atmosphere release. Given this tumultuous year, these songs serve more or less as a reminder why Atmosphere continues to sell out places left and right. And after hearing this EP, if they're in your town, you should go see 'em. Tell 'em Egypto Knuckles sent you.


Q's Picks

Eternia & MoSS - At Last
One producer. One emcee. Eternia is an incredible emcee, regardless of gender and MoSS is a killer producer. What they created with At Last is raw, fresh and a dope Hip-Hop album. Eternia pours out her soul on tracks like "To The Future" and "The Half" and kills it lyrically on "Goodbye" and "It's Funny", among others. In an interview with me, Eternia talked about how MoSS wanted to capture the energy of her live show on At Last. Yeah, they do that. Front to back, At Last is an incredible album.


Rob Roy - King Warrior Magician Lover
An album that was technically released last year but not made available until this year, KWML is an incredible project from Florida native and Cali resident Rob Roy. It's hard to define the sound created on KWML but it's unique. And its fresh sound made this project a favorite this year.

Fur In My Cap

Donwill - Don Cusack In High Fidelity
You have to respect a project with a good storyline behind it and Donwill's Don Cusack In High Fidelity has that incredible storyline. "Laura's Song" starts the journey and the joint is fresh straight through to the last track. I'm sure many slept on the project. If you did, it's not to late to discover Don Cusack In High Fidelity. Do it.

Laura's Song

AUTOMatic - Transistor
This project from the Milwaukee duo A.P.R.I.M.E. (emcee) and Trellmatic (producer) sat in my inbox for two weeks. The first time I played it, I did so straight through. I didn't skip one track. It's hard to find a project with 19 tracks that are all fresh. Transistor is one of those projects. Some of my favorite cuts are "Everlasting", "The Teenage Love" and "Brown Leather". The jazz/soul sample heavy project definitely came out of nowhere for me. Check it out if you haven't.


Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh
My grandmother sent me a little birthday money and I went and copped this project. I felt like a 14-year-old with his allowance. The CD went into the car and didn't come out for a while. Now that I think of it, it's still in the glove box and still gets a little play. While "Window Seat" was one of the cool singles off the project, there are a gang of other dope tracks on New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh. It's a fresh project and was definitely one of my favorite releases this year.

Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)


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