Thursday, December 30, 2010

Meeting of the Minds: Top Releases of 2010, Honorable Mentions (Part 3)

You've seen our personal picks. You've seen the picks we've agreed on. And now check out our honorable mentions. But before you start ragging on me and Q about leaving some releases out, know this, we're about to give you 10, count 'em, 10 honorable mentions (five from me, and five from Q). So without further adieu, check it after the jump, and let's get it on..(no Public Enemy).

Egypto's Picks

Rick Ross - Teflon Don

You can argue about persona's in rap all you want. You can argue all day about their authenticity (and it's what rap does best). You can sit and scrutinize every minuscule detail down to the microscope. But in the end, good music is good music, and Rick Ross provided that in spades with Teflon Don, his 4th album. Everything about it was entertaining; Ross proved forceful on the mic, and the production was as equally grandiose and vibrant with backing from such folks as Lex Luger, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Kanye West, and No I.D. You can hear every detail about the dangerous and lavish on such tracks as "Live Fast, Die Young," and the tour-de-force of bragging done in "B.M.F." with Styles P.

Aloe Blacc - Good Things

You probably sat up one night, watching that HBO show that shall remain nameless, and then all of a sudden, you heard a voice. Little did you know who that voice was. It was none other than Emanon alumnus Aloe Blacc, who after such a stellar and eclectic debut, "Shine Through," came back with his sophomore effort "Good Times," containing the feel good bluesy woes of "I Need A Dollar." His voice has shown a lot more progression, and whereas Cee-Lo focused more on the Motown/Stax era soul, Aloe focused on pages from his 60s predecessors and utilized a lot more sparkling arrangements and vintage instrumentation to complement his cheerful approach and rather woeful lyrics. Aside from the obvious hit, check out "Mama Hold My Hand" and "Miss Fortune."

J-Live - Undivided Attention (EP)

It's always been awhile for some artists. But it hasn't been for J-Live, he's kept us well saturated with great EP's that have kept us noshing until he releases his next full length effort. The "Undivided Attention" EP was no different, it definitely brought back songs that were reminiscent of "All of the Above" and "Then What Happened?" which brought his self realizations and ambitions to light once again, as he chips away at the rock of obscurity and continues to hold his destiny firmly in his hands where it belongs. Check out the introductory feel-good vibes emitted from "Home or Away," or the test of skill in "The Way That I Rhyme".

The Left - Gas Mask

The Left crept out of nowhere in my radar until I heard of them for another blog I write for (shouts out to my dudes at Potholes In My Blog). But as soon as one night when I let my headphones take a listen to this effort, I was immediately mesmerized by the digital, yet apocalyptic boom bap hip hop it was bringing, which kept me nodding my head uncontrollably and almost unconsciously. Not to mention cameos from Kool G Rap, Guilty Simpson and Hassan Mackey? Absolutely unbelievable. This definitely shook at the foundations of what I heard this year, but this release was most definitely a memorable one, and I look forward to the next one.

8thw1 & 2 Hungry Bros. - No Room For Dessert

Yet another release that crept out of left field, this was definitely a nice break from all the serious hip-hop I had heard this year in the sense that the album was just a feel-good throwback to the days when rap had a lot of fun rhythms and brought back memories reminiscent of seeing B-Boys at my high school and cats freestyling in the corner of the same room. 8thw1 provided the energy and 2 Hungry Bros. provided the fun and simplistic backing that made this album stay in my player for awhile.

Q's Picks

Yelawolf - Trunk Muzik 0-60

Yelawolf is a beast. I'm sure there's a pun there somewhere and if so, it's intended. Anyway, Trunk Muzik 0-60 contains some raw Hip-Hop. With tracks like "Daddy's Lambo," "Get the Fuck Up" and of course "Pop The Trunk", you're moved by dope production and great rhymes. The project is packed full of quality tracks from an artist with an incredible back story. One of my favorite cuts is "I Wish" Featuring Raekwon. The only draw back on this project was the Gucci feature. But overall, Trunk Muzik 0-60 was a strong project.

Fresh Cut Collective - Fresh Cut Collective

While front man Adebisi is working on a solo project, The Fresh Cut Collective self titled project released by Uni-Fi Records out of Milwaukee this year was one of my favorite releases. The project contains some of my favorite overall tracks from 2010. Do some research and get familiar with Fresh Cut Collective. They're dope. And their live set ain't no joke either.

Signif - The Transition

Not sure who Signif is? Well, I'm sure she'll spend 2011 continuing the work she started in 2010 with The Transition. The Transition isn't Sig's first project but it's one that has received a lot of attention and some very positive reviews. With a few videos, a few features and a remix project released this year, The Transition was just the starting point.

Big K.R.I.T. - K.R.I.T. Wuz Here
At first glance I wasn't interested in this project. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was just the day that this project popped up in my inbox. Who knows. It wasn't until someone tweeted me if I had heard it, that I finally decided to give it a play. It became an immediate favorite. The more music K.R.I.T. drops, the more I respect his work. I'm looking forward to more of his music in 2011.

Homeboy Sandman - The Good Sun

Sandman is another one of those folks whose name I had heard more than his music. After listening to The Good Sun I was impressed. Homeboy Sandman is one of those emcees that rhymes about exactly how he feels and there's no fluff. I once wrote in a review of the project, "there's no dumb'ing it down on The Good Sun." The Good Sun was a strong project for Sandman, and one of the stronger releases this year.

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