60. Blaq Poet - Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed (From: The Blaq Print)
As you’ll probably see, I enjoyed some key tracks on Blaq Poet’s The Blaq Print album. “Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed” is one such track. This is throwback rap, a song that would have been as much at home in the mid 90′s as it is now. Straight up boom bap hip hop provided by DJ Premier, makes me miss the 90′s.
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59. Akrobatik, J-Live, Supastition, & PackFM – Too Easy (From: DJ JS-1 – Ground Original 2: No Sell Out)
Another DJ JS-1 track? Hells yeah! A funky horn sample provides the driving element to “Too Easy”, and it’s funky like six week worn socks. The blaring brass provides the party like element and basically let four of the best underground emcees shine like only they can. Akrobatik, J-Live, Supastition and PackFM all drop memorable verses, but I think Supastition takes the cake, just barely. You can’t really front on any of them.
58. Poorly Drawn People – Stealers Wheel (From: Motion Not Emotion)
I’ve already described the PDP sound being almost psychedelic in nature as far as the sound found on Motion Not Emotion. “Stealers Wheel” is no different. Although it contains a familiar sample, it adds enough of “this and that” to make it their own.
57. Lonegevity – If You’re Down (From: Sessions) ** FREE DOWNLOAD
Lonegevity is one of those cats that kind of came out of nowhere this year, at least for me. Hailing from Indianapolis, he dropped a mixtape, Sessions, over instrumentals. The one that stuck out the most for me was an Exile beat, and I can’t quite recall where it’s from, but it’s a dope one. Lonegevity drops a couple short verses, but shows that he is most definitely worth watching for in the future.
56. Cunninlynguists feat Tonedeff - Hypnotized (From: Strange Journey Vol 1)
There are probably personal reasons behind the reason for me liking “Hypnotized” track so much. Mainly Tonedeff’s verse, it was somewhat autobiographical, and any humble “player” can admit to being shot down or losing his calm in the “heat of battle”. None the less, it’s a humorous track, one that most of us men can identify with. Kno conjures up a beat that is a little more upbeat than some of the other tracks found on Strange Journey Vol One.
55. LoveJones & Phys Edison – Sunday Drive (Midnight Mix) (From: Sunday Drive)
There is something about the production from Phys Ed on the Sunday Drive LP. The Midnight Mix for the title track showcases Phys Edison’s slightly unique style, a cross between 70′s soul and some more psychedelic sounds. It’s a busy collection of reverbs, piano’s and synthesizers. It’s almost got that “Dark Side of the Moon” type of vibe to it, as you get a sense of a rainy Sunday night. LoveJones does a good job adapting his vocals and delivery to the cause, giving the track a real sense of being.
54. Nite People – Stage Fright (From: What Do You Mean You People)
Consisting of Ethereal Plains aka E The Real, Tone, DJ Manipulator, and Yohon, Nite People released a very solid album, which got a lot of play from me. The second song on What Do You Mean You People immediately grabbed my attention on the first listen. “Stage Fright” is dominated by a killer horn riff, and has some serious flavor.
53. Rise & The Avid Record Collector - WRA Cypher feat Wordsworth & Masta Ace
Rise is always one of those cats that kind of pops up every few years, drops some great music, then disappears. MIA since the 2002 or 2003, Rise, formerly of the Demigodz, hooks up with The Avid Record Collector (who himself hasn’t been seen for awhile until this project) dropped Present Risen, a nice collection of Rise tracks, produced by Avid. I’m always a sucka for tracks that switch up beats during the progress of the song, which is exactly what “WRA Cypher” does. Each artist, Wordsworth, Rise, and Masta Ace have a different beat for their verses. Now, I know what you’re saying, I only picked this because of Ace. Not exactly, but Ace does drop a great verse. Words verse is backed by the best beat of the three and Rise is solid as well. Great posse track in the terms of the old school posse cuts.
52. People Under The Stairs – Step Off (From: Carried Away)
Unlike Eric, I’ve been a fairly large fan of People Under The Stairs since first hearing them early in 2002. They kinda lost me with the “Stepfather” album and I can’t honestly say if I’ve heard the “Fun DMC” album, if I did, I don’t remember much from it. So when Eric posted the exact same song, “Step Off”, I figured I’d give it a listen. This first track hit me like that first drink of water when you are parched. PUTS brings back that old school sound, but have freshened it up a bit from what I remember. Sure, it’s got those old school sounding drums (my favorite) and lots of scratching, but the rest of the production is updated a bit, with as E so eloquently put it, “..overabundance of rock samples, distorted vocals, drum machines..”, and that’s the truth. The vocal sample sounds like it could have come from an old Moody Blues album or some shit. Vocally, Thes and KK sound like they are good and pissed off, it’s this new attitude that made me nod my head and down the hand wavy thing (you all know what I’m talking about)
51. Jay-Z – Thank You (From: Blueprint 3)
It seems like people either loved or hated Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3. Myself, I loved the first half, hated the second half. When “Thank You”, dropped, I thought Jay had himself another banger album. Not to be so, but the track is simply freaking vintage Jay-Z, so at least we got something out of the whole thing. Sounding like something that could have been on the original Blueprint album or at the very least The Black Album.