1. “Bone Gristle”-Clan Destined
Taken From: “A Story Never Told: “F#$% A Mixtape” (get it HERE)
Yes sa’, it’s about damn time something moves me in Hip Hop in 2010. The first quarter of each year is usually slow, but with the release of the recently leaked Clan Destined mixtape things are about to heat up. Hailing from East Point, the duo has hooked up with fellow ATLien Floyd The Locsmif (stop sleepin’, ak’ like you know!) for a bouncy, neck-breaker in the form of “Bone Gristle”, a track that evokes memories of the Blahzay Blahzay classic “Danger” (of course, without all the anthemic qualities). DO NOT SLEEP on this mixtape, had it not been for a random Illastrate (Aarophat & Illastrate) “tweet” I would have been left out in the cold on this one as well. ATL continues to churn out more good, quality Hip Hop with the likes of the aforementioned Clan Destined, Aaro & Illa, Senor Kaos & Boog Brown. Thinks are looking good for 2010!!
2. “Panic”-Roc Marciano
Taken From: Roc’s solo debut “Marcberg”
Here’s just one more reason (aside from The Left’s “Gas Mask”, sorry…according to Apollo Brown, ya’ll are gonna’ have to wait til’ the winter of 2010 for that one..) that I’m quite certain that all is gonna’ be well for underground Hip Hop in 2010, Roc Marciano’s long-awaited solo debut “Marcberg”. Already garnering rave reviews, with some going as far as stating this album is a “game changer”, “Marcberg” takes a page outta’ Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” (or even Ghost’s debut, for sake of comparisons), with vivid lyricism and raw (with a particular emphasis on RAW), stripped-down, gritty production (handled by Marc, himself), it’s hard to find anything wrong with “Marcberg” as a whole.
Now, for “Panic”, I have yet to hear anything that quite resembles this track production-wise this year. Not necessarily something you can categorize (although, oddly enough I do hear some “electronic/Flying Lotus” qualities floating around in there), “Panic” possesses that extra “IT” factor that’s bound to put that extra jerk in your neck. Couple those addictive factors with Roc’s gravely, “raw-to-the core/raw like reservoir dogs” delivery and this album feels like it was preserved in a time capsule from 1993. However, for the listener, April 20th can’t arrive soon enough!
Taken From: Alex B’s forthcoming LP “Moments” (click for details)
I know, right? How in God’s Earth do I go from Roc Marciano to this? Crazy, that’s just how unpredictable my listening habits have been as of late. I will say this: I’m starting to become more than concerned, am I falling outta’ love with Hip Hop? Simply because it’s tracks like Alex B’s “You & I Both Know” , Flying Lotus’ leak “Cosmogramma” (see below) and the new Jneiro Jarel EP “Android Love Mayhem” that have been dominating my Ipod and headphones. I mean, admittedly, I’m a production-junkie to the core, but sites like Moovmnt and 92BPM have taken the reigns in terms of surfing habits over that of the HipHopBootleggers and 2Dopeboyz of the blogosphere. However, it’s hard to deny that tracks such as “You & I Both Know” aren’t the future in production for Hip Hop as it continues to evolve into the more “electronic” and “sonically-infused” focus of beat-crafting.
f. Kes Kaos-U-N-I & Ro. Blvd.
Taken From: U-N-I’s revamped “Love Supreme 2.0″
Syrupy hook and all, I’d be a bold-faced liar if I told you that the original version of “My Life” (featured on U-N-I & Ro. Blvd’s free LP, “Love Supreme”, from 2009) wasn’t one of my most played tracks of last year. However, this time around the production is just as elegant and breezy as it was on the first trip (with more of an emphasis on live instrumentation on this version, as opposed to the o.g.) , and I’d be hard pressed to say that version 2.0 just may have very well trumped the original. Although, I’m not sure that I can say that the same case can be made for “Love Supreme 2.0″ as a whole, as this album, which also includes 5 new “bonus” tracks, feels more watered-down and “commercial” (rightfully so, this time the goods aren’t “free). As for a purchase? I’ll leave that up to your imagination and Dart’s “tried and tested” “cop it or not” formula. Yet, one thing is for certain, “My Life” lives on in 2010 with it’s crafty, aimed for the Spring/Summertime remix.
Taken From: Dom’s mixtape “From The Westside, With Love” (get it HERE, link courtesy of 2DopeBoyz
Some of you may be familiar with L.A.’s Dom Kennedy via his appearances alongside fellow “hipsters as long as you’re a listener” Pac Div. With this 3rd release from Dom he’s sure to blaze a few trails with the impressive free release, “From The Westside, With Love”. Yet, Dom saves his best for last on this 16-track banger with the “bonus” cut “Me Again”. Atop a thumping bassline and an airy sample, Dom takes the listener on a trip from “Old To New” with a catchy delivery that reels you in and eagerly keeps you awaiting the next 16 from this overlooked emcee. Other tracks from the mixtape that are just as “bump-worthy” are “Locals Only”, “Home Alone” (one listen to this and all you old-headz like myself, ahem…Trav, will be uttering, “ya’ can’t find, ya’ can’t find me, ya’ can’t..Hit me in the comments section if you catch my drift) and “A Leimart Park Song”. Be certain to check this out if you haven’t already…