100. “Smoke It Over”-Dibiase & Pudge
While this track may or may not be “news” as “Smoke Over” served as Dart’s favorite cut near the start of the new decade, this Dibiase & Pudge-blessed track has been a constant in my Ipod and car since it’s release. Fueled by a neck-jerking bassline that sounds like (really) someone is trying to escape from your trunk, “Smoke Over” was the first in a series of 10 10’s from LA based producers, a simple premise of 2 producers sharing each record every month since January 2010. Accurately described as the offspring which lies somewhere between J Dilla and Ras G, Dibiase is admittedly one of the more slept on producers out there who surely has some heat up his sleeve for the new decade.
99. “Time Kills” -Erik L & Illingsworth f. Sene
If you haven’t already, peep Dart’s take on the album HERE. While I don’t know if I would give the album a “Mos Def” (to each his own), if the full length would have showcased more of “Time Kills” (f. Sene), I’d have been all in. Produced entirely by Erik L and Illingsworth, “Northern Connection” showcased the marvelous beat-stylings of both producers, as well as lyricists from the US and Sweden.
For “Time Kills” the duo politiced with Sene, who has been popping up EVERYWHERE in 2010 (and KILLING sh*t, nonetheless) for a track that production-wise reminded me alot of Invincible “Sledgehammer” from her album, “ShapeShifters”. And, while there are a few tracks included that aren’t to my peculiar liking, I wouldn’t have to argue a purchase, if for anything, “Time Kills” is such a dope track it’s nearly merits a pick-up alone.
Found On: “Problem Child”/”Feel That” (2010 Re-release, Six2Six Records)
Preview the “Unshelved” Deviants’ release “Concrete Utopia LP” HERE (Vinyl is NOW available!)
I can’t front and say that I was up on the Constant Deviants back in ’96 when they dropped the classic 12″, “Competition Catch Speed Knots” on Vestry Records. Comprised of DJ Cutt and M.I.C., not only did the did have one of the freshest monikers, but they made some pretty dope cuts as well. Thankfully, the album “Concrete Utopia LP” has since been re-released on Six2Six Records, with “Problem Child” serving as the warm-up for the uncovered album. “Problem Child” is just another accurate depiction of timeless music from Hip Hop’s glory days, a track that, even in 2010 came off just as fresh as it would have nearly a decade and a half ago!
Hate ‘em or Love ‘em, there’s no denying that two of the illest (literally) young’ns in Hip-Hop have emerged from the Odd Future conglomerate. While Earl Sweatshirt has garnered the attention of many for his ill lyrical and visual content with “Earl“, the one cat that was/is truly on some other sh*t is Earl’s partner in rhyme, Tyler The Creator. Boasting some of the illest (really, sh*t makes me feel guilty for listening to it) lyrical content that I’ve heard in recent memory, you can’t help but compare the duo to Golden Era favorites, The Gravediggaz.
What’s really impressive about the twosome is the route that they’ve taken to “put their stamp” on the music industry, when you talk about “in house”, these cats have truly defined the meaning. Tyler may, will offend some, no doubt..yet, dude’s voice and even more so, his production has turned even this truest Golden Age Hip Hop die-hard into a fan.
Whether you consider Earl and Tyler’s music to just be another instance of “shock and awe”, these cats can spit and Tyler’s beats will absolutely MURDER your trunk.
Baam! There he goes again! While it’s hard not to argue that Sene had one of the better years, lyrically, in 2010 without ever releasing an “official” album, it’s also a damn shame just how overlooked the Brown Bag All-Stars are! Whether it’s Koncept, J57′s production or Soul Khan’s unique voice and delivery, these cats truly put in work in 2010! Yet, with “Shot Glass Magnified”, as admirable as the lyrically performances of Sene and Soul Khan are, the show stopper on this outing is the production of Elaquent, who delivers a soundscape that is custom made for your headphones. Had this actually been released a tad bit earlier in the year, “Shot Glass Magnified” would have definitely jumped a few notches on this list. It’s only recently that I’ve let this track “breathe”, score me a late pass…real talk! This cut is not only trunk-worthy but it’s remains classy all the while!
95. “Sheep Steep” (Remix) -Need Not Worry
While uploading the DXA/Kevin Nottingham presented mixtape “Continued Progression” to my Ipod during the last week of 2009, I was pleasantly surprised by the first track that randomly blared through my Bose speakers. While I have yet to find anything around the internet regarding the track’s artist, Need Not Worry, I gotta’ say this remix was one of the finest examples of capturing the essence of true Golden Era production in recent memory! I mean, the production on this joint is insane, and yet on the same token I’m not sure whom I need to give props to? Although, I might add that Need Not Worry bares an eerie vocal resemblance to AZ. Check this one out for yourself, and hit me in the comments if you can offer me any additional info on this track.
If you’re gonna’ pay homage to the legendary Guru, 1/2 of the legendary duo, GangStarr, what a better way to do it and do it proper, than legend in the making, Damu did with the second cut from his recently released “Supply For Demand”, “DC Joint (Ward 4 Version)”. I can’t even front, I didn’t even think that Damu got down lyrically like this! A clever take on GangStarr’s “The Place Where We Dwell” (from the G.A.N.G.’s ’92 opus, “Daily Operation”), Damu loops up those thumping drums from the early -’90s gem and injects 2010 flair as he knocks this one outta’ the park with an eyebrow-raising lyrical outing! Pick this sh*t up (“Supply For Demand”) yesterday if you haven’t already!
While not quite on the same level as Pac Div’s 2009 mixtape, “Church League Champions” (which, was better than most cats’ albums), “Don’t Mention It” was packed with catchy lyricism and trunk-rattling bass from one of my favorite trios in the game. Hipsters? Ehh, who cares? These cats have soo much of what soo many lack, charisma and most importantly, talent.
Upon first listen to the year’s 93rd most played cut, “Overcome”, it’s quite obvious that this track stands out amongst the remainder of “Don’t Mention It”, but in a good way. When I first popped “Overcome” in the Beats By Dre mid-spring, I thought: “Damn, this track lacks that “Pac Div signature bottom”, then I took the mixtape out to the car…I was wrong. I’m assuming you already have “Don’t Mention It” uploaded to your Ipod already, if not, get it yesterday.
R & B jawns aren’t normally my thing, but when you find them mingling with production from the out of this world sounds of BMB a.k.a Space Kid (a.k.a. Beat Maker Beat), they’re pretty damn attractive. A track removed from BMB’s latest release “Def Joints” (purchase via ) on the Digi Crates imprint, “Give Me More” is laced with xtra smoove vocals from Choir Boi and neckbrace-mandatory production that stayed on repeat on my Ipod for 21 consecutive listens late Thanksgiving evening. This track is just..*shakes head*….insanity! I can only hope for more from BMB, BMBeats, Space Kid, Beat Maker Beat, or whatever moniker he chooses for 2010, this dude is just….illlllllll!!!!
Woooooo!! Duck Down scored a major winner with “Live From The Tape Deck”! I really had no clue how this one would go over. While Skyzoo remains one of my favorite emcees who still is unfairly tagged as just a “mixtape rapper”, Illmind has been kinda’ “hit or miss” for me lately. However, both parties came through in the clutch with this very impressive, well-executed LP. Did I mention how hard Illimind’s drums knock on the album? Good Lawd…
“The Winner’s Circle”, while one of the LP’s shortest cuts, features an elaborate verse from ‘Zoo as told from Lebron James’ point of view regarding “The Decision”. While the track may be corny to some, you can’t front on the well-placed vocal sample and Illmind’s production is just too polished to overlook. Even King James will crack a smile after bumpin’ “The Winner’s Circle”!