Previous post:

Next post:

Click HERE

Eric’s Top 25 Albums of 2010

by Eric on December 21, 2010

1. “Gas Mask”-The Left

Purchase Via Gas Mask - The Left

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

So folks, even with all the shine that the “Gas Mask” has received already since it’s release nearly two months ago and hell..I liked it so much I reviewed it twice, cats are still bootlegging this sh*t.  C’mon son, please support the artists (and labels, Mello Music Group nailed it 1nce again!) that are doin’ this hip-hop thing the right way and go out and cop the “Gas Mask”.  It’s once inna’ blue moon that you’ll hear an album as sound as the effort from Apollo Brown , Journalist 103 and DJ Soko, “Gas Mask” is the model album for the “B-House Stamp Of Approval”.  A ground-breaking instant classic and yet I’ve peeped a few year end “lists” and the “Gas Mask” is nowhere to be found!? That’s just plain idiotic, and you call yourself a “writer” (*blank stare*)?

2. “Nineteen Ninety Now” – Celph Titled & Buckwild

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Purchase Via Nineteen Ninety Now - Celph Titled & Buckwild

You remember how “Mecca & The Soul Brother” and “The Main Ingredient” were intro-less, interlude-less albums. Well, peep game, with 16 cuts that all exceeded the 4 minute mark, “Nineteen Ninety Now” possessed that same feel. Celph & Buck crafted tracks son, no wastage on this album whatsoever! One would also think that the overall sound quality of the album would be somewhat tainted due to the age of the production, not the case my friend, this album will KILL your preferred sound-system. I truly hope that everyone that purchased this LP savor it for what it is, because you probably won’t see or hear another one like it for quite some time. A daring venture, no doubt, but Celph and Buckwild pulled it off with mind-blowing results!

I’d be lying to you if I said that I was one of Celph Titled’s biggest fans prior to the release. Sure, I knew of Celph, due to his appearance on record with A.O.T.P., J-Zone & Apathy, but have I purchased any physical product from dude? No. On the same token, I’d also be lying if I mentioned that I wasn’t a Buckwild Stan..errr…fan. Buck has always been one of my favorite producers of all-time. Whether it be his production with the likes of O.C., all the way down to his appearance on B.I.G’s “Life After Death”, with “I Got A Story To Tell”. However, Celph has made me a believer with the lyrical performance he delivered on this album.

3. “How I Got Over” – The Roots

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Purchase via How I Got Over - The Roots

“How I Got Over” cemented the Roots in Hip Hop history as possibly the greatest crew to ever do it. I mean, these cats have been killin’ shit for nearly 20 years!! And don’t even mention the Wu-Tang Clan, different place, different ballgame. While Black Thought remains of one of my top 5 emcees to ever pick up the microphone, he truly met his match with the lyrical performances delivered by both Blu and Phonte on “H.I.G.O.” (the duo appeared on two tracks each), yet the competition only forced Thought to come through in the clutch even more as he offered up some of his most potent verses ever on this outing.

Also, is it just me or does the aforementioned pairing of Blu and Phonte seem effortless? I mean, these cats felt so at home on this album, it’s like as if they’re both gunning to be card-carrying members of the Roots crew. Could you even imagine a complete album, 10 or so tracks deep, comprised of lyrical performances, solely by Black Thought, Blu & Phonte? Good Lawd!!

4. “Album Of The Year”-Black Milk

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Purchase “Album Of The Year” via Album

Black Milk’s 5th studio album, “Album Of The Year” detailed Black Milk’s emotional roller coaster of 2009. One of the more capable dual threats in Hip Hop, Black Milk’s production for this 0uting incorporated elements of Electronica and Go-Go with live instrumentation to equate for one helluva’ neck-snapping experience. Lyrically, have I heard this Black Milk on record before? Well, yes, but the progression from “Sound Of The City” to this most recent effort is commendable if not awe-inspiring. I can’t front, I wasn’t too impressed upon my first few listens, yet “Album Of The Year” has remained in rotation as one of 2010′s more cohesive albums and nearly made the title of the LP a reality for Black Milk.

5. “Marcberg” – Roc Marciano

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase via Marcberg - Roc Marciano

Here’s one of the biggest reasons (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 for the remainder of 2011 and beyond, Roc Marciano’s long-awaited solo debut “Marcberg”.  Having been blessed with  rave reviews, with some going as far as stating this album is a “game changer”, “Marcberg” took 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 (although, I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Thug’s Prayer”).  To be extra picky though, the album could have been been mastered more precisely, but if it’s the cassette feel Roc is trying to achieve with “Marcberg”, dude got it!

6. “The Great Escape”-Magestik Legend

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via The Great Escape - Magestik Legend

At a first glance at the tracklist for “The Great Escape”, 18 tracks can seem like a daring task, especially when considering the fluidity and playability of an LP. Arguably, the greatest LP of all-time, Nas’ “Illmatic” was only 9 tracks deep and “The Great Escape” nearly doubles that? Don’t get it twisted, “The Great Escape” is by no means “Illmatic”. However, what it is, is yet another LP that has done Detroit proud as Magestik Legend unveils a canvas of emotions and vulnerability on “The Great Escape”, which came as somewhat of a surprise from the man who honed his lyrical skills in the cyphers of Detroit. Whether it’s M.L.’s ode to his aging father on the 14KT-produced (and my favorite cut from the LP), “Million Miles Away” or the soulful, Fes Roc-featured “Feel What I Feel”, which Astronote absolutely murders on the production tip, or a straight up lyrical barrage with the Busta Rhymes-sampled, “SCREAM”, Magestik Legend touches all the bases, lyrically, on this album. The prior (“Million Miles Away”) struck a particular chord with me, as I’m also dealing with a Father whose health is failing rapidly due to Multiple Sclerosis.

Even though “The Great Escape” is barely a month old, it won’t fall into the trap of forgettable albums released near year’s end, as this LP quickly rose to the top of my list after spending just a few days with it in rotation.

7. “Brown Study” – Boog Brown & Apollo Brown

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Brown Study - Boog Brown & Apollo Brown

“Let’s start from the beginning/At the top of the list”, Mello Music Group did it again. Apollo Brown did it again, and for those of you whom were wise enough to peep “Grind Season Vol. I”, Boog Brown did it again. Released on Sept. 28th,the “dirty drums” of Apollo Brown met the poignant, effortless delivery of Boog Brown for the perfect marriage of nearly flawless production and elegant lyricism (but, Boog can battle with the best of ‘em, when provoked, don’t sleep). So bring on the cheesy lines, just what can Brown do for you?  When I listened to this LP, I didn’t think: “man, Boog is a dope emcee….for a female”, but rather: “damn,  Boog is one of the illest, most potent lyricists out there right now!”

8. “Mbodiment” – The Heart & Brain (TzariZM & Vis Major)

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Mbodiment - The Heart & Brain

As the “Heart”, Tzarizm successfully “rebirthed”  that good ol’ boom bap that made me fall in love with the “musical” aspect of Hip-Hop first.   Yeah, yeah, I get it.  You’ve read over and over, maybe even on these very pages that “this” album or “that” album captures the “essence” of the Golden Era.  Yet, while Tzarizm has implemented tons of recognizable breakbeats and loops, it’s the samples that rest upon the neck-snapping drum kicks that truly give each and every track that make up “Mbodiment”, as well as Tzarizm’s production style an identity of their own.

Not to venture into left field here, but why in the HELL had I never heard of Vis Major prior to the release of this album?  Straight up and down, Vis is a lyrical monster, equipped with a potent delivery and a voice that just floats atop Tzarizm’s pulsing soundscapes.  “MBODIMENT” is a must have, one of the biggest surprises of 2010!

9. “The Weakend”-H.I.S.D.

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via The Weakend - H.I.S.D. (Hueston Independent Spit District)

What’s really a damn shame is that this LP will go unfairly unnoticed for the most part, I’d bet the farm on it! Yet, if I can have my say, you would be remiss to sleep on “The Weakend”. Not only is this album a must cop, but H.I.S.D. has only heightened expectations from what we can expect from the four man crew comprised of emcees Scottie Spitten, Equality, Savvi and LdaVoice, as well as producers King Midas and E-Classic. The true highlight of the LP is the production, laced by King Midas as tracks like the LP’s opener, “Come Out and Play”, the aforementioned “Space UP!” and “SheetRock” all feature airy, bass-heavy, almost LabTechish’ soundscapes that can very well be classified as true “headphone music”.  I just wish I knew a bit more in regards to the crew as they’ve flow under the radar (even on the underground tip) for the last few years.

10. “The Reset” – Apollo Brown

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via The Reset - Apollo Brown

The Intro joint (“Our Time”) to Apollo Brown’s “The Reset” repeatedly utters the statement: “The time for us is now..”, because that is EXACTLY what’s goin’ down right about now.  Apollo Brown’s “The Reset” is almost void of any fodder or wastage.  It’s a rarity when you can put an album in the Ipod on repeat for hours, and when it’s a producer album with emcee features (collaborative? instrumental lp? whatever..) most times the album isn’t a very cohesive blend of talents.  Yet, “The Reset” is just that, cats such as Oddisee, Buff 1, Finale, Kenn Starr and The Regiment (stop sleepin’) sound at home atop Apollo’s masterful soundscapes.  And after mini-hiatuses it was great to hear Magestik Legend (“Brag Language” and “Just Think”, one of my favorites from the LP) and M.E.D. (“Turn and Run”) back to their old habits.  Still, it’s the rolling drums (those DAMN drums!) of the “Brainwash” remix that has me reaching for the “rewind” button over and over again.

11. “Owl” – Qwel & Maker

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Owl - Qwel & Maker

For their 3rd full-length LP, Qwel & Maker’s creative partnership had gone from sometime collaborators to a full-fledged partnership and the result is their finest work to date with “Owl”. The duo is most at home on tracks like “El Camino” where Qwel’s lyrics scrape vibrant, and often harsh, realities across Maker’s soundscape of hard hitting drums and a dense sonic arrangement. “Name looking strange in the limelight / Chamber what you trying to change / Sitting here soaking in hindsight / It’s the road / Its the life I chose” concludes Qwel on the album’s crowning moment (and peep the 2 minute outro…lovely!) “El Camino.” Newly committed to the ‘life they chose’ and resolved to defeat stagnation in an industry in transition, if “Owl” is any indication, Qwel & Maker have only just begun.

12. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – Kanye West

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

When the G.O.O.D. Friday tracks all would leak, I thought, huh, these are each pretty decent, but I wonder what I’d think if he just released this as the album.  Yet, when I first peeped the tracklist and was surprised to realize that those counting the previous leaks, myself included, had already heard five of the eleven full songs slated to appear the album.  What do we have here? Another overhyped disappointing album?  So, needless to say, I wasn’t expecting too much.

Then came the “Runaway” video, which was even more of a head scratcher.  When I first heard the album in full, though it was the clean version, I didn’t feel particularly impressed, but I enjoyed the production, very much so. I thought it would be a top 3 album of the year at the least. I mean, “Lost in the World” is pretty iffy, and what in God’s name is going on at the end of “Runaway”? The added Rick Ross appearance on “Devil in a New Dress”? Dude! RZA on “So Appalled”? He ruins the vibe! “Hell of a Life”?  Hardly…

Then I kept on listening, and it just became more and more clear how damn good this album is, and I can’t stand Kanye as a person. . How it makes all other hip hop albums sound inconsequential in comparison, musically. How some of the above mentioned flaws above were revealed to be my own first-listen-shortsightedness (“Hell of a Life”, “Lost in the World”, the closing of “Runaway”), while others are legitimate, glaring flaws (Rick Ross, namely) but don’t even come close to breaking the overall experience that is “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”.

13. “Death Is Silent” – KNO

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Death Is Silent - Kno

With his debut solo outing “Death Is Silent” Kno, once again, proved why he’s one of the best producers out there. I wasn’t too terribly excited for the CunninLynguists’ solo venture, but any limited expectations I did have were  exceeded. Kno’s production is as breathtaking as ever, though here it’s a little darker than usual. Fitting, being that the subject of the LP generally evolves around “death”. This is also the most we’ve heard from Kno as an emcee in recent memory, though there are a few guest spots sprinkled here and there. He’s perfectly capable as a rapper; he doesn’t have the biggest presence and his voice and delivery generally leave a bit to be desired, but he’s very solid overall. I especially enjoyed his dreary performance on “La Petite Mort”.  As far as the notable highlights on the LP,  I’d basically be listing all the songs but two or three. It is definitely notable, though, that what may be the two best songs are placed right next to each other; the one-two punch of La Petite Mort and Rhythm of the Rain is definitely the highlight of the album.

14. “The Stimulus Package” – Freeway & Jake One

The Crowing Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via The Stimulus Package (Deluxe Edition) - Freeway & Jake One

Lemme’ just say this: it’s not as if Philly ever left, but Freeway and Jake One’s “The Stimulus Package” pushed Philly to the forefront of Hip Hop as this album was hands-down the best piece of material that I’d  experienced the first quarter of the year. Again, you see how the simplistic formula of one emcee and one DJ works wonders, right? Freeway, whom I’m not quite sure if he topped the lyrical performance displayed on his debut “Philadelphia Freeway” (man, that album was ALL cats played while deployed in Iraq, as well as Young Gunz’ debut), does his best on the “Stimulus Package” to make you all but forget his 2009 mishap, “Philadelphia Freeway 2″. Free’s often-deemed “annoying” voice is unnoticeable on this extremely well crafted collaborative effort that pairs East Coast lyricism with one of the best producers from the West, Jake One.

From the opening moments of the Beanie Sigel-assisted “Stimulus Intro” (damn, that was a good look to get Beans on the track) to the album’s finale “Free People” this sh*t…well…I could have done without the lyrical musings (insert sarcasm) of one Birdman on “Follow My Moves”, but aside from that obvious misstep, “The Stimulus Package” is the first album that I laid down some hard-earned loot for this year. It was a damn good feeling to go back home to PA last week and bump “The Stimulus Package”, knowing that Free is holding the Keystone State down.

Rhymesayers for the win!

15. “Freezing World”-Collective Efforts

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Freezing World - Collective Efforts

With hits of live instrumentation and melodic backdrops seamlessly intertwined with drunk-rattling drum spikes, “Freezing World” is a musical expedition, and a true class on “originality”.  Each of the trio brings their own unique input and personalities to the developing storyline that is the culmination of all their past and present workings.  “Freezing World” also features notable lyrical appearances from the likes of  fellow ATL-iens, Senor Kaos (“The Dream”) and Dillon (“Freezing World”) making the album somewhat of a family affair.

With “Freezing World”, it may very well be “when hell freezes over” that the trio achieves the critical acclaim that they so do deserve, yet Collective Efforts has delivered an album that Hip-Hop needs.  While the album’s title reads: “Freezing World”, Collective Efforts is sure to heat things up with this stellar outing that even I slept on for months!!!

16. “International Summers” – John Robinson & Lewis Parker

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via International Summers - John Robinson & Lewis Parker

Simply put, John Robinson’s, one emcee/one producer effort with Lewis Parker “International Summers” just makes you feel good when you listen to it. Here, we have two cats, from opposite ends of the world, brought together by a label, combining to create an album that went unnoticed this year.  There is no big “feature” on the LP, and no sure-fire radio smash, but this album is pure Hip-Hop.  Raw, gritty, jazzy, it may be sad but true:  “International Summers” would have been a classic had it been released between ’93-’96, but true Hip-Hop heads are lovin’  this album in the present day!! Trust me….

17. “Live From The Tapedeck” – Skyzoo & Illmind

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Live from the Tape Deck (Bonus Track Version) - Skyzoo & Illmind

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…

18. “Musikyo” – Kyo Itachi

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Musikyo - Kyo Itachi

For a compilation that was over 20 tracks deep with guest appearances from the likes of Planet Asia, Wildchild, LMNO, Finale, John Robinson, Wordsworth, Sene, Hus (Tha Connection) and more, French producer Kyo Itachi created a production canvas for a compilation LP that was rivaled only by Apollo Brown’s “The Reset”.  Throughout “Musikyou” you can hear the viable RZA and Madlib influences as Itachi’s beats are littered with hollow drums and eerie, well-placed sample selections.  Released on Digi Crates near the start of November, “Musikyo” continues to gain steam as this compilation has remained in the headphones and the ride for the better portion of this last quarter.

19. “Pea’s Gotta’ Have It” – Von Pea

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via Pea's Gotta Have It - Von Pea

Don’t get it twisted, even if Von Pea is best known as the most identifiable member of Tanya Morgan, “P.G.H.I.” is a total solo outing.  As I was telling Trav, I love Tanya Morgan, but this album doesn’t remind me of anything that has come outta’ the T.M. camp.  The LP is 100 percent original and funky, even if the album’s first single didn’t get me in a rush to scoop this album up immediately, after enjoying “P.G.H.I.” for much of my “East Coast” venture back to PA in late October, I’m not afraid to admit that Von Pea has released one of the most unique albums of 2010.  Although, the album was released abruptly (the initial release was set for the 12th of October, but even more drama ensued when it was pushed back to the 19th), you should most definitely add “P.G.H.I.” to your “shopping cart” that should also include Celph Titled & Buckwild’s “Nineteen Ninety Now” and The Left’s “Gas Mask”!

20. “GreyMatter” – GreyMatter

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Purchase Via Grey Matter - Grey Matter

Grey Matter’s impressive debut LP can be extremely lengthy (24 cuts with a few dope “instrumental interludes” thrown into the mix), but it still manages to be completely fulfilling and cohesive. Admittedly, some tracks are pretty damn depressing, but the subject matter is very relative to what takes place in the average working man’s day. Even though it can be considered “mood” music, the vivid and descriptive writing reels you in. Illustrate is a skilled penman, and equally potent is TEMP with his crafty productions. “Grey Matter” will stake it’s claim in underground Hip Hop, an album that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster, yet it definitely shouldn’t overlooked or forgotten. One of the more surprising and fulfilling records of the year.

21. “Tripping On This Journey”-LMNO & Astronote

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase “Tripping” via Tripping

As solid as LMNO has been ‘year ’round lyrically, it’s definitely a positive when you have a musical canvas courtesy of Astronote to rock over for 12 tracks. I can’t even front, this may very well be an LMNO “album” per se, as well as being released (as have all of LMNO’s LPs this year) on the Up Above imprint, yet Astronote’s star shines brighest on “Tripping..”. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not speaking in DJ Premier/Group Home terms, but rather Pete Rock/CL Smooth terms, if you feel me?

22. “The Jungle”-Dumhi

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via The Jungle - Dumhi

Did someone mention the Keystone State? Dumhi’s “The Jungle” along with the production and emcee features that can be found on this album is underground Hip Hop at it’s finest. It’s especially sweet, when this type of album emerges from my home state. Yet, even if I was from Alaska, “The Jungle” would still be on repeat in my headphones. Fast-forward five years from now, “The Jungle” won’t astound anyone with units moved, but it will be respected in a manner that us old-headz hold in high regard, albums such as “Contemporary Jeep Music”, “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”, “Da Dirty 30″ seem to come to mind.

Apollo Brown held it down for Detroit with “The Reset” (another producer themed album) and just as effectively, Dumhi has duplicated those same glaring results with “The Jungle”. However, in this instance, Dumhi has blessed Philly with it’s own well-deserved shine. Taking it back to early ’60s gang life in Philly, Dumhi has proved that in the “city of brotherly love”, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Word to Schooly D! Put up your 10 bones, cop this ‘ish and “Thank Me Later”, Dumhi is Dum-Good….

23. “12 Step Program”-Panacea

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase Via 12 Step Program - Panacea

For those readers who’ve remained loyal to When They Reminisce over the last 3 years, you already know just how “big” I am on Panacea. Truly one of a kind, the production styling of K-Murdock and lyrical musings of one Raw Poetic don’t really “grab you” per se upon first listen to the duo. Yet, they are both so damn unique and original that it’s almost impossible not to revert back to albums like “The Scenic Route” and “A Mind On A Ship Through Time” for a refresher on just how talented this oft-overlooked duo truly are. With “12 Step Program” Panacea has compiled their finest piece of work to date. While K-Murdock’s production on the LP features his signature melodic style, it’s tracks such as the nearly 120-BPM “Sync In City” that venture off the usual path of what you can expect from Panacea. And while Raw Poetic has remained as consistent and potent on the mic as ever, Panacea’s forward-thinking on this LP elevates this album to an instant classic in the minds of Panacea’s die-hard following.

24. “Everything Changed Nothing”-Trek Life & Oddisee

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase “Everything..” via Everything

I gotta’ tell ya’, prior to the release of “Everything Changed Nothing” I wasn’t Trek Life’s biggest fan. Not that dude was a sub-par lyricist or artist, but his “New Money” (w/Oddisee) LP and “The Price I’ve Paid” just didn’t possess that “wow” factor for me. Solid, no doubt, if not very consistent, but nothing too mind-blowing. However, with the release of “Everything Changed Nothing”, also solely produced by Oddisee, Trek Life injected Oddisee’s potent soundscapes with insight to the West Coast lifestyle. While the production was astounding on this effort, Trek Life’s personality and flair really shined through on this go ’round.

25. “Heaven Razah”-Hell Razah

The Crowning Moment:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Purchase “Heaven Razah” via Heaven

Wow…just..wow! Hell Razah came back with a vengeance on “Heaven Razah”, namely on the collaborative cut with underground stronghold R.A. The Rugged Man, “Return Of The Renaissance Mane”. Score this LP a win for Nature Sounds, as dope as “Renaissance Child” (which is revered most for “Project Jazz”), “Heaven Razah” would have been even higher on this list had I not been bumping the hell outta’ the Brown Study and Black Milk joints for the quarter. Also, be sure to cop this jawn as after many delays caused by the a coma after a Brain Aneurysm, Razah is still recovering.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 1 trackback }

The Best of “The Best of 2010″ « That Whiiite
December 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

{ 18 comments }

Mello December 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Hell Yeah! That’s what’s up! The Left, Apollo Brown, Boog Brown, Trek Life, Oddisee all represented in Erics List! Plus you gotta love Roc Marci, Skyzoo, Black Milk! Props for a great list of HIPHOP.

Jaz December 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Yet another over rating that wack Kanye garbage…besides that wackness, a very good list E.

Josef Zehetner December 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I wouldn’t call 12th place overrated, when everybody got it at 1st place (what’s really over rated). I absolutly agree with 1st place! I would rate The Reset a little higher and Pea’s gotta have it. But the list is great anyway.

Jaz December 22, 2010 at 2:07 am

I wouldn’t and don’t rate that Pop-Rap garbage at all.

James December 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

Nottz’s album kills Black Milk’s effort, I’m sorry. And what, no Slum Village??? Rakaa’s album, Terrace Martin’s, even Bone Thugs album was better than alot of these entries. Gonna need to update this list too homie, that Ghostface album has a Top 5 position EASY.

Eric December 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

Nottz kills Black Milk…that’s funny….good album, still funny. Honestly, I don’t even know who Terrance Martin is. Nor did I know Bone released an album this year?

Eric December 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

BTW Jaz, shoot us YOUR top 10..it’d be interesting…better yet, lemme’ visit RYM real quick

Eric December 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

KRS One & True Master in Top 25? C’mon man

Eric December 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

The Gas Mask? 49…you’re outta’ your mind

James December 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The point is, this list is extremely close-minded for an underground hip hop head. How do you not know Bone Thugs released a new album, reunited, with all 5 members? lol I would definitely have that in my Top 25, even if a few of the tracks are throwaways. What’s your excuse for not mentioning SV or Rakaa’s album?

Eric December 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Rakaa and SV weren’t top 25 material…point blank… Sorry if I missed out on Bone….LMAO

Notice it says Eric’s Top 25, not James’

jrrider December 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Nice list, the left of course but you hit it right on the head about Celph. I wasnt the biggest fan for sure but that album is fire. The production choices and 90′s movie intros are the shit, dude put himself on another level with this one. #1 all day

And yes kanye is a still muthafuckin monsta even though he is @ the gay bar strapped in leather.lmao It all cant be underground, some shit is just to funky to hide

Honorable mention: Rakaa iriscience, KRS True master and JOELL ORTIZ FREE AGENT!!!!!!!!! Cocaine!!!!!!

James December 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm

How you gonna make a list that is meant to be some type of definitive underground top 25 for the most part and then go ahead and say that Kanye’s album was better than Rakaa’s? That’s some hypocrite shit for what this blog is supposed to represent: supporting dope underground acts.

Anyways, I’m seconding that Joel Ortiz, shit was the leak of the year as far as I’m concerned.

gasface December 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Come on people its a FUCKIN list…it’s not like this is the only albums you can listen forever….make your own damn lists and move on folks….different strokes etc……….

gasface December 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Come on people its a FUCKIN list…it’s not like these are the only albums you can listen forever….make your own damn lists and move on folks….different strokes etc……….

Travis December 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Debate is good, and lord knows that Eric and I don’t agree all the time, but the point is, it’s an OPINION. It’s what Eric likes. If he likes Kanye better than Rakaa’s, that’s his personal opinion and what he likes. It was titled “Eric’s Top 25″ and not “THE Top 25″. And if you don’t like Eric’s you probably won’t like mine, you won’t find Bone Thugs anywhere on it…but you won’t find Kanye on it either…but it’s probably more “underground” (what is underground anymore, just about anything that isn’t play on the radio) than E’s.

Jason Hize January 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

Eric’s list is on-point. Before I had read this post, I had come up with the list below. Glad to see Mbodiment on both lists! Blacastan’s album has not gotten its just due.
Best Albums of 2010 (alphabetical)
7L & Esoteric- 1212
Apollo Brown- The Reset
Blacastan- Black Sabbath
Black Milk- Album of the Year
El Da Sensei & The Returners- Takeover 2: Nu World
Ghostface- Apollo Kids
Homeboy Sandman- The Good Sun
Majestik Legend- The Great Escape
Marco Polo & Rustee Juxx- The eXXecution
Murs & 9th Wonder- Fornever
Roc Marciano- Marcberg
Skyzoo and !llmind- Live From the Tape Deck
The Heart & Brain- Mbodiment
The Left- Gas Mask
The Roots- How I Got Over

Jaz February 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Eric that list is not in any order, just my top albums of 2010.

Comments on this entry are closed.