As 2010 creeps into our collective rear view mirrors, yours truly is fashionably late as usual. We got my PERSONAL favorite 50 albums (with a few mixtapes mixed in) of the year 2010. Now this means that they were my favorite, not what I think were the collective best of the year, so it’s an OPINION. This is what I played the most, what I found myself going back to time and time again. I listened to less hip hop material this year than in years past, with a chunk of time going to checking out old Argentine rock records and Brazilian Tropicalia albums while I was down in South America as well as my current psychedelic rock phase that I’m currently going through, but I’m guessing I still listened to over 300 different projects, EPs, mixtapes, instrumental albums (EPs and Beat/Instrumental albums had their own list this year). To be included on this list means something. It means your project left an impression on me and I listened to it more than a one and done that so often happens to me these days. There were also some that I really wanted to fit on to the list, but 50 was more than I wanted to include, but props to those that I’ve taken the time to post on BH throughout the year. If I didn’t like it, it wouldn’t have been on the site.
Couple things to point out, there were a few “Free Albums”, most notably the Sinitus Tempo and Obii Say album Vinyl Proxy 1965, it took the honors for favorite free album of the year. I expect big things out of this duo in the coming year and yours truly will be pushing them any chance I get. Another great album was the Front Porch Poets album For The Record. The smooth soulful sounds captured me.
2010 also was the return of the female for me. I’m not one to separate the sexes, a dope emcee is a dope emcee whether they are male or female, but people tend to forget that. This year, four females came with solid albums, most notably Boog Brown’s album with Apollo Brown (who probably takes the crown for being involved with three different albums on the list) The Brown Study. Tiff The Gift was the great new comer and should have gotten way more press than she got. Dessa from the Doomtree collective was a multi-layered album that had poetry, hip hop, and even some singing. It was this diversity that sold me, plus the fact that I have a little crush on her. Then there was Eternia who proved she could rock the mic just as hard as any “boy”. Backed by longtime hip hop vet Moss, Eternia dropped a well rounded album in At Last that had personal tales, mic rockin’ and everything in between.
The most slept on album on my list has to go to the Junk Science crew, who is one of the most consistent groups going right now. Three albums in a row by them and all would be in my top 20 for their respective years. They might not be for anyone, but for those cats who have similar tastes as me, they are well worth checking out.
A couple of projects that were on the list that even surprised me. Meaning they were artists and/or types of hip hop that I wouldn’t picture myself liking all that much. One was Qwel & Maker’s Owl. I’ve loved Maker’s beats, but I’ll admit at times Qwel loses me with his lyrics. Owl was nothing short of genius, both lyrically and musically. It’s an album that could move up even more in the future. The other was NoCanDo’s Jimmy The Lock. Project Blowed is a collective of ultra talented and sometimes ultra hard to listen to artists. NoCanDo made an album, something that a lot of battle rappers simply cannot do. I found myself playing Jimmy The Lock a lot in the first quarter last year.
As for my favorites, there wasn’t much separating the top five albums this year. They were all probably considered my favorites at some point during the year…..what were they? Well, let’s just see.
1. Celph Titled & Buckwild – Nineteen Ninety Now or Physical Product
3. Roc Marciano – Marcberg (Physical)
4. Freeway & Jake One – The Stimulus Package (Physical)
6. Damu The Fudgemunk – Supply For Demand (physical product)
7. Qwel & Maker – Owl (Buy MP3 or Physical)
8. Junk Science – A Miraculous Kind of Machine (Physical)
9. Obii Say & Sinitus Tempo – Vinyl Proxy 1965 (Free Download)
10. Kno – Death Is Silent (physical)
11. Black Milk – Album of the Year (Physical)
12. Deacon The Villain & Sheisty Khrist – Niggaz With Latitude (Physical)
13. Atmosphere – To All My Friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy (Physical)
14. Ghostface Killah – Apollo Kids (Physical)
16. Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson (Physical & MP3)
17. Front Porch Poets – For The Record (FREE DOWNLOAD)
18. Statik Selektah – 100 Proof (Physical)
19. Constant Deviants – Concrete Utopia (Wax)
20. Blacastan – Blac Sabbath (CD)
21. ESQ & Chikaramanga – The Succession (CD&Wax)
22. Pack FM – I F*cking Hate Rappers (Physical & MP3)
23. SmooVth – Little Boy Blue (iTunes) (CD)
24. The Heart & Brain – Mbodiment (iTunes)
30. Reason – Landlords & Lullabies (Buy all flavors)
32. Tiff the Gift – Cool, Calm, Chill (Physical) (iTunes)
36. Amad Jamal – Barely Hagin’ On: The Chronicles of a Brotha Like Rodney King (physical)
37. Panacea – 12 Step Program (physical and MP3)
38. Akello & Coincidence – Breathing Room (FREE DOWNLOAD)
39. Kooley High – Eastern Standard Time (FREE DOWNLOAD)
43. Dessa – A Badly Broken Code (Physical & MP3)
45. Goldminerz – The Gold Rush (physical)
47. Clan Destined – A Story Never Told (bandcamp)
48. Dumhi – The Jungle (physical & Mp3)
50. Rozewood – 2012 (physical & mp3)