29. “Let Me Explain” – Rashad & Confidence
Found On: “Element of Surprise” (Ill Adrenaline)
Another gem from one of the year’s most surprising/cohesive LP’s. With “Let Me Explain”, producer Confidence laces the cut with the same echoing sample that can also be found on the Pete Rock smash, “Strange Fruit”, with astounding results. Rashad ain’t no slouch either, dude is a force to be reckoned with lyrically.
“The Div”-Pac Div
Damn, this jawn really upset me. I mean, I freakin’ loved “Church League Champions”, and at least “Mania!” was half-way decent. However, Pac Div dropped a dud that was just as unexciting and bland at the album’s title. Borderline hipster ‘ish, Pac Div and The Cool Kids will always get play on my Ipod, however, it’s safe to say that the Chi’s Cool Kids eclipsed “The Div” by a landslide with “When Fish Ride Bicycles”.
I hope everyone has gotten over their New Years Eve hangovers, polished the last piece of holiday candy and is getting set for the year that is 2012. That means that I’m trying to scramble to piece together what was the year 2011 in hip hop…meaning that I need get this done before we see the ball dropping for 2012 (unlike I did with 2010, which is still being pieced together as we speak). So for most of this month, I’ll be covering my favorite EPs, instrumental projects, albums and singles and maybe even the return of the WYDU Awards.
Kicking off our coverage of 2011 is the Extended Play projects. In the years past, the EP has been the one thing in hip hop I’ve always kind of looked forward to. First off, they are usually free. Second, with the consumers attention span being dwindled down to a minute amount of time, the EP is quick and easy to listen to, without being forced to listen to an album for an hour plus. There has been some great EPs dropped in the past few years. This year seemed a little slow on the EP front than usual, but we still had some great projects drop.
(Tie) 10. Soul Khan – Resolution
Soul Khan was pretty busy in 2011, dropping three EPs over the year, with Resolution being my personal favorite. Probably the thing that sticks out the most about Soul Khan’s music is his voice. Like Guru once said, “It’s mostly tha voice,” and Khan has the voice. Beat wise, this EP not too shabby either, with two of the four songs being really dope.
25. “Bat Meets Blaine” – Qwaazaar & Batsauce
Even though the collaborative LP, “Bat Meets Blaine” dropped just shortly after the free release of the “Style Be The King” EP, one of the dopest producers, whom unfairly is overlooked more often than not, Batsauce and one of the most stylistic emcees in the game, Qwazaar (Typical Cats, Outerlimitz, Dirty Digital) also laced the public with an EP that I FORGOT to include on my best releases of the year list back in September *slaps forehead*. The “Style Be The King” EP was/is pure heat. Reeking of originality, this EP not only set the tone for the LP, but also gained a few “eyebrow raising” reviews in the process. However, “Bat Meets Blaine” is pure icing on the cake! One of the finest examples of how to craft a true “boom-bap” record in 2011.
39. “Can You Hear Me” (A Tribute To The People Of Tunisa) – Pacewon & Mr. Green
Found On: “The Only Number That Matters Is Won”
While we collectively await the follow-up to Pacewon & Mr. Green’s stellar collaborative debut, “The Only Color That Matters Is Green”, Pace & Green leaked their tribute to the people of Tunisa, “Can You Hear Me” to hold us over in the interim. ”Can You Hear Me” boasts one of my favorite Mr. Green productions, second only to the knockin’ “Children Sing”, and Pacewon absolutely murders it on the lyrical tip with poignant content and unmatched delivery on a touching topic.
49. “Blink” (Def Dee Remix) – Boog Brown
Found On: “Brown Study Remixes” Mello Music Group
Wow, when I first received the advance of Boog’s “Brown Study Remixes”, I gotta’ be honest, I was really let down…especially when you consider just how dope the O.G. version of Boog & Apollo’s Brown’s “Brown Study” LP is. However, my tune has quickly changed as this jawn has remained in the “Most Played” of my Itunes for the later half of December, namely, Def Dee’s remix of “Blink”. Hot damn! I mean, dude “kilt” this remix, the horn stabs and hook are on some Dilla “Stakes Is High” ish! Very impressed with the production from one of Mello Music Group’s recent additions.
Yes ‘sa, just in time for the holidays is a blend that I had sitting on my hard drive for the better part of the Fall. Finally, I compiled some of the best years in Hip Hop, 89-90. So, up next will be 1997 as years 89-96 are covered. On a side note, big shout to St.Mic for the final mastering. Enjoy and Happy Holidays from the Bloggerhouse camp! Hit the jump for link and track listing…
Boog Brown has officially released her full length project “The Brown Study Remixes” everywhere! To get people listening she is offering, till new years, a free download of the 14KT produced track “Growth.”