Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Nashua, NH
Rep Power: 17
Top 10 Mixtapes of the Year - Part 1
I'm doing a top 10 Mixtapes and a top 10 Albums of the Year. First up is Part 1 of the Top 10 mixtapes....
This year saw not only some incredible album releases but a slew of amazing mixtapes. Whether they were labeled as “street albums” or straight up $5 slimlines, a number of solid releases dropped that didn’t see a barcode or a BestBuy, but they are certainly notable. Some introduced us to new artists, others continued series, and one in particular let us know that some kids really do have the ability to live up to their parent’s legacy. For the record, I wanted to include the G.O.O.D. Friday tracks collectively as a mixtape, but half them shits ended up on the album so it wouldn’t really work, plus part of what made those so amazing was the once a week drop, just bumping them as a mixtape doesn’t really have the same feel.
Troy Ave – Bricks In My Backpack – released September 27, 2010
Already highlighted on this site, Troy Ave’s breakout release is arguably the mixtape of the year. This Brooklyn native, with the co-sign from Fabolous, gave us a solid mixtape from start to finish, with that true-to-life gettin’ money music. There isn’t a bad song on here from the explosive intro featuring Loso, to the hyped up “Martin Lawrence”, the street anthem “Ready Rock” and the side of hustling you don’t normally hear about from your favorite coke rappers on “The Gamble”. Every tackling other rappers beats with ease like on “Hustle and Flow” and “Tales From The Lieside” Troy Ave brings some of the realest shit ever spit in a long time and does so with an amazing consistency and yes, the dreaded word, swagger. He don’t give a fuck about shit else but bitches and money cause he’s actually acquiring such things, on the way to the top, with the mixtape of the year for the streets, this truly is that “motion picture shit”.
Joe Budden – Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst – released October 23, 2010
Joe Budden is bar for bar one of the greatest MCs in the game. Whether or not someone’s a fan, there’s no denying that dude has talent, and this tape was full of quotables, as well as some pretty good production given some of the hate that’s been given to his beat choices. The posse cuts are both fire, with Pusha T, Styles, Fabolous, Royce and Lloyd Banks all bringing heat, Crooked I got a nice guest appearance as well. But the tracks where Budden really shines are the conceptual joints, like “Role Reversal”. The epic “Stuck in the Moment” got one of the most powerhouse hooks in years, “No Idea” tackles some deep issues everyone goes through in their lives, and the final joint finds Budden over some ‘03 type production thinking about what he’d do if his life in hip hop was gone, a perfect way to end a mixtape. Dude is a genius lyrically, and has been dropping nothing but fire since everyone thought he fell off after “Pump It Up”, and this mixtape is a true highlight to the career, and, the maturation of Joe Budden.
Shade Cobain – Cassette Theory/Anti-Love Theory/Roy Porter’s Sound System Beat Review
Three mixtapes grouped together? Yeah I know, but you could fit all three of these onto one 80 minute CD-R and you’d still have some room left. Always the master of leaving his audiences wanting more, Shade Cobain is easily the best producer coming up in the game right now. With a style that respectfully is comparable to Madlib, Shade’s beat tapes are conceptually designed in every way, from the story the album tells, to the song titles, to the artwork, it’s true art on display. The music is by far some of the most pure with the emotion of every track felt through the perfectly selected samples, and the true school drums that Shade puts over them. The highlight of these three, without taking anything away from the other two, is easily Anti-Love Theory, which in 20 minutes goes through every step of love, from start to finish, and the more you listen the more you feel the character is truly the human experience of that strong emotion. These three mixtapes are essential in every pure hip hop fan’s collection, and with a full length coming next year Shade Cobain is definitely a name to keep on your radar.
Young Jeezy – The Last Laugh – released September 29, 2010
Out of the three mixtapes Jeezy dropped this year, the third was the highlight as he made music so raw that even those who had never even had a corner were ready to get in the kitchen and start cooking up. This is the official mixtape of the trappers, of the cookers, of the workers, and goddamn is this whole mixtape filled with both references to the white girl as well as the business of rap, whether it be the intro title track, “Rap Game”, “Handle My Bizness” or the most gutter joint on the whole tape “Do It Again”. “All White Everything” is the perfect antithesis for the “all black everything” movement, while “Amen” is a true street hustler’s prayer, and just in case you thought Jeezy was too raw pause for the clubs, “Pressure’s On” and “Strip Club” give the ladies and the ballers something to bounce to. When it comes to that trap or die music, Jeezy is straight bringing consistent heat, and this mixtape was one of his finest since the first Trap or Die five years ago.
J.R. Writer – Still Standing – released April 29, 2010
The true master of the punchline, once again J.R. Writer gave us a collection of tracks filled with nonstop quotables and some of that good ol’ hype ass Dipset production. Writer really stepped it up on this one, tackling beats outside his usual range on “60 Bars of Torture” and bringing epic hooks like on “They Know” and “I Don’t Give a Fuck”. Then of course there are the tracks where he just drops BARS, like “Back At It” and “Make It Hot”. Even short bangers like “Stupid Wild” and “Win” are ferocious as Writer goes in and does what he does best, drop punchlines over fire production. You won’t get reflective stories or captivating messages, but you will get some of the best quotables in the game and it’s for that reason that Still Standing is one of the finest tapes J.R. Writer has delivered, as he’s always on his “Grind Grizzly”.
Stay tuned for the rest of this list including more Dipset, the rookie everyone is talking about, the son of a legend, and much much more…