Best of 2011: Hip-Hop & R&B

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So, if you read my blog, and I hope you do, you will probably notice a lack of all things Hip-Hop. Now, that is not because I do not listen to it, rather it's because I fear I am not a good judge of it. Every year, my audiophile friends will suggest an album or two that I am "sure to love" and it never sticks. Take the new Lil' Wayne record this year. I cannot count how many people told me that I need to feature that record, that it was the best of the year, and yet, only one song stuck. In years past I've always ended up finding things a little off the beaten track, picking up mixtapes or gravitating to artists like K'Naan, Cage, and Atmosphere. But, I figured,  there have to be a few others out there that have a skewed view of what is right, and solid and good in the hip-hop/r&b world. So, here is what I dig in 2011.

I am not going to be so bold to actually review each album, but I'll share a track and the album cover and let it speak for itself.

Just as a side note. Big K.R.I.T. may only sit at number 13 on this list, but his song The Vent is one of the best written songs I have ever heard. In any genre.

1. Atmosphere - The Family Sign

2. Frank Ocean - nostalgia, ULTRA.
"Strawberry Swing"

3. Drake - Take Care
"Lord Knows"

4. Jay Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne

5. The Weeknd  - House Of Balloons
"The Party & The After Party"

6. Wale - Ambition 
"Slight Work"

7. Pusha T - Fear of God Part 1 & 2 
OK, so this one needs a bit of an intro. Pusha T, of Clipse, opted to be a genius this year. First, stepping out on one of my favorite hip-hop duos is a bit risky. But then he went and released Fear Of God, as a free Mixtape, and I knew all was right in the world. He later followed it up with an actual release, Part II, and his prowess was only on further display. He is a man on his own track, and he owns it.
"Open Your Eyes" (From Part 1)

"Amen" (From Part 2)

8. Lupe Fiasco - Lasers
"I Don't Wanna Care Right Now"

9. We F.A.M. - Reality Check

10. Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbowstor

11. Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine
"Still Sound"

12. The Cool Kids - When Fish Ride Bicycles
"Bundle Up"

13. Big K.R.I.T. - Return of 4Eva
"The Vent"


Post a Comment