1. Run The Jewels - S/T (Fools Gold)
Album of the year, and its free! Best news for you and your pals. This album is so good. I love it. It is a bit grating probably but in a great way. Killer Mike you guys. Killer Mike is the best. EL-P is still a better producer than he is rapper, but he's still a decent rapper. A lot of this runs together and its very short but it runs together in the very best way possible. This is hopefully a sign for world conquering things to come. We knew they were a good pair after Killer Mike's last album, but now I hope they get married and live together forever as the king and queen of rapsylvania. Also Big Boi stops by.
2. Black Milk - No Poison No Paradise (Fat Beats)
I've been on the Black Milk train since the beginning and its a train that just keeps getting, uh, more trainy? Good. I feel every album by Black Milk has been better than the last and this is his best yet. His flow (which sometimes was dissed, although I didn't mind it) seems to have developed and gotten better. His beats are of course so good. Come on you guys, its Black Milk. Just go for it.
3. Homeboy Sandman - All That I Hold Dear (Stones Throw)
Here's another dude I have been ignoring to my serious detriment. Maybe it was because of his name but I never really wanted to care. Even when I first tried to listen to this I was kinda like meh. But then I really gave it a solid listen and his raps seriously hook you in.
Almost spoken word and almost seems like stream of consciousness until you pay attention. At first you think he can't really rap and then you realize how wrong you were.
Worst part of this was that it's too short.
4. Pete Rock & Camp Lo - 80 Blocks From Tiffany's (Part. 2) (Non Label)
What? Pete Rock and Camp Lo together? free mix-tape? Part two? Yes. It's just as good as you thought it might be. It's pretty old school, but in a great way, and anyway that's what I like best.
Also I almost forgot about Talib Kweli, but there he is guesting on one of the best tracks, and his verse is actually quite good. Old dudes rule! get outta here you young uns!
It is sorta super long though...
5. Big K.R.I.T. - King Remembered in Time (Cinematic Music Group)
REM you guys. If you're gonna sample James Blake, you're gonna get me to like your mixtape. Seriously, don't waste anymore time just listen to that sample before.
The rest of it doesn't quite live up to that track, but its still very good. I sort of had been ignoring Big K.R.I.T. for whatever reason, but this track hooked me in and then I found out the rest of it is good too. Get on it, its free!
6. TREE - Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out (Creative Control)
Oh man, I love his voice! It could be grating to some people but I want to listen to so much. Also it fits very well with the beats. For some reason, the first few times I tried to listen to this, I wasn't into it. And then one day it just clicked and it clicked so hard.
It was hard to choose what track to put as your sample. I kinda wanted to put "So Bad" but I decided to go with "The King". Anyway its a mix-tape so its free so just go check it out! So good.
7. A$AP Rocky - LONG.LIVE.A$AP (Polo Grounds Music, RCA)
I'm not sure if this is better than the first mixtape that made him big, as less Clams Casino is not always a good thing. However, This still had a lot of good stuff going on in it. I feel like there is some kinda backlash against him for some reason. Was he overhyped? Naw. Anyway he's better than them other A$APs.
Anyway, probably no one else agree with me on this but Fashion Killa is like one of the best songs of all time. And its about fashion which i don't care at all about. That means it must be the best. Basically that beat is just seriously killin' it. Do you guys not love this song? Come on!
8. Prodigy X Alchemist - Albert Einstein (Infamous Records)
This albums has me torn. There is a lot of good ish going on here. Like some good beats ("Curb Ya Dog" or "Give Em Hell"). And some good rhymin'. But also there is a lot of it that is super, super violent stuff going on which I just can't really get into ("LMDKV").
Anyway there are definitely some good tracks. Check out that track below!
9. The Underachievers - Indigioism (Brainfeeder)
Wow yes! I only found out about this, and these guys at the end of year but it is immediately good from the first listen of track one. Even though this is from New York and doesn't sound outdated at all, there is also something very west coast late 90s underground about this. Like what are Hieroglyphics up to these days? It's probably the pyramids and the talk of 3rd eyes, mixed with damn good rappin'. Listen to "Philanthropist" there below and tell me that doesn't sound both like something sweet you heard a while back and also something so good and fresh.
This should probably be higher on the list. Go get it!
10. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap (Non-Label)
Personally, I liked this, but I could quite catch all the praise and hype it got. It's definitely good and spells good things for this fine young man's future, but it also wasn't the boss of the roost.
Anyway check it out. Some sweet music, some good raps. I don't find his voice annoying it all, I actually weird voiced rappers. But in the game of weird voice new rappers from Chicago I go with Tree.
Get that, son!
11. Drake - Nothing was the Same (Cash Money Records)
So Drake, huh. I admit that I have been slow getting into Drake. Obviously not cause he's not "hard" enough or whatever, as I don't give a care bout that. Anyway, in December I finally took the plunge. This albums seems good but I've only listened to it once. That's why its way down here.
Also "Hold On, We're Going Home" totally doesn't seem like the type of song you would expect me to like, but for some reason its sooo good.