Tag Archives: the swelly express

Artists To Watch ’11-’12: Part 1

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It’s that time  again – my 3rd annual “Artists To Watch” list. I debated about not doing it this year with the previous (lack of?) success of the first two lists (Artists To Watch ’10-’11Artists To Watch ’09-’10). Like in prior years, an artist can’t be on one of my past lists to qualify this time. I had to split this year into two parts: Part 1 & Part 2.

One quick clarification: this isn’t a “Freshman” list because, honestly, I’m not sure what that means. This list is comprised of new(er) artists that I’ll be keeping my eye on over the next few years… and you should too! I’ve included 1 video, 1 mixtape and 3 of my top tracks for each. In no particular order:

Young L

The most talented artist from The Pack – no, not Lil B. His beats are some of the best out there. Plus dude has the sickest chains –  see video below.

Video

Mixtape

Young L – DOMO-KUN mixtape

Tracks

Young L – Right There mp3

Young L – Watch How I Do mp3

Young L – Pop That Coochi mp3

Bei Maejor

Bei Maejor is already a well-established producer working with artists like Trey Songz, Soulja Boy and Keri Hilson. His solo work is something to check out as well.

Video

Mixtape

Bei Maejor – Upside Down 2 mixtape

Tracks

Bei Maejor – Translation (Alien Music) mp3

Bei Maejor feat. Big Shan – PaperBoy mp3

Bei Maejor – Sing A Lil Song mp3

Mac Miller

Born in Pittsburgh and signed to Rostrum Records, Mac Miller is closely following one of the hottest rappers in the game: Wiz Khalifa. That’s about where their similarities stop though.

Video

Mixtape

Mac Miller – K.I.D.S. mixtape

Tracks

Mac Miller – Donald Trump mp3

Mac Miller – Trippin’ Out mp3

Mac Miller – Nikes On My Feet mp3

Chiddy Bang

Consisting of rapper Chiddy and producer Xaphoon Jones, Chiddy Bang consistently makes some of my favorite music. I could listen to every Chiddy track in my library without skipping. Oh, and Chiddy Bang > Shwayze.

Video

Mixtape

Chiddy Bang – The Swelly Express mixtape

Tracks

Chiddy Bang feat. Train – Baby Roulette mp3

Chiddy Bang – Young Blood (remix) mp3

Chiddy Bang feat. Q-Tip – Here We Go mp3

Shawn Chrystopher

Hailing from Inglewood, Shawn Chrystopher is definitely a Freshman to watch out for – he is repping Honour ROLE Music.

Video

Mixtape

Shawn Chrystopher – You, And Only You mixtape

Tracks

Shawn Chrystopher feat. Foster For the People – All the Other Kids mp3

Shawn Chrystopher feat. GLC – I’m GOOD mp3

Shawn Chrystopher – The Hangover mp3

Tyler the Creator

Recently exploding onto the scene, Tyler already has the music video of the year according to Kanye West –  and we all know how passionate Kanye is about videos.

Video

Mixtape

Tyler the Creator – Bastard mixtape

Tracks

Tyler the Creator – Seven mp3

Tyler the Creator feat. Jasper & Taco – Tina mp3

Tyler the Creator & Hodgy Beats- Sandwitches mp3

continue to Part 2

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The Best Mixtapes of 2010

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This year saw the continuing evolution of the mixtape from simple album-promo to legitimate work of art. In fact, the following mixtapes are better than a majority of artists’ studio albums. They are too hard to rank, so without further ado… in no particular order. I’ve also included a 3-song sample of my favorite tracks from each:

Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice

Wiz had a very good year rising to become one of the hottest artists of 2010. Along the way, he signed a major deal with Atlantic Records. This mixtape is by far his best cumulative effort of the year.

Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice mixtape

Wiz Khalifa – Never Been mp3

Wiz Khalifa – The Kid Frankie mp3

Wiz Khalifa – Mezmorized mp3

Big Sean – Finally Famous: Volume 3

The youngest member of Kayne’s G.O.O.D. Music, Big Sean’s creativity and style are encompassed in this mixtape. Hopefully 2011 will finally bring Finally Famous: The Album.

Big Sean – Finally Famous: Volume 3 mixtape

Big Sean – Meant To Be mp3

Big Sean – Hometown mp3

Big Sean – High Rise mp3

XV – Vizzy Zone

Another artist that signed a major deal in 2010 (Warner Bros. Records), and another mixtape with the quality of an album. XV’s The Kid With The Green Backpack should be one of the best albums of 2011. Still don’t understand how XXL forgot about Vizzy last year.

XV – Vizzy Zone mixtape

XV – GettinBizzy mp3

XV feat. Talib Kweli – Reset Button mp3

XV feat. Chiddy Bang – She Go, I Go mp3

Pac Div – Don’t Mention It

Representing the best coast, this mixtape was probably overlook by many in the Eastern Time Zone. Dispite the time different, don’t sleep on Pacific Division!

Pac Div – Don’t Mention It mixtape

Pac Div – It’s On mp3

Pac Div feat. Dom Kennedy, cARTer & Chip Tha Ripper – Don’t Forget the Swishers mp3

Pac Div feat. Pill – Birds mp3

B.o.B – No Genre

The newest mixtape to make the list, B.o.B’s May 25th mixtape could probably be included alongside No Genre as well. B.o.B is one of those artists who arguably puts out better mixtapes than studio albums.

B.o.B – No Genre mixtape

B.o.B feat. Donnis – Batman Flow mp3

B.o.B – Shoot Up The Station mp3

B.o.B – How U Do That mp3

Charles Hamilton – 10 Things I Hate About Me

Charles Hamilton is either a genius or suffering from serious mental/behavior issues. Either way, dude knows how to make a mixtape. This is Charles’ best effort from his countless releases in 2010.

Charles Hamilton – 10 Things I Hate About Me mixtape

Charles Hamilton – I Am Always Up To Something (Do That) mp3

Charles Hamilton – I’m Moody (Rox) mp3

Charles Hamilton – I Am More Concerned With Love (Mult-Player Love) mp3

Chris Brown & Tyga – Fan Of A Fan

Chris Brown’s In My Zone and In My Zone 2 as well as Tyga’s Well Done mixtape are noteworthy, but what pushes this tape over-the-top is its introduction of Kevin McCall to a larger audience. How long until Chris Brown officially signs with Young Money?

Chris Brown & Tyga – Fan Of A Fan mixtape

Chris Brown & Tyga – What They Want mp3

Chris Brown & Tyga feat. Kevin McCall – Have It mp3

Chris Brown & Tyga feat. Kevin McCall – Ballin’ mp3

Chiddy Bang – Air Swell

Even though it’s only a “mini-mixtape”, Chiddy Bang had to make the list. Check out 2009’s The Swelly Express now if you haven’t done so already.

Chiddy Bang – Air Swell mixtape

Chiddy Bang – Stylo (remix) mp3

Chiddy Bang – Pass Out (freestyle) mp3

Chiddy Bang – Hey London mp3

Wale – More About Nothing

Drawing inspiration from his Mixtape About Nothing released in 2008, Wale’s newest tape includes many tracks that could’ve even been included in his studio album, Attention: Deficit.

Wale – More About Nothing mixtape

Wale feat. Wiz Khalifa & Tre – The Breeze (Cool) mp3

Wale feat. Fat Trel & Black Cobain – The Posse Cut (Who Don’t) mp3

Wale – The Flight mp3

J. Cole – Friday Night Lights

J. Cole’s third official mixtape release might just be his best yet – and the others are pretty good. Like many of the artists above, J. Cole’s upcoming studio album, Cole World, is one of the most anticipated releases of 2011.

J. Cole – Friday Night Lights mixtape

J. Cole feat. Drake – In The Morning mp3

J. Cole – Blow Up mp3

J. Cole – Back To The Topic mp3

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Honorable Mentions

Curren$y – Smokee Robinson mixtape

CyHi Da Prynce – Royal Flush mixtape

Fabolous – There Is No Competition 2 (The Funeral Service) mixtape

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Enliten Elite Affiliate Tapes

DyMe-A-DuZiN – The Orientation mixtape

Elbee Thrie – I am A PiG mixtape

MoeBrad – Graduation Kush mixtape

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Hipster-Hop: Bangs

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No, not the amazing YouTube rapper “Bangs” – Chiddy Bang. Below is a sample of their most recent work:

Chiddy Bang – Air Swell x The Swelly Express (double mixtape)

Bonus tracks not on mixtape:

Big Sean feat. Chiddy Bang – Too Fake (mp3)

XV feat. Chiddy Bang – She Go, I Go (mp3)

Chiddy Bang – F*ck You (remix) (mp3)

Chiddy Bang – The Good Life (mp3)

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