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Artists To Watch ’11-’12: Part 2

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Be sure to check out Part 1 of my “Artists To Watch” here. The rest goes like this:

Cyhi Da Prynce

Kanye’s most recent addition to GOOD Music, Cyhi is almost guaranteed to blow up. Still waiting on Big Sean’s album though.

Video

Mixtape

Cyhi Da Prynce – Royal Flush mixtape

Tracks

Cyhi Da Prynce – Sidewayz mp3

Cyhi Da Prynce – Living Wonderful mp3

Cyhi Da Prynce – Hero mp3

Kevin McCall

An initial afterthought on Chris Brown & Tyga’s “Fan of a Fan” mixtape, Kevin McCall out-shined both headliners. He also is deep in the producing/writing game with hits like CB’s “Dueces” and Big Sean’s “What U Doin”.

Video

Mixtape

Kevin McCall – Uninvited Guest mixtape

Tracks

Kevin McCall – F*ck You Pay Me mp3

Kevin McCall feat. Tyga & Chris Brown – 360 mp3

Kevin McCall feat. The Game – Power Of The P mp3

Yelawolf

Who would’ve thought 2011 would be the year of the white rapper? They all have completely different styles – I’m not sure how to describe Yelawolf’s…

Video

Mixtape

Yelawolf – Trunk Muzik mixtape

Tracks

Yelawolf feat. Gucci Mane – Wanna Party mp3

Yelawolf – Daddy’s Lambo mp3

Yelawolf – Stage Lights (remix) mp3

BIG K.R.I.T.

Honestly, I’ve been sleeping on BIG K.R.I.T. for far too long. Good flows, and he makes his own beats.

Video

Mixtape

BIG K.R.I.T. – Krit Wuz Here mixtape

Tracks

BIG K.R.I.T. – See Me On Top mp3

BIG K.R.I.T. feat. Curren$y & Smoke DZA – No Wheaties mp3

BIG K.R.I.T. feat. Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa – Glass House mp3

Pac Div

This rap trio from Southern California has been around for a while now, but they’re definitely gaining more play recently. Hopefully “Mania!” drops any day now.

Video

Mixtape

Pac Div – Don’t Mention It mixtape

Tracks

Pac Div – Anti Freeze mp3

Pac Div – It’s On mp3

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

Honorable Mentions

Cory Gunz/Lil Twist

Young Money’s representatives this year. Gunz definitely has the DNA to make it in the rap game. And I still think of this clip from The Carter Documentary whenever I hear Lil Twist. These 2 will be big over the next few years.

Lil B

With song topics ranging from Justin Bieber to Jesus Christ to Ellen Degeneres, I still haven’t figured out Lil B. I don’t know how many times I’ve said I’ll never listen to another of his tracks…

Vado

He may of turned down XXL, but he can’t turn down my list! Honestly, I haven’t listened to enough of his music to put him any higher.

Diggy Simmons

Dude definitely has skills – must be in his genes. But he’s kind of like the Bieber of rap for me. Plus, AT&T commercials already?!

Sam Adams

I wish there were more artists like Sam Adams going in on house/electro beats, but this video made me have to drop him down the list.

back to Part 1

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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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Music Videos 11.28.2010

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Tyga – Like Me:

Soulja Boy – Speakers Going Hammer:

B.o.B – Beast Mode:

Mac Miller – Knock Knock:

Clinton Sparks feat. Big Sean & Mike Posner – Ambiguous:

DyMe-A-DuZiN feat. Kenzie May – Flash Me:

Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit):

Rihanna feat. Drake – What’s My Name?:

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Mixtapes I’m Listening To

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Here are  three mixtapes that dropped in the last month along with the top three tracks from each:

Wiz Khalifa – Northern Lights mixtape

[Featured artists: Curren$y, Maino, Terrace Martin, Juicy J & Johnta Austin]

Wiz Khalifa – Stoned mp3

Wiz Khalifa – Bad Guy mp3

Wiz Khalifa feat. Curren$y – Huey Newton mp3

J. Cole – Friday Night Lights mixtape

[Featured artists: Drake & Wale]

J. Cole feat. Drake – In The Morning mp3

J. Cole – Back To The Topic mp3

J. Cole – Blow Up mp3

Tyga – Well Down mixtape

[Featured artists: Chris Brown & Gudda Gudda]

Tyga – Like Me mp3

Tyga – Well Done mp3

Tyga – Make It Rain (remix) mp3

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Cyke!

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The star-packed cyphers at this year’s BET’s Hip-Hop Awards were definitely the most talked about events of the night. What I noticed most was Wiz Khalifa’s recycled verse from “The Check Point” that’s on his collab mixtape with Curren$y. Come on, Wiz – you’re better than that! Here’s the video of the cypher in question:

Part 1: Wiz Khalifa, Bones Brigante, Yelawolf & Raekwon The Chef

Here’s the original track:

Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa – The Check Point mp3

I know Wiz isn’t the best freestyle rapper as he discusses here:

But he could’ve at least come up with an original verse for this event.

The G.O.O.D. Music cypher was definitely the highlight for me. Big Sean’s verse was my personal fav:

Part 4: Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi The Prynce & Common

Here are the rest of the cyphers:

Part 2: Ice Cube, OMG, DoughBoy, Rev Run, Diggy Simmons & Jo-Jo

Part 3: Busta Rhymes, Reek Da Villian, Zawcain & Mickey Factz

Part 5: Royce Da 5’9″, Tyga, Kuniva & Diamond

 

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UPDATE

Kanye’s can now be added to the list:

Click here to listen to Kanye’s second cypher verse

Now listen to this section of his “Dark Fantasy” single:

Kanye West – Dark Fantasy

Here’s the full song in an excerpt from Kanye’s film, “Runaway”:

Kanye West – Dark Fantasy mp3

Kanye West, Pusha T, CyHi Da Prynce, Big Sean & Common – G.O.O.D. Music Cyper mp3

 

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Finally

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Big Sean – Finally Famous 3 (mixtape)

[Featured artists: Kanye West, Drake, Tyga, Chip Tha Ripper, Curren$y, Mike Posner, Bun B, Asher Roth & Chuck Inglish]

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Bonus tracks not on mixtape:

Royce Da 5’9″ feat. Big Sean – My Own Planet

Big Sean feat. Pat Piff – I Go Hard

Big Sean feat. Mr Hudson – Way Out

French Montana, Wiz Khalifa, Nipsey Hussle & Big Sean – I’m On It

Big Sean – What U Doin? (Official Video)

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Amerikas Addiction x Enliten

Check out Amerikas Addiction aka the Blackhouse Gang. The group is made up of rapper “Addiction” (formally Ebonix) and producer “Amerika” (formally J-Smooth). We’ve been fans of these guys for years now. Ebonix was featured in Vibe Magazine’s “Best Myspace Rappers” issue from December 2007 (which I have a copy of):

This issue also includes other rappers like Tyga and Wale:

Ebonix has been doing weekly freestyles recently; here’s my fav so far:

And gotta love the tee on this one:

But my all time favorite Ebonix track is still “Shut Up”. Get this MP3 here.

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