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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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Artist Update

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Before we get any closer to 2011, use the random selection below as an update on the 10 artists featured in the 02.04.2010 post Artists To Watch ’10-’11. To qualify, artists couldn’t be on the ‘09-’10 post. In no particular order:

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa – Real Estate

Wiz Khalifa – Stoned

Wiz Khalifa – Bad Guy

Big Sean

Big Sean – Poster

Big Sean – Big Nut Bust

Chris Brown feat. Big Sean – Shit God Damn

Mike Posner

Mike Posner – Single & Drunk

Mike Posner feat. Big Sean & Clinton Sparks – Ambiguous

XV feat. Mike Posner – Mirror’s Edge

J. Cole

J. Cole feat. Drake – In The Morning

J. Cole – Blow Up

J. Cole feat. Wale – You Got It

Jay Electronica

Jay Electronica feat. John F Kennedy

Jay Electronica feat. Jay-Z & The Dream – Shiny Suit Theory

Jay Electronica feat. Diddy – The Ghost of Christopher Wallace

Game feat. Swizz Beatz & Jay Electronica – Higher

XV

XV – Gettin’ Bizzy

XV feat. Talib Kweli – Reset Button

XV feat. Chiddy Bang – She Go, I Go

Woody feat. Charles Hamilton & XV – Make Believe

B.o.B

B.o.B – Beast Mode

B.o.B feat. Wiz Khalifa – Fuck The Money

Slim Thug feat. B.o.B – So High

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj – Catch Me

Nicki Minaj – Wave Ya Hand

Nicki Minaj – Blow Ya Mind

Chip The Ripper

Chip Tha Ripper – Ain’t No Love Here

Kid Cudi feat. GLC, Chip Tha Ripper & Nicole Wray – The End

Big Sean feat. Chip Tha Ripper & Curren$y – Five Bucks (5 On It)

Short Dawg

Short Dawg feat. Lil Wayne – Lean

Short Dawg feat. Kid Ink & Mistah FAB – Cuff Yo Chick

Short Dawg – Tell ‘Em Free Tune

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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

Follow me on last.fm or twitter for up-to-date singles.

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KTV Jams

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click the links below each video to download MP3s

Gucci Mane feat. Swizz Beatz – Gucci Time

Mac Miller – Nikes On My Feet

Wiz Khalifa – In The Cut

Waka Flocka feat. Roscoe Dash & Wale – No Hands

Big Boi feat. Yelawolf – You Ain’t No DJ

Big Sean – What U Doin?

Lil Wayne – I’m Not A Human Being

Drake feat. Lil Wayne – Miss Me

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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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Swedish Take Over

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I just bought tickets yesterday for Karnevalborg on April 30th at my old nation of V-Dala. This concert is going to be legit with some of my favorite Swedish artists headlining – including Adam Tensta & Eboi and Maskinen. While on the topic, I thought I would post some of these artists’ work as well as a few other popular Swedish musicians. It is just me or do the Swedes do a way better job making music videos?

Super cool video – I’m sure SUG will like the effects:

Adam Tensta, Eboi, Infinite Mass – Area Turns Red 09

Maskinen – Segertåget

Lykke Li always has crazy-good videos; check this one out too. Also, there’s a remixed version of ‘Little Bit’ with Drake that you can listen to here.

Lykke Li – Little Bit

Drake also remixes Peter Bjorn and John’s ‘Let’s Call It Off’ that you can hear here. Wale has a remix to ‘Nothing To Worry About’ that you can listen to here.

Peter Bjorn and John – Nothing to Worry About

Henok Achido feat. Sophia Somajo – Pusher

Lazee feat. Neverstore – Hold On

Timbuktu – Det Löser Sig

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Artists To Watch ’10-’11

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Here’s the list for this year. The only qualification is that you can’t be on my list from last year. That means your name can’t be Tyga, KiD CuDi, Charles Hamilton, Drake, Mickey Factz, Jae Millz, Wale or Willy Northpole (a pretty decent list). I’ve included some kind of demonstration for each artist, which could be a mixtape, mp3 or video. In no particular order:

Wiz Khalifa

One of the best albums of last year:

Wiz Khalifa – Flight School (mixtape)

Big Sean

Big Sean destroys Bangladesh/Gucci Mane’s ‘Lemonade’ beat:

Big Sean – Supa Dupa Lemonade Freestyle

B.o.B.

I know I just posted this but:

B.o.B. – May 25th (mixtape)

Mike Posner

This was one of my ‘Best Mixtapes of 2009‘:

Mike Posner – One Foot Out The Door (mixtape)

J. Cole

I gotta admit – I’ve been sleeping on J. Cole this past year. Check this out though:

J. Cole – The Warm Up (mixtape)

Chip Tha Ripper

Check out an artist from Cleveland that’s not named CuDi:

Chip That Ripper – The Cleveland Show (mixtape)

Nicki Minaj

Currently, she is the only relevant female rapper. Here is the new video with Mariah Carey:

Mariah Carey feat. Nicki Minaj – Up Out My Face

Jay Electronica

Could be the future of music. Here are some exhibits to demonstrate:

Jay Electronica – Exhibit A (Transformations)

Jay Electronica & Mos Def – Exhibit B (snippet)

Jay Electronica – Exhibit C

Short Dawg

I gotta mention another Young Money artist since I had three on the list last year. Check out some singles:

Short Dawg feat. Tyga & Lil Wayne – I Just Wanna

Young Money feat. Short Dawg – Pass The Dutch

Lil Wayne feat. Short Dawg & Gudda Gudda – Break Up

XV

Until his next mixtape, ‘Vizzy Zone’, drops…:

XV – 30 Minute Layover (mixtape)

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