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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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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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Kane Beatz

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I’ve been a fan of Kane Beatz‘s beats since first hearing ‘Spaceship‘ by Treal on Myspace years back. You should check it out; it’s a really catchy beat. Recently, Mr. Beatz is more famous for making the beat for ‘Bedrock‘ by Young Money and Lloyd (also very catchy). Check out a few other songs he’s produced over the past few years including his newest contributions on Young Money’s ‘We Are Young Money’:

Young Money feat. Lloyd – Bedrock

Young Money – She Is Gone

Lil Wayne feat. Gucci Mane – Steady Mobbin’

Young Money – Wife Beater

DJ Khaled feat. Lil Wayne & Birdman – ‘S’ On My

Flo Rida – Still Missin’

Ace Hood – I Don’t Give A Fuck

Lil Wayne feat. Brisco – I’m In The Hood

Chamillionaire – The Evening News

Treal – Spaceship

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Most Played of ’09

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Here is a list of my most played tracks in 2009. Every song on the list was downloaded in 2009. I know this somewhat skews it toward songs from earlier in the year, but it’s a pretty solid list nonetheless. Click on each track to download:

1.) Wiz Khalifa – Boarding Pass

2.) Drake – Best I Ever Had

3.) Wiz Khalifa – Dreamer

4.) Day26 feat. Yung Joc & Diddy – Imma Put It On Her

5.) New Boyz feat. Tyga – Cricketz

6.) Soulja Boy feat. OJ Da Juiceman – Gold Grill Shawty

7.) Yung L.A. – Have Her Like Bow

8.) Freekey Zekey feat. Gucci Mane – That’s Me

9.) Yung L.A. – Mathematics

10.) Jay-Z feat. Kanye West – Hate

11.) Lil Wayne feat. Pharrell – Yes

12.) Jay-Z feat. Swizz Beatz – On To The Next One

13.) Drake feat. Trey Songz & Lil Wayne – Successful

14.) Wale feat. Lady Gaga – Chillin’

15.) Gucci Mane feat. Yung L.A. – Do It

16.) Kid Cudi – Simple As…

17.) Charles Hamilton – MTV Cribs

18.) Gucci Mane – Gorgeous

19.) Drake feat. Bun B & Lil Wayne – Uptown

20.) Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, Fabolous, 8ball, MJG & Shawty Lo – Bricks (remix)

21.) Drake feat. Lykke Li – Little Bit

22.) Big Sean – Supa Dupa

23.) Drake feat. Santogold & Lil Wayne – Unstoppable

24.) Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit of Happiness

25.) Lil Twist feat. Lil Wayne – The Leak

26.) Ray Cash & The Notorious B.I.G. – Wavin The .44

27.) Yung L.A. – Taser Gun

28.) Gucci Mane feat. OJ Da Juiceman – Still Cookin

29.) Kid Cudi – Sky Might Fall

30.) Gucci Mane feat. Plies – Wasted

31.) Wiz Khalifa – Get Sum

32.) Rich Kids – All In My Video

33.) Slim feat. Ron Browz & Deezo – Heels On (remix)

34.) Yung L.A. – Bow

35.) Gucci Mane feat. Esther Dean – I Think I Luv Her

36.) Beyonce – Diva

37.) Kid Cudi – Up, Up, And Away

38.) OJ Da Juiceman – Cold

39.) Wiz Khalifa – Extra Credit

40.) Yung L.A. feat. Ricco Carrino – Futuristic Love (Elroy)

41.) Wiz Khalifa – Sky High

42.) Big Tuck feat. Gucci Mane – Not A Stain On Me

43.) Drake feat. Birdman – More Milli

44.) Gucci Mane feat. Chip Tha Ripper – Gucci Land

45.) Drake feat. Peter Bjorn & John – Let’s Call It Off

46.) Gudda Gudda – Gettin’ To The Money

47.) Lil Wayne feat. Gucci Mane – We Be Steady Mobbin

48.) Wiz Khalifa – Name On A Cloud

49.) Gucci Mane – Heavy

50.) Henok Achido feat. Sophia Somajo – Pusher

51.) Jay-Z feat. Kid Cudi – Already Home

52.) Kid Cudi – Soundtrack 2 My Life

53.) Lil Wayne feat. Drake, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda & Mack Maine – Every Girl

54.) Mike Posner feat. Big Sean – Speed Of Sound

55.) OJ Da Juiceman – I’m Boomin’ And Bunkin’

56.) Wale feat. Jazmine Sullivan – World Tour

57.) Wiz Khalifa – Never Ever

58.) Yung L.A. – I Thank I Can Sang

59.) Ace Hood – White Leather

60.) Drake feat. Lil Wayne & Young Jeezy – I’m Going In

61.) Fabolous feat. Lil Wayne – Salute

62.) Drake – The Winner

63.) The Grouch & Eligh feat. Slug – !BOOM!

64.) New Boyz – So Dope

65.) The Cool Kids – Hammer Bros.

66.) Kevin Cossom feat. Drake – I Get Paper

67.) Gucci Mane feat. Drake & Sean Garrett – In My Business

68.) Kid Cudi – Heart Of A Lion

69.) Young Money feat. Lloyd – Bedrock

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Younger Money

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First off, Wiz Khalifa’s new CD, ‘Deal Or No Deal’, dropped today. Definitely give it a listen. You can hear samples and download the whole album for only $6.99 on Amazon – pretty good price. Here’s the cover:

Wiz Khalifa – Deal Or No Deal

Check out these free mixtapes released in the last week by Young Money artists Lil Twist & Tyga. Twist is only 16, but he has some good lines; he is probably the best in his age class… the class president even. And Tyga is notorious for solid mixtapes:

Lil Twist – Class President

[Featured artists: Tyga, Gudda Gudda, Jae Millz, The New Boyz, Birdman, Soulja Boy, Yung Joc, Young Dro, Bow Wow, Nicki Minaj, Short Dawg, Trai’D, Lil JJ & Young Durty]

Tyga – Black Thoughts

[Featured artists: Lloyd & Gudda Gudda]

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YM

Young Money has been coming out with some quality tracks recently. I’m featuring Gudda Gudda’s new mixtape ‘Guddaville’ presented by DJ Ill Will & DJ Rockstar. Lil Wayne has good verses throughout and everyone on Young Money holds their own:

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Gudda Gudda – Guddaville

[Featured artists: Lil Wayne, Drake, Tyga, Lil Twist, Bow Wow, Jae Millz, Lloyd, Mack Maine, Ya Boy, Lil Flip, Nicki Minaj, Short Dawg, Colin Monroe & Shannel]

My favorite tracks:

Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Jae Millz & Lloyd – Bed Rock

Gudda Gudda – Gettin’ to the Money

Lil Twist, Tyga, Jae Millz & Gudda Gudda – The Dungeon

Gudda Gudda feat. Lil Wayne – Young Money Hospital

Bonus track:

Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz – I Can Transform Ya

Looks like I will have to address MTV’s list of the ‘Hottest MCs in the Game’ for 2009…

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New Videos

Not gonna lie, I’m a little disappointed with this video. Come on, Drake. But congrats on signing with Young Money.

Drake – Best I Ever had

 

Willy Northpole feat. Bobby Valentine – #1 Side Chick

 

Ace Hood feat. Jazmine Sullivan & Rick Ross – Champion

 

Wiz Khalifa – Name On A Cloud/Wussup

 

Jay-Z – D.O.A. (Death Of Autotune)

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