Friday, April 1, 2011

Quarterly Rap Up: Q1 2011

Like we always do about this time...

10. Kanye West & Jay-Z - H•A•M

Just a few years ago, a Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration would've had a signature sound. Jay and 'Ye flip the script here, enlisting Lex Luger for this deadly medley, pulsing with blistering synths and some otherworldly, neo-operatic vocals. I wasn't feeling this track at first, but this left-field entry from the Roc Boys has grown on me since.

9. 1982 - The Money Is Reality (feat. Action Bronson)

This is the first track that made me listen to Action Bronson in an all new light. If he ever collabs with Ghostface Killah, I'll need a doctor - word to Skylar Grey (pssst... that song did NOT crack my top 50, thank you very much). Add to all that, Bronson's brilliance certainly doesn't take anything away from rhymeslinger Termanology, and of course Statik Selektah who laced the neck-bopping beat.

8. Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang

This Scram Jones beat is absolutely sinister and threatening, with Raekwon the Chef sounding like Raekwon the Chief, leading his barracks into battle. Rae is still as relevant as ever and his full-length LP proves just that.

7. Roc Marciano - Scarface (3:33 Mix)

The UN emcee's seamless delivery is well-accompanied by this unique brand of boom bap which I can only describe as "hardcore euphoria." Shouts to 3:33 on the ill remix.

6. Bishop Lamont - I'm Faded (feat. Nate Dogg & SonReal)

In light of Nate's passing, any new music by the Dogg is notable for his name alone. But this hook is really quite catchy (why wouldn't it be), and Bishop's wacky lyrics provide a throwback to Slim Shady-esque provocation.

5. DJ Quik - Luv of My Life (feat. Gift Reynolds)

Since early in his career all the way up to 2011, no other West Coast hip hop producer - dare I even say Dr. Dre - has captured the essence of L.A.'s sound as efficiently as DJ Quik. Call it Eau de Los Angeles: Quik's got it.

4. Game - The Kill (feat. La Roux)

Cool & Dre flip La Roux's '09 single to perfection on this Purp & Patron gem, with Chuck Taylor sounding hungrier than he has in years.

3. Killer Mike - Burn

Mike voted for Clinton. George Clinton. Mr. Bigga raises his fist and spits militant bars over a Funkadelic-led backdrop, sampled off the band's '71 LP Maggot Brain ("You & Your Folks, Me & My Folks").

2. Schoolboy Q - To the Beat (F'd Up)

An ode to various drugs and general recklessness, "To the Beat (F'd Up)" is just one of the many highlights on the Black Hippy emcee's standout malbum (mixtape + album) Setbacks.

1. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers

GZA #Fuxwitit... Need I say more?

40 more:

11. Saigon - Bring Me Down, Pt. 2
12. Dela - What U Wanna (feat. Blu)
13. Snoop Dogg - Gangbang Rookie (feat. Pilot)
14. Lupe Fiasco - All Black Everything
15. Mexicans With Guns - Highway to Hell (Ridin Dirty 7" Mix) (feat. Freddie Gibbs & Bun B)
16. Pac Div - Anti-Freeze
17. Oh No - Sound Off (feat. Termanology & Ea$y Money)
18. Wiz Khalifa - Black vs. Green (Superbowl XLV Remix) (feat. Lil Wayne & Snoop Dogg)
19. Dom Kennedy - Designer Shit
20. Lil B - Prayer to Music
21. Schoolboy Q - #BETiGOTSUMWEED
22. Slaughterhouse - Put Some Money on It (Remix) (feat. The Lox)
23. Dom Kennedy - Bet You Want Me (Now)
24. Self Scientific - Peaceful (Justice for Oscar) (feat. Freddie Gibbs & Krondon)
25. Raekwon - Molasses (feat. Rick Ross & Ghostface Killah)
26. 50 Cent - When I Come Back
27. Big K.R.I.T. - Time Machine
28. Rittz - Fulla Shit (feat. Yelawolf & Big K.R.I.T.)
29. Mike Jaggerr - Cruise Control (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)
30. Blu - In (feat. Freddie Gibbs & Homeboy Sandman)
31. J.Period - In the Ghetto (Wake Up!) (feat. Black Thought, Rakim & John Legend)
32. Action Bronson - Barry Horowitz
33. Pharoahe Monch - Clap (One Day) (feat. Showtyme & DJ Boogie Blind)
34. Raekwon - Rich & Black (feat. Nas)
35. Jackie Chain - Molly
36. CunninLynguists - Hard as They Come (Act I) (feat. Freddie Gibbs)
37. Lil B - Base for Your Face (Prod. by 9th Wonder) (feat. Jean Grae & Phonte)
38. EPMD - Don't Get Clapped
39. Pusha T - My God
40. Raekwon - Rock 'N Roll (feat. Ghostface Killah, Jim Jones & Kobe)
41. 1982 - Start It Like This
42. Cam'ron & Vado - Sour Life
43. Pusha T - Raid (feat. 50 Cent & Pharrell)
44. Eminem - 2.0 Boys (feat. Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf)
45. Keak Da Sneak - Face Down Ass Up
46. Daz Dillinger - D.A.Z. (Destruction Adds Up to Zero)
47. ¡Mayday! - Highs & Lows (feat. Ace Hood)
48. Lupe Fiasco - Words I Never Said (feat. Skylar Grey)
49. Gilbere Forte' - Born in '87
50. Danny Brown - Radio Head

51. Rebecca Black - Friday (feat. Patrice Wilson)
52. Tyler, The Creator - Sandwitches (Live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) (feat. Hodgy Beats, The Roots & Mos Def)