My 2011 Hip Hop Nominees
Emcees of the year
yU- Working off of the success of his debut album “Before Taxes” yU released a dope beat tape called “The Garbage Beat Tape” and right after that followed up with his sophomore album “The Earn” which is easily one of hip hop’s best releases this year.
Has-Lo- Has-Lo released his album “In Case I Don’t Make It” that we haven’t really heard in hip hop for a long time: a dark opus where the emcee bears pain. The emcee also produced the entire album, for his debut album Has-Lo set the bar high.
Paradox- This was the emcee’s breakout year and I’ve been waiting for this ever since I got my hands on his “called to mind” album. This year the emcee upped the ante when he did a project produced entirely by DJ Sean P and the emcee brought amazing content with his album “Mending”.
Propaganda- 2008 aside from some guest verses was the last time we had a solo project from the Tunnel Rats emcee. With his album “Art Ambidextrous” Propaganda did something we haven’t really heard on a hip hop album a half hip hop, half poetry album and killed it in the process.
Phonte- Finally, finally we got what we had been waiting for a hip hop solo album from Phonte. Phonte did a lot of work even with guest features this year, working with Median, 9th Wonder and The Roots. “Charity Starts At Home” was a one of the best albums of the year and was the best out of the trio that came out that Tuesday.
Sintax- We had all wondered where in the world Sintax had been these last couple years and I thought the Carmel Skillington project was the next LP we would get from the DeepSpace5 emcee. But out of nowhere comes “Prince With A Thousand Enemies” and let’s face it he murdered the project.
Elzhi- Elmatic…..need I say more?
Producers of the Year
LAKIM- LAKIM grinded real hard this year releasing numerous beat tapes of really nice beats. His catalog continued to grow with one of my favorite projects this year that he did with Jean P called “Opposites Attract”. I’m telling you if you don’t know about this guy yet, you need to get learned now, he will be one of the best to do it.
Oddisee- “Rock Creek Park” was in my opinion the best instrumental project this year and one of the best ones I’ve heard in a long time. The live instrumentation just kicked up the bar for instrumental projects.
Will Sessions- If you don’t know yet, Will Sessions was the band that handled the production on Elzhi’s “Elmatic” they replicated the sound of Nas’ “Illmatic” to perfection while adding their own little spin to the beats. I’m interested to see what the band comes up with next.
Apollo Brown- Brown’s production shined to start off the year with his instrumental project “Clouds”. Follow that up with his gritty production on the Hassaan Mackey project “Daily Bread” and there’s no way that you can’t consider him to be one of the best.
Has-Lo- “In Case I Don’t Make It” was one of the better produced projects this year. The dark sample heavy production was unlike anything that we heard this year. The emcee/producer also handled some remixes this year also.
Kno- Produced one of my favorite projects this year in the Cunninlynguists “Oneirology” and the slept on project he did with MarQ Spekt where both gems and add to Kno’s already epic catalog.
DJ Kurfu- The producer of Sintax’s “Prince With A Thousand Enemies” Kurfu chopped some tight samples for the project and produced a very diverse project for the Illect Recordings release. Do not sleep on Kurfu.
Albums of the Year
PWTE- Sintax and Kurfu
yU- The Earn
Undun- The Roots
Oddisee- Rock Creek Park
Phonte- Charity Starts At Home
Song of the Year
Theory Hazit- Conceal Sorrow (remix)
Has-Lo- In Case I Don’t Make It
Oddisee- The Carter Barron
Paradox- Here Lies
Theory Hazit- Here I Come