Monday, 9 January 2012

My 10 Best Hip Hop Tracks Of 2011

I know this is a bit late but it's still relevant. In no particular order, here is my list of my favourite ten tracks last year:

1. Kendrick Lamar - Ronald Reagan Era 
The standout track of a tough field on Section. 80. Compelling production from RZA is married with razor sharp socio-political rhymes from Lamar.

2. Raekwon feat. Nas - Rich & Black
A scene stealing turn from a rejuvenated Nas places this track above the others on Shaolin vs Wu Tang. The collaboration proved false the notion that the two MC's careers are in terminal decline.

3. Common feat. John Legend - The Believer
A late entry as the album was only released at the end of December. The first track from The Dreamer, The Believer contains a stirring hook from Legend, while Common reminds listeners of the uplifting power of his music.

4. Game feat. Kendrick Lamar - The City
A reminder that when Game is on form, very few can match his intensity or honesty. The R.E.D Album cut also features a memorable cameo from Lamar, subduing the beat into silence as the crown is metaphorically passed on to the West Coast newcomer.

5. J Cole - Lost Ones
Despite Cole World: The Sideline Story being generally disappointing, the project did show glimpses of what made the LP so highly anticipated. Such evidence is found on 'Lost Ones', as Cole explores the ramifications of an unplanned pregnancy from the perspective of both partners.

6. Reks - Wonder Years
Over a haunting beat from Hi-Tek, Reks explores his adolescence and alcoholism, the title of the track becoming ironic as the ferocious rhymes batter it into submission. Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme was criminally ignored upon it's March release.

7. Mellowhype feat. Tyler, the Creator - F666 The Police
Odd Future members Hodgy Beats and Left Brain re-released their side project BlackenedWhite in 2011. The track features the raucous, dark themes the collective is known for, with a memorable appearance from the characteristically schizophrenic Tyler.

8. Jay Rock - Code Red 
Underrated project Follow Me Home was introduced by the unmistakably West Coast 'Code Red'. Over mournful piano keys, Jay Rock provides rhymes heavily reminiscent of a young Game.

9. Jay Z & Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean - Made in America
Though Watch The Throne was highly disappointing, it did feature standout track 'Made in America'. The Frank Ocean hook complements the deep, introspective subject matter that should have pervaded the whole album.

10. Mobb Deep feat. Nas - Get It Forever
After Prodigy was released from prison, the Queensbridge duo released The Black Cocaine EP to satisfy impatient fans. Undeniable gutter chemistry was achieved on 'Get It Forever', Nas in particular rounding out the year in style.

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