My iTunes library has grown quite a bit in 2010...homegrown, that is.
Of all the albums, mixtapes, songs that I've gotten my hands on this year, about 97% of them have been from a local rapper.
You're not experiencing déjá vu, I've said something similar numerous times. I've been so caught up in Detroit hip-hop this year that I've kind of ignored everything else.
That being said, Rick Ross, The Roots, Big Boi and Kanye have released some pretty good albums this year (from what I've been told :-/ ). So when I decided I'd do my top four favorites, I'd pick my top four Detroit albums, it's only fair.
Why four? Five was too hard (plus I have a thing for even numbers. My blog. My Rules).
Before I get into the top four some honorable mentions are Marv Won's 'Wayne Fontes Music', Street Justice's 'Go HAAM', Nametag's 'The Name Is Tag' and Moe Dirdee's 'M.O.E. (Mark of Excellence)'. I've heard The Left's Gas Mask is pretty awesome, but I haven't heard it yet (I know slacking).
4. Crown Nation - House Shoes presents Blue Mondays/Slut Bag Edition Double EP: I swear people don't talk about Crown Nation enough. Quelle and Denmark Vessey. I've written about these two fellows a little while ago, and stand by my claim that people are heavily sleeping on them. This Double EP, combines the best of both Crown Nation worlds, "Blue Mondays" was Quelle's solo project while "Slut Bag Edition" was a Crown Nation baby. The song that got me hooked was "The Archie Whitewater Interlude" which is on Slut Bag Edition, maybe it's their hip-hop quirkiness mixed with old school flavor and manipulation of simple flows and cool lyrics that makes them dope.
Miz Korona - The Injection: Though it dropped back during this summer, I officially got injected November 15 ( I remember the date because I had jury duty that day). I was dead determined to get a hard copy of that album and yes it took that long. Miz Korona is one of the artists I've gotten to know this year; I've seen her perform several times and simply ran into her on a few other occasions. One of the first songs I heard by her was "Like a Zoo," which is featured on this album, and I was pretty much captivated by her rhymes. She attacks bars with a spitfire delivery and pretty excellent word play; it's impossible to listen to The Injection without rewinding a song's verse to make sure you heard her right. The entire album (with the exception of Cookin') was produced by Chanes, who I have officially stopped sleeping on, and is possibly the best 40 minutes of your life.
2. Danny Brown - The Hybrid: His jeans are tight but his rhymes are tighter. Ok, corny, but Danny Brown is way beyond a lot of his peers and The Hybrid should have been an album I paid for, I feel like I cheated the system. The Hybrid was my first time hearing anything by Danny Brown; I didn't know who he was, what he'd done, nothing. The only thing I knew was that my Twitter timeline was going haywire over this guy's album and I found out why. Danny Brown tells some interesting tales through his lyrics many of which are relatable hood tales like "Thank God" which makes mentions of Bridge and WIC cards or "Juno" which hits the nail on the teen pregnancy head. Production isn't half-assed either, Red Bull 's 2010 Big Tune Producer 14KT did a track as well as the aforementioned guys of Crown Nation, Mosel, Nick Speed, Chuck Inglish ... The Hybrid bleeds awesomeness.
1. Black Milk - Album of the Year: When Black Milk named this album the last thing he was doing was exagerrating. AOTY is the best $10 I ever spent. Upon its release, AOTY came in at #129 on the Billboard 200, which is a pretty dope accomplishment. Sometimes when producers decide to step behind the mic it's not always the greatest (and if it is, someone else wrote it for them), but Black did a damn good job lyrically on this album. That could be because producers know their music, they know how to to ride their beats if no one else does. 'Album of the Year' gets personal, as he discusses the passing of Baatin and his aunt and almost losing Hex, but also has hints of cockiness and arrogance. My favorite thing about the album is the beats; Black Milk does this thing with drums, I can't really describe it, but you know that thing I'm talking about if you've listened to it. If he wanted it to be, 'Album of the Year' could have been an instrumental album (but you know how that goes when wack rappers think instrumental albums give them a right to drop wretched 16s, I digress). The only cohesive statement I can make on Album of the Year: it is awesome, Black Milk did an amazing job on it both production and lyrically, and it may be too early to call it, but in a few years AOTY will be on the list of classic hip-hop albums ... even if it's only in the 313.