Alright peeps here are some of my favourite albums from 2011. I’m going to start off with my top 10 Hip Hop albums of 2011 (from the UK and the US).
In no particular order:
Elzhi – Elmatic
Illmatic by Nas is a classic album! Elzhi decided to follow in my man Fashawn’s footsteps and remake Nas’ classic album. The main difference between Illmatic and Elmatic are the instrumentals. Elmatic was produced by Detroit’s Will Sessions band who decided to use live instrumentation to enhance the overall experience.
“The bottom line is that Elzhi took on an intimidating task and managed to prove that he can stand up to classic material.” – HipHopDX
Standout Tracks: Memory Lane, Halftime, Detroit State Of Mind
Action Bronson – Dr Lecter
An Albanian cat with a beard like Freeway, a voice like Ghostface, a belly like Biggie and a love for food like Jamie Oliver brought the house down for New York Rap. Action reminded me why I love East Coast Hip Hop. Action also ended the year by linking up with my favourite producer, Statik Selektah for the ever so delicious ‘Well Done’.
“Overall though, this is a solid first outing for Action Bronson and his high-octane delivery, street smarts and sense of humour will win over any listener willing to dismiss him as another Ghostface clone.” – Rapreviews
Standout Tracks: Madness, The Moonstruck, Jerk Chicken
Statik Selektah – Population Control
Statik selektah does it for a 4th time! Another classic album from the man from Boston. This time round Statik decided to bring a whole host of rappers from the rookie Mac Miller (Statik recorded with Mac Miller before he got big) to the veteran Lil Fame from MOP.
“Overall the album delivers what is expected. Listeners are treated to some amazing production, great verses, and a roster of artists coming together to create a big moment, not just Hip-Hop, but in music.” – AllHipHop
Standout Tracks: The High Life, You’re Gone
Malcolm & Martin – Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
Malcolm and Martin ((Styliztik Jones & KB I Mean) with the help of DJ Revolution bring the masses a solid album with a message that doesn’t sound preachy. This album is full of dope lyrics and dope production with plenty of scratching for the DJs out there!
“Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is a strong album with beats and rhymes that actually stand for something. It isn’t lofty in attempt but its groundedness is its charm.” – PlanetIll
“Life Doesn’t Frighten Me is what true Hip Hop heads have been craving.” – HipHopDX
Standout Tracks: Movement Music, Bare Witness
Common – The Dreamer, The Believer
On his 10th album Common brings back his old running mate No ID to prove that this acting thing is just temporary but hip hop is his one true love. This album is one of his best albums since his 2005 effort “Be”.
“Common stands out from the best hip-hop albums of 2011 by doing what he has always done best since the ’90s and standing firm in his style.” – Paste Magazine
Standout Tracks: Sweet, Raw, Blue Sky
Phonte – Charity Starts At Home
Phonte is one of the most underrated rappers in the game. Phonte has recorded as part of the trio Little Brother (checkout The Minstrel Show) and the duo Foreign Exchange (checkout Connected). Phonte is a Grammy nominated rapper who has not lost a step since he entered the game back in 2003.
“Charity Starts At Home plays like the soundtrack of the working man’s life. Phonte finds a way to touch on the struggles that we all face on a daily basis, trying to balance love and life and does it in a way that will make you laugh, cry and nod your head all at the same time.” – CouchSessions
Standout Tracks: Not Here Anymore,
MOP & Snowgoons – Sparta
Its like a match made in heaven, the most grimey / rugged hip hop duo to come out of New York with the a German production duo who sound like a mix of Premo, Stoupe and Statik Selektah.
Standout Tracks: Sparta, Blasphemy (Blast 4 Me), Break’em
“this album is short, sweet, no filler just straight to the point knock you out music, and this album will get you hyped up. The Snowgoons are the strength and M.O.P. knocked this out the park lyrically and never straying from there wheel house.” - UStyles
Kendrick Lamar – section 80
Kendrick Lamar is a new cat in the game who has had a massive year. His first album (which is technically a mixtape) shows a young MC with plenty of hunger and plenty of talent.
Standout Tracks: ADHD, Rigamortus, HiiiPower
“Overall, Kendrick shows the world that he isn't the ordinary deep artist. He might end up being considered one of the greatest MC's of all time.” - RelevantMindSet
The Four Owls – Natures Greatest Mysterys
The Four Owls consists of 4 of the finest rappers from the UK underground scene; Leaf Dog and BVA (from 3 Amigos), Fliptrix and Verb T. This album bangs hard all the way through.
“Ultimately, it goes without saying that "Nature's Greatest Mystery" is a more than valuable addition to any true head's collection” - AKidCalledSkribe
Standout Track: Not Like Before, Life In The Balance
Dirty Dike – Constant Dikestar
Another product of the incredible UK hip hop label High Focus. Dirty Dike is one of the nastiest minds on the UK scene but I’m addicted. Dirty Dike is like the UK version of the Tyler the Creator and Bizarre (from D12).
Standout Tracks: Average Wank, The Agitated, Pork Pie
“In short, the album flows well and the production (provided entirely by Mr. Constant) is solid, and Dike's rhymes work well with the music and the project is a captivating listen. I would recommend this album without exception.” - KMag
Some other albums that nearly made the top 10.
Jedi Mind Tricks – Violence Begets Violence
The Roots – Undun
Pac Div – The Div
Currensy & Alchemist – Covert Coup
The Doppelgangaz- Lone Sharks
The Away Team – Scars and Stripes
Evidence – Cats & Dogs
50 Cent – The Big 10
Random Axe – Random Axe
Pete Rock and Smif n Wessun – Monumental
Durrty Goodz – Overall
Leaf Dog-From A Scarecrow's Perspective
Roots Manuva - 4everevolution
Jehst – The Dragon of the Ordinary Family