2011: my music year & Favourites


This My 2011 In Hip Hop

Ahhhh Hip Hop, Brilliant, Terrible, Innovative, Stale, Boundary Pushing, Time Wasting, Spell Binding, Gut wrenching. Yeah yeah I know that these descriptions are extreme but if we're honest with ourselves it not very hard to find major/semi-major releases in 2011 that fit the bill, one way or another. Stagnant perpetual motion would be my personal contribution to the epitaph. Constantly changing and evolving while at the same time managing to shoot itself in the foot just when it seems to be gaining momentum. All stewed in the same pot as fake/pointless 'Beefs' (not on my island though) and the never ending story of major labels failing to fully utilise the strength of digital media.

more & my personal 2011 favs after the break….

It's funny how all the nonsensical aspects seem to be taking place on the big brother island that is the 'almighty' U S of A and not on this side of the atlantic. I have barely heard of any altercations of any kind in the UK Hip Hop (not Grime) scene of late. We had plenty of quality releases. The biggest of which (Jehst's Dragon...) while a triumph to behold was made all the more poignant thanks to the ridiculous/chaotic antics of some very stupid individuals. The initial outpouring of anger due to a lack of communication from the powers that be gave way to wan-ton looting and vandalism. The one thing that I was proud of in the aftermath was that for once urban music was not guilty by association. Although some of the errrr... social commentators were way off the mark with their excuse making, they were for the most part (David Starkey?) rational with their arguments.

Meanwhile the blogosphere was as entertaining as ever with the usual fake gangsta's and laptop don's hiding behind their computer screens. A Certain punchline spitting crooner’s supposed greatness (or lack there of) seemed to spark the fiercest verbal jousting among the self anointed, appointed and initiated. Where do I stand on the subject? Someone who could potentially be Hip-Hops pillar and chief message bringer is quite satisfied  making the ladies moist. So be it but he could be so much more.

As for my music year, I spent a lot more time than usual with my ears in the company of funk and funky house artists than i have in previous years. But recognising that would lead me to ask whether that was due to a shift in aural tastes on my part, or a distinct lack of decent Hip-Hop to get my proverbial teeth into. The releases that I held the most anticipation for (bar one) didn’t disappoint and as usual there were a few pleasant surprises. But even with the great music on offer I still don’t feel that Hip-Hop had a particularly good year. Maybe i’m being picky, maybe it’s the plethora of terrible music that has been released this year, or maybe i am just plain wrong. Hey ho....

And my 2011 favs are....

Elzhi - Elmatic
Jehst - Dragon of an Ordinary Family
Betty Wright & The Roots - Betty Wright: The Movie
Common - The Dreamer/The Believer
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings-Soul Time!
Evidence - Cats & Dogs
Phonte - Charity Starts At Home
Omen - Afraid Of Heights
Sonnyjim - The Psychonaut/The Psychonaut Remixes
The Roots - Undun
Torae - For The Record
Kendrick Lamar - Section.80
Dubbledge - Dubbledge vs. The Boondocks
Rapsody - For Everything
Celph Titled - Nineteen Ninety More
J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story
Tiron & Ayomari - A Sucker For Pumps
9th Wonder - The Wonder Years (deluxe edition)
Statik Selektah - Population Control
Big K.R.I.T. - Return Of Eva

Honourable mentions:
Scram Jones - Hat Trick
Rebecca Ferguson - Heaven
Small Pro & Fortilive - I vs. I Remix LP
Willie Evans Jr - Introducing
Kindred the Family Soul - Love Has no Recession


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