RHH: Thoughts on my top 10 albums of 2011 so far?
2) Together/Apart - Grieves. Grieves proves his lyricism is equal, or even better, than Slug's over beautifully sparse production.
3) Iron Fist - Savage Brothers & Lord Lhus. I love Snowgoons production, and I love how all the MCs here embrace the "pimp trick gangsta click" vibe instead of shying away in hopes of seeming 'conscious'. Supastition's verse on "South East" is a must hear.
4) Acknowledgement EP - Soul Khan. My favorite EP of all time by one of my favorite battle rappers of all time (and definitely my favorite in terms of releases. He's not saying anything new, but he *does* say it better.
5) Black Up - Shabazz Palaces. Many people have called this album's production the best of the year. Hell, it even got a write-up in the New Yorker. So, as an uber-elitist, I should deny that, right? Wrong. This album is the real deal, with top-notch production that is at once modern and reminiscent of 1992-era hip hop.
6) The Family Sign - Atmosphere. Slug gets better with every release. I thought When Life Gives You Lemons would be his peak, storytelling-wise, but 'The Last To Say' and 'Became' show he's taken his game up a notch.
7) Shaolin v. Wu-Tang - Raekwon. With production that sounds more like RZA than RZA, and a cohesive array of guests, Rae dropped an album that could have just as easily been dropped in '95 with the first string of Wu-releases. 'Rock N Roll' is the only flaw.
8) Dagger Mouth - Swollen Members. Monsters II proved this album was only a fluke, but still, Madchild got his sh** together for an entire album and dropped a gem.
9) Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye - D-Sisive. D-Sisive is one of the best writers in hip hop; he's smart and honest and makes a ton of allusions without being nerdcore. 'If' is a song of the year.
10) OX 2010: A Street Odyssey - Vast Aire. One of those albums, similar to It's Dark And Hell Is Hot, where the artist's vocal presence carries the album. Great production and great flow can make up for middling lyrics. 'Thor's Hammer', with Raekwon and Vordul Mega, is classic.
BQ: What's your top 10 for 2011?