Top 10 Albums & Mixtapes of 2010

2010 was the year of hype albums. So many albums dropped last year that could have made my list, it was hard to narrow it down. 

Honorable Mention | Trill O.G. - Bun B is a legend. When I started to hear some of the earlier tracks dropped for this album... I was brought back to the UGK days right before Pimp C passed. As soon as I heard the album from front to back I thought to myself... Pimp C would be stoked, and Bun B definitely brought the trill. Not to mention the album featured so many talented artists, you would be damn stupid not to enjoy this. Go buy this album and see why Source Magazine gave this album a 5-mic rating (first time in 5 years). Keep it trill.

Honorable Mention | TSOL - Shad has been on my radar since the early days of 'When This Is Over'. Shortly before the TSOL announcement I thought to myself... where the eff is Shad. I was left wanting to hear more after 'The Old Prince', as soon as "Yaa I Get It" dropped; I thought to myself: 'Shad has done it again'. TSOL is everything you can expect from Shad on a more mature level. Go support this Canadian emcee and buy TSOL.

Honorable Mention | Teflon Don - Honestly Rick Ross isn't my favorite rapper, I'm not into the whole grunt style of rap. JJ (@nevernotgully) and myself recently discussed the whole Rick Ross style of rapping, he brought up the idea: Rick Ross knows how to match his beats with his voice; which is definitely true. Buy 'Teflon Don' and see why he is on the list. 

Honorable Mention | Distant Relatives - Three months ago, I finally started to listen to this unique mix of musical genres (hip hop and reggae). I was first introduced to the album by my friend, Asif; I was never to fond of it. Now that I have listened to the album from front to back, I suggest you to broaden your music preference and buy 'Distant Relatives'.

#10 Champ - I have always been a fan of Tokyo Police Club, the first song that sent me to buy there albums was 'Nature of the Experiment'. If you haven't heard any music from Tokyo Police Club, start with 'Champ' and work backwards; you will appreciate how far they have come in 4 years. If they keep making music like 'Champ', they are on the right path to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Support young Canadian music and buy 'Champ'.

#9 Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty - Big Boi stepped out of the shadows of Outkast and Andre 3000 with this album. This is going to be one of those albums you show your kids, 20 years from now. Seriously, if you haven't bought the album... Get with it.

#8 Brothers - This duo of sure brilliance was never introduced to me until 'Brothers' was released. It doesn't matter what kind of music you like, you are going to enjoy this album and every other album they released. I have been listening to The Black Keys discography for about 5 months now and I am not disappointed. The best thing to come out of Akron, Ohio other than Lebron James (before he let his entire state down by leaving Cleveland).

#7 O(verly) D(edicated) - Kendrick Lamar was first introduced to me in early 2010. He is one of the illest emcee's in the game right now. If this is a sign of better things to come, look out for Kendrick Lamar in 2011. Go download this mixtape.

#6 How I Got Over - When Aristo and myself were discussing our choices for 'Top 10 Albums & Mixtapes of 2010' it was a unanimous decision that this was one of the best of the year. When albums have such early drops (June) you expect something to surpass them or eventually you will forget about the album. Well, 'How I Got Over' was played almost every single day at work or at home and it is still played. If someone asked me in June of 2010 what I would choose as my #1... I would have probably said 'How I Got Over'. Find out why, go buy it.

#5 Killer Tape - Curt@!n$ was on a killin' spree in 2010. Taking beats and making his version better than the original (example: "God Bless"). A lot of people are going to think this doesn't deserve #5, but I am like Curt@!n$ (taking the typical list, and making it better).

#4 From The Westside With Love - If it wasn't for the guy below, this would be mixtape of the year. Dom Kennedy stepped up his beats, rhymes, and flow with this release. This is my most played in every category (album/mixtape and songs) on my itunes library. Find out why this is so good, download it for free.

#3 Friday Night Lights - Mixtape of the Year! J Cole killed every track on FNL. It's funny to think that, J Cole has put out 3 mixtapes for free and each has been better than some rappers albums *cough*Wale*cough*. If J Cole would have put this as his album I don't think anyone would have been disappointed. Can't wait to hear his debut album. Get away with robbery, download this masterpiece for free.

#2 Thank Me Later - After 'So Far Gone' blowing up all around the world and creating the hype for Drake, he was put in a stand still of focusing on delivering hype again with a debut studio album (Thank Me Later). Drake's poetic style and flow worked really well with 40's beats and direction. Thank Me Later won me over with tracks like: "Show Me A Good Time", "Up All Night", and "Unforgettable" (to name a few). Buy the album and find out why in the first week this album sold 447,000 albums in the US and reached platinum in Canada. You will thank me later (pun).

#1 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - First thing that comes to mind is 'Wow!'. After the long hiatus from the media, Kanye West was back and getting ready for the album drop. With the introduction of G.O.O.D. Fridays it put every Kanye hater/lover/fan at a stand still. 'Hype' is a perfect word for the time between the start of G.O.O.D. Fridays and November 22nd 2010. And he lived up to the hype, and then some. Thoroughly impressed; the production, lyrics, delivery, and featuring's are all markable. Best use of creativity in any album I have ever heard. He renamed the genre of Hip Hop. Buy this album for yourself, your girlfriend, mother, father, sister, and your dog. Seriously.

Words by Brennan
Logos/Arrangement by Brennan


Honorable Mention | Distant Relatives - Distant Relatives stands out in sound from Nas' other works due to the influence and production from Damian Marley. Distant Relatives deserves an honorable mention on my list of best albums of 2010 for it's unique blend of top-notch reggae and hip-hop.  

#10 The Lady Killer - The Lady Killer is incredibly funky and fresh. Why does Cee-Lo come in at number 10? Two words: Fuck You.

#9 Apollo Kids - Ghostface spitting over gritty rock influenced hip-hop? Yes please.

#8 Friday Night Lights - An instance where an artist delivers on the hype. If J Cole puts out music this good for free, I can't even imagine what his purchasable material sounds like. Download Friday Night Lights.

#7 Nineteen Ninety Now - Buckwild went back into his old computer files and brought back the 90's sound. Celph Titled never sounded so good. 

#6 Plastic Beach - The Gorillaz officially achieve a hat trick for making three excellent albums. Plastic Beach is in it's own genre: cartoon.

#5 Brothers - The first Black Keys album I've listened to, and I'm smitten. I don't even listen to that much rock, but I'll rock this shit any day.

#4 How I Got Over - One of the most underrated hip-hop groups of all time. Easily. Next time The Roots come to Saskatoon, I'm there. 

#3 Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty - Funkiest hip-hop album of the year goes to Big Boi. Thank you for bringing southern hip-hop back to life.

#2 The Arch Android (Suites II and III) - Janelle Monae's debut album is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. Unlike most female pop artists, Janelle can actually sing...AND rap. I've never heard music quite like this.

#1 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - And the winner is... Kanye West once again re-defines the standard of what it takes to make a classic hip-hop album. 

*This is by no means a comprehensive list. I listened to 24 albums that released last year, and placed them in order of which albums I enjoyed the most.

Words by Aristo
Logos/Arrangement by Brennan

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