As the year 2010 ends, I felt it was important to look back on the soundtrack to my year. I feel that what makes a great album are the memories you have that go along with it. How did that album make you feel? Did it make you feel inspired? stronger? happier? As an MC myself i dont listen to too much music and i def dont really listen to a lot of the garbage on the radio. Im blessed to be surrounded by talented peers and this year many of them put out dope projects that received heavy rotation on my boombox or ipod. So here are my top 5 albums/mixtapes of the year. Not in any order. Just my top 5.
1. Dead Prez and Dj Drama: Revolutionary but Gangsta Grillz
When this mixtape dropped we all went crazy at RDACBX. It dropped on their website for FREE!!! We were on our way to Detroit for the US Social Forum, and this joint was on 24/7 during that trip. "Marcus, Garvey, Huey" the joint they got with our BX family Divine of The Dey over that Beamer, Benz or Bentley instrumental became our anthem. We needed some Dead Prez in 2010 and I loved how they brought it over current beats. They flipped em! It was crazy how M1 takes his flow right back over Drake's "Over" beat, or how Stic Man single handedly made me stop smoking weed for 2 months with his verse over Gucci Manes "Wasted" beat. One of my favorite memories from 2010 was being on stage with them at the Black August concert jumpin around in my home made Marcus Garvey Huey shirt. All in all, Dead Prez continues to show us how to live healthy and be bout it with our politics.
2.Nneka- Concrete Jungle
I was put on to NNeka by my peeps Circa 95. Theyre alway puttin me on new shit! But when Rephstar showed me Nneka's video for "Walkin" I was floored. Immediately I went home and researched her online. I found her video for "Heartbeat" and for the next 3 months I bumped that track everyday. Ill never forget after a CIRCA 95 BBQ how we all danced at RDACBX to that song on repeat for like 15 minutes. One of my biggest frustrations this year was not being able to catch her at SXSW. I still havent been able to see her live and have that as one of my things to do in 2011.
3. Ana Tijoux: 1977
Ana is our sister. Our parents were both political prisoners together under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. In the beginning of the year, while we were touring in Chile, Ana spoke to me about being her hype man for her US tour. She had signed to Nacional Records and was about to make her U.S. debut. I had a month to memorize her lyrics yet waited until the last week to get ready. I listened to this album 30X a day for that one week! I love this album. Producers Hordatoj and Foex brought it hard with the production!! This shows us how crazy talented the Hip Hop scene in Chile is. Ana's flow is like no others. Its like another instrument playing along with the beat. Apparently the Grammys agree. 1977 was nominated as Best Latin Alternative, Rock or Urban Album.
4. YC the Cynic- You're Welcome
YC is my little brother. I met him on my block like 4 years ago when i first moved to Hunts Point. I have seen him grow and become the super dope lyrical monster MC that he is. He recorded most of it at the RDACBX studio, so i had a sneak preview to the process. I also got to guest star on a track along with Hipnotic. If you havent heard YC, you need too. His wordplay is crazy. The fact he chose a lot of 90s classic beats to rock over only makes me appreciate this more. I know this is my shit cuz i know all the lyrics. I remember bumpin this on repeat in the RDACBX van while we played ball in the street. It was the soundtrack to many street bball games.YC had us all feelin like Superman with this mixtape and we cant wait to hear more!
5. The Reminders:
Im not sure when this album dropped and i dont care. I heard it this year and this is my shit! I bumped this album non stop year round. I met Big Samir and Aja Black while we were in Denver doing shows. Not only do i love their music but they are a beautiful family and wonderful people. Ill never forget watchin their cute little ones dancing on stage with them as they performed my joint " Black Roses" at an RDACBX BBQ we had. One of my goals for 2011 is to record a track with them, until then ill be bumping their album.