Speaking of Year-End Lists | Bleader

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Speaking of Year-End Lists

Posted By on 12.16.10 at 03:10 PM

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Das Racist live in Chicago
The limitations baked into the top-ten-list format mean there's a lot of very good music I enjoyed throughout the year that I couldn't call out in mine. Luckily a few of the releases in question are mix tapes that rappers gave away on the Internet, and luckily we're on the Internet right now so I can share links to them.

Das Racist, who I interviewed back in August, are smart and confrontational and all sorts of music-writer bait. They make genuinely entertaining tracks, and you can spend days untangling their lyrics' dense knots of obscure hip-hop trivia, revolutionary political rhetoric, and references to cultural critics. Their two 2010 efforts, Sit Down, Man and Shut Up, Dude, can be downloaded here.

Fabolous has made a few appearances on the pop chart, but he's the type of rapper whose audience seems to consist entirely of people in Hot 97's broadcast area and dudes who lurk the comments sections of hip-hop blogs. It's a shame that more people haven't heard his mixtape There Is No Competition 2: The Funeral Service.

And speaking of hip-hop blogs, in 2010 pretty much every one of them weighed in on Lil B. The Based God, as he calls himself, was one of the most divisive figures in rap this year. People tend to react to his druggy flow—which, according to the astute New York Times critic Jon Caramanica, "triggers the magnetic sensation of watching someone who can rap reasonably well choose to rap poorly, and waiting to see if that will change"—with either howling disgust or fanatical devotion. He's a decidedly millennial artist, mostly releasing his music straight to YouTube in the form of prosumer-level music videos, but he's released a couple of mix tapes that sort of resemble those archaic artifacts called "albums." His latest (and probably the best yet) is called Evil Red Flame.

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