Trade Carmare for Paulward, or, Best Hip-Hop of 2011

There are 16 days until basketball. There are 11 days until TM103. Let's prioritize!

So since I left the country I've been pretty detached from American sports (lockout didn't help) but I've been nerding out over hip-hop. Here's my top 10 of the year, sort of in order but not really. It's been a fairly strong year for hip-hop, if only because the future is brighter than it's ever been. Let's go!

  1. Lil B - I'm Gay. Contemporary classic. I hesitate to call this hip-hop because it's really a work of conceptual art. I'll talk about this album and the amazing Clams Casino production all day but for now I'll just post this
  2. Danny Brown - XXX. His recent ear for beats has been concerning but that can't overshadow how great XXX is
  3. Death Grips - Exmilitary. Because holy shit. They've been compared to an actualized Antipop and that's fairly apt. Either way Zach Hill can do no wrong.
  4. Kendrick Lamar - Section.80. Slept on this, grew irritated as everyone gushed over it, finally checked it out, forgave them
  5. ASAP Rocky - LiveLoveA$AP. Once again Clams provides the standouts, but the production is great from front to back. I've been loving this album recently.
  6. Spank Rock - Everything is Boring and Everyone is a Fucking Liar. YoYoYoYoYo was incredible, but this is more mature and diverse, plus it gave Big Freedia a well-deserved platform
  7. Drake - Take Care. Say what you want about the dude but this is a great album. He had 100% creative freedom and even the radio-friendly tracks are really smooth and musically tight
  8. araabMUZIK - Electronic Dream. This pushes your boundaries of hip-hop but the influence is obvious. Araab does a lot of work with Dipset and he's one of the best producers alive.
  9. Gucci Mane - Writings on the Wall 2. Really nice return to form from Gucci, it's not quite up to par with his 2008-09 shit but what is?
  10. Shabazz Palaces - Black Up. This will probably go way up the list when I get a chance to give it some more listens!

honorable mention: Pac Div, Watch the Throne, Sorry 4 the Wait (possible song of the year)

still need to listen to: Action Bronson, Pusha T, Big K.R.I.T.

dishonorable mention: Camp, Relax (I love DR, but it's a massive letdown)

Also, did you know Aaron Brooks is playing in China? Let's trade Chauncey for him!

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