Continuing my countdown of this year’s best rap/hip-hop mixtapes (you can catch Part 1 here), let’s take a look at my next three:
6. Talib Kweli and Z-Trip, Attack The Block – Brooklyn’s most underrated MC (in my opinion) is the great Talib Kweli. He’s capable of spitting some of the most thought provoking rhymes, while still being fun enough to rap about the party life and luxurious women. His joint mixtape effort with DJ Z-Trip showcases these qualities in full. Kweli joins in on an informative rap sermon with fellow enlightened rappers Black Thought and Ab-Soul. He devotes himself to the ladies as Ryan Leslie provides his R&B touch. And Kweli enjoys celebrating the good life with Maino in tow. I love this mixtape simply because it shows Kweli’s penchant for making music for every type of rap/hip-hop fan. Every track on this tape is worthy of radio spins and constant play in a smoked out club. More industry folks need to pay attention to Kweli. He certainly has mine.
Mixtape Standout – To The Music
5. 50 Cent and DJ Drama, The Lost Tape – It seems like the world has forgotten about 50, but I’m glad 50 hasn’t forgotten about the rest of his hardcore fans. Fitty has come a long way and made plenty of rap classics over the years, but lately, it seems like most of his concentrated efforts are centered on things not pertaining to music. When he does get behind the mic again, though, he’s still capable of putting together dope music, and his mixtape comeback was proof of that. It made all the sense in the world to have DJ Drama put his brand on this tough tape. 50 goes back to basics and even hops on Southern beats, just so he can prove he’s still relevant. And of course he created a banger with Jerimih. 50 renewed my confidence in him with this mixtape, and I’m super hyped about his next album.
Mixtape Standout – Get Busy
4. Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Allderdice – Wiz could be one of the greatest rappers of all time; I just wish he’d widen his scope on subjects when it comes to his raps. I definitely enjoy hearing about his rise to fame and the many expensive items he’s picked up along the way, but it does get tiresome after a while. At the end of the day, though, I can’t help but still be a Wiz fan because the dude picks incredible beats. This mixtape featured some of the year’s dopest production and more of that famous Khalifa weed talk. Sure, Wiz wasn’t rapping about much (as usual), but the combination of ill beats and interview segments in between songs kept me interested. It was cool hearing about Wiz and his thoughts about his career so far. This mixtape also gets nods from me for having one of the year’s most noteworthy covers.
Mixtape Standout – Mia Wallace