It’s subjective. It’s my opinion, although I have excellent taste in music (conceited bastard). I ranked these songs on the merits of their content, production, the emcee’s lyrical ability and flow, and originality. All of theses songs have some combination of the aforementioned. They may rank higher in one area than others.
Did I miss some? Of course I did. But this is the grand sense of the music that I appreciated in 2011.
1. Stayin’ Busy – Silent Knight (prod. by The Audible Doctor) – This song had me open for the longest time. The beat, the sample, and Knight’s lyrics really one me over from day one. SK and The Audible Doctor are the big winners here. This song has remained my number one song from it’s inception in February.
2. Agnes In Wunderland Remix – Memphis Reigns – A song done regarding the various degrees of addiction that can be found in life has such great introspection.
3. Breaking Point – Emilio Rojas – No one does personal angst better than Mr. Rojas. He kills this song.
4. That Fire – The Destruments ft. CF – Blam. Blam. This is the illest flow of the year, point blank. I could listen to this song over and over again.
5. Pitch Black – Moke and Tone – This tale of deception, wrong doing, and karma is easily one of my favorites this year.
6. Worldwide – DJ Brans ft. M-Dot and Armageddon – Sometimes you just want to wild out to a song and this song definitely does the trick. Superlative verses from the two emcees.
7. Plain Gold Ring – Devine Carama – KY spitter shows you that their is beauty in simplicity. The production is just plain beautiful.
8. Got It All (DJ Brace Remix) – Brown Bag AllStars – If you aren’t up on the BBAS movement you are an epic failure. This song just smacks of the crew’s greatness. Props to DJ Brace for this beat! Nice.
9. Theology Of War – Rasheed Chappell – How much knowledge can one man drop on a track? A considerable amount according to Mr. Chappel’s standard.
10. Time Bomb – Cold Men Young – I’m a ticking time bomb! This crew is about to blow something major. This track is ridiculously dope and something to vent your grievances to.
12. Run This Town – Rite Hook ft. Planet Asia and Copywrite – You knew it was coming. I am a big Rite Hook fan and this cut embodies that typical dopeness.
13. For The Birds – Little Vic – If you are a lady, act like one. Sound advice from the prolific, Little Vic. The man hasn’t dropped an ‘album’ in a while but he constantly keeps his name buzzing with this mixtapes.
14. God’s Camera – The Black Opera – This song can not truly be discussed because of it’s clandestine nature. However, it can be stated that it will make you socially aware.
15. N.I.C.E. – Chino XL – The man hasn’t even dropped an album in 2011, but this little ditty he put out earlier this annihilates some of these other albums.
16. Gold Chain – K. Sparks ft. Angelous – What a beat! What a duo! HHD’s 2010 Artist Of The Year murders this beat.!
17. Virginia Tec-9 – Sketch – This song is the quintessential head nodder for 2011. This beat by J-$crilla is impeccable and Sketch delivers a potent delivery on the mic.
18. My Cadillac – Playdough – Give me that 50s hip hop flavor any day of the week. This song belies the uniqueness of Playdough.
19. Silly Negro – Locksmith – One of the most politically potent tracks from 2011. Locksmith takes no shorts and brings to light what was once not evident.
20. The Rainmaker – Action Bronson – Bronson is probably going to garner some Artists Of The Year consideration in some circles and this song may wind up being Exhibit A to garner your vote.
21. Press It Onto Wax – Soulslicers x The Aztext – It’s a Vermont/Switzerland collabo? It sure as hell is. This song is beautiful hip hop. For our purists only.
22. Dispensary Girl – Wax – A song dedicated to the woman behind the counter at your local marijuana dispensary. Very light hearted and fun.
23. Evil Woman – Big Jess x Sab The Artist – This song is dedicated to all the women of ill repute who try to throw the wrench in the righteous man’s game. Big Jess is one of my favorite emcees from this year alone.
24. A Smart Black Boy – blctxt contxt – Yes. When the beat drops on this one, you know it is something special.
25. Flashing – Cold Heat – Jak Danielz flow on this track is second only to CF’s on That Fire. He murders this completely.
26. The Other Side – Cane – Cane will be remembered in my mind as one of the great storytellers from 2011. The way he narrates this story is perfection.
27. Wmn vs. Wrk – Goldini Bagwell – International man of mystery…asks the age old (?) question, Women or work? Really dope work on the boards by Pmpee too.
28. Professional – Only One – This track just screams anthem. I have played this song many a time since it dropped. “…I’m so professional…”
29. Wire Tap – 9DM – The Top 50 needed the type of joint that just knocks and this one certainly does that. Lawz Spoken laces a banger and 9DM bodies the beat. This is a song I would play if I wanted to punch someone in the face to music.
30. Better – Illus x Gift Of Gab x Paul Dateh – Music with a message. We can all better ourselves and make that desired change.
31. From The South – King Mez x Thee Tom Hardy x Sean Boog – Three of the illest emcees from North Carolina combine forces to make this banger. It also needs to be stated that I can not wait to hear some more Thee Tom Hardy flow.
32. County Of Kings – PH x Sha Stimuli x Skyzoo x Ruste Juxx x L.R. Blitzkrieg – It’s a New York thing on this track. Really an ill collaboration of heavy hitters.
33. Father – Focus x SP Double – The beat is done like a music box and samples Jim Croce’s Time In A Bottle. The lyrics involve the relationships of the two emcees with their respective fathers. It’s a dope combo.
34. Bipolar – Sutter Kain x Donnie Darko – Wow. You love this beat and sample, you know you do. Aggressive bars make this duo one to be reckoned with.
35. Thors Hammer – Vast Aire x Raekwon – Vast Aire brings the The Chef into the kitchen for a little NY cooking. Just a song that knocks.
36. Them Vets – Ketchphrase x Paradime x Royce Da 5’9″ – Here’s yet another song that was added to the list for it’s shear propensity to holt eardrums.
37. Stop What Ya Doin’ – Apathy x Celph Titled – It’s old school boom bap with DJ Premier on the boards. How could this song not make the cut?
38. Letters – Half Past Never Band x Jon?Doe – This cut drops off of the highly slept upon Cubicle Coma album. Jon?Doe rocks over some live Finnish instrumentation. There’s something beautiful to be found here.
39. Target Practice – Jedi Mind Tricks – Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah are hell bent to deliver you the hardest hip hop that you can find on the market. There is beauty to be found in brutality.
40. Save Me – Koncept – The album, Awaken, almost didn’t drop in time to make this list, but here we are, and I am sure you will enjoy this sampling of this dope album from the BBAS representer.
41. Ducking The Dogs – L*Roneous – LR has the most unique flow on this list. His cadence and flow just can’t be duplicated. By the way, watch out for the cops and for his numerous projects that dropped in 2011.
42. Native Lungs – Braille – Certainly one of the most hip hop songs this year comes from the Northwest spitter with a conscious.
43. Cool – Laelo Hood x Pro’verb x Lyriciss – These DMV vets get together and give the listeners that 70s era vibe with some slick talk.
44. Children Of The Corn – Bathgate – I am a sucker for a little bit of Bollywood on a beat. The production on this track is sick. Bathgate proves to be a solid emcee.
45. Jack Frost II – Ras Kass – Easily one of my favorite Ras Kass songs in the last couple of years. I love the venom he spits historical context with. If you have half of brain, you will love this.
46. Dance With The Devil – Armageddon – The Terror Squad member really made a huge splash in 2011 with the release of his first music in a decade. Another one of those tracks that have great flow to it with a touch of evil.
47. A Nobody – Awthentik x Laelo Hood – The DMV had a great year and the artist known as Awthentik put out the best album from the area. The bass line here slinks on, but both he and Laelo remain intent on dropping heat.
48. Never Really Gone – B.A.D. Company – I love this sample. Excellent production underscores some above average lyricism.
49. Impaled Nazarene – Heavy Metal Kings – Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz drop some knowledge over stalwart production. Ill Bill’s verse relating to the life of David Koresch is worth giving the track a listen on it’s merits alone.
50. The Bar Mistvah – Planet Asia x John Robinson – A great combination here makes the cut for one of the 50 best this year. The beat slinks along as the two emcees showcase dope flows and perfect timing. I have been saying for a while, if there was a hip hop HOF, Planet Asia is on my first ballot.