x CB » Best Rap, 2011

Best Rap, 2011

It’s the end of the year again and at the end of the year we make lists. So here is a list of rap songs that either mattered or should have mattered in 2011.

It was a confusing year for rap. Where last year saw a minor renaissance for underground rap movements across subgenres this year saw many of those movements commodified by industry, blinded by hype, flooded by posers or simply frozen in the face of expectations. None of this slowed the pace of production either, making for a whole lot of rap that was just good enough but almost never great. And even if you did manage to keep up with it all, it still was hard to hear the music underneath the din of all of the conversations about the music. At least half of those were about Tyler, The Creator of the rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All who, for a brief moment at least, justified the whole mess with one hell of a mission statement in the form of a song (and a popular music video that you can watch at home on your computer.)

Keeping up with mainstream rap in 2011 was a slightly easier task, if only because nearly every rap song to hit national radio was exactly the same as the last one. Either it was Drakey or it was Lugery. This wasn’t a conscious choice, but it occurs to me that the two real world hits in the top three just so happen to be among the only significant real world hits that managed to sidestep that binary. Watch The Throne may have been a goddamn mess but at least Kanye and Jay managed to do what no one else has in a few years – create a single strong enough to cut through hip hop demographics and appeal to basically everyone within the culture. As much as I love to pick apart their every misstep, they are occasional geniuses and “Nunderscores In Paris” is one of those occasions. (I’m not quite ready to make the same concession for the bizarre and unholy alliance of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes & Diplo but they too managed to make a pretty amazing record against all logical odds.)

Beyond that top 3, everything feels fragmented here. 50 songs is no longer enough to offer anything close to an adequate wide frame survey of modern hip hop and the gaps here are pretty glaringly obvious. But whatever, hopefully you enjoy listening to the songs that I did include. Every year I spend entirely too much time explaining its methodology and preemptively defending my choices. If you’re still looking at this site chances are you already know how the game goes, you know my biases. If you are just joining us, I suggest you read through past entries to get a feel for how things work. In short: all omissions come from a deep-seated place of personal hatred, all inclusions were purchased by the artist’s label with Louis bags full of drug money and deadstock No Limit CDs in their original ugly rubber cases. Take it to the comments if you’ve got a problem with that. Unless, of course, your solution involves you putting the word “real” in front of the words “hip hop.” In that case please take it somewhere else.

1. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “N_____s In Paris” (Def Jam)
2. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers” (XL)
3. Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – “Look At Me Now” (Jive)
4. Meek Mill – “House Party” (MMG/Warner)
5. Kendrick Lamar – “Rigamortis” (Top Dawg Ent.)
6. Danny Brown – “30” (Fools Gold)
7. Juicy J – “Who Da Neighbors” (Mixtape)
8. E-40 – “My Little Grimey N***a” (Sick Wid It)
9. Waka Flocka Flame – “Bickin Back, Bein Bool” (Mixtape)
10. Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire – “Huzzah” (Youtube)
11. Lil Wayne f/ Rick Ross – “John” (Cash Money/Universal)
12. Wiz Khalifa – “Big Screen” (Mixtape)
13. Treal Lee & Prince Rick f/ Waka Flocka, etc. – “Throwed Off (Fuck Everybody) (Remix)” (Collipark)
14. 151 Feva Gang – “Kush Groove” (Youtube)
15. Mellowhype – “64” (OFWGKTA)
16. Webbie f/ Lil Phat – “What’s Happenin” (Trill/Asylum)
17. Lil B – “Motivation” (Mixtape)
18. Cousin Fik – “Water In the Bo” (Sick Wid It)
19. TKO Capone – “Louis Gucci” (Youtube)
20. Gunplay f/ Waka Flocka – “Rollin” (Mixtape)
21. Young L – “Loud Pockets” (Mixtape)
22. G-Side f/ SLASH - ”Came Up” (Slow Motion Soundz)
23. Big Sean f/ Nicki Minaj – “Ass (Remix)” (GOOD/Def Jam)
24. 2 Chainz – “Spend It” (Duffle Bag Boyz)
25. Tony Yayo f/ Lil B – “Based” (Youtube)
26. DJ Quik – “Ghetto Rendezvous” (Mad Science)
27. ASAP Rocky – “Peso” (Youtube)
28. Rocko f/ Plies – “Goin Steady (Remix)” (Atlantic)
29. Short Kidd f/ Chetta Da Kid – “Vulcha” (Youtube)
30. Pete Rock, Smif N Wessun f/ Freeway – “Roses” (Duck Down)
31. Fat Trel f/ Young Moe – “Bitchez Started Klokkin” (Mixtape)
32. French Montana f/ Waka Flocka Flame – “Choppa Down” (Mixtape)
33. Pusha T f/ 50 Cent & Pharrell – “Raid” (GOOD)
34. Trouble – “Bussin” (Duct Tape)
35. Wale – “Bait” (MMG/Warner)
36. Roc Marciano – “My Persona” (Fat Beats)
37. YC f/ Future – “Racks” (Universal)
38. Bo Deal f/ Mello G Bianca – “Safe Sex” (Mixtape)
39. Future – “Magic” (Mixtape)
40. Stalley – “Pound” (Mixtape)
41. Pac Div – “Anti-Freeze” (Universal)
42. Don Trip & Starlito – “4th Song” (Mixtape)
43. Big Krit 8Ball, MJG & 2 Chainz – “Money On The Floor” (Def Jam)
44. Riff Raff – “Larry Bird” (Youtube)
45. Mouse On Tha Track – “Swagger Fresh Freddie
46. Zeroh – “I Was Sad” (Tumblr)
47. B.O.B. f/ Lil Wayne – “Strange Clouds” (Atlantic)
48. Boldy James – “I Sold Dope All My Life” (Youtube)
49. Tyga f/ Pharrell, Snoop & The Game – “Really Raw” (Mixtape)
50. Kreayshawn – “Gucci Gucci” (Columbia)

Best rap: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; 2009; 2010.

176 Responses to “Best Rap, 2011”

  1. noz Says:

    I’ve been considering formally renaming this series “Best American Rap,” as to legitimize my continued blackballing of Drake.

  2. Kareem Says:

    ^ hahahahaha

  3. Life Says:

    You forgot MadGibbs!!!

  4. yamborghini Says:

    im on one shoulda made it based off rickys verse bruh

  5. benjy Says:

    happy holidays andrew

  6. dalatu Says:

    The lack of Slim Dunkin and Wooh Da Kid is only acceptable, because Mouse on tha Track is on here.

    Kidding aside a nice list, but you are right it is weird to think there were really only 3 important rap songs this year. I would throw in “Racks”, “Gucci Gucci”, and “I’m On One”, but even those don’t have the same impact as your top 3. Getting back home, and hearing “Dance (A$$)” all the time on the radio, next to “Niggas in Paris” and “Racks City” with their weird drum patterns and synths give me hope that rap will move from the Lex Luger sound eventually.

  7. the green chile chef Says:

    i am surprised “bickin back bein bool” is there over “stereo type”

  8. noz Says:

    I swapped “I’m On One” out at the last minute when I decided that making an in-comment Drake joke was more valuable than accuracy.

  9. willy Says:

    It takes great journalistic integrity to include Riff Raff on the list. Hats off. Lots of stuff I still need to check out here.

    Like, who’s this “Kreayshawn” down there at #50?

  10. brytburken Says:

    props for including that tony yayo lil b song… and including the exact right based god solo track… even forgot that Motivation dropped this year.

    listening to that kanye/jay-z song for the first time… im sorry that shits god damn awful…

    watching Im On One for the first time too… OMG Drake i dont think ive ever seen a person looking so out of place, its incredible!

    I know Livewire artists are hard to keep track of, but Shady Nate’s Front Cover and Stevie Joe’s Go Back are two tracks that Ive had on repeat……….. smash hits… but i guess theyre not singles technically…

  11. wes Says:

    great list, going to spend my friday at work listening to the ones i missed/overlooked.

    real quick, surprised that out of all the wiz songs, you went w/ the auto-tune joint. for me, “the race” >>>>>

  12. Trill Smith Says:

    Oh shit, i almost forgot about that Throwed off remix. it feels as if something is missing but i’m not quite sure as to what. possibly Alley boy’s “Four” but it probably wouldn’t crack top 50..

  13. LilBucket Says:

    NOZ! Killin’ it. Best of the best.

    Gotta make a ZIP like last year.

    WATER IN THE BO
    Bitchez Started Klokkin!
    MOTIVATION

  14. C.P. Says:

    Yeah I see how your top 3 are the most significant songs of the year but I find all three of them to be pretty bad, especially “Look At Me Now” which just sounds so corny to me. Great list otherwise though.

  15. C.P. Says:

    Also noz what is your opinion on Lil B’s 2011 output?

  16. AK Says:

    The real missing element in this list, at least for me, is the Main Attrakionz/Green Ova camp. “Kissin On My Syrup” or “RIP Nate Dogg” or “Put The Speed On”. They put out a lot of fantastic music this year.

    As with last year I’m a bit confused by the #1 choice and down with everything else. I don’t think there were any really worth tracks on WTT.

    It’s good to see stuff on CB again! Tumblinerb is cool and shit but I miss having a comment section.

  17. ~TM~ Says:

    I’m disappointed there’s no Twin Towers 2 Intro, Da Mob or Zan With That Lean Part 2, and I could complain that the list is lacking anything by DB Tha General, Foxx, Max B, King Louie, Z-Ro, Young Bleed or Zed Zilla, but you’re the only other blogger I’ve seen that’s got a Treal Lee & Prince Rick song in their 2011 list so it’s all luv.

  18. brytburken Says:

    i put greenova over anything but they didnt have a smash hit single/video like Legion Of Doom from last year…

  19. Andy Hutchins Says:

    I am glad there is another person on Earth who thinks “Strange Clouds” is a good song. (It has been stuck in my head for two days.)

  20. Joezuph Says:

    ‘drakey’ and ‘lugery’ both sound loose orifice-related. Great list!

  21. Other Lists: Cocaine Blunts, Best Rap, 2011 « Says:

    [...] Blunts is a blog that belongs to hip-hop writer Andrew Noz, who just posted a list of his favorite 50 rap tunes of 2011. I’m sharing it because Noz is one of the only music writers I care about recently. [...]

  22. petter417 Says:

    surprised to see “John” on/up there, as far as not-nearly-what-he-once-was-but-still type Wayne over an actual Lex Luger Lex Luger-type-beat goes, “Hustle Hard”-remix is THAT joint in -11.

    In my opinion.

  23. TSF Says:

    Did “Lift the Load” officially drop last year? Purgatory came out in January, IIRC, but maybe Lift the Load was released before the tape was? Anyway, if it was a 2011 song, then it’s one that I liked better than anything Kreayshawn has ever or will ever do. Also, Larry Bird over Shoulda Brought the Rice Out? I guess that’s fair, but the chorus on the latter (and the accompanying video) are pretty much definitive of Riff Raff as a rapper/personality, IMHO.

  24. andre Says:

    why hip-hop sucked in 2011

  25. b Says:

    anyone finna compile a mediafire mix of all this?

  26. COKEWHITES Says:

    Schoolboy Q should of been up there.

  27. droopy Says:

    Cool, thanks. I was waiting for this.

    Was it hard to choose just one song from Savage Life 3? Buncha throwed jams on there. Why’d you go with What’s Happenin’?

  28. JPrynce Says:

    Um…. Am I the only one wondering where the hell J. Cole is on this list?

  29. Adam K Says:

    I thought you weren’t even into John, seeing it as just a lesser I’m Not a Star?

  30. based rap Says:

    will there be a based rap 2011?

  31. done Says:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>> santy. Bunch here I’ve never heard, that Vulcha song is the nuts

    Everyones picking other Quik songs, am I being a basic & old-fashioned in thinking Nobody was a song of the year? Clean Ass Whip too, which counts imo as I think the video was released this year.

    DB, Rother & Max B are the only major oversights far as I can tell but including Raff Reezy makes up for it, I feel kinda guilty for thinking that. People need to give Pac Div a chance, they improved a lot this year.

  32. done Says:

    Yeah, Johns a weird pick.

  33. Monique R. Says:

    No, “John” is the correct pick.

  34. anj Says:

    glad to see ‘Going Steady’ on there. obviously not a standout but it didn’t get nearly as much play as it should’ve.

  35. done Says:

    Waynes a fair bit better than 2011 Wayne has been on it and I’m happy to see the theremin trend continuing but otherwise its just okay to me. Its not shite or anything but I can’t see why anyone would rate it other than it just being obligatory to have a Wayne song on there, since hes still a big deal.

    Noz obviously likes it, I just dunno why.

  36. ANU Says:

    Is there an mp3 for vulcha ???!!!

  37. Breaking Bad Says:

    j cole is not on this list because he’s boring. He also always looks like he’s about to cry.

  38. bding7 Says:

    i may start using “nunderscores” on a regular basis.

    how’d you feel about “too cool?” i really want to like the remix, but i can’t deal with red cafe.

  39. Andy Hutchins Says:

    Um…. Am I the only one wondering where the hell J. Cole is on this list?

    ^^^

    Yes.

    Vulcha: http://www.zshare.net/audio/847744530027b447/

  40. ANU Says:

    thanks, apparently this is the all thing zipped http://www.filesonic.be/file/4242114534

  41. wes Says:

    as a whole, j. cole’s album did nothing for me. “lost ones” is a different story, tho…

  42. scjoha Says:

    Considering how much you praised 50 Cent’s output this year, Noz, I would have expected some of his songs. I like Old 2003 Ferrari, When I Come Back, 6 Out Of 6, Outlaw, Love Hate Love, Stop Crying.

  43. David Says:

    ?? Red cafe >>> 2 chainz on the too cool rmx

  44. bding7 Says:

    i guess we just disagree on something pretty minor. whatever, the song’s great.

  45. zackcohn Says:

    No Issue??? What an idiot!

  46. CrowleyHead Says:

    Wishing some more Future infiltrated this list, but not complaining.

  47. Kareem Says:

    Fucking Rich Boy – Gold Kilo$ (dead serious) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TKU0p3d0EY
    aside from House Party, favorite opening verse lines of the year.

  48. Kareem Says:

    and i would’ve swapped 67 for 64

  49. AK Says:

    @scjoha: There is “Raid” up there. That’s really only Pusha’s technically speaking.

    Why has Pusha dropped so much bad music this year? I was intensely disappointed.

  50. Thomas Says:

    You guys seen any good movies lately?

  51. noz Says:

    I liked “Thor.”

  52. Dante Says:

    That picture is creepy.

  53. skywise Says:

    #1 — missed the posts on blunts. thanks for throwing us a few table scraps, noz!
    #2 — love the fact that drake gets no love here
    #3 — A$AP rocky… nice!!! still think ‘trilla’ is better than ‘peso’

    peace.

  54. skywise Says:

    sorry… have to post at least one more time.
    danny brown = DAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!

    this is probably gonna sound dumb, but i hear imani and bootie brown somewhere in there. he’s just the dirty, dirty version.

    thanks, noz! another great find!

  55. the green chile chef Says:

    “Did Kanye work the system or is The Roc has been subtley ushering in a half concious rapper rennisance once they figured out that Beans was too gangsta to push outside a niche audience and no one was anticipating albums from pretty boy thugs like Peedi Crakk & Memph Bleek?”

  56. greedy sack Says:

    im anticipating a peedi crakk album……………………………………….

  57. noz Says:

    “Yeah, Johns a weird pick.”

    “John” is a record that I didn’t like at first but grew on me with radio exposure. When Flex would do his play ten minutes of luger and fuger beats thing it was so obviously the best one there. “Hustle Hard” was a definite omission though, you guys are right.

    “will there be a based rap 2011?”

    I don’t know if there’s a need. B’s catalog was pretty well contained across the eight or so tapes that he put out. Plus his vision seems to have narrowed considerably. I was thinking of doing a Luger index or something like that but I’m not sure if I’ll have time.

    “Considering how much you praised 50 Cent’s output this year, Noz, I would have expected some of his songs. I like Old 2003 Ferrari, When I Come Back, 6 Out Of 6, Outlaw, Love Hate Love, Stop Crying.”

    For as much technically good music that 50 put out this year I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not that excited about it. About the only time I had an urge to listen to it is when I was writing about it. And I just wrote about this over here – http://read.mtvhive.com/2011/12/13/50-cent-the-big-10-mixtape/

  58. Syl Says:

    No Burn One tracks? Great albums by Scotty, Mouce, KD, GMane don’t rate?

  59. David Says:

    i don’t get the pac div song. antifreeze isn’t coolant…

  60. noz Says:

    idk i just like the beat.

  61. Austin T Says:

    Interested in your inclusion of Magic versus Tony Montana.

  62. done Says:

    Yeah, no 50 makes sense. He made some of the best songs in that lane this year but when stacked up against all the other shit that came out none really blow you away like that. Big 10 & Guttaboyjihad’s comp are great for what they are though.

    Happy New Year‘s first one would be top 5 of a lot of Best Verses 2011, if that was a thing.

  63. Austin T Says:

    not that Magic isn’t a good song, just that Tony Montana is so much more impactful.

  64. kidbristol Says:

    Any word on when that new Roc Marciano is coming out? My Persona is great.

  65. rob22 Says:

    Great list a max b song is def missin tho that vigalante season had some joints on it

  66. Syl Says:

    Between the Fader and Tumblr, I had more fun finding out about unknown rap from you this year than ever before. Felt like you had fun too. But this is the least fun list CB has ever done. This was a year where you could feel an influx of rookies into the rap game. Not all the young guys made classics, but at least they made it interesting. There’s so much weird and wonderful shit going on. I’m disappointed and confused that your list is stacked with radio stars, old rappers, rockist-approved entries and repeat appearances from longtime favorites. For a guy who always seems to maintain the faith that rap is still strange, why is your list so conservative?

  67. O Says:

    You aint a Nipsey fan?

  68. bding7 Says:

    syl: i see your point, but i think citing specific examples of ‘conservatism’ would be useful.

  69. Rico Says:

    Beef it up should’ve been on this joint. Scottsdale!

  70. O Says:

    hey Noz also do you do an end of the year album list for anyone?

  71. Pyou Says:

    Strange Clouds is the worst thing ever. They have like a pony in the video and Lil Wayne has grass in his teeth and motherfuckers ewww just terrible

  72. coop Says:

    strange clouds is really annoying. bob’s only redeeming trait is that he helps playboy tre stay visible.

  73. based rap Says:

    disappointed by lack of vigilante season, 50, etc.

    agree with john being a grower, too. it was alright at first but when i saw da video i was like damn this is good.

    mobb deep – water boarding over anti-freeze maybe.

  74. chris Says:

    Im sad i didnt see a Fat Trel record up there….or Frankenstein would be dope too.

    super solid list though!

  75. ANU Says:

    didn’t you include black hippy’s say wassup because of riggamortis ?

  76. zippedupbag Says:

    holy hell you listen to a bunch of bullshit, what happened to you noz?

  77. petter417 Says:

    RIP Slim Dunkin

  78. Patrick Says:

    No Roach Gigz?

  79. djalks Says:

    BASS – Asap

  80. DV Says:

    Nice to see that Boldy James song on there. Dude’s mixtape was a better Pusha T album than the actual Pusha T album.

  81. juicy_jiff Says:

    roachy balboa?

  82. noz Says:

    “Between the Fader and Tumblr, I had more fun finding out about unknown rap from you this year than ever before. Felt like you had fun too. But this is the least fun list CB has ever done. This was a year where you could feel an influx of rookies into the rap game. Not all the young guys made classics, but at least they made it interesting. There’s so much weird and wonderful shit going on. I’m disappointed and confused that your list is stacked with radio stars, old rappers, rockist-approved entries and repeat appearances from longtime favorites. For a guy who always seems to maintain the faith that rap is still strange, why is your list so conservative?”

    This is a fair critique, I guess, and something that I was definitely aware of as I was making the list. But here’s the thing – I don’t think my personal approach has changed, I think the conversation has changed.

    Like it’s crazy to call most of what I include here “rockist approved” when the present cover line of a once iconic rock magazine reads exactly like my RSS feed from last year. You know what I’m saying? That’s not rockist taste, that’s my taste! I’ve been writing about dudes like Kendrick, Danny and Tyler for ages now and I truly believe that the records of theirs that I included represent something close to the pinnacle of their respective careers thus far. What I’m supposed to just ignore that and find something more obscure because the staff of Pitchfork agrees? (And because of all this I think moderate radio hits are actually underrepresented in this circle. I don’t imagine “Ass” or “What’s Happenin” or “House Party” are going to rank very highly on Pazz & Jop.)

    Pace is a factor too. Everyone’s playing the kingmaking game and nothing really simmers the way those artists used to. Last year ASAP Rocky would’ve been a Danny or a Kendrick, an artist that small blogs like this one would’ve tirelessly championed for six to eighteen months before he eventually trickled out into the actual music industry conversation. In the post-Odd Future era he’s getting $$ deals and love in after off two songs. Rocky was completely unknown when I started writing about him at the top of the year. If it wasn’t for that hype cycle setting “Peso” could’ve just as well been a niche little Youtube video. I’m not going to cross his name off the list just because he got popular. (I probably should’ve put “Get High” on there instead but whatever. His style had changed so much since then that it felt old at this point.)

    Part of it too is that I’ve personally been writing more than ever as of late. With the situation at Fader being what it was I probably published something on every rap record I even slightly enjoyed this year. So if you’ve been paying attention fringe records like “Kush Groove” or “Vulcha” just has you like “oh yeah I remember that” where in past years it might’ve beenn like “what the fuck oh shit.”

    Plus when you’re consuming music at that pace the “interesting” outsidey stuff quickly stops being so exciting. Ultimately you realize that good rap needs to do the things good rap has always done. It needs songwriting, structure, presence, energy, ideas. It needs beats that bang in the traditional sense and don’t just fog around in the cloud rap middle.

    Dudes who are looking at this list like “Where is Velocity Shady Blaze or Frankenstein or Vince Staples or Issue or Kilo Kish?” are missing the point entirely. That’d be like making a 1996 list and putting all Mystik Journeymen and Saukrates and Natural Elements over Jay and De La and UGK just to prove a point. Sorry if that analogy offends (or confuses?) but I lived through underground rap once and underground rap is still underground rap. I love it, but it’s an insular genre by nature. It’s loose, unpolished, and has little interest in being song oriented. That shit has no place on a singles list. And I don’t say that to take anything away from those people. They’re all quite talented and hopefully next year a few of them will be making actual records that build on the promise of their sketches. Maybe they won’t and they’ll continue to make pretty cool that shit that I reblog, enjoy for a minute and forget forever.

    Mostly this is a list of songs that I enjoy and not an exercise in tastemaking or critical counterpoints. It’s not an act of contrarianism or conservatism. “Look At Me Now” is the number three record because every time it came on in the car I turned it louder, scrunched up my face and went “blah blah rahbuh bumbuh bahbah hermuhskumpha blah blah on my shit.” Maybe next year Frankenstein will make that record.

  83. Soft Money Says:

    It needs beats that bang in the traditional sense and don’t just fog around in the cloud rap middle.

    ;_;

    Dudes who are looking at this list like “Where is Velocity Shady Blaze or Frankenstein or Vince Staples or Issue or Kilo Kish?” are missing the point entirely. That’d be like making a 1996 list and putting all Mystik Journeymen and Saukrates and Natural Elements over Jay and De La and UGK just to prove a point.

    this is so spot on.

  84. squigs Says:

    @chris – fat trel is on there, “bitchez started klockin”

  85. squigs Says:

    This would take forever, but since most of these omissions that people are complaining about are good songs, you should put up a comprehensive list of “relevant rap” or something on tumblr. it wouldn’t have to be ranked, it would just be a survey of all the “Velocity Shady Blaze or Frankenstein or Vince Staples of Issue or Kilo Kish” type shit that didn’t make it on here but was still worthwhile in some way.

    it would be fun to look though, and it would satiate the need of cb commentators to hear you say that the songs they listen to are good.

    And, since we’re all playing the PLEASE SOMEONE ELSE VALIDATE MY TASTE IN RAP game, did no one else like NoYork? it was totally isolated and weird and really doesn’t connect to much else going on in rap (other than flying lotus I guess?) but I thought it was awesome.

  86. done Says:

    The pace thing you mentioned can be a problem, as great as watching Lil B’s development was (and neccesary in order to get a but of his shit properly), it doesnt work for a lot of people – Rocky’s tape probably should’ve been a rough-around the edges demo rather than something to present to the world like that.

    Like if the older dudes that’ve been in the trenches for years developing their style (Danny Brown, Yela etc) had got that much attention 6 years ago or whatever I wonder if they would’ve grown into the great rappers they are now. If Jay(or any other dude from back then who needed to stay in the oven for a while) had got a major deal in ’92 he might not have had the pressure needed to make him step his game up.

    Not to say its B’s influence, its obviously just how things are now, the instant access just worked for him better than anyone.

  87. kyle sv Says:

    that waka song oh my goddddd i forgot already

  88. brandonsoderberg Says:

    “Like it’s crazy to call most of what I include here “rockist approved” when the present cover line of a once iconic rock magazine reads exactly like my RSS feed from last year. You know what I’m saying? That’s not rockist taste, that’s my taste!”

    Kinda think you’re playing fast and loose with reality here in the sense that you know, my RSS and plenty of others’ RSS feeds have some of the people on that SPIN cover too (because it was put together by people who’ve been into this stuff the same way you are for just as long). Like, it’s also MY taste…kind of. Wasn’t your whole knock on the issue that I just picked MY favorite rappers? Get over yourself!

    But you love to say B.S. like this, so whatevz. I’m more interested in the idea going on here in the comments section that somehow this list is “square” or whatever. Like, this is a problem with us rap obsessives right now. Rap is in its chillwave period in which anything that’s even remotely notable (which is damn near everything b/c everything is being covered) is uncool. Like step back from your laptop and realize that like TKO Capone is not a notable name to anyone other than the couple hundred of us obsessing over this stuff. What I really like about this list, and always like about these lists is that they seem really honest and not shooting for cool points.

  89. based rap Says:

    also death or not, slim dunkin – swisher (feat. roscoe dash) shoulda been up there imo

  90. corpsey starks Says:

    its nice to see you writing at length again, nozdoobiest. just sayin’.

    NEEDS MORE GUNPLAY.

    great top 50 though

  91. petter417 Says:

    “Like if the older dudes that’ve been in the trenches for years developing their style (Danny Brown, Yela etc) had got that much attention 6 years ago or whatever I wonder if they would’ve grown into the great rappers they are now. If Jay(or any other dude from back then who needed to stay in the oven for a while) had got a major deal in ’92 he might not have had the pressure needed to make him step his game up.”

    this is such an interesting and depressing tought

  92. kyle sv Says:

    lmao brandon u maaad

  93. noz Says:

    Done – Great, and yes very depressing, point.

    Brandon – BLESS UR HART. I didn’t mean any of that as an attack on you or Spin, I was simply saying that my taste – our taste if that distinction makes you feel better – is a lot of people’s taste at the moment and a lot (most?) of those people are rockist leaning big crit intelligentsia types. But it’s still my fucking taste, not theirs. They read my blog for direction (and your blog I’m sure but really idgaf about that) I’m not following their shit.

    Like there are more than a few names on that list who would tell you straight up that I was the first person anywhere writing seriously about them. I don’t bring this up to claim firsties (but yo dog FIRSTY) but to point out that my interest is mostly untainted, or at least it was at one point. This is the music that I found in the wild so to speak. No rockists or publicists or hype machines were around at that point to sway my opinion. I heard and got excited about and wrote about it and then continued to write about it after other people took notice. So when I say it’s my taste I’m speaking to more to purity than to exclusivity. Does that make sense?

  94. brandonsoderberg Says:

    When it comes to “firsties” well jesus christ dude, I would hope that your personal blog would get to something before SPIN! I’d hope Fader and Wire would too, or all those people are not doing their jobs. Like the only difference between you and the dude that mentioned Frankenstein wherever they did that got you hip to it, is that they’re not petulant dicks about firsties. And more people read you than that guy. We’re all finding something from someone else. Or we were, what’s happening now is this chillwave movement where people are scouring soundclouds to find the most obsure shit…

    SPIN didn’t run through Tumblinerb and be like “hmm what’s hot” they grabbed me and a few other people (some of them pre-date you writing about rap) and got them working on an issue about rap that we enjoy, that we think is cool/relevant, and that people who read SPIN might be into. I think you’re being insincere here. You are part of this intelligentsia too. Just admit it, man. You write for Fader, NPR, and the Wire, etc. Like take responsibility for your responsibility. You’re not some gatekeeper but you involved in it.

    Dunno, my view, despite being a self-involved dick just like anybody else, is “wow, Noz is interviewing Mannie Fresh and Bootsy for Red Bull and I helped put together an issue of SPIN and I see Drake or Weiss and others’ bylines all over the place.” Like, we’re all sorta infecting a lot of mainstream publications with our rap nerd taste. Why be so bitter about it? You know how publications work and you know how things are pitched, etc. so Pitchfork liking some of the same rap as you doesn’t mean what it once meant. Like Pitchfork as a square rock instituation or whatever just isn’t what it is anymore (and hasn’t been since say 2003?) b/c many of their writers that are pretty much your rap blog peers. You’re giving yourself a little too much credit and not enough credit, sir.

    My other thing, which speaks to the larger point here of commenters being like, “yo Noz this list is square” or whatever, is WE WON GUYS. WE WON. Noz doesn’t need to rep for Frankenstein if he doesn’t want to. He also should stop complaining about the intelligentsia that he’s slowly being absorbed by. Point is, you have to wander through at least a few layers of rap fans to get to the guys who are like, “man, real hip-hop is dead, son.” It’s there, it’s prevalent, it’s the norm, but when J. Cole shouts out the underground on a song and he intends it to mean Kweli AND Pimp C, well, something has shifted and the backed-into-a-corner schtick is dead.

  95. noz Says:

    Did you even read my post before responding or did you cut and paste this from the “incoherent noz rebuttals .wps” file that you keep open on your desktop at all times? Once again: this is not about you Brandon. It’s not really about me either. It has become a broader conversation that has moved beyond rap blogs and, largely, the rap community on the whole. Spin was just the most glaring example of this phenomenon. I could’ve (and maybe should’ve) pointed to Gorilla vs. Bear or Fact or any number of other non-rap outlets that are vomiting ASAP Rocky and Danny Brown all over their year end lists.

    I mean your last paragraph basically restates the very point that I am trying to make. The only difference is that I don’t read this transition as a victory or a loss, I think it’s a zero sum game, apart from the fact that it’s going to draw twenty extra bearded people to the next Main Attrakionz show. That and it does effect the way that a list like this is interpreted, which is the only reason I addressed it in the first place.

  96. noz Says:

    ANYWAY

    Were you guys genuinely excited about Roach Gigz’s output this year? I think he’s a great talent but it seemed like the last two tapes weren’t hitting the way the first Balboa did. I can’t exactly put my finger on what’s changed either. Everything was in its right place with the projects but they just feel further away, I couldn’t connect with them.

  97. petter417 Says:

    one things stands clear though, as far as far-fetched-points-based-solely-on-race go, and that is the tragedy of Mac Miller being the first white rapper on a Young L-beat, and not Roach Gigz, whom I’ve always imagined would sound fantastic over his productions

  98. brandonsoderberg Says:

    Thing is, it’s not about me, it’s about how you’re turning all rap coverage into being about you, dude. Anyone who covers anything apparently owes you something, which is just fucking ridiculous. If that isn’t your point, then you need to think harder about how you’re saying things here. Or you know, don’t send half-hearted shots at a magazine put together by a bunch of people just as involved in this shit as you are…

  99. noz Says:

    You are imagining a subtext that, I assure you, does not exist.

  100. Eat my shorts Says:

    Lolz, noZ still pretending to hate drake. I know he listen to Crew Love on repeat on the plane to Spain for those red bull interviews. Good job on those by the way. Ninjas in Paris is a horrible record though. Gotta have it is a better pick of da throne record. Jay is lost forever though. He making records for Gwyneth Paltrow now and hip hop should never forgive him for giving her the confidence to shit on the god 2pac publically. Since when do privileged chicks take shots at a soldier that put years of blood and sweat on this game. Professor Jay is now disqualified from any debate regarding greatness as far as I’m concerned. Anyways song of the year prolly Wassup from Asap and it looks like noZ about to turn on odd future.

  101. brandonsoderberg Says:

    “when the present cover line of a once iconic rock magazine reads exactly like my RSS feed from last year.”

    Like, come on man, you’re not expecting me to respond to that?

  102. noz Says:

    facepalm.gif

  103. brandonsoderberg Says:

    You should probably just be like, “yeah it was an ill-advised shot” or not be all incredulous when I question what you’re trying to say here…

  104. noz Says:

    dealwithit.gif

  105. Eat my shorts Says:

    In terms of the Brandon/noZ tiff let me say a few words. I feel like noZ has a lot of people shook in the industry. Cause he got such an encyclopedic brain on the hip hop thing he can intimidate certain mainstream writers. Some people who I believe are shook are sasha frere jones and nitsuh abebe. I was shocked to see nitsuh bow at noZ feet in his Tyler album review. As soon as noZ turn on yellow ninja it’s over for rap radar. Just being honest. It’s a miracle Jon carma stll feels safe championing drake with the heat noz put on him. No shots though we need noZ the same way we need armond White who I respect a lot for at least not being a bland consensus dude. I think that’s what pizz of Brandon another dude I respect for his passion and articulate ways. The conversation with latoya Peterson was great and shows he has good morals to examine the music not just on how it makes him feel aesthetically but the political and cultural contexts. I think Brandon just refuses to be intellectually intimidated by noZ and u can only respect that.

  106. brandonsoderberg Says:

    Remember when I called this guy out for talking shit on something I worked on and then he turned into an infant about it??

  107. noz Says:

    coolstorybro.gif

  108. noz Says:

    Sasha and Caramanica are my parents and Nitsuh is my favorite active music critic.

  109. kyle sv. Says:

    nobody poisons wells quite like brandon SODMGerberg

  110. David Says:

    I do wish that there were a diversity of voices and that more rap writers were actively looking to cover rap music & not cover the rap music that a handful of rap writers (incl noz) have already talked about. A lot of times at this point it seems like a single noz tumblr post & suddenly everyone’s analyzing every bit of it to figure out the long term chances of a career for a random artist discovered trawling youtube. There’s tons & tons of rap out there, and are lots of places that aren’t covered. I do think the press has been fairly beholden to what cocaineblunts covers (not incl brandon who, whatever my disagreements, definitely has his own tastes). And the reason is that Noz knows more than lots of other people so they are deferential.

    I mean, for two examples, Meek Mill — while gaining tons of real-world popularity this year — seemed absent from discussion in OUR circles once Noz had dismissed his MMG output. Which was crazy to me, because “I’ma Boss” was my favorite song on rap radio all year; it was like the energy level just went to another level when that came on in the mix. (Apparently it didn’t do well on radio in the midwest, at least compared to the east coast & the south, so maybe part of my excitement w/ it was that it simply didn’t get as much play here & felt fairly sui generis

    Not blaming Noz for this, but I think it’s pretty apparent that a lot of writers aren’t competing with his voice right now in the blogosphere. I think the best way to ‘fight’ this is to do your own heavy lifting, which Noz has done and which I’ve been trying to do. That doesn’t mean rejecting artists he likes or anything like that, but recognizing that his perspective, at the end of the day, is his own, and not the Objective Truth About Rap. I remember someone on tumblr earlier this year saying that there wasn’t rap Noz wasn’t covering, so they didn’t know what else to write about. Pro tip: there’s tons. Some of it awful. But some of it very good.

    the end

  111. David Says:

    damn, forgot to close those parantheses)

  112. done Says:

    This is why you need to keep posting on blogs with comment sections.

  113. done Says:

    Im sayin.

  114. Rhino Says:

    Surprised not to see “Toyfriend” by Peedi Crakk, which is the best rap song I heard this year by a considerable margin and which I wouldn’t even know existed if not for you.

  115. nico Says:

    yayyuuuuuuhhhh! you back noz! you back! keep cbrap alive for 2012! peace!

  116. willy Says:

    “This is why you need to keep posting on blogs with comment sections.”

    Or exactly the reason he doesn’t. But yeah, this was a real thrill ride — like Twitter, but more long-winded!

    “Surprised not to see “Toyfriend” by Peedi Crakk, which is the best rap song I heard this year by a considerable margin and which I wouldn’t even know existed if not for you.”

    And, not to be the type who criticizes anyone for listicle omissions, but I second this.

  117. done Says:

    Well, I meant everyone else too.

    Eh, all the fussin’ keeps you sharp.

  118. petter417 Says:

    Angel Haze “Bitches On My Dick” is a random song I liked this year and made fake thizz-faces in celebration of

  119. Syl Says:

    God, Brandon Soderberg in a comments section is like watching a mentally challenged kid crash the neighborhood barbeque. Particularly troubling is his invocation of the collective “we” to imply a solidarity around his viewpoints that does not exist. “WE WON GUYS.” I don’t identify with the term rap nerd. I don’t read No Trivia. I don’t read Spin. How is there an “US” here, Brandon? It is a reductive tactic to assume that taste in music is a common denominator. The fact is that two people who listen to Danny Brown–or even listen AND write about Danny Brown–might have absolutely nothing in common and nothing to say to each other.

  120. Syl Says:

    “Dudes who are looking at this list like “Where is Velocity Shady Blaze or Frankenstein or Vince Staples or Issue or Kilo Kish?” are missing the point entirely. That’d be like making a 1996 list and putting all Mystik Journeymen and Saukrates and Natural Elements over Jay and De La and UGK just to prove a point.”

    Man, you are the last person I’d expect to pitch this analogy. Isn’t the difference between someone like Issue and Mystik Journeymen obvious? The kind of 90s “underground” rap that you list made an attempt to REDUCE rap to a misconstrued set of “core” elements. Issue attempts to DECONSTRUCT rap and build something new from the pieces. (He is better at disassembly than assembly, admittedly.) I understand your point that you have to take seriously the big rap hits or risk missing the In My Lifetimes for the UHB:IIIs. But putting Jay-Z at #1 in 2011 feels like putting Wyclef Jean at #1 in 1997. I get it–it was a BIG DEAL to the world, and to a certain segment of the rap world. It just didn’t feel like that was what 2011 was about when I was going to Tumblin Erb every day.

    Saying “It’s just what I played in my car” is always a fair way to legitimize a list. And I agree that when everything is WEIRD, then weird becomes normal. But this isn’t about the rest of the world, it’s just about the year in CB. I thought you made several arguments over the course of the year–some explicit, some implicit, in what you chose to post instead–as to why Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z & Kanye, Rick Ross are uninteresting and/or irrelevant. If someone told me that BOB & Lil Wayne and Wale would rank in Noz’s year end favorites, I would have laughed in their face.

    I can’t speak about your personal experience of 2011, and I’m not interested in the general perception of “the year in rap.” (Leave that bullshit to No Trivia.) I can only speak as a reader of Tumblinerb/CB/NOZ@FADER. As that reader, I remember 2011 by Young L, Brick Squad infinite, Yung Dro, Lil Phat, Webbie, Burn One beats, Don Trip, and one-offs by DB the General, Schoolboy Q, Frankenstein, Flashbag Grenada, Dopehead,Fat Trel, Kendrick Lamar, 3D Straw, Sleepy Brown, Criminal Manne, Trouble, etc.

    I know lists are inherently about “The Big Picture” (again Brandon Soderberg, have at it), but more than ever rap music FEELS like a culture of little pictures. Thought your list would reflect that.

  121. Syl Says:

    Maybe we weren’t genuinely excited about Roachy, but were you genuinely excited about Wiz Khalifa? Wale? Pusha T?

  122. brandonsoderberg Says:

    I don’t actually think “we” won anything because I don’t think anything was trying to be won, it was a joke! Mainly a joke on everyone here being like, “yo where is Main Attrakionz??” Like, Mac Miller and J. Cole are shouting out Pimp C these days. The paradigm has shifted for better or worse and no one has to contrive their lists to reflect the slept-on rapper from this region or that style. Doesn’t mean everything is perfect (as Drake explained, there are plenty of rappers out there not being talked about), but you know, something has changed and barely any one cares about “backpack rap” that much anymore or at the least, that isn’t all they care about. If Freddie Gibbs or G-Side, who are street rappers of varying popularity, can be considered cover-able by SPIN and NPR and the Wire, then there’s no reason to bend over backwards to represent niche rap…

    Also: Have any of you guys mad that Dopehead didn’t make Noz’s top 50 looked at any of the previous lists (all conveniently linked at the bottom of the post)? Like, they’ve always leaned towards the good rap that got onto the radio and “singles” however, you wanna define that term.

  123. mrfrosty Says:

    you SHOULD probably listen to professor jay…

  124. David Says:

    i dunno syl, i see where you’re coming from, except that n-bombs in paris (which sounds like a world war ii doc when put that way) was a pretty big hit across the board in a way i dont really think ‘gone til november’ was

    now if he’d voted for otis, ok…

  125. The Dude Says:

    This Soderberg cunt should suck off those fags who run that Stay Hatin’ radio show.. Never heard so much utter disrespect for Slim Dunkin.. Also these cunts knew nothing about anything.. Fuck Noz you should be ashamed we were on there.. I did like your interview with Mannie Fresh though.. Well done.

  126. Rhino Says:

    “And, not to be the type who criticizes anyone for listicle omissions, but I second this.”

    Yeah neither am I but “Toyfriend” is so good I had to say something. Glad someone agrees.

  127. noz Says:

    “I thought you made several arguments over the course of the year–some explicit, some implicit, in what you chose to post instead–as to why Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z & Kanye, Rick Ross are uninteresting and/or irrelevant. ”

    You thought wrong, bruh bruh. All of those dudes are undeniably relevant and frequently interesting, even when they are failing. I think the album format has suffered on the major label level and my record reviews reflect that, but major acts still manage to churn out a great single now and again.

    The whole goal of this blog since its inception has been to analyze both mainstream and underground rap on a level playing field – that’s why Danny Brown can sit comfortably in the top ten with his secrete half brother Chris. And if Danny seems like a consensus or conservative pick then that just means you spend too much time reading blogs and not enough talking to humans. To everyone else on earth Danny Brown is still an underground rapper.

  128. noz Says:

    And yeah “Toyfriend” was an oversight.

  129. padraig Says:

    i love that noz pops literally once a year to post something on CB and without missing a beat it immediately garners a zillion comments from all the old regulars including the inevitable b. soderberg debate. reason #4,000,000 why blogs >>>>>> Tumblr feeds.

    also noz good look on the amazing Willie D formspring. the Geto Boys trivia is super awesome, and his comments on the death of Kim Jong-Il are priceless (I’m sure Scarface would have something much saner but probably not quite as entertaining to say).

  130. padraig Says:

    also I’m not 10% the rap nerd most of you all are (at least not about anything in the last 4 or 5 years) but I do know noz has always equally covered the mainest of mainstream and the most obscure (willfully or otherwise) of underground.

    also I really miss things like outsidaz week or endless dungeon family or good life minutiae. I guess when a dude is getting paid he can’t afford to do all that work for free but I wish you’d write a long piece or two for CB once in a while. but major congrats to you + all the other rap nerd bloggers of yore on your successes.

  131. B.S. Says:

    No Project Pat on this list? That’s a fail, noz. Perhaps this should be on there (discovered via SergDun’s blog):

    http://www.beerandrap.com/wordpress/?p=1762

  132. noz Says:

    “i love that noz pops literally once a year to post something on CB and without missing a beat it immediately garners a zillion comments from all the old regulars including the inevitable b. soderberg debate. reason #4,000,000 why blogs >>>>>> Tumblr feeds.”

    But it hardly seems like a constructive conversation at this point. In the time I spent trying to talk down Brandon I could’ve been writing or researching something that matters to more than the two dozen people in our little blog circle.

  133. Rap 2011 | Pop Loser Says:

    [...] best rap songs of 2011 (featuring “Gucci Gucci” at number [...]

  134. done Says:

    “But it hardly seems like a constructive conversation at this point. In the time I spent trying to talk down Brandon I could’ve been writing or researching something that matters to more than the two dozen people in our little blog circle.” – now thats a depressing point. This is like the only place left I can think of where good rap writers go back & forth like this, something theres often a lot to learn from imo. Its not like most of ye don’t do it on twitter anyways, its just way more worthless there.(& eventually disappears)

    Maybe there aughta be a rule where if it descends into the same boring questioning other bloggers motives shite it seemingly does every time you post here now, you just link to the “a labyrinth/a maze” posts and be done with it. Then people wouldn’t be distracted from talking about how outside of some of the singles, Roach was rapping way too regular or how the fuck anyone can pick the best one out of the 80,000 great songs DB Tha General released in 2011.

  135. brytburken Says:

    i love the comments here until brandon shows up and im not talking Lil B

    brandon mccarthy > brandon walsh > brandon soderberg

  136. brandonsoderberg Says:

    If you didn’t want to waste I don’t know, probably a combined 10 minutes over two days arguing with me, don’t say some bullshit about the magazine I worked on and then I wouldn’t feel the need to respond.

  137. kyle sv Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zd8MwgRB2c

  138. Stunt Says:

    I would have liked to see some Young Bleed, Roach Gigz, Travis Porter, and P. Dukes on here, but I’m hard pressed to determine what the fuck I’d take off.

    At least the first three seem to pop up elsewhere on their own. Philip is rapping to a goddamn empty room.

  139. kyle sv Says:

    in all seriousness i’m surprised nasty noz didn’t include tom delonge’s foray into Hip Hop Culture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TSUZT9mOws

  140. barns Says:

    Dope list! I’m looking forward to catching up on a lot of this.

    2011 – the year an Ace Hood verse snuck its way into the CB Best Rap list! WE WON!

  141. AK Says:

    Re: Roach Gigz, the tapes seemed less awesome as a whole than the first Roachy Balboa. I think maybe it’s a matter of production? C-Loz does a good post-hyphy trunk rattle, but Roach sounds best over the less-obvious beats (“Respect It,” “Pop Off”, so forth). There are definitely some great songs on the two tapes, though – Stupid, Drugs, Pop Off, Can I Rap.

    I’d like to second the guy who said Roach really needs to get on some Young L beats. That’s basically a match made in heaven.

  142. AK Says:

    “F A Chorus” also.

  143. Willy Says:

    I haven’t seen any discussion of this new Gigz track anywhere, and I’m quite fond of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EreN0SOc7i4

    Oh, the perils of releasing music in December in our listicle-dominated world!

  144. hundidballsacs Says:

    bless ur hart, noz.
    did anyone make a zip folder for this list or do I need to do it?

  145. kingsofego Says:

    nothing from “Meth”?

    Fail.

  146. Pyou Says:

    Noz, Nipsey Hussle? yes, no? Rose CLique? Who Detached Us?

  147. TM Says:

    Let’s talk about how Roses is a problem record : Pete Rock’s first great beat since Heart And Soul and a killer Freeway hook, but truly embarrassing rapping by Smif ‘N’ Wessun about what they’d say to Big and Pac if they’d made beef.

  148. SHARKSBREATH Says:

    Hii Power by Kendrick and All Black Everything by Lupe are the best two hip hip songs of the year.

    And you have idiots in paris. The most annoying beat of the year next to that Otis Redding sample off the same Monstrosity of Mediocrity which was called WTT.

  149. coop Says:

    who’s got that zip?

  150. Ben Says:

    Swift googling found this:

    http://www.filesonic.com/file/4242114534

  151. hl Says:

    You should write here more Noz. There are other great blogs and writers, but you’re probably the only one that can muster 150+ comments mostly about rap music.

    I don’t fuck with 90% of this list, but props for putting me on to “Bickin Back, Bein Bool”. Never heard that one before. Incredible song.

  152. MAYNHOLUP Says:

    more Ro, Lito, an Davinci needed thowed list tho

  153. troy Says:

    Nice to see “Big Screen” by Wiz getting some respect. Good underrated song.

  154. AK Says:

    @MAYNHOLUP: DaVinci’s cool, but for some reason he’s totally unmemorable to me. I’ve listened to all his stuff multiple times and seen him in concert and I still can’t remember a damn thing about his music. I’m nodding my head like “yeah, this is great” when it’s playing, but as soon as the song ends I completely forget what happened on some Memento shit.

  155. BALL SO HARD Says:

    i agree.

  156. Currently Crushing: Cocaineblunts.com’s BEST RAP 2011 List « HIP HOP MULA Says:

    [...] Article peeped at Cocaineblunts.com [...]

  157. AK Says:

    Man, so I just cruised through the previous years’ Best Of lists. It’s kind of interesting to put them next to each other.

    One thing I noticed almost immediately is that Sharksbreath has been coming back for like three years just to be like “FUCK YOU GUYS, HIP HOP IS DEAD.” Shout out to Sharksbreath for staying power.

    Looked like 2006 was very much a year of consensus greatness – a bunch of big names and charting songs on there, stuff that would be familiar to the non-obsessive, gold and platinum. Next to that big, meaty list, 2007 seems a little… weak. There are a bunch of things on there that I definitely haven’t touched since then, even out of the ones I cared about at the time. Maybe I just spent too much of 2007 listening to Lil Wayne mixtapes. It occurs to me, though, that 2007 also had the industry in pretty severe disarray with falling sales and so forth.

    Just musing.

  158. Patrick Says:

    “Were you guys genuinely excited about Roach Gigz’s output this year? I think he’s a great talent but it seemed like the last two tapes weren’t hitting the way the first Balboa did.”

    Can I Rap? and F A Chorus were two of my favorite songs of the year.

  159. Jay Smooth Says:

    Dunno why I’m jumping in here just to say this, but:

    “The kind of 90s “underground” rap that you list made an attempt to REDUCE rap to a misconstrued set of “core” elements” <-Although I get the point you're trying to make, that description isn't really accurate at all for Saukrates or NE. Neither of them were on that type of "take it back to the roots" mission, they were just trying to do straightforward hip-hop and stayed "underground" mostly by virtue of not getting the right breaks.

  160. Urkel Moe Dee Says:

    I’m just glad to see “Ghetto Rendezvous” make someone’s list.

  161. noz Says:

    That awkward moment when you realize Jay Smooth has a google alert set up for “Saukrates.”

    You’re right though. I think a lot of those dudes got the sentiment of their fans projected onto them which is precisely what i worry we are beginning to see with the odd future/tumblr/cloud rap/etc/etc sect except now it’s not real hip hop take it back to the roots it’s something like this is true experimental forward thinking nothing like young money i don’t even know. Listeners on the fringe constructing new standards so they can feel like their fringe music is better than that which is happening at hip hop’s core and then boxing the artists they claim to support inside this agenda.

  162. BlindWilliam Says:

    Not being a professional listener, let alone a professional tastemaker, makes it hard to comment on Brandon’s gigantically small point. I mean, what can someone who listens for pleasure and reads rap blogs hoping to find a little more pleasurable listening say in the face of that much insistence?

    But with that in mind, I hope he he finds time and humility to look back on what he added to the thread with embarrassment. Or maybe just hate how important he thinks he is. It’s a best of list, dude. There’s lots of them. This one has a little imperfect insight, which is why I like it.

    Brandon: I like your writing, but you should go back and re-listen to “All the Critics Love U in New York.” You might find yourself a character in that song. “He’s definitely…”

  163. chad Says:

    That is a long list of cold, loveless sound

  164. kyle sv Says:

    ^^^ welcome…..to Rap Music…

  165. beez Says:

    I paid fuck all attention this year so end of year lists are pretty useful for catchups. Seeing N*&*^$ In Paris at the top spot let’s me know that things are still ok in the world.

    Of course there wasn’t a better rap song last year. What could be better? How?

  166. Billy Dee Trilliams/ The Human Digest Says:

    Hey guys. Taste is subjective. Noz’s taste doesn’t have to be your taste. Be confident in your opinion that whatever you are listening to is good. Unless you have really bad taste, then don’t you dare be confident!

    A lot of good points in here. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest and admit that so much music comes out these days, even things we listen to and say, “wow this is so very beautiful!” might be forgotten entirely a month later.

    Random note: I didn’t even listen to RB1 until I downloaded RB2 and figured I needed the precursor. The gap between the two was pretty confusing. RB1 was a straight post-hyphy album full of bangers unmarketable to a large audience outside The Bay. As he reaches more and more for national acceptance, he seems to honestly dumb himself down. Some of the hooks on “Bitch, I’m a Player” seemed beneath his levels of creativity and wittiness. Regardless, I still listen to “Medicine” from RB1 … a lot!

  167. ka-b00m Says:

    know lists are inherently about “The Big Picture” (again Brandon Soderberg, have at it), but more than ever rap music FEELS like a culture of little pictures. Thought your list would reflect that.

    I like this statement. There is some truth to this. Being a young at heart genre, rap really adapted well to the web 2.0 shits thats going on now , twitter , mixtapes, soundclound i dunno man.

    My fav song last year is the krit ball & mjg + tity boi joint. Mjg = my man. I think that song is really telling for what you were writing about that a good rap song need the things a good rap song needs, what’s innovative or sonically rebellious quickly gets boring if its not backed up by proper understanding and employment of the mechanics that makes a song great.

    part from that, i see why people say what about vigilante season, but its not really from last year , is it?

    Happy new year mafakkas, Free lil Boosie. The world is going down anyways , they could let him out and give me a soundtrack to the approaching nuclear holocaust .

  168. ka-b00m Says:

    Baos haowg did some nice singles last year also, I now remember. that “what up” with slim Thug on it makes my list. And Lady- Pussy. great song as well.

  169. done Says:

    Syl “know lists are inherently about “The Big Picture” (again Brandon Soderberg, have at it), but more than ever rap music FEELS like a culture of little pictures. Thought your list would reflect that.”

    I think this addresses some of that pretty well:

    http://somanyshrimp.com/2011/12/29/davids-20-best-rap-tapes-of-2011/

  170. Eat my shorts Says:

    Hey Jay smooth spoke on my earlier comments on his tumblr and I don’t know where else to respond. First of I have crazy respect for Jay. Always thoughtful and I have read his blog
    Many times. First of me comparing noZ to armond White is a compliment. I know hardly anyone in the critical community sees it that way given Armonds current reputation but as you said Jay he has written intelligently and outside the box on matterS hip hop since the 80s. Calling his writing contrarian shtick is the kind of propaganda I usually associate with people who are afraid to debate his ideas on an intellectual basis. Granted his tone is very confrontational and I can see why some would just prefer to be done with what he has to say. But dude to me is one of the most original thinkers out there on film and music and politics. So NoZ take that as a compliment at least when I do the comparison. As for saying certain writers were shook well that was more Tounge in cheek just based on how big noZ reputation now is and seeing mainstream music writers salute him. Also can you really separate the rap critical community from the rap industry. I mean cats are clearly doing favours with eachother etc. Remember when Dream Hampton reviewed The Blueprint in Vibe? I mean she dam near married to jAy z. So that was another reason I made the armond comParison since noz was one of the few hip hop writers I can trust to speak independently and without industry influence. Sorry for being longwinded

  171. Fem videos – Januari 2012 « DOGMATIK Says:

    [...] De 100 bästa låtarna 2011 – Musikguiden i P3 listar 2011 års bästa låtar. Uppsala! Cocaine Blunts – Best Rap, 2011 – Eminenta rapjournalisten Andrew Noz går igenom 2011. Tropical Bass – Top of the [...]

  172. wacksworks Says:

    official hood ….CK…http://youtu.be/fKowgrCGJKQ

  173. rubberdingyrapids Says:

    i dont know how you guys listen to so much new rap. if it was albums, great, but mixtapes? thats a lot of sifting for the gems. i applaud all of you. i feel like i have under listened this year.

  174. Eddie Says:

    As long as lil b is on the list i’m good. (let that boy cook!) No cole tho? (u aint got no fuckin yeezy voice). Also if yonkers is on there than trouble on my mind or martians vs goblins should be on the list. Also “imma wild boy” if u throwin in WAKA, but i guess these were all earlier 2011 songs too

  175. Buy Beats | Instrumentals | Rap Beats | Free Beats Says:

    Buy Beats | Instrumentals | Rap Beats | Free Beats…

    [...]CB » Best Rap, 2011[...]…

  176. v-nasty Says:

    “rap music FEELS like a culture of little pictures”

    who listens to more than one rap at once?

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