30 Jun

I’m not even going to try to order them and I’m sticking to one mixtape per artist.

Kid Cudi – A Kid Named Cudi

A classic in my opinion. Kid Cudi is truly the king of the hook and this mixtape boasts great hooks track after track with great lyrics in between. Stand 0uts include Man on The Moon, Day N Nite, Pillow Talk and Cleveland Is the Reason.

Frank Ocean – Nostalgia Ultra

After listening to this mixtape and the catalogue of unreleased songs found on the Lonny Breaux Collection I can honestly say I consider Frank Ocean to be the greatest song-writer we have seen in a long time. Perhaps one of the greatest ever. Stand outs on the mixtape include Novacane, We All Try, Songs for Women and Swim Good.

Hodgy Beats – Untitled EP

My mixtape of the year doesn’t look like it’s changing (unless Childish Gambino’s Royalty is a classic). Hodgy proves he’s better than just “that guy in Odd Future”. He proved he can stand alone on this one and using production from outside of the Wolf Gang really helped him. The Juicy J produced Bullshittin’ as well as Lately and In a Dream stand out on this one.

Rick Ross – Rich Forever

The main/if not the only reason this mixtape is one of the best is because of the features. You have to ask yourself how good his next album will be (God Forgievs, I Don’t) when his mixtape boasts features from Nas, 2 Chainz, Wale, Drake, John Legend and French Montana. The stand outs here are Holy Ghost, Yella Diamonds and Stay Schemin.

P-Money – I Beat the Tune

This heavily dubstep influenced EP was the nail in the coffin for almost every other grime MC in the game. P-Money is on top right now and will be for the foreseeable future. At only 8 songs long, this mixtape somehow managed to have everything. The humor in “Blackberry”, the hype in the “Prodigy Freestyle” and the everything in the “Crusader Freestyle” (I can’t get enough of that song).

Pusha T – Fear of God II (iTunes Link)

I don’t expect many to agree here. I’m probably biased towards Pusha as I’ve been a fan since Clipse. Technically not a mixtape by today’s standard (more of a retail EP) but this had to get a mention. “Amen”, “Trouble On My Mind” and “Raid” stand out here.

50 Cent/G-Unit – No Mercy, No Fear

50’s first release following his $1 million record deal with Aftermath and Shady Records. Stand outs: Wanksta. Say no more.

J. Cole – The Warm Up

J. Cole is definitely a refreshing breakthrough Hip-Hop artist. He dropped his first mixtape, “The Come Up” in 2007 but didn’t release his album until 2011. His ability to tell a story and meaningful lyrics set him apart from most rappers nowadays. Stand outs are “Lights Please” and “Last Call”. His debut album was brilliant too but I’m still trying to figure out why, out of all the great songs on there, “Workout” was the one the label went with for its first single.

Kendrick Lamar – Overly Dedicated

I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years, we’ll be talking about Jay-Z, Nas, Biggy, Tupac and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar killed Game on his own track “The City” and had the best verse on the whole of Drake’s sophomore album “Take Care”. He’s a confirmed feature for Dr. Dre’s ever elusive Detox album, and not just anybody is going to be given that right. “Ignorance Is Bliss” is by far the stand out on this one.

Big Sean – Finally Famous Vol. 2

Big Sean’s best project showcases the best of the rapper, his quirky metaphors/similes and inspirational tracks. The best examples of these are Supa Dupa and A Million Dollars. Although Finally Famous the album was underwhelming Big Sean has definitely imporved a rapper. His best work is still to come and we’ll definetly see evidence of that on the GOOD compliation album Cruel Summer.

[Unoficial] GOOD Friday Vol. 1 compliation

Kanye West’s free, weekly music releases were not only a great idea to get back into the public’s good books, they were also great songs. The Kanyetothe community has since remastered/mixed the GOOD Friday songs (as well as some bonuses) to play like a mixtape.

Vol. 2 is just as GOOD.

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