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The Good, The Bad, The Banned, The Sad, The Surreal, Top Rap vs. Hip-Hop Metaphor of the Year + more in Best of 2015 Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment
 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015

Among all the top ten hip-hop albums in 2015 that caught my ear was Tone Tank's late in the year cassette release ONE-OFFs & ONE-UPMANSHIPs via indie Brooklyn label Modern Shark. It's the super-gifted Brooklyn emcee's first release in five years. The wait was worth it for what the longtime NY hop-hop artist considers his first official solo album. Complimenting Tone's unique flow and always engaging storytelling hip-hop style is a well-chosen array of mic and production collaborators. These include SerengetiCool Calm Pete, Kool A.D., Edan, Victor Vic, J Howells Werthman, and his longtime production partner Scott Thorough.  Other 2015 albums that made my top list included UK poet/emcee Kate Tempest's Bad Place For A Good Time (Big Dada), Knxwledge's Hud Dreems (Stones Throw), and Blackalicious's Imani, Vol. I (Black Mines). Their first album in a decade, it was also released in an instrumental LP version. 

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Top 30 Hip-Hop 2015 Hit Albums

Posted by Billyjam, December 27, 2015 07:47pm | Post a Comment

With its number one album being the critically acclaimed Kendrick Lamar modern classic To Pimp a Butterfly, this Top 30 Hip-Hop Hit Albums in 2015 list is one of three Amoeblog hip-hop year-end lists. This list's results are compiled by drawing from various sales figures of the year's top-selling albums, while also taking into consideration overall critical response. The factors included are first week sales on the Billboard Top 100 chart, overall sales at Amoeba, plus Metacritic ratings. A lot of the time, both sales figures and critical ratings are equal, but on some occasions they were not (hence why some albums might rate higher on this chart than lists based solely on sales). Still, overall the Top 30 that made the list is reflective of the most commercially well-received albums in 2015. With a few exceptions and regardless of the order, this top 30 includes most of the top 30 best-selling albums of the year. Exceptions would include Dom Kennedy's By Dom Kennedy and Drake & Future What a Time to Be Alive because both 2015 albums were digital only and unavailable through Amoeba. The list is also reflective of a lot of the artists whose album tracks received major radio airplay in 2015.

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Best of 2015 Hip-Hop: Top Ten Collaborative Projects

Posted by Billyjam, December 20, 2015 03:44pm | Post a Comment

The ease with which hip-hop artists dotted around the globe can instantly connect with one another, along with the current music industry model, are two key contributing factors to the wealth of collaborative projects between artists these days. Compared to the old music model, the average artist today is no longer  beholden to any one record label, hence giving them freedom to act more like free agents. For the recent collaborative project between Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandmanthe promo of the free release was shared by Rhymesayers who handled the video side and Stones Throw who handled audio promo via their Soundcloud of the recording given to fans for free. The project is the five-song EP Lice with various contributing producers including Optiks and Blockhead.

In 2016, Stones Throw will do a limited run vinyl pressing. Stones Throw is the home to another excellent collaboration, Anderson Paak with Knxwledge as NxWorries . Their six-song EP Link Up & Suede is an amazing musical melding of the two talents. Fresh from collaborating on six tracks off Dr. Dre's 2015 hit album Compton, Anderson Paak joined forces with NJ to LA super-gifted prolific producer Knxwledge who got wide attention from his contribution to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, and whose May 2015 Stones Throw release Hud Dreems (also avail in 2LP format) ranks as the best instrumental hip-hop album of the year.

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