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’11 Best Mixtapes: #3 Big K.R.I.T. Return Of 4Eva

K.R.I.T.’s reliance paid off last year with his self-produced mixtape, Return Of 4Eva. When necessary, the Mississippi native curtailed his sound from ’90s boom bap (“Rise & Shine”) to contemporary bounce (“Return Of 4eva”).  He kept trunks rattling with”Sub” and “Country Shit (Remix),” but moved listeners on cuts like “Dreamin” and “Lions and Lambs.” With his debut, Live From The Underground on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time until the mainstream takes notice.

’11 Best R&B Albums: #4 Beyoncé 4

After a brief hiatus from the game, Queen B made her return to reclaim her throne and released her fourth solo album. Yup, she’s still the hottest chick in the game and the chain’s been replaced with a wedding ring. Baby Blue Ivy’s momma experimented with different sounds on this go ’round, especially on the titillating “End Of Time”. She ran the female revolution on the lead single “Run The World (Girls)”, kicked up the funk a notch on “Countdown” but slowed […]

’11 Best Mixtapes: #4 Wiz Khalifa Cabin Fever

This dropped unexpectedly like bird shit a month before Rolling Papers and boy was it potent. This 9 track collection of tunes too good to apparently make the album have held up better than his disappointing CD. The funky “Phone Numbers” starts the party with guests Trae Tha Truth and Big Sean bearing gifts. Sean Don sticks around for the bangin’ “Gang Bang” and Chevy Woods goes hard for his squad on the Lex Luger-produced “Taylor Gang.” But it’s the […]

’11 Best R&B Albums: #5 Marsha Ambrosius Late Nights & Early Mornings

After disbanding Floetry and leaving Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, Marsha took matters into her own hands. She appeared on a string of hip-hop cuts and finally released her debut. Hell hath no fury like a Songstress scorned, which makes a song like, “I Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)” so entertaining. She submits to vulnerability (“You Hands”) and handles splitsville like a true champ (“The Break Up Song”). She revamped MJ’s “Butterflies” while Just Blaze’s fairy dust-coated […]

’11 Best Mixtapes: #5 Pusha T Fear Of God

Praise the Lord. One half of the Thornton Brothers has ventured off to focus on his own career. While Malice was gettin’ closer to the man above, Pusha Ton officially got down with G.O.O.D. Music and dropped a mixtape of his charming coke raps. Mixing his hood tales with the glamorous life, Pusha gave fans our first taste with the glorious “My God”. Like in the Clipse days, Pusha got in tune with the Neptunes sound on “Raid” with 50 Cent, but […]