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’10 Mixtapes: #2 Rick Ross The Albert Anastasia EP

It’s still amazing that two songs from a mixtape made such a splash that they had to be included on an artist’s album. The streets spoke loudly and Rozay’s Teflon Don wouldn’t have been complete without “MC Hammer” and “BMF”. You talk about a one-two Lex Luger-produced punch. Simply put, this prequel brought Ross to the forefront of this rap shit. This signaled the end of the Officer jokes. Hardbody collabos with Yo Gotti (“Gotti Family”) and Kool G Rap […]

’10 R&B Albums: #2 Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid

Janelle Monae is R&B’s dark horse. Although she’s backed by Big Boi and Diddy, she’s mostly remembered for her all black get up. Hopefully, ArchAndroid changes that perception. Janelle introduced the masses to her release last May with the oh-so funky, “Tightrope”. The video wasn’t bad either. She then kept the momentum going with righteous drum patterns on “Cold War”. But there’s life after two singles. The party continues on “Locked Inside” and she takes psychedelic trips on cuts like “Dance […]

’10 Mixtapes: #3 Fabolous There Is No Competition 2: The Funeral Service

DJ Drama promised me in the ATL that it’d be worth the wait and he and Loso delivered. TINC 2 annihilates the pair’s first mixtape and helped bring Fab’s career to another level. Although he often gets overlooked, John Jackson has stood next to Hov as the most consistent voice in East Coast hip-hop for over a decade. Yup, time flies. But this tape brought Sport back to his mixtape roots. Riding the theme of the project til the casket […]

’10 R&B Albums: #3 Jazmine Sullivan Love Me Back

Please don’t go. On Monday, Jazmine Sullivan announced that she was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the game. That would suck, especially after the release of Love Me Back this past November. Jazmine’s dulcet octaves register high throughout the LP. She leads off with her first single “Holding You Down” and immediately flips the script with “10 Seconds”. Her versatility doesn’t stop there. She displays the art of story telling on “Redemption” and puts a twist to a […]

’10 Mixtapes: #4 Yelawolf Trunk Muzik

Truth be told when this mixtape dropped last New Year’s day, it was the last thing on my mind. It took me two months and a plane ride to Austin to finally connect to the fresh new sound of an Alabama MC. First things first: Yelawolf is white. If you don’t know, now you do. Who gives a middle finger? He can flat-out rap his ass off as the titilating title track attests. The riotous rookie also proved he could […]

’10 R&B Albums: #4 Erykah Badu New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh

The soulful saga continued last March when Erykah Badu released the second installment of her New Amerykah series. In a decidedly new direction from her previous more political effort, this album focuses more on emotions and relationships and many tunes are anchored by familar samples. Thankfully, Badu cleverly builds off the original material and enhances it. “Turn Me Away” twists the Sylvia Striplin joint behind Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s big “Get Money” hit and a Eddie Kendricks classic provides the bounce behind […]