Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 - The Year in Music

First things first - hope you and yours had a good (and safe) New Years Eve! 2011 all came and went so quick - but man, what a great year in music! The boys and I have been having an ongoing discussion on what our top cd's of the year have been - and hey, why not share them! If you search the archives - you'll see links to most (if not all) of the mixtapes mentioned - but for the retail releases - how about you go ahead and support the record labels artists and buy them! As far as the list goes - there wasn't much structure - as you'll see, just another OSTT email thread. For our lists/thoughts - hit the jump.


1. The Weeknd - House Of Balloons
2.  Drake - Take Care
3.  The Black Keys -   El Camino/Brothers**  
4.  Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More**
5. The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence
6.  Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra
7. Jay Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne
8. The Weeknd - Thursday
9. J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story
10. Allen Stone - Allen Stone
11.  Cocaine 80s - The Pursuit EP/Ghost Lady
12. Common - The Dreamer, The Believer / Roots - Undun****

**The Brothers and Sigh No More were both released in the US in 2010, but these are MY top albums of 2011 and I didn't get into these until I was getting ready for Coachella in 2011…and since then they've been in heavy rotation this year and two of MY favorite albums of 2011.

****Both excellent albums, but so fresh off the press that I'm still dissecting them and getting into them.

Honorable Mentions:  Adele - 21 (great songs, but not big in my rotation, but couldn't escape her music anywhere you went in multiple remixes (John Legend, Lil Wayne, Mike Posner, Heatwave, etc.).  Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel, Kendrick Lamar - Section.80, Mike Posner - The Layover, Brad Paisley - This is Country Music, Asher Roth - PBR & Jazz, Big Sean - Finally Famous, M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, Lil Wayne - Carter IV , Bei Maejor - MaejorMaejor, Washed Out - Within And Without, Dom Kennedy - The Original Dom Kennedy

Disappoint of 2011:  Childish Gambino - Camp

Song of the Year: 
+ I'm On One - Dj Khaled
Top 10 Albums of 2011:
1) Echoes of Silence
2) Take Care
3) House of Balloons 
4) Watch The Throne
5) Nostalga Ultra
6) The Dreamer The Believer
7) Thursday
8) The Carter IV
9) TM103
10) Undun
Top 10 Mixtapes of 2011:
1) Return of 4Eva - Big K.R.I.T
2) Sorry 4 The Wait - Lil Wayne
3) Bei Maejor - Bei Maejor
4) Premiere Polotics - Sir Michael Rocks
5) I love Life, Thank You - Mac Miller
6) The Layover - Mike Posner
7) Pabst & Jazz Sessions - Asher Roth
8) Live Love A$AP - A$AP Rocky
9) 1977 - Terius Nash
10) Royal Flush 2 - CyHi Da Prince
11) #bitchimtheshit - Tyga
2011 Albums You Shouldn't Miss:
Ambition - Wale
Bad Meets Evil - Eminem & Royce Da 5'9"
Cole World Sideline Story - J. Cole
rEVOLVEr - T-Pain
Pala LP - Friendly Fires

Ritual Union - Little Dragon
Rolling Papers - Wiz Khalifa
When Fish Ride Bicycles - Cool Kids
The Big 10 - 50 Cent
Mac & Devin Go to High School - Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
Friend of The People - Lupe Fiasco
All I Want Is You - Miguel
1.21 Gigawatts Back To The First Time - Ludacris
The Div - Pac Div
Cold Day In Hell - Freddie Gibbs
Mirrorwritting - Jamie Woon
From The Westside With Love 2 - Dom Kennedy
Section 80 - Kendrick Lamar

1. The Weeknd (Whole Trilogy) - No explanation needed - but damn - it's like a whole new genre - and each mixtape absolutely KILLED it. It's not music, its an experience.
2.  Adele - 21 (This is my shit. Love this cd, start to finish, great work cd. Love the simplicity. Love her voice).
3. Kendrick Lamar - Section 80 (This project was crazy. I like his older stuff (the EP, OD, etc) a lot, but this Section 80 was on a whole new level).
4. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia/Ultra - Probably my 2nd most played cd of the year - I might have played it out though. If The Weeknd only released 1 project, I would have played that out too, but the 3 releases helped a lot.
5. Stic.Man - The Workout (this is so unbelievably underrated - most inspirational project released - and the first CD I'm going to listen to in the New Year as I go for a run to get my car I was too drunk to drive home last night. The fact he could make a project like this and have it NOT be corny is crazy - although Wifey insists it is corny - but she doesn't like The Weeknd, so her opinion doesn't count haha.
6. Drake - Take Care - Don't skip a single song on this cd, no need.
7. Dom Kennedy (The Real Dom Kennedy AND From The Westside with Love II) - I don't know why he isnt on more people's radar (outside the blogosphere) - I feel like he is built for success with his laid-back style.

8. Florence The Machine - Ceromonials (Don't judge, it's lowkey like a female The Weeknd)
9. Watch the Throne (I'm really surprised how well this project came together - they were super focused and stayed on topic on all the songs, great production, etc. Murder for Excellence > _________ )
10. Bad Meets Evil - (Just great to see lyricism be the emphasis of a well put together cd).

I thought Tyler the Creator's debut cd, Goblin, was good, but his mixtape (Bastard) was better IMO. I liked ASAP Rocky's debut mixtape, and is probably #11 on the list - but it makes me want to listen to old H-town stuff (Mike Jones, who?! Mike Jones!). Fabolous killed it this year with There is No Competition mixtape series. Speaking of No Competition, Crooked I and the HorseShoe gang have been putting in work lyrically, and Crook is stepping up his song making ability (Villian featuring Sally Anthony? One of my favorite songs of the year). Tyga put together THREE really solid projects (Black Thoughts 2, Well Done 2, and #bitchimtheshit). The main one I forgot was Danny Brown - XXX. He intrigues me a lot (no homo) - and that album got a lot of play from me, not because I can identify with ANY of it, because I don't mess with drugs or have suicidal thoughts, but something about it has me listening to it. Voice is bordering on annoying - but yeah, I can't finger the appeal. I think it's the realism - like, look at a picture of him, and his songs like XXX or Die like a Rockstar are more believable ha.

To be 100% honest - I haven't listened to the new Common cd yet (late pass - I'm sure its classic though) - and I never bought the Carter IV.

Don't know about you guys - but I'm really looking forward to see what 2012 has to offer musically! Maybe we'll do a most anticipated music post next - featuring projects like Detox and the return of Earl Sweatshirt....Oh, and support your boy SKILLZ and purchase his 2011 Rap Up (stream here)