It’s a great day for underground rap…which is a nice segue into the #8 reason why 2010 is the best year ever in hip-hop: The Return of the Underground.

This one is a bit of a contradiction.  The incredible underground releases this year certainly contributed to the musical strength of the year overall, but underground rap is consistently pretty strong.  It’s the hits that are more unpredictable.  That’s confirmed just by looking at Soundscan sales info.  This year will have several platinum rap albums (Drake, Nicki, Kanye, Eminem, B.o.B. and probably Rick Ross), but that kind of volume hasn’t happened in many years.  Even though great underground releases are more predictable, something still felt a little different about them this year.  A big part of it has to do with technology.  Gone are the days when you need hundreds of thousands of dollars, a professional studio and a big major label backing you to make great music.  These days, all you need is a laptop and a drive…to make it happen for yourself.  That has narrowed the divide between the sonic quality of mainstream and underground music considerably.  More than that, however was just the sense that the underground artists of 2010 had a great shot at being the breakthrough artists of the future.  Enough talk though.  The music speaks for itself.  Here are just a few that killed it in 2010 (and if you missed the previous reasons why 2010 is the best year ever in hip-hop, click here):

1.  Big K.R.I.T. – Somedayz

2.  Nottz – My Neighbor ft Asher Roth

3. 1982 – You Should Go Home ft Masspike Miles and Bun B

4. Curren$y – Michael Knight

5. Diggy Simmons – As I Am

6. Black Milk – Deadly Medley

7. CyHi The Prynce – Shade 45 Freestyle

8. Jay Electronica (he gets 2 joints) – The Announcement

Shiny Suit Theory ft Jay-Z

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Here’s another hot one from 1982 (Statik Selektah and Termanology) ft Ghetto and Ea$y Money. This one’s called Shut it Down (Virgin MegaStore Boys) ft Ghetto and Ea$y Money.

Statik Selektah’s track features a nice flip of one of Chante Moore’s quiet storm classics as one of the samples.  For more on 1982, including a free EP, click here.

And, here’s the Chante Moore (and Keith Washington) song that was chopped (and sped) up quite nicely:

 

If you missed the 1982 album, it’s one of the doper ones of the year (and that’s saying a lot). They just released a free EP bonus album. Check it out.

In case you missed it, 1982 is the group formed by Statik Selektah and Termanology.  Here are some previous posts about them to give you a taste.  These are 2 of my favorite joints (0nly on the album, not the EP):

Click here to download the EP.  Tracklist is below.

1. The Lottery
2. All Night feat. Kali
3. The Darkest Cloud feat. Chace Infinite
4. Weird Science
5. Put It Down f. Ghetto & Ea$y Money
6. Never Gonna (Interlude)
7. Word Up
8. The Dream feat. REKS
9. 82 92 feat. Mac Miller (Bonus)

Statik Selektah and Termanology’s album 1982 dropped on 10/26. If you haven’t bought it, here’s another reason why you should.

I’ve been posting a lot about 1982 over the last few weeks.  They have dope tracks, dope rhymes and lots of good guests.  What’s not to like?  They are also bringing a lot of creativity to the game.  Check out the video for People Are Running.

Click here to buy the album.  Support (good) hip-hop.

Remember Saigon? He had a ton of heat about 3 years back with a recurring role on Entourage, a deal with Mark Ronson and tracks with Just Blaze, and then…label drama stopped him in his tracks. He’s back with…yep Statik Selektah proving Life is What You Make It.

Saigon was very underrated as a rhymer.  After spending some time in prison, he returned as a “hood” philosopher.  His rhymes always had a depth to them that were far beyond just gangsterism.  Like some of the greats, his street tales were often accompanied with a touch of melancholy.  This verse is no different.  Right click here to download Life is What You Make It ft Saigon & Freeway.

Also, here are a couple of other memorable tracks from Saigon:

Statik Selektah has been putting in work. In addition to his own upcoming project with Termanology called 1982, he produced this jazzy throwback cut called Self-Titled by REKS.

The scratches and sample used on the track are very reminiscent of DJ Premier.  And REKS??  His name stands for Rythmatic Eternal King Supreme and he truly wrecks the mic on this.  It’s a winning combination.

In case you haven’t heard about Statik Selektah’s 1982 project, here’s a crash course:

 

Statik Selektah and Termanology drop another hot one. This one is called Still Waiting.

Statik Selektah and Termanology have come together to form a group called 1982.  By the sounds of the singles their new album sounds like a must have.  Check ’em out:

And previously