You heard how Asher Roth and Nottz get down on Dontcha Wanna Be (My Neighbor). Now check out how they rock the mixtape.

If you missed, Dontcha Wanna Be (My Neighbor), it was on the criminally slept on Nottz album You Need This Music. Click here to download the mixtape and listen below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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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

Not sure whether this Mr. Rogers Neighborhood sample will make it on the album, but Nottz and Asher Roth put the knock on it. Check out the video for Dontcha Wannabe (My Neighbor)

 

Lupe Fiasco gets some help from his friends on the I’m Beamin’ remix ft Asher Roth, Blu, The Cool Kids, Charles Hamilton, Dosage and B.o.B. There’s strength in numbers…

Lupe and his crew have taken on the name All City Chess Club.  It’s not a stretch to assume they would not be offended by the term “backpackers.”  It’s good to see so many facets of hip-hop again.  Check it out:

Click here to download.

Meyhem Lauren is grimy on Got the Fever but he flows over a jazzy soulful track that sounds like it could have come from the “golden age” of the mid-nineties.

Meyhem Lauren – Got the Fever

That grimy flow over smooth jazzy beats kinda reminds me of cats like these:

Nottz drops another hot one with Dontcha Wanna Be (My Neighbor) and he brought Asher Roth to drop a nice 16 bars.

Click here to download.

Whatever happened to the art of freestyling?

For most MCs, freestyling means kicking a verse that they’ve written and nobody’s heard…but true freestyling is the art of rhyming straight off the top of the dome.  Newcomer Donnis recently reminded us of the true art of freestyling with this rhyme that he spit on Sirius:

That inspired us to dig in the crates for some of the better freestyles of all time.  Check these out: