10 reasons why 2010 was the best year ever in hip-hop: #7 Rappin’ all over the world…you know that’s right when the hottest rapper of the year was from Canada.

Everyone knows New York City was the birthplace of hip-hop.  For years, the dominant s0und in the genre was from the city that never sleeps.  In the late 80’s the West Coast, particularly LA, began to take over and it had a several year reign that corresponded with the fall of East Coast rap.  After a brief resurgence of New York rap, the South took over and has dominated hip-hop for the last several years.  However, in 2010, a curious thing happened.  There was no dominant region.  Instead, hits came from everywhere around the country and, as mentioned above, even from outside of it.  Suddenly, the talent pool for hip-hop started to look like the Verizon map.  And why is that good?  Because the more diversity there is of the regions where hip-hop is produced, the more likely it is that the sounds of hip-hop will be increasingly diverse.  The reason why people were saying hip-hop was dead a few years ago is because it was all starting to sound the same.  It took breaths of fresh air like Drake, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, KiD CuDi and even Eminem, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross (all from different places) to revive the culture.  And now, it is stronger than ever before.  Here’s a look at the diversity of areas that made up the hip-hop landscape in 2010 (for more reasons why 2010 is the best year ever in hip-hop, click here):

1.  Drake – the hottest rapper of the year (Em had more sales of his album but Drake was on EVERYBODY’s record so he wins) and he hailed from Toronto:

2.  Rick Ross held down Miami:

3.  Wiz Khalifa repped his city of Pittsburgh and their NFL squad:

4.  J. Cole built on the foundation that Little Brother laid to put North Carolina hip-hop on the map:

5.  Big K.R.I.T. along with J. Cole further reinforced that Southern hip-hop was not limited to Atlanta and Miami:

6.  KiD CuDi gave people a reason to care about Cleveland now that LeBron is gone:

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7.  B.o.B. created the most fresh and clean sounds to come out of the ATL since OutKast:

8.  Eminem restored Detroit’s place in hip-hop:

9.  Dr. Dre made the West Coast relevant once again with one exhale:

10.  And the lovely Nicki Minaj brought back the city that started it all:

 

10 reasons why 2010 was the best year ever in hip-hop: #9 Change the game…several artists expanded the boundaries of hip-hop in 2010.

1. B.o.B. – Bobby Ray dropped several crunk-filled mixtapes before releasing his first official album.  When the album dropped, however, it was filled with lots of pop, rock and just a little bit of crunk…and it was dope.  In addition to garnering 5 Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year, he also helped to launch the career of label mate Bruno Mars.  He capped off the year with a mixtape called No Genre to further underscore his diversity in music.  Here are a couple of tracks that show off his range (please pardon any annoying messages on the video “embeds” directing you to YouTube):

2.  KiD CuDi – CuDi has been stretching hip-hop boundaries for a minute now and 2010 was no different.  This year he took things to a different level, adding rock to his “emo rap” repertoire, and he even got Kanye to rock out with him.

3.  Cee-Lo – Cee-Lo Green has not done straight hip-hop for a LONG time.  But since his roots lie with Outkast and The Goodie M.O.B. he will always be a part of the hip-hop family which, luckily, means we get to claim all the fruits of his prodigious talent.  In 2010, he made one of the catchiest, dirtiest songs of all time and also one of the coolest videos in years, both of which stretched the definition of “hip-hop”:

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4.  Nicki Minaj – Nicki Minaj was one of the biggest artists of 2010.  Period.  She will soon be the first woman rapper (not named Missy Elliott) to go platinum since Lauryn Hill…and that was in 1998.  There will be more on Nicki later in this series (hint, hint) but for now, here is a great video to show how she pushed boundaries:

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As with reason #10 for why 2010 is the greatest year ever for hip-hop (several great comebacks), this is not meant to be comprehensive but simply a reminder of just how much the boundaries of hip-hop were pushed in 2010.  No disrespect to Yelawolf, Kanye (who could be in all of these reasons), and others who helped to expand the culture.  Their presence was greatly felt and all contributed to a helluva year.

 

 

B.o.B. is back with a new video and mixtape. No more pop ish. He’s strictly spittin’. Check out The Watchers (video) and No Genre (mixtape).

Click here to listen to and download the mixtape No Genre.  It’s aptly-titled…The tracklist is below:

01. Beast Mode (Prod. by Infinity)
02. So So (Prod. by Jim Jonsin)
03. How U Do That (Prod. by Kutta)
04. Feet Don’t Fail Me Now (feat. T.I.) (Prod. by Kutta)
05. Higher (feat. Playboy Tre, CyHi Da Prynce & Bun B) (Prod. by Polow da Don)
06. Shoot Up The Station (Prod. by Kutta)
07. Not Lost (feat. T.I.) (Prod. by JR Rotem)
08. Cold As Ice (Prod. by Mike Caren & B.o.B)
09. The Watchers (Prod. by B.o.B)
10. Batman Flow (feat. Donnis) (Prod. by Dr. Luke)
11. American Dreamin (Prod. by Mike Caren & B.o.B)
12. Grand Hustle Kings (feat. Young Dro & T.I.) (Prod. by Quincy Jones)
13. Dr. Aden (Prod. by Jack Splash)
14. Attraction (Prod. by B.o.B)
15. Game Time (Prod by J. Lack)
16. I’m Beaming (Remix) (All City Chess Club)

B.o.B. and Wiz Khalifa??? Yeah. It’s as ill as it sounds. Check out F*ck the Money.

Is anybody else getting excited for Wiz’s album to drop?

Click here to download.

B.o.B. has been on some Rock/Pop ish with Nothin’ On You, Airplanes and Don’t Let Me Fall, the 3 singles from his album. He’s back in Beastmode with his new single from his upcoming mixtape and he SPITS. Check it out.

We talked about his range a couple of days ago.  This is the other side.  It’s from his upcoming mixtape aptly called No Genre which is dropping on 12/7/10.

B.o.B. is a true artist. VERY few rappers can rock a mic and a guitar. Check out the video for Don’t Let Me fall, his latest contribution to the culture.

A friend told me about B.o.B. 2 years ago.  He had some crunk mixtapes out that were very different than the music on his album and I wasn’t feeling it.  He kept telling me about seeing B.o.B. live and how ill he was going from guitar to drums and so on.  When I finally did see him live I got it and I have been a fan ever since.  He is another (like Cee-Lo, KiD CuDi and Kanye) who continues to expand the definition of hip-hop.

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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.