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:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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: #10 Don’t call it a comeback…but this was the year for some of the best ever.

Now that the year is winding down and new music is slowing to a trickle, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2010 and what made it such a phenomenal year for hip-hop.  Stay tuned for 9 more reasons until the end of the year.  First up is the great comebacks of 2010.  Artists tend not to like to ever admit that they may have fallen off for a bit, but everybody does eventually.  That’s why it’s all the more impressive when someone comes back from from a fall because very few do.  So…let’s all embrace the comeback and celebrate the great music that came with the ones in 2010:

1.  Eminem –  Everybody knows Slim Shady’s story by now.  The fame overwhelmed him, his home life took some major hits and his best friend (please, please, please click that link…it’s a dope true freestyle by Eminem and Proof) was tragically killed.  As a result, he turned to prescription drugs to ease the pain and the rest, as they say, is history.  That’s enough to knock anyone off his feet for a minute.  For Em, it was nearly 4 years.  His first effort at coming back fell flat (though it was not as bad as people–even Eminem–thought).  His next album, 2010’s Recovery, however was a monster.  In fact, it was the biggest album (of all genres) of the year.  Here are a couple of reasons why:

2.  Lil Wayne – The scary thing about Lil Wayne is his comeback is just beginning.  Having spent the vast majority of 2010 in jail and only being released in November, Lil Wayne has only had a little over a month to establish his comeback.  Plus, with cameos on 100 songs while he was gone (a SLIGHT exaggeration), it was almost like he never left.  He began his comeback shortly before he even got out, with Right Above It and if his first post-release song, 6’7″, is any indication, people better step their game up (hmm…gives insight into the title, no?).  Here’s a lil Weezy for you:

3.  T.I. – T.I.’s is the most ironic comeback.  I won’t spend a lot of time on this one since we all know how the story ends.  Suffice it to say that lost in the shuffle of all the controversy is that T.I.P. actually made a really good album.

4. Kanye West – OK.  So Kanye NEVER had a drop-off in the quality of his music, but he did have a self-imposed exile of almost 12 months.  Beyond that, given that he really didn’t rap much on 808 & Heartbreak, it had been more than 3 years since Ye had dropped an album with him spitting.  That’s a LONG time in hip-hop.  That’s the same amount of time Jay-Z took in his “retirement” between The Black Album and Kingdom Come.  When you add the fact that Kanye was “one of the most hated men in the world” when he took his sabbatical, it was very possible that his career may not have recovered.  Dude is just too talented though.  Not only did he have commercial success (selling nearly 500K albums in his first week, after giving more than half the album away for free–more on that later), he also had unequivocal critical success.  In fact, he made the album of the year.  Here are a few examples of why:

I’m sure there were more notable comebacks during the year (Big Boi being one of them–feel free to comment with others) but those were the major ones.  On to the next one…Stay tuned for more reasons why 2010 was the best year ever in hip-hop.

Eminem and Lil Wanyne together performing on the same stage. This is a fitting coda to the best year ever in hip-hop.

Eminem and Lil Wayne performed on SNL last night. Welcome back, Weezy.  They did No Love, Won’t Back Down and the first televised version of 6’7″.  Could this be the next hip-hop stadium bill?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

 

What would Black Sabbath, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Eminem, Jane’s Addiction, Cali Swag District and Aaliyah sound like if they did a song together? Kinda like this…

Oh, and The Brothers Johnson, Dorrough, N.W.A., David Banner, The Ramones, Missy, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, and The Doors also jumped on the track.  Confused?  Check this out:

This is one song from a mix called All Day from Girl Talk.  Click here to download the whole mix.  Props to Don C for the link.

Ever debated what was the best year in hip-hop? Here’s a little something from The Rub to make the conversation a LOT more interesting. Check out these mixes of the best songs in hip-hop from 1979-2009, year by year….30 year of hip-hop. It gets no better.

These are courtesy of The Rub, one of the dopest DJ collectives around.  For 1979-1980, click here.  For 1981-1990, click here.  For 1991-2000, click here.  For 2001-2009, click here.

Detox is definitely close to dropping. The second song in a week has leaked. This one ft Eminem and is called I Need a Doctor.

The mix on this one is pretty poor but you get a decent idea of what the finished product will sound like.

Click here to download.  Speaking of mixes, Dr. Dre has always been a super-perfectionist.  The version of Kush that leaked a few days ago was not the final mastered version, so the good doctor released the final version.  Check out the finished product here.  The details make the song MUCH hotter.  Vintage Dr. Dre.  Get ready.

T.I. and Eminem get it in on All She Wrote. T.I. is starting to come with it for his album. Check it out.

Click here to download.