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:

 

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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.

 

 

Jim Jones sounds like he’s been listening to KiD CuDi…A LOT (like everyday, all day). Check out Perfect Day ft Juelz Santana.

What do you think?  Not a bad look but very unexpected.

Click here to download.

KiD CuDi seems a lot happier when he’s perfoming. Maybe Mr. Rager is just for the studio. Check out his performance of REVOFEV on the Conan O’Brien Show.

It’s pretty dope that he’s wearing a Prince shirt too.

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Speaking of Prince, in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, ?uestlove lists his top 10 favorite Prince songs of all time.  One of them is this extended version of Little Red Corvette that is super ill:

 

 

Here’s some bonus KiD CuDi. It’s not included in the album but it fits right in. The video is called Mojo’s So Dope (but I’m sure KiD CuDi was not inhaling…).

This one is produced by the cool kids over at Decon.

If you have not heard KiD CuDi’s album, here’s a friendly nudge.

Do you dig The Joy by Kanye West ft Curtis Mayfield, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson and KiD CuDi? Pete Rock’s instant classic track was originally set for a group called Strong Arm Steady and was called “Makings of You.” Check it out.

Props to NahRight.com for the scoop.  If you missed The Joy, do yourself a BIG favor and cop it right now here.  It’s arguably the best of the G.O.O.D. Friday releases.

Click here to download.  As dope as Pete Rock’s production is, this track would not be anything without the sample of the legendary Curtis Mayfield.  Here are some of his classics.  You might recognize this one from the intro to Snoop’s Doggystyle. It’s originally from the soundtrack to Super Fly:

Here’s another classic from that album.  Check the orchestration.  Ridiculous:

This one has been sampled a lot and was on the Dead Presidents soundtrack:

And, of course, here’s the one that Pete Rock used for his sample, The Makings of You (the sampled section kicks in at the 30 second mark):

G.O.O.D. Music joins Grand Hustle as Kanye West and KiD CuDi get on T.I.’s song called Welcome to the World. T.I. sounds like he has something to prove on this one.

Click here to download.