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.

Kanye West is really killing the game right now. Check out his remix of Power from SNL.

Not only did Kanye change his second verse which originally skewered the SNL cast, he also managed to do a scaled down live version of his groundbreaking video. The new verse is dope, but it’s a bit surprising that he changed it. Big Brother Hov had no problem looking the Yankees in the face at their World Series victory celebration and saying he “made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can…” Given the new image Kanye is crafting, he probably did the right thing to Runaway (check the remix ft Raekwon and Justin Bieber) from the SNL verse on the show.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Click here to download the SNL version.

Kanye West has the best digital game on the planet! Between what he said on twitter today and Devil in a New Dress nobody is touching him.

If you didn’t see what Kanye West wrote on Twitter today, click here.  It’s incredible.  It shows the intelligence, maturity and evolution of one of the greatest artists of the last decade.  Given all the celebrity gaffes on Twitter, he is showing its Power, as well.  That’s not where it stops though.  As you may know, for the last few weeks, Kanye has also been leaking a new digital download every week and will do so for 26 weeks.  While labels are doing all they can to prevent leaks, he is doing it himself to give back to the fans who have supported him, to win over those that left (and some new ones)…and to get people ready for the Monster of an album he is about to drop.  He is re-building his goodwill day by day, all through an incredibly savvy digital strategy.  America loves a comeback even more than it loves taking people down.  This is just the beginning for Kanye.  Just watch…Click here for Devil in a New Dress, the latest leak.

Kanye West is on a whole different level. He and Jay-Z literally drop bombs on the Power remix.

Click here then click to listen and right click to download.

Words will not do justice to what Kanye West did at the Box last night in NYC.

This video gives a good idea of the energy, but the magic of the night could not be re-captured even if there had been HD cameras and professional recording devices.  It was a special performance, by a special artist for those of us fortunate enough to have attended.  If Kanye continues to get better, he may one day go down as the best who ever did it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Full Homecoming video

Full Power video (low fi)

Kanye West’s new Power video is different than any other video before it. What do you think?

Is 2010 the best Summer ever for hip-hop? These releases from Eminem, Drake, The Roots, Big Boi and Rick Ross are making a strong argument.

Can you come up with a better slate of Summer releases of rap albums than these:

Recovery – Eminem

Single:  Not Afraid

Standout track (1 of many): 25 to Life

Thank Me Later – Drake

Single:  Drizzy hit several markets, dropping Find Your Love for the ladies and Over for the clubs.

Standout track:  Too many to pick, but Fancy is about to BLOW UP!

Sir Luscious Left Foot…The Son of Chico Dusty – Big Boi

Single:  Shutterbugg

Standout track:  Turns Me On (ft. Andre 3000 and Sleepy Brown)

How I Got Over The Roots

Single:  Dear God 2.0 (arguably the weakest track on the album)

Standout track: Doin’ It Again ft. John Legend

Teflon Don – Rick Ross

Single:  Super High ft. Ne-Yo

Standout track (again 1 of many):  Free Mason ft. Jay-Z

Still to Come:  Some heavy hitters are lined up to drop later in the Summer.  Jeezy is killing it with Lose My Mind and EVERYBODY is saying the Kanye album is a classic.  It’s unclear whether T.I. will deliver.

TM 103 (Game Over) – Jeezy

Good Ass Job – Kanye West

King Uncaged – T.I.