Mr. C gives us his rundown of 2011 albums, Detroit hip-hop, ex-pats, and mixtapes
Published: January 4, 2012
1 Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop): Lead singer Robin Pecknold ascends to a higher level of songwriting.
2 Shabazz Palaces Black Up (Sub Pop): The former Digable Planets frontman and crew focus on making unapologetic and futuristic black music.
3 Adele 21 (XL): Power-lunged Adele has come straight from the U.K. and unleashed an album so powerful and soul-jarring that the six Grammy nods her record received actually make sense.
4 Dennis Coffey Dennis Coffey (Strut Records): Arguably Detroit's most legendary guitarist re-emerges with new songs and spins on old classics.
5 Elzhi with Will Sessions Elmatic (The Jae. B Group): Re-creating one of hip-hop's most revered albums of all time was challenging enough; however, witnessing Elzhi and Will Sessions outdo the original should make every Detroit music fan proud.
6 Onra Chinoiseries Pt.2 (All City): The Parisian producer follows up on his Chinoiseries album of 2009 with a well-crafted instrumental project that captures the sounds of Vietnam, China, France and American underground hip hop all at once.
7 Danny Brown XXX (Fool's Gold Records): Of course.
8 Big K.R.I.T. Return of 4Eva (self-released): You love Big K.R.I.T. even if you don't love the music itself.
9 J DaVeY New Designer Drug (Illivator Records): The Los Angeles duo returns with a futuristic dish of blacktronica and soul that deserves far more listeners and accolades than it has garnered thus far.
10 Das Racist Relax (Greedhead): The joke's on everybody as three of the most underappreciated figures in today's ever-changing hip-hop world get wide play.
Best Detroit Hip-Hop Albums of 2011
1 Elzhi with Will Sessions Elmatic (The Jae. B Group): Technically this was a free mixtape, but the work is too superb and tedious to be dubbed as anything less than a proper album.
2 Danny Brown XXX (Fool's Gold Records): One of the most eclectic and savagely creative releases to ever come out of the Detroit hip-hop canon.
3 Random Axe Random Axe (Fat Beats Records): This was one of the most anticipated underground albums of the year and it exceeded expectations.
4 OneBeLo LABOR (self-released) The veteran Michigan emcee pieces together a banger of an album with top-notch lyrics and beats that compete to outdo one another throughout the entire project.
5 Will Sessions Real Sessions (Fat Beats/self-released): A full album of their best live sessions backing up Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Elzhi and Phat Kat that immediately makes one think of the term "Filthy McNasty."
6 Black Milk and Danny Brown Black and Brown (Fat Beats): It's a short and sweet 22-and-a-half minutes, but features enough comedic punch lines and frenetic beats that it easily deserves a spot on this list.
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