Mr. C gives us his rundown of 2011 albums, Detroit hip-hop, ex-pats, and mixtapes
Published: January 4, 2012
7 Bad Meets Evil Hell: The Sequel (Shady): Two of Detroit's razor-sharp emcees on a combo album so good it made Royce an international star, and the 313 a place to be.
8 Big Sean Finally Famous (GOOD Music): Despite its overly commercial appeal, Sean's swag raps and lyrical talent coupled with Detroit pride earned him a no-brainer spot on this list.
9 Ro Spit The Glass Ceiling Project (self-released): A perfect mix of flashiness and grit.
10 Apollo Brown Clouds (Mello Music Group): The rare instrumental album that covers various moods and sentiments while still feeling coherent.
Best 2011 Music Releases By Detroit Ex-Pats
1 Quelle Shotgun and Sleek Rifle (Synergy Works): Now based in California, this former Detroiter put out a winner.
2 Mayer Hawthorne How Do You Do (Universal Republic): L.A.-based crooner raised his stock considerably with well-polished soul.
3 Chief Assuming Power (self-released): The Redford native (now in Florida) found his truest voice on Assuming Power with honest raps.
4 Boog Brown The Brown Study Remixes (Mello Music Group): Former Detroiter Boog Brown re-releases her stellar album full of top-flight remixes from some of the best underground producers in the country.
5 DJ House Shoes Constellations: The A to Z of Dennis Coffey (Strut Records): The L.A.-based based ambassador of Detroit music, DJ House Shoes pieces together an encyclopedic breakdown of Dennis Coffey's career.
6 Mayer Hawthorne Impressions: The Covers EP (Stones Throw Records): This was meant to be a preview of sorts for Hawthorne's full release, but classic covers by ELO, the Festivals, Chromeo and others aren't to be taken lightly.
7 Jack White and Black Milk "Brain" / "Royal Mega" (Third Man Records): With White in Nashville and Black Milk living on the road, this unlikely session features jazzy instrumentation and a rock 'n' roll edge.
8 Zo! ... Just Visiting Three (Chapter 3hree Verse 5ive Music/The Foreign Exchange Music) Based in D.C., the Detroit-weaned keyboardist Zo! took time off from playing with Foreign Exchange and released the third chapter of his covers series in which he puts a melodic touch on songs that's so definitive you forget the original.
1 The Weeknd House of Balloons (self-released): Yes, Abel Tesfaye comes off as a deplorable young man but his signature production and crooning about his sex, drugs and ego-filled lifestyle somehow works.
2 Hudson Mohawke Satin Panthers (Warp): Scottish producer/DJ Hudson Mohawke knows how to craft orchestral compositions that satisfy dance music lovers the world over.
3 ASAP Rocky LiveLoveA$AP (self-released): If ASAP Rocky is the most-talked-about new rapper of 2011, it's all due to his true-to-life mixtape and ability to bestow relevancy upon New York rap.
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