Class of 2011: The MVPs

In a time when the naysayers are declaring the death of hip-hop, there is a rebirth happening in the underground scene.   If you dig deep — past the bloated carbon copies of a long gone golden era — you will find hip-hop.  It might not be recognizable to those who are assaulted with Top 40 singles all day, but those who have been paying attention know that hip-hop has been hangin’ with a different crowd — learning to incorporate jazz, punk, electronic elements, and more importantly, r&b and soul.  There are also a few talented artists that call the mainstream home — a few whose gap between talent and popularity isn’t as large as their egos.  Hip-hop is not dead — the r&b resurgence is incredible — the game is still in play — these are a few of the most valuable players.  Here are ILSUDH2’s Favorite Hip-Hop/R&B Albums of 2011.

* Spotify playlist at bottom of post

10. Wugazi – 13 Chambers
(self-released, 2011)

the combination made my eyes bleed

Wugazi – Sleep Rules Everything Around Me

09. Big K.R.I.T. – Return of 4Eva
(self-released, 2011)

it ain’t a single if it don’t fly

Big K.R.I.T. – American Rapstar

08. Terius Nash (The-Dream) – 1977
(self-released, 2011)

I look like a devil, but you wearing the red dress

Terius Nash – Wedding Crasher

07. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra.
(self-released, 2011)

stripper booty and a rack like wow, brain like berkeley

Frank Ocean – Novacane

06. Beyoncé – 4
(Columbia, 2011)

you don’t care, well that’s ok

BeyoncéBest Thing I Never Had

05. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
(Roc-A-Fella, 2011)

what’s a god to a non-believer?

Kanye West & Jay-Z – Otis

04. Death Grips – Exmilitary
(Third World, 2011)

I’m the king, I run the underworld…the game is mine, I deal the cards

Death Grips ft. Mexican Girl – Lord of the Game

03. Drake – Take Care
(Young Money, Cash Money, 2011)

this ain’t no fucking sing-along, so girl, what you singing for?

Drake – Headlines

02. Kendrick Lamar – Section 80
(Top Dawg, 2011)

don’t ask for your favorite rapper (he dead)

Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D.

01. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
(self-released, 2011)

I always want you when I’m coming down

The Weeknd – High For This

(self-released, 2011)
There just wasn’t a proper space on the list for these jazz interpretations.

Favorite Rap/R&B Albums of 2011

Class of 2011: The Freshmen
Class of 2011: The Performers
Class of 2011: The Short Bus
Class of 2011: MVPs
Class of 2011: Children of the Damned
Class of 2011: The Overachievers
Class of 2011: The Soundtrack

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