We’re finally back a whole year later for another spinoff shedding light on the latest and greatest mixtapes of 2011. New Music, New Faces, New Flows, New Parts Of The Map. So follow us, as we take you on a journey with the top 5 mixtapes of 2011….so far.
The general purpose of a mixtape release can be for numerous reasons:
To give fans something to hold onto before an upcoming album release
To gain exposure if you are a new artist surrounded by heavy promotion
To sell it on paypal
Or to show of a new flow after a long hiatus or separation from a label
But nonetheless, let’s get started.
5. Wiz Khalifa – Cabin Fever
Wiz Khalifa desperately needed this mixtape to be a hit in order to stay relevant after the success of Kush and Orange Juice. And just like Wiz Khalifa, he delivered big time. However it’s unfortunate that this wasn’t his highly anticipated album on Atlantic Records. I’ve been an avid Wiz fan since the Flight School mixtape/Deal Or No Deal album; and let me start by saying, my my my how I am disappointed in the Rolling Papers album despite it’s success. Wiz has let the mainstream limelight expose him for the one-dimensional rapper that he is. People are over hyping this smokers epidemic like Wiz Khalifa revolutionized something, let’s not forget about the big selection of legendary artists that rapped about the same substance Wiz raps about before his emergence on the rap scene. Khalifa came in the game strong weed talking since day one, so in the end I’m not surprised that the drug is the rappers only source of success. I seriously refuse to believe he made pop songs for his album by choice. To keep things positive, Wiz has ended up on the top 5 list for a second year in a row; and the Cabin Fever mixtape just explains why the Pittsburg native has a secure spot in the rap game for some time.
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
4. Curren$y – Covert Coup
#JetLife —–> Spitta delivers once again as usual and I for one am definitely satisfied. Success is my cologne was a track I felt he needed to put out in order to remind people why his diverse style puts him over Wiz Khalifa. I just wish he did more than one verse on that track but, leave it to Spitta to raise the bar. Covert Coup is in a class of its own coming from the New Orleans phenomenon. It just keeps getting better by the track from Curren$y. Which is how I don’t understand why he’s still underrated on most rap radars?
Overall Rating 7.7 out of 10
3. Pusha T – Fear Of God
Fire! The sole word that explains this mixtape for what it is no matter how much you try to downplay it. Kanye West exercised his smarts by signing Pusha to the G.O.O.D Music label, because Big Sean and company do not have what it takes to create platinum selling music. A lyricist that can deliver prolific punch lines and never disappoints on multiple levels while keeping God first over everything. “Swim in the oasis of this drug dealer’s Babylon.” Clever wordplay is no stranger to this individual, which is why the Fear Of God mixtape is a 2011 classic. Cook it down has to be one of the best tracks he’s put together lyrically in a long time. We need more from Pusha this year.
Overall Rating 8 out of 10
2.Chamillionaire – Major Pain 1.5
Words cannot explain how surprised I am by the 360 King Koopa has taken since the days of Ridin’ Dirty. I hit Cham up on twitter a few days ago, telling him how from a New York guy, Major Pain 1.5 has to be the best mixtape out right now, and he replied with thanks so at least as a fan I can say that the appreciation is there. But let’s get back onto the subject that Chamillionaire is still crushing the competition without drug related references or profanity! How many artists you know can do the same? I can listen to this mixtape throughout on a daily basis with no difficulty of dealing with repetition. Jumping into the mixtape; War At Your Door is the single dopest track i’ve heard in some time. Real shit and the track he did sampling The Notorious B.I.G‘s “Living Better Now” quote is straight bananas. In a sum, Major Pain 1.5 is everything you want as a fan of Hip Hop. Underrated in my opinion, Chamillionaire is back with better flows than 90% of the mainstream artists in the game now. And shit is about to get real now that he’s out of his Universal Records deal.
Overall Rating 8.5 out of 10
1. Big K.R.I.T – Return of 4 Eva
Fresh off The Smokers tour along with Curren$y and Smoke DZA, hailing from Def Jam, Cadillac music is definitely back in full effect! I recently introduced myself to K.R.I.T’s self produced music, immediately being blown away by the Mississippi native’s charismatic, divine, and soulful flow. My first thought, was how this guy is versatile with pimp slang like the legendary Pimp C(RIP) and the spoken word of Andre 3000. K.R.I.T keeps it 100, and gives his fans the real shit that’s going on in the hood, politics, and his personal views. I’m not 100% sold on crowning Return of 4 Eva the number 1 spot over Major Pain 1.5 but, you have to give it to K.R.I.T based on longevity. Nonetheless, both artists have made impressive leaps forward; expect to hear much from K.R.I.T in 2011 and pray to god he doesn’t go mainstream.
Overall Rating 8.5 out of 10