The Top Mixtapes & Mixtape Artists Of The Year (2010)

Posted on December 28, 2010
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What a great year it was for Hip Hop, especially on the mixtape side. I couldn't have picked a better time to launch, shameless plug. Lloyd Banks gave us V5, Vado became well known with Boss Of All Bosses 2.5. Young Jeezy was one of the most consistent on the mixtape circuit with 3 official releases, the long awaited Trap Or Die II (By Any Means Necessary), 1,000 Grams Vol 1, and The Last Laugh. The boy Wiz Kahlifa dropped arguably the best mixtape of the year with Kush & OJ, can't tell you how many times I've listened to that joint.

Here's my list of the Top 10 Mixtapes for 2010.

Notice I said “my” list, some of you will feel different but for the most part you have to agree at least with the top 5.

10. Wale – More About Nothing

This was a slept on mixtape, personally I gave this 1 month of spins. It displayed that Wale rap skills was nothing to fux with.

Says Wale:

“I was trying to go super crazy in the booth to let them know that the hunger is still there. It's to my label, the fans, to the doubters. I'm trying to prove myself. A lot of people try to reinvent themselves. I'm trying to define myself. It's almost like it was a rough draft of my mission statement before, but this is the final draft. If y'all didn't know who Wale was before, you know now. And the play on ‘nothing' is that a lot of people are saying nothin', but we're saying somethin' now.” Via MTV.

9. Joe Budden – Mood Muzik 4 (A Turn 4 The Worst)

I didn't enjoy this as much as his previous Mood Muzik releases and I only gave it about 2 weeks rotation on the Pod before I moved onto other releases. Yet and still this tape had allot of real life bars delivered with incredible rap skills.

Says Joe Budden:

“It was something that started there and kind of took on a life of its own,” Joe recalled. “Calling it a mixtape when it's really an album with all original production, all brand-new lyrics, nothing ever heard before. It just got a really great reception from fans and something that we kept going, so it's something we do every two or three years. It's not just something that comes around. People put mixtapes out every few months, every year. They come often. Not Mood Muzik. It's a totally different type of monster. And when you hear it, you should be able to understand why.”

8. Cam'ron & Vado – Boss Of All Bosses 2.5

Not a big fan of Cam'ron but I fux with Vado and he definitely brought the heat on this mixtape, which also gave birth to the street single Speakin Tongues.

Says Cam'rom and Vado:

“At first, it was like the lost tapes. Tracks that were throwaways. Then we added more flavor to it,” Vado told us about the set. “What happened with the 2.5,” Cam added, “we gave Drama maybe 25 songs [for Boss of All Bosses 2]. He was like, ‘You might as well come back with 2.5 in two weeks.' But we were doing so much new music, we might as well call it 4.8. It's crazy. It's about 20 songs.”

7. Rick Ross – The Albert Anastasia EP

We all know how I feel about this cat but I'm not a hater for the sake of just being a hater and I never let it get in the way of judging the music, so I give props where props is due. The Albert Anastasia EP gave birth to 2 of the biggest street records of the year, BMF (Burning Money Fast), and MC Hammer. The mixtape was overlooked for the most part because it was released so close to the release of his album Teflon Don which if it wasn't for Eminem, Drake and Kanye would have been album of the year.

Says Rick Ross:

“Because when I started recording and it was sounding too good, I wanted to put more songs in there than what I wanted to initially. But it'sThe Albert Anastasia EP. I named it that because Albert Anastasia was a self-made man. He was a boss. He was a lot less celebrated. He was more focused on getting his job done, handling his business. Of course, he ultimately came to an untimely demise. But I feel when it's time to go, it's always untimely, so what's the difference?” – Via MTV

6. Jadakiss – The Champ Is Here 3

The third installation to Jadakiss and DJ Green Lantern's The Champ Is Here classic mixtape series. This time DJ Drama is along for the ride. You can always count on Jadakiss to deliver those top 5 dead or alive bars.

Says Jadakiss:

“The regular formula for the first two was drop the mixtape right when I finished the album,” Jada added. “I just shifted it on you this time: Give you the mixtape then go finish the album. Let you compare it with the albums that's coming out while I'm in the kitchen.” Via MTV

5. J. Cole – Friday Night Lights

This tape wasn't even on my a list originally, since I didn't really give this tape a chance when it first came out for the simple fact that I was busy listening to other music. About 3 weeks after it's release I gave it a listen and have been playing it ever since (currently playing it as I make this list). J. Cole is one of the best new lyricists, period.

Says J. Cole:

“I just tried to make the best project I could make,” Cole told us over the phone days after he dropped FNL. “Pick the best songs, and some of those songs were songs I really had to bite the bullet and sacrifice and not put them on my album, 'cause I knew it would make the tape better. I had to figure out what songs I was willing to let go of and then make the best story, in terms of sequencing. It reminded me of when we were putting together The Warm Up. I'm just in a different place now. It was just time for new music.”

4. Chris Brown & Tyga – Fan Of Fan

The only R&B mixtape to make the list, there would be more but we are talking about official releases. Between Chris Brown's “Michael Jackson Tribute” performance at the BET Awards 2010 and this mixtape, brought Chris Brown's career back. The mixtape placed Breezy back on top of the Billboard charts with his “Deuces” single. I'm surprised at how much I listened to this tape and every time I did I was like “am I Chris Brown & Tyga fan on the low?”…..SMH.

3. Fabolous – The Funeral Service: There Is No Competition 2

As far as rapping is concerned no other mixtape was really touching There Is No Competition 2, the mixtape turned EP had the best punchlines and metaphors above any other mixtape.

Says Fabolous:

“I think we put a lot of work into it, with the whole funeral theme. We didn't just say it and you had to daydream it. We went into the funeral homes. We picked caskets out for the competition. Def Jam, this summer, is gonna put the mixtape out as an EP. So I did about four new songs, put 'em with some of the original joints from the mixtape. We got more viral videos coming. We just gonna keep it going and let it end as the classic it is. A lot of people saying it's a classic, one of the, if not the best mixtape of 2010. It's crazy to me, because it started out as something I wanted to give free to the fans and people who accept my work. Def Jam even came in and said, ‘Whoa, we gotta get a piece.' It's a good thing, man.”

2. Trap Or Die 2 (By Any Means Necessary)

This tape right here fam, held me down for about 3 months, since this and Kush & Orange Juice came out a week apart I was always playing them to back to back. I liked every record on this tape, Jeezy killed this tape. In addition to Trap Or Die II (By Any Means Necessary), he also dropped 1,000 Grams Vol 1, and The Last Laugh which were also fire. Some feel the latter was even better than Trap Or Die 2. In my opinion Young Jeezy is the mixtape artist of the year.

Says Young Jeezy”

“The biggest difference between this and the classic Trap or Die, there's a lot of people here during Trap or Die 1,” Jeezy said. “Unfortunately, a lot of them are dead or in jail. It's was a whole different time. Everybody was rich. It ain't like that no more. I felt I had to feed the streets. Everybody is on their way back up, trying to get their money right. Get their situation right. We just come out the recession. I wanted to give them something to ride to. You gonna have your music for the clubs, but I wanted to give them something that touches them [in their heart].” via MTV

1. Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice

Some feel this wasn't Wiz Khalifa's best tape but it certainly was the most important, it launched him into the mainstream and gave birth to the Waken Baken Tour (Every show sold out).

Says Wiz:

I named the mixtape Kush & Orange Juice because, in a nutshell, I tried to match up a name that goes perfect with the tape,

It's perfect for wake-and-bake, if that's what you're into. Anybody who knows me knows that's what I specialize in. It came out Kush & Orange Juice. That's the formula. Fruits and vegetables. The tape is heavily inspired by all different types of herbs and wonderful green things that make us grow. – Via MTV.

I expect to see big things from Wiz Khalifa, his album is dropping next year and he's just now getting introduced to world.

That's pretty much my list, I know some of your mixtapes might not have made it but hey you can't please everybody. It took me forever to make the list I kept moving things around and searching for quotes, now I remember why I don't fux with making lists.

Some videos from MTV's Mixtape Daily: 2010 Mixtape Daily Year End Awards

2010 Mixtape Daily Year End Awards: Mixtape Artists Of The Year

2010 Mixtape Daily Year End Awards: Mixtape DJs Of The Year

2010 Mixtape Daily Year End Awards: Mixtapes Of The Year

2010 Mixtape Daily Year End Awards: Jay Electronica Is Fire Starter Of The Year


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