spoiledBROKE! Top 10 DMV Mixtapes of 2011
Now that we finished our top 10 mainstream albums of 2011, we thought we would go more in-depth for our list of the top 10 mixtapes that came out of the DMV this year. Check the list after the break.
#10: Shy Glizzy – Streets Hottest Youngin’
Shy Glizzy and his team the Glizzy Gang have been working hard this year to make there mark in the DMV rap game. Gangsta rap out of the DMV has never sounded as fun and exciting as on Shy Glizzy’s first major release, Streets Hottest Youngin’. The beats are fresh and the energy is a high as the voice he rhymes with. We like the work that is coming from the Glizzy Gang and we are excited to see what they do in 2012.
#9: Nike Nando - Love Day
A track on Nike Nando’s Love Day titled “Might Take Forever” features a sample of what seems to be bluegrass music. This sounds like a formula for disaster, but the track simply works, an uplifting anthem that is a standout track on the mixtape. We appreciate artists that are willing to take risks like this and create music that sounds original and fresh. Nando, who clearly is a fan on all types of music, takes risks like this throughout Love Day. With his cool-than-you persona and an ear for great beats, the mixtape can be a great listen for fans of any kind of music.
#8: Marlee D - Orange Line
The go-go music scene for the most part has stayed contained in the DMV area where it began. However, Marlee D, with her touring band Marlee in the Mixx, products of the go-go scene, are an example of an act that has serious potential to expand beyond the DMV. On Orange Line, Marlee sings and raps crafting some of the best hip-hop and R&B in the local area. It will be interesting to see her continued success in 2012 with the imminent release of her second mixtape, Marlee’s Modern Life.
#7: Steph Castro – Private Affairs
We didn’t know who Steph Castro was before we heard him at his performance at the University of Maryland’s WMUC Radio Station a few months back. His performance stood out the most for us, hearing him rhyme with an ease that we don’t see in most artists. After listening to his most recent mixtape, Private Affairs, which features Castro’s flow over consistently lush production, we feel that it won’t be long before most hip-hop followers in the DMV know very well who Steph Castro is.
#6: Obii Say – Donuts for the Villagers
Inspired by Slum Village and J Dilla, Obii Say created Donuts for the Villagers as a homage to the hip-hop greats. The beats are all from the aforementioned artists earlier work, so we expected the production to be great. And we were happy to see that Obii Say’s flow is a great match for this style of hip-hop. Conscious hip-hop at its finest, Donuts for the Villagers is a great listen for anyone who is a fan of Lupe Fiasco and Common. This is a great space for Obii Say to work in, and we hope to see more projects from him in the future with this same quality and style.
#5: Phil Ade – A Different World
Another popular artist in the DMV, Phil Ade has been working hard this past year expanding his fanbase. A Different World is a mixtape that shows us how serious Phil Ade is in his pursuit for nationwide fame. We love mixtapes that sound like albums, and this is just that. With songs produced by 9th Wonder and Bink!, the production quality is high. We are particular fans of the song “Second Chance”, a lively track which samples the Peter Bjorn & John track of the same name. We appreciate artist that rhyme with skill about topics that are easy to relate to. A Different World is a milestone in what we see to be Phil Ade’s inevitable rise to fame.
#4: Kelow – Colored Pencils
Kelow is by far one of our favorite artist in the DMV, a female rapping with a confidence that most male artist lack. On Colored Pencils, her first major release, she teams up with her fellow Baby Dinosaurs & Co. members, producers Miko Miko, Ayinde7, and Justin W. The music is very electronic, hood, fast-paced, and fun. And she and the BDCO team work hard producing some of the best accompanying artwork and music videos of any artist in the DMV. Colored Pencils is a total success, and we are excited to see what Kelow and BDCO have to offer in 2012.
#3: Wale – The Eleven One Eleven Theory
Largely a preview to his then-upcoming sophomore album, Ambition, Wale’s Eleven One Eleven Theory is the first work he released since joining forces with Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group label. With Wale being the most famous rapper out of the DMV, this mixtape is an example of how marketable his persona in hip-hop is. We get the same intelligent rhymes we are used to hearing from Wale. But here he is more confident than ever and rapping over some of the best beats he has ever had at his disposal, courtesy of Maybach Music Group. If you liked Ambition, which made it on the spoiledBROKE! Top 10 2011 Albums list, you will like The Eleven One Eleven Theory just as much.
#2: Fat Trel – April Foolz
Fat Trel raps about prostitutes, his love of guns, and putting his tounge in places where it really shouldn’t be. He is probably one of the most absurdly raw rappers in the DMV. And from listening to April Foolz, we can see why he is getting attention from hip-hop lovers all over the nation. With songs produced by Lex Luger and J. Cole, he clearly has the support of some important people in the game. And he rises to the occasion with rhymes that would make Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane jealous. After listening to April Foolz, we anticipate his soon to be released next mixtape Nightmare on E Street.
#1: Logic – Young Sinatra
A year ago, Logic was performing in concerts for crowd of around 100 people. This past week, he performed in New York City at the historic Webster Hall for a crowd of 1500 people. His fan base is growing at an alarming rate, and after listening to his most recent mixtape, Young Sinatra, its easy to see why. We met up with him for a talk after his performance at the University of Maryland this past fall, and one of the things he told us is that he has no intentions to be an underground artist; that he is working to become a mainstream artist. We can respect that mindset because it is clear from his mixtape that he is not allowing his desire to go mainstream to compromise the quality of his music. The producers of the mixtape are one reason that this mixtape is so great. The songs features many smartly utilized samples of music from many genres, and a lot from music at least a decade old. And its a good fit for Logic, because his style of rapping sounds like one of a student of classic hip-hop. He has one of the best flows in the DMV that we have seen. And he doesn’t waste it rapping about insignificant topics like most mainstream rappers do. He spits (and sometimes sings) about lost love, being biracial and dealing with a racist mother, and just being young in the time that we live in.
Young Sinatra is the product of a hardworking artist in the DMV. Logic is now working on his next mixtape set to be released in early 2012, and if that next mixtape is any better than the last, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the crowds he is performing for and his already large fanbase to grow exponentially.
Thats it for 2011! Do you think we got the Top 10 list right? Do you think we missed any other DMV mixtapes that should have been included? Comment below and let us know.