Daaaamn, this one flew under the radar. Looks like Diplo and Benzi are up on the Alabama rap movement. With funky white dudes like them (and me, heyooo) cosigning this shit, you can expect the mass media to be dickriding our neighbors to the west any day now. This CD is following the NIN/Radiohead trend with a "pay what you like" system. If you pay $5.00 or more, you get the higher quality version with several other bonus tracks. "Soul Glo" is especially righteous, I can't believe it hasn't been done before. But we are in a recession, so there's a free version available as well. Don't sleep on this one!
BONUS - While we're on the topic of Benzi tapes, I gotta post this - Benzi and Plain Pat - Sky High Link, bros This one comes via Metal Lungies "We Got The Remix" is keeping the quality top notch foreal. Kanye fans shouldn't miss this shit. Enjoy!
Speaking of coming out of nowhere, 3 of the 9 artist on this list represent Alabama. Thought you'd never see the day? Don't tell that to any of these guys. Their come up is long overdue. Southern Charm is from my mom's hometown of Birmingham and is looking to put it on the map. Check out his MySpace for more.
8. Jackie Chain
Huntsville, Alabama's own Jackie Chain is another artist who could have been on this list off the strength of one song, but solidified it with several others. Jackie produced "Rollin", probably my favorite beat of 2008. He took the sample from Robert Miles' "Children" but flipped it just right, skillfully omitting the trance drums and replacing them with some 808 thump:
Next up is a collabo mixtape with Shamrock hosted by DJ Burn One, keep your eyes peeled.
7. DG Yola I talked about Yola in an earlier post. With Gucci and OJ all on his mixtape, is Yola gonna be making any official moves to So Icy Ent? I don't know, but he was supposed to have been inducted into P$C after "Ain't Gon Let Up" and nothing ever seemed to materialize. So we'll see about that, but you can trust that Yola will be on the grind for '09 with or without a big name affiliation.
6. Shawty Redd
Even if you don't know who Shawty Redd is, you probably know who he is. I mean, shit, look at his track record for the last couple years (and that list is definitely missing some). He's one of the most influential (read: bitten) producers out right now and he made this list because he seems to be stepping more into the forefront lately, on the performer side of things. Check out his (kinda) latest, "End of Da Night". Via BLVD ST.
5. Rich Boy
Let me start by saying Rich Boy's self-titled debut was amazing. Polow da Don brought his A game to the album. A lot of critics say that Polow was the one who carried the album. But anyone who's really listening knows that the Alabama Ambassador was the soul of the record. Rich Boy is a rap artist in the truest sense: you can tell that his rhymes come straight from the heart with zero filter. "Bigger Than the Mayor" was one of the most serious mixtapes last year, so I have high hopes for Rich Boy to hurdle the sophomore jinx and make another great album.
Check out how he goes the fuck in on Jackie Chain's beat:
The Hot Spitta should need no introduction. I knew he could spit from some of his appearances on Wayne shit but it wasn't until JDOWN told me to listen to his solo joints that I realized how tight he is. Not only does Curren$y win the award for Best Mixtape Names of 2008, but each of them has been a banger. It's really pretty incredible that he's not a huge name by now. If I had to describe his overall style, I'd say it's somewhere between Devin the Dude, Lil Wayne, and Compton Ass Terry. Plus, he makes just about the only video blog worth watching: MythBlazers
3. OJ Da Juiceman
If you've been walking around the way and heard grown ass men yelling "Aye! Okay! Damn!" in high pitched voices, the congratulations, the Juiceman has touched your life. Hailing from the East side, OJ is without a doubt the hottest up-and-comer in Atlanta right now and the internet hype you see can't even hold a candle to his word-of-mouth buzz. He's a fan favorite and he has the adlib game on smash. If you haven't yet, check out his mixtape with DJ Smallz. If you're at all a fan of trap music (no snap music here, sorry), you need some OJ in your collection. OJ da Juice ft Gucci Mane - Do It (Produced by Shawty Redd)
Here's an older post with a link to B.O.B.'s latest mixtape, "Who The Fuck Is Bob?". We've seen what he can do musically on his mixtapes. Will he be able to construct a classic album? It's a whole different ballgame, but I think he has the potential.
1. Gucci Mane
Why is Gucci the Number 1 to watch for 2009? Well, he had the best mixtape of the year and a couple others that were Top 10 caliber. His trouble with the law netted him the publicity he needed to have Q4 on lock in terms of hype. When Gucci gets out, you can expect this site and all the other blogs to be flooded with tracks. Gucci at first seems like your run-of-the-mill d-boy rapper. But as you're drawn end by his seemingly endless supply of banging beats, you start to realize that Gucci can really spit. You can't rightly call him one thing - punchline rapper, trap rapper, club rapper, mixtape rapper - he's all these and more. With a cult of personality rapidly growing behind The Glacier, 2009 is looking pretty Icy.