This was by far the easiest list to compile simply a by product of my weak mixtape game: only had 21 to choose from. Honorable Mentions:
G.O.O.D Ass Mixtape - Kanye West and the G.O.O.D team
Its a collaboration tape and I like it because of that. I know this idea isn't original but G.O.O.D could make a claim as the best team of artists in the game. There is so much talent on the label and this was their showcase. There are of course some bums on the label too so the tape isn't great but its real solid with some dope songs from the dope artists.
Slime Flu - Vado I think Vado is a poor man's Juelz Santana. He looks like him a little bit and has a signature adlib: #Slimeeee. He's a pretty good lyricist. He's certainly got skills and the potential to maybe, I say this cautiously, maybe be better than Juelz. Slime Flu is consistently good all the way through but nothing jumped out at me and made me feel like it was great. He's going to have to step it up in the future.
10. Boss of All Bosses 2 - Cam'Ron and Vado.
"You not from Brooklyn, don't play Big"
This was the beginning of the #Slime movement for me as my introduction to Vado. Cam was a clown on this joint but was his typical silly yet lyrical self. In typical Cam fashion there are some really bad songs but also some great ones which is why this tape made the list and Vado went HM. Doesn't hurt that he had the "U right skits" on it too.
9. The Timeless Audemars Piguet Collection - Rick Ross.
I'll admit that I'm a Ross stan and that he makes the list by that virtue. However, I really like this tape. Its a good mix of laughs and raps. Ross drops some good verses and a whole lot of lines to make you laugh. There are some radio/club joints that were on this tape that Ross can't take credit for but hey there on there and count towards my listening pleasure. All jokes aside its a good tape.
"Use to live in moderation now I over indulge" Got put on to this by my boy Samp via his blog. Smooth tape, the dude's flow is dope and his lyrics are tight, some were even comical. West coast dude living in Atlanta, refreshing. My Tracks: The Language, +/-, Monster's Ink.
7. Trap or Die 2 - Young Jeezy
"Thats why I slam dunk in the P****, I can't layup"
I have been known to clown Jeezy for his lack of lyricism but I've come to realize thats not everyones strength. So I was able to listen to this tape without great lyrical expectations and it was pretty good, in fact he even had a few great lines. Yea it was typical Jeezy talk: selling drugs, growing up in the hood, being hood rich, and selling more drugs, but it was a good.
6. KRIT Was Here - Big KRIT. "I'm pretty sure my first word was survival"
Got on this a lil late but thankful I did. KRIT's all around game is dope: produces, lyrics tight, storytelling on point and flow is smooth. I like how he has respect for those who came before him and managed to take a little something from everyone to add to his style. He's humble but also confident letting everyone know Mississippi got next. Because his skills match his hunger he might be right. My Tracks: Viktorious, They Got US, Something.
5. Finally Famous Vol. 3 - Big Sean.
"Paranoid because every rapper named Big got bodied"
Really enjoyed this tape. Big Sean certainly provides laughs (#Demtitties) but on this tape he drops some dope lyrics too. I kinda like how he raps with an unbelievable confidence, throwing himself up there with the best of the New Guard of rap and some of the best of all time. Its dangerous to throw yourself up there like that but I think its more dangerous not to have the confidence so I can respect it. It helps that he's shown glimpses of how excellent he can be. The question is can he harness those glimpses and stretch it out? We'll see but this was a good start. My Tracks: Supa Dupa Lemonade, Love Song, High Rise
4. More About Nothing - Wale.
"So a n**** stay hungry as a plastic hippopotamus"
Wale, and the cast of Seinfeld return for the follow up to Mixtape About Nothing. Wale did a lil bit of addressing his haters, speaking on his growth and flexing his lyrical muscle throughout the tape. You can feel the chip his has on his shoulder. He has a whole lot of relationship talk on it too, must be why the ladies love it too. It kind of tails off towards the end but for the most part its a solid tape. My Tracks: The Problem, The War, The Friends N Strangers.
3. Kush and OJ - Wiz Khalifa.
"The difference between you guys is you lie and we live it"
This could have easily been number 1 simply because of the buzz it created. It was the number one searched item on google for 2 days. Wiz jumped into the spotlight after it dropped. Of course none of that would be possible if it wasn't a great tape. The joint rocks top to bottom. The production is dope, makes me wanna dance, drive, smoke (and I don't even smoke) all at once. While the lyrical content isn't anything of great substance (Partying, drinking, smoking, getting girls, getting other people's girls) the tape goes so hard. I put it on and let it play all the way through. #Taylorgangordie. Wiz did his thing on this one. My Tracks: The Kid Frankie, Pedal to the Medal, We're Done.
2. There is No Competition 2, The Funeral Service - Faboulous "Known for being nice, that don't mean courteous." What can I say "I'm from Brooklyn, what it look like?" Bias aside, Fab's got skills. Few rappers can see him lyrically and perhaps fewer people can see his skill. There were so many moments on the tape when I was like "damn Fab." When it dropped everyone in my timeline was quoting lines from it, for weeks. I listened to this tape for a smooth 2 months and whenever a track come on via shuffle I was tempted to just play the whole tape. Drama was a fool on this joint, Fab slayed every track and the features were dope too. Love this joint. My Tracks: The Wake, Body Ya, Tonight,
1. Friday Night Lights - J. Cole "Ironic you been sleeping on the one that you been dreaming bout" When Cole announced he'd was dropping "Friday Night Lights" on a Friday I turned into a crackhead. On that Friday, I was hitting refresh on twitter every 2 seconds. When the link finally dropped it made twitter crash, and several download sites crash because so many people were trying to get on it. The heat Cole delivered on "The Come Up" and "The Warm Up" helped build the anticipation for this joint and he did not disappoint. Cole delivered his traditionally ill lyrics and storytelling on this tape. He's so diverse with his content, rapping about everything from getting girls all the way up to the mistreatment of girls. I really love how he stepped up on this tape, spiting with this "I know I'm the best" swag and its hard to argue against him. My Tracks: "Villematic" "Looking For Trouble" "Before I'm Gone"