Independent Album of the Year

This year was really a down one, however, one thing that is occurring is that the independent scene is getting stronger as more people use the internet to promote and mix tapes take the buzz they get and drop albums. The thing is there can be a lot to wade through, but these are the ones I was feeling, though next year I look forward to finding more and giving them a shot.

5. Ja Rule - Pain is Love 2

I received a lot of feedback based around the return of Rule to the game which happened right before he went to jail on a gun possession charge. He still has plenty of fans who didn't like the implication that 50 Cent killed his career. While this album wasn't a classic, he was able to conjure up some of the formula that made him such a huge star at the beginning of the century.

4. Busta Rhymes - Year of the Dragon

Bussa Bus might be signed to Young Money now but this album was only available through Google Play. If that's not independent and thisclose to being a mix tape in my opinion. However, this joint was kind of banging. Busta had some serious chain rattling beats and while he isn't the most innovative in topics, he wa sable to maintain his persona and put out some quality music.

3. Lecrae- Gravity

This Christian rapper caught my attention during last year's BET hip-hop awards and dropped a mix tape earlier this year called Church Clothes. He followed this up with his album titled "Gravity" and did a number with changing my perception of what Christian hip-hop is. He was able to spit real bars without being overly preachy. he also had name-features such as Novel and Big Krit to help hold him down.

2. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music.

Killer Mike has been doing his thing for a while and while 'signed' to Grand Hustle, he still isn't going to be a major artist. The short lived change to Mike Bigga is over and Mike is back with his political bars and street savvy common sense. Mike has a good variety of music from some thuggish street tracks, to the political "Reagan" which he just dropped a video for last week.

1. Childish Gambino - Camp

I was skeptical about the album from Childish but from the opening chords of "Outside" I was drawn in to the story that he created throughout the album. I was impressed by his lyrics and ability to make songs that had topics and were precise. Many artists today tend to ramble but not C.G. . This was the most impressive release of the entire year for me and I still enjoy this album to this day.


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