International Hip Hop – Best of 2010

Published On February 13, 2011 | By Greg | Australia, Canada, Features, Germany, Ghana, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA

By “Old School G” Greg Schick

I wrote this about a month ago but have not got around to publishing it until now. Better late than never…

For me, I guess 2010 was the international year of the producer. Only a couple of emcees were really killing me album-wise, but a slew of top shelf producers gave us their opus – and in so many different ways and sounds. I’ll begin with the emcees then…

eternia-moss-atlast-web-v6Eternia & Moss – At Last (Canada/USA) – Toronto’s Eternia has been around a while, and I first met her in 2007. Wow, what a live show! Yes, anyone who has seen her live has got to be a fan. But from that point people were wondering (I was wondering), when will E bless us with her next album? “At Last” is the aptly titled album we were waiting for, and saying “worth the wait” would be a gross understatement. Moss delivers some of the finest neck snapping beats of the day. Coupled with Eternia’s rough and real lyrics, it makes for a head nodding, eye opening listen. E lays out her life, warts and all, with touching honesty. If you need name drops to convince you, Moss is affiliated with DJ Premier and the album guest stars Reef the Lost Cauze, Termanology, Rah Digga, Rage, Joell Ortiz and Maestro Fresh Wes. Web: www.myspace.com/eternia“At Last” music video

offendum_front-coverOmar Offendum – SyrianamericanA (Syria/USA) Originally part of Wasington DC’s The N.O.M.A.D.S., Omar has been releasing music for over 6 years. His roots are Syrian, but he currently lives in California. His flows in English and Arabic are impressive, and his topics are social, political and often focused on the Middle East “(“Damascus”). He gives the respect to elders (“Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day”) and navigating America (“DC Guide”. “Hustle On”). The music production consists of big beats, soul and Arabic music samples.
Web: www.offendum.com
“Destiny” music video

lmnz-worldwide-rap-2010ftdLMNZ – Worldwide Rap (Germany) The first of this year’s super-producers, LMNZ (pronounced “elements”) is the German maestro with a taste for global flavor. He meticulously recruited 76 artists from around the world and recorded 19 tracks in 29 languages. Fans of global hip hop may recognize some names like Kashmere (UK), Urthboy (Australia), Diamonddog (Angola), Sister Fa (Senegal), The Narcicyst (Iraq) and Yarah Bravo. LMNZ is also a perfectionist on his production, making beats crispy, and the music engaging and varied – whether using electric guitar, saxophone, piano or clarinet samples. A finely crafted example of hip hop globalization.
Web: www.worldwide-rap.com
“Worldwide Intro (feat. Yarah Bravo)” video

skitzSkitz – Stiksman (UK) For the better part of two decades, Daddy Skitz has been a top go to producer for the UK hip hop scene. His signature sound of heavy bass and dancehall riddems have become favorite of top emcees in Britain and beyond. His longtime partner Rodney P is ever present on Stiksman, from the leadoff single “Struggla” plus album cuts “Left” and “Never”, this duo producers powerful music effortlessly (it seems). Skitz commands a who’s who of top UK talent including Taskforce, Mr. Ti2bs, Dynamite MC, Iron Braydz, and from across the pond: Masta Ace, Wordsworth and Kardinall Offishall. If that wasn’t enough (it was), Skitz released the second full album Restiksman, with every track remixed.
Web: www.myspace.com/daddyskitz
Skitz ft. Rodney P & Buggsy – “Struggla / Born Inna System” video

m-phazes-good-graciousM-Phases – Good Gracious (Australia) Start with ARIA award winner for Best Urban Release (think Australian Grammys). Beyond the acolades, this album is not a popular album but a real masterwork of production tied together with the crème de la crème of Oz hip hop: Bliss N Eso, Muph + Plutonic, Illy, Drapht, Pegz, Delta and more. Every track displays M-Phases’ perfect use of samples and drums, painting a consonance of varied get in your brain backdrops for the lyrical heavyweights to do their best.
Web: www.mphazes.com
“Goodbye Gravity ft. Muph & Plutonic w/Candice Monique” video

rickypitchRichy Pitch – Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch (UK/Ghana) – Richy Pitch was a staple producer on the UK hip hop scene in the late 90s, but I hadn’t heard from him really since his 2003 Green Lanes EP. Well, he apparently moved to Accra, Ghana, in 2007, set up shop and started recording with the biggest names in Ghanaian music scene! Although the participants are weighted heavily towards hip hop emcees, this album fuses hip hop with electronica, hiplife, highlife and afrobeat. Featured emcees include Wanlov, M3nsa and M.anifest.
Web: www.richypitch.com
“Black Star feat M.anifest” video

zakoZako – Su Di Me (Switzerland) – Perhaps surprisingly, Newsweek declared in 201 that Switzerland was the “Best Place to be a Rapper” (due to a combination of state support, radio play and other factors). It seems to be working out well for Zako, an Italian immigrant living in Basel. Although I don’t speak Italian, Zako’s flow is dope. But it was DJ Def Cut’s production that put me over the top. Def Cut is a world famous king of breakbeats, a b-boy icon for his Battle of the Year tracks. With Zako, Def Cut presents a marvelously layered, sample- and beat-driven album.
“Made in Italy (feat DJ Def Cut & Esa)” video

xshabtiN’toko – Ex Shanti / Future Shanti & Parada Liubezni (Slovenia) – I stumbled across N’toko when I was researching Slovenian hip hop for the World Cup Mixtape last summer. After I found out he had an album coming out, I had him send me a few Slovenian hip hop releases. First I was blown away by his exceptional English wordplay on the Japanese release of “Ex Shanti / Future Shanti”. Come to find out that this guy is the top freestyler in his country and a darn fine producer to boot! He also released “Parada Liubenzi” (“Love Parade” in English), rapped entirely in Slovenian, with the same exceptional beatmaking – reminding me of something like Roots Manuva with a live drummer.
Web: www.ntoko.si
“Zig Zig” video

folderVarious Artists – Hip Hop World – Eastside? Westside? Global Hip Hop! (Various – Global) From German label Lola’s Beat – best known for its impeccable taste in selecting danceable world music that it calls Global Beat – comes an amazing global compilation some time in the making. Initialy draw to the more well known names on the compilation (Daara J of Senegal, Speech Debelle of UK, DJ Vadim’s One Self, Emannual Jal of Sudan), the new names shine just as much. Representing more than 15 countries including Iraq (Nova Emad), Armenia (Armen Balyan) and Turkey (Makale and Dez Denizz).
Web: www.lolasworldrecords.com
Nova Emad & Arabesque – “Desert Dessert” video

supreme-teamSupreme Team – Supremier (South Korea) – South Korea may be best known for its powerful b-boys. But hip hop music has invaded the pop charts in South Korea just as it has all over the globe. In 2010, I heard a stack of Korean releases, all with a similar catchy, uptempo, funky sound. The best of the lot are Simon D and E-Sens, a.k.a. Supreme Team. The two rappers are stylish and funny, even throwing in some English phrases as they rap. This hip-pop is just fun, not focused on money or cars or objectifying women.
“Step Up” music video

Honorable Mention:
Various Artists – Afrolution Vol. 2 (Various – Africa)
Nneka – Concrete Jungle (Nigeria)
Kodigo Norte – One Love / One Shot (Spain)
Briggs – The Blacklist (Australia)
Urthboy – Spitshine (Australia)
Prago Union – Dezorient Express (Czech Republic)

Other picks from my global friends:

Marie-Agnes ‘Mab’ Beau (London / Afrolution.com)
Amkoullel – Ne Ka Mali (Mali)
Daara J – School of Life (Senegal)
Ben Sharpa – B. Sharpa (South Africa)
Fefe – Jeune a la Retraite (France)
Oxmo Puccino – Live a la Cigale (Mali/France)
Yeleen – Redemption (Burkina Faso)
Soprano – La Colombe (France/Comores)
Diams – S.O.S (France)
Sexion d’Assuat – L’Ecole des Points Vitaux (France/Africa)
Abd Al Malik – Château Rouge (France/Congo)

Nicky Schaefer – linguist and Yahoo! Global Rap group founder.

1. QUARTIER DU BON SON: HORS DU TEMPS (CH – SWITZERLAND)
2. PRAGO UNION: DEZORIENT EXPRESS (CZECH REPUBLIC)
3. AJS NIGRUTIN: STROKAVI PAZUH (SERBIA)
4. EDO MAAJKA: STIG’O CUMUR (BOSNIA/CROATIA)
5. DJ ENZO: IL GRANDE BLUFF (ITALY)
6. V.A.: VORSICHT BALKAN (EUROPE)
7. ZAKO: SU DI ME (CH – SWITZERLAND)
8. V.A.: AMOR AZTECA VOL. 3 (USA)
9. V.A.: GAZA MEETS GENEVA (CH – SWITZERLAND/PALESTINE)
10. ZORO MC: VERLORE (CH – SWITZERLAND)

The Last Skeptik (UK – producer/promoter)

Stylah – Treading Water (UK)
Jam Baxter – Rinse Out Fridays / Spack Out Mondays (UK)
Skitz – Stiksman (UK)
The Last Skeptik – Same Day Different Sh*t (UK)
Dr. Syntax – Benny Huge (UK)

DJ 4th Wurld (Atlanta / DJ)
*My list is of artists within Hip Hop culture or who influence Hip Hop culture, not just rap artists/groups.

1. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics – “Inspiration Information” (Ethiopia/UK)
2. Richy Pitch – “Ye Fre Mi Richy Picth” (UK/Ghana)
3. Tumi – “Whole Worlds” (South Africa)
4. M.I. – “M.I.2” (Nigeria)
5. Just A Band – “82” (Kenya)
6. Kweku Ananse – “Libation EP” (Ghana)
7. FOKN BOIZ – “Coz Ov Moni Soundtrack” (Ghana)
8. Asa – “Beautiful Imperfection” (Nigeria)
9. Blitz the Ambassador – “Stereotype” (Ghana)
10. Nneka – “Concrete Jungle” (Nigeria)

Anna Oravcova (Czech Republic – scholar / radio host)

Prago Union – Dezorient Express (Czech Rep)
DeFuckTo – Deja Vu (Czech Rep)
Rest & DJ Fatte – Premiéra (Czech Rep)
PHS – Epilog (Czech Rep)
Indy – KMBL (Czech Rep)

DJ Nio (Genoa, Italy – Zero Plastica/Nomadic Wax)

Awadi – Presidents of Africa (Senegal)
Ceza – Yerli Plaka (Turkey)
Fuat – Kalbum (Turkey)
Kodigo Norte – One Love / One Shot (Spain)
Fabri Fibra – ControCultura (Italy)
Readnex Poetry Squad – Day Before Sound (USA)

DJ Magee (Washington DC – Creative Director, Nomadic Wax, www.nomadicwax.com)

Shad – K-TSOl (Canada)
Ian Kamau’s three mixtapes (Canada)
Narcy’s Ahsmatic mixtape (Iraq/Canada)
Omar Ooffendum – SyrianamericanaA (Syria/USA)
Cornel West Theory – 2nd Rome (USA)
Ana Tijoux – 1977 (Chile)
DJ PlainView – Globalize (mixtape)
LMNZ – Worldwide Rap (Germany)
Awadi – Presidents d’afrique (Senegal)
Daara J Fam – School of Life (Senegal)
Abass Abass – l’analyse (France)
Baloji – Kinshasa Succersale
DJ Boo – ReCycled Beats (mixtape) (USA)
Eternia & Moss- At Last (Canada)
Fefe – Jeune A La Retraite
K-OS – Yes! (Canada)
Kokayi – Robots & Dinosaurs (USA)
Matador – Xippil Xoll
Obscur Jaffar – Unite Dees Contraires
Poetic Pilgrimage – The star women mixtape (UK)
Shokanti – Shokanti (Cape Verde)
Youssoupha – sur les chemins du Retour
Zajazza, Hired Gun, Rabbi Darkside: Skillz to Take Brazil (USA)

Drainos (Australia / Therapcella.com)

1. M-Phazes – Good Gracious (Australia)
2. The Tongue – Alternative Energy (Australia)
3. Bigfoot – Giant Steps (Australia)
4. Briggs – The Blacklist (Australia)
5. Eloquor – Charge (Australia)
6. Koolism – The ‘Umu (Australia)
7. Raven – Ravenous 20Ten (Australia)
8. Dialectrix – Audio Projectile (Australia)
9. Mantra – Power of the Spoken (Australia)
10. Skryptcha – The Numbers (Australia)

Jorgito (Germany / Global Astro Liner radio show)

WU-TANG CLAN vs. THE BEATLES – Enter The Magical Mystery Chambers (Tea Sea) (USA/UK)
BOCAFLOJA & V.A. – Quilombo De Diaspora, Colonia, Melanina Y Otras Rimas (Quilomboarte) (Mexico)
FUNKY DL – Back To Frank (Washington Classics/www.funkydl.com) (UK)
SUBSTANTIAL vs. SAMURAI CHAMPLOO – Beats, Rhymes, and Strife (Unlimited Vinyl Ink/QN5 Music) (USA/Japan)
ANITA TIJOUX – 1977 (Nacional) (Chile)
ETERNIA & MOSS – At Last (Fat Beats) (Canada)
LOGOS APILI & FREESTYLE – I Am Hip Hop (Archangel) (Greece/USA)
HOCUS POCUS – 16 Pièces (Motown France) (France)
KOOL KRYS – Perfume (Droppin’ Science!) (Canada)
KENICHIRO NISHIHARA – Life (Unprivate) (Japan)

most outstanding track:

V.A. – World Cup (Nomadic Wax) (15 MCs from 13 different countries)

Hazard (Australia / Music Director, Planet Urban, www.planeturban.com.au)

Top 10 international releases:

1. LMNZ – Worldwide Rap (Germany)
2. M-Phazes – Good Gracious (Australia)
3. Space Invadas – Soulfi (Australia)
4. Suff Daddy – The Gin Diaries
5. Briggs – The Blacklist (Australia)
6. Bliss N Eso – Running On Air (Australia)
7. Daara J Family – School of Life (Senegal)
8. Class A – Me Me Me & Him
9. Syntax – The Musical (UK)
10. Silek – Punto (Italy)

Top 10 U.S. releases:

1. Big Boi – Sir Luscious Leftfoot
2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3. Janelle Monae – ArchAndroid
4. The Roots – How I Got Over
5. Currensy – Pilot Talk
6. Das Racist – Sit Down Man
7. Aloe Blacc – Good Things
8. Ski Beatz – 24 Hour Karate School
9. Foreign Exchange – Authenticity
10. John Legend & The Roots – Wake Up!

cay taylan (Vienna / producer – http://soundcloud.com/caytaylan)
„America“ K’Naan & Chali 2Na & Mos Def
„Only Your Walkings feat. Wanlov The Kubolor and M3ensa“ Richy Pitch
„As We Enter“ NaS & Damian Marley
„Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me Feat. Mary J. Blige, Q-Tip & Alfredo Rodriguez“ Quincy Jones
„Bang Bang Bang feat. Q-Tip“ Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
„I need a Dollar“ Aloe Blacc
„Fame“ Declaime
„Louis“ Marteria
„SoLaLa“ Blumentopf
„Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long“ Erykah Badu

Esh (UK – IBMCs / IBMCs on Facebook)

1. IBMCs: worldwide remixes vol 1 (EP)
2. Diversidad – The Experience (single)
3. Rattex – Streets, Raps & US (EP)
4. LMNZ – Worldwide Rap (album)
5. Handycat – International Rap Foreplay (album)
6. MC Lazy – Jamestown (video + single)
7. Soulkast – Premier Salve (video + single)
8. ASM (A State of Mind) – Platypus Funk (album)
9. Life (Of Phi-Life Cypher) -Life Beyond Rap (album)
10. Melodiq – Straight from the Soul (album)

Comments

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