International Hip Hop – The Best of 2007

Published On January 19, 2008 | By Greg | Australia, Mexico, Portugal, Somalia, Sweden, UK, Zimbabwe

When you look outside of the United States, every year is a great year for hip hop. This global culture spawns music with a deep meaning to the people that participate in it within their own countries. So, in 2007, with thousands of new hip hop albums released worldwide, we select our favorites. I’ve also asked other “experts” from around the world for their top picks.

Best of 2007  Greg / Old School G (World Hip Hop Market/Atlanta – www.worldhiphopmarket.com)
 
Promoe – Standard Bearer (Sweden) – The globally-known Looptroop MC released his third solo album in 2007 in conjunction with a tour DVD. His style has evolved and become better than ever. His lyrics are meaningful. His music flows between boom bap, electro and reggae seamlessly. And even though this album was really a “b-sides and rare tracks” album, I think it came off even better than 2006’s White Man’s Burden. 

K’naan – The Dusty Foot on the Road (Somalia/Canada) – Last year we discovered the amazingly talented K’naan and his tales of struggle from Somalia. This year, he flipped a live album. It’s a rare MC who can translate their live set onto an album (think KRS-One, The Roots) but K’naan pulls it off magnificently. Some of the new tracks are the best (“The African Way”) while Mos Def shows up on a full, expanded version of “My God”.  

Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road Restrung (Australia) – In 2006, this Australian group went gold and won a ton of awards for their album, The Hard Road. In 2007, the remixed the album with a live orchestra, creating something dope and unique. The symphony adds a sound I’ve never heard before in hip hop. They won a bunch of awards for this one too. 


Pegz – Burn City (Australia) – Pegz is an MC and producer who founded the biggest hip hop label in Australia, Obese Records. Aussie hip hop fans argue that his first two albums were better than this third effort, but I disagree. Pegz’ hard delivery, lyrical showmanship and varied production make this a great album. The hard guitar licks of “Milk Bar Star” take me back to Run-DMC while “Block to Block” reminds me a bit of M.O.P. “Ali Shuffle” is pure funk. 

Verb T and the Last Skeptik – Broken Windows (UK) – Verb T found perhaps his best fit in UK producer the Last Skeptic. This isn’t knock you over the head hip hop, it’s seep slowing into your ears hip hop. At time mellow (“All Up to You”), other times thoughtful “Heavan (Amoung the Stars)”, Verb T never hurries. Even when teamed with Sway and Kyza (“March”) the mood is subdued. The beats keep you nodding your head, not nodding off. 

Joe Buddha presents Klashnekoff – Lionheart: Tussle With the Beast (UK) – One of my favorite UK producers returns with arguably the best wordsmith in England, Klashnekoff. K-lash electrifies with “Two Guns Blazin’” and “Sayonara”. Then he spits truth over a funk infused beat on “Revolution (will not be televise don Channel U)”. “My Life” and “Terrorize The City” are two more standouts on this album chock full of goodness. 

DJ IQ – Live! From the Sofa (UK) – He was the UK DMC champion at age 17 and soon became the live DJ for MC extraordinaire Jehst. DJ IQ has been honing his production skills over the last several years, dropping tracks here and there. Now he finally releases his own album with the crème de la crème of UK hip hop rhymers. The 7 minute plus “8 Bars of Fire” brings together every name in UK hip hop putting down their best 8 bars over the “Mardi Gras” beat. (This was recently remixed and press on vinyl single.) Then the likes of Dubbledge, Verb T, Jehst, Kashmere, Braintax, Micall Parknsun, Asaviour, whew! Braintax shines on his b-boy school track “D90”. IQ has an even brighter future in front of him. 

Bob Da Rage Sense – Menos Pão, Luz e Água (Portugal) – I stumbled across this album by accident and I’m so glad I did! He takes his name from his three favorite musical influences: Bob Marley, Rage Against the Machine and Common Sense. The music is moving and, I’m told since I don’t speak Portuguese, the words are meaningful, in the conscious school of hip hop. Even without knowing what he’s saying, I can get down with Bob. 

Bocafloja – El Manual De La Otredad (Mexico) – A pioneer in Mexican hip hop, Bocafloja played at last year’s Trinity International Hip Hop Festival where I was lucky enough to see him and meet him. He’s a humble guy but rips the mic ferociously. His music is soulful, often times sample based, taking me back to a fresher time in hip hop.  


Zimbabwe Legit – House of Stone (Zimbabwe/USA) – Remember these guys who where supposed to release an album (“Brothers from the Mother”) produced by Black Sheep in 1993, but it got shelved. It finally saw the light of day in 2005 to rave reviews. In 2007, the released an album of all new material , “House of Stone”, which picks up where they left off. Apani B Fly guest stars and some of the production is updated, but it’s really their unpretentious, tell-it-as-it-is style that puts you at ease and elevates your mind at the same time. 

The best according to the rest: 

Markus (Da Puddah Store/Germany – www.puddah-store.de) 

Alibi Montana – Inspiration Guerriere (France)
2 Bal – Mapassa (France)
Lim – Delinquant (France)
Dizzee Rascal – Maths & English (UK)
Kaisa & Basstard – Das Omen (Germany)
DeinEltan – Blutbad Berlin (Germany)
MC Bogy – Willkommen In Abschaumcity (Germany) 

DJ Magee (Trinity International Hip Hop Festival/Washington, DC – www.trinityhiphop.org) 

Youssoupha – A Chaque Frere (France, 2007)
Promoe – Standard Bearer (Sweden, 2007)
Diams – Dans Ma Bulle (France, 2006)
Sam The Kid – Practica(mente) (Portugal, 2006)
Zuluboy – Masihambisane (South Africa, 2006)
Jehst – Nuke Proof Suit (UK, 2006)
Saian Supa Crew – Hold Up (France, 2005)
Afrob – Hammer (Germany, 2005) 

Drainos (The Rap Cella/Australia – www.Therapcella.com)

Top NON-US rap releases of 2007 
1. Bias B – Been There Done That (AUS)
2. Pegz – Burn City (AUS)
3. Chester P – From the Ashes (UK)
4. Urthboy – The Signal (AUS)
5. Ivens – Sounds to Expire To (AUS)
6. The Tongue – Shock & Awe (AUS)
7. Tommy Illfigga – The Unfiltered EP (AUS)
8. Klashnekoff – Lionheart (UK)
9. That’s Them – That’s Them (AUS)
10. A.D.D – The Same Ugly Business (AUS)
 
Top 10 US rap releases of 2007
1. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth
2. Sage Francis – Human the Death Dance
3. Luckyiam.PSC – Most Likely to Succeed
4. El-P – I’ll Sleep when your dead
5. Marco Polo – Port Authority
6. Pharoahe Monch – Desire
7. Mac Leathal – 11:1
18. Grayskul – Bloddy Radio
9. Evidence – The Weatherman
10. Nas – Hip Hop is Dead 

Nicky (Globalrap Yahoo! Groups/Switzerland) 

1. Balentia: Bisendi disi (Sardinia – Italy)
2. Socalled: Ghetto Blaster (Canada)
3. Alleanza Latina: La mia generazione (Sardinia – Italy)
4. SFDK: Los veteranos (Spain)
5. South Fam: S.U.D. (Italy)
6. DJ Ace: jetzt du (Switzerland)
7. P 27: Pumpin Daze (Switzerland)
8. DJ Enzo: Vuoti a perdere (Italy)
9.PassPass: Tha French Lokos (France)
10. Italianos Intocables: Italianos Intocables (Italy) 

Top 5 US
1. Now Again: Re-sounds
2. Payaso: Cruisin Oldies Part 3
3. Nabo Rawk: MountOlympus Steeze
4. Arduz: California Funk
5. Necro: Death Rap  

Hazard (Planet Urban/Australia – www.planeturban.com.au)  

1. Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road: Restrung (Australia)
2. King Farook – Land of the Horny (Australia)
3. Wax Tailor – Hope & Sorrow (France)
4. Resin Dogs – MORE (Australia)
5. Zimbabwe Legit – House of Stone (Zimbabwe/USA)
6. Scribe – Rhyme Book (NewZealand)
7. DJ Bonez – Roll Call (Australia)
8. Verb T and the Last Skeptik – Broken Windows (UK)
9. Bias B – Beemixes (Australia)
10. Young Sid – The Truth (New Zealand) 

Honorable Mentions:
– Matty Fresh & Wisdom Tooth – Breath of Fresh Air
– Mortar – Sacred Geometry
– Unkle Ho – Circus Maximus
– Various Artists – The Underground Loop Project 2007

DJ S-Dubs from The Proov (Holland – www.theproov.com)

Top 3 International
Guts – Le Bienheuruex (France)
Keynote Speakerz – Record (Holland)
The Heliocentrics – Out There (UK)

Top 3 US
Black Milk – Popular Demand
Percee P – Perseverance
Lyrics Born – Variety Shows 1 & 2

Comments

  1. ESH says:

    Yo illy dope freshness. I am from an organisation called IBMCs. We’ve been researching global hip-hop for over 10 years and will be launching an online project soon. Your website is quality and i would be happy to contribute in any way possible. I’m keen to start a dialogue and share some of the knowledge we have accumulated over the years.

    Thanks ESH

    Here’s a little top 10 (international)

    1. Funky DL ft Ty – worldwide (UK)
    2. Double Deez ft Akrobatik & Form 1 – worldwide (sweden)
    3. Spookrijders – worldwide (Netherlands)
    4. KC Da Rookee – worldwide (Germany)
    5. Shaheim ft Raphael & Loucha – worldwide (US/France)
    6. El Fudge ft Mr 45 – worldwide (US/UK)
    7. DLT ft Shabaam Sahdeeq – worldwide (New Zealand/US)
    8. Bukue One – worldwide (US/Germany)
    9. Phi Life Cypher – worldwide (UK)
    10. Dreddy Kruger – worldwide (Switzerland/US)

    i got more…

  2. Goddie Khuddu ~koodoo~ says:

    how come I aint never heard of the this group ” Zimbabwe legit ” i suggest if they really wanaa get they sh*t 2gether they gotta promote they stuff back home too….yu need the support ,lyk they say (charity begins at hom ..if yu don get recognition from yo own peeps well ??I guess they’re of the notion(a prophet is respected except in his own home)so i’m kinda confused….am i confusin yol???sorry fo that!! jus felt lyk i had to say sumthin….