It's been nearly six months since I released my last tape. Since that time, finals and summer internships have kept me from updating the site with any frequency. Although I've started posting more frequently as of late, it is this tape that marks the complete reboot of the site. In order to mark the return, I've gone back to my bread and butter with this tape, compiling a ton of classic tracks that have been in heavy rotation on my iPod/walkman for years and mixing in some newer songs from old and new faces. The result is a mixtape that flows really well and a product that I feel is one of my best tapes yet. I hope that you'll give it a listen (hit the jump for the tracklist/download link). As always, I appreciate feedback regarding my music selection and recommendations on artists that the site may be missing out on.
Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
The Notorious N.O.A.
01.) Common Market - "Re-Fresh" - This first track off of the Sabzi and RA Scion's first album was all that I needed to be hooked to the group and this was the only song I considered to leadoff the tape. The thing I love about this song, and Common Market as a whole, is the hopeful sound and intelligent lyrics that are a staple of the album.
02.) Pac Div - "Pac Div" - For no particular reason, this song by the Cali trio reminds me a lot of Souls of Mischief's classic "93 'til Infinity."
03.) Mos Def - "Hip Hop" - Favorite Mos Def track (sans Kweli). The sample could drive this song, but Mos refuses to play backseat to the production, dropping two verses that perfectly sum up the genre.
04.) Wale - "World Tour" (feat. Jazmine Sullivan) - Wale's homage to ATCQ's "Award Tour," this Cool & Dre off of Attention Deficit produced song is simply a fun listen. Other than J. Cole, Wale has to be my favorite up and coming emcee.
05.) Symmetry & Ryan Lewis - "Feel Right" - Ryan Lewis quickly becoming my favorite producer in the game today. This song provides further testament as to why that's the case.
06.) State of the Artist - "What You Asked For" (feat. Champagne Champagne) - I was largely disappointed by SOTA's sophomore effort, as the group still struggled to carve out their own identity. Still, this and a few other songs stand out for their replay value.
07.) Brainstorm - "Thank You" - The Dyme Def emcee/producer recently unleashed this lyrically hard-hitting track off his upcoming solo project, The Celestine Prophecy.
08.) Fresh Espresso - "The Lazerbeams" - You won't hear Rik Rude or P Smoov rhyming about the struggle anytime soon, but Smoov's synth-based production is some of the best around and the major reason why Glamour. was one of the best albums of 2009.
09.) Lupe Fiasco - "After All" (feat. Talib Kweli) - J. Glaze of NY's Mental Instrumentals did an amazing job mashing up Lupe's "Just Might Be OK" and Hi-Tek and Talib's "Good Mourning" over a brand new synth-based instrumental. This track comes off of Tapemaster's Inc.'s 2008 dedication to the Chicago emcee, Follow The Leader.
10.) The Freshmen - "Dreamin' California" - Of the many dedications to the Golden State, this has to be one of the best. Pay attention to this Bay Area trio. They're likely to go places in the next couple years.
11.) Brother Ali - "Self Taught" - Ali is one of the most highly respected underground emcees around, but this song in particular, off of 2004's Champion EP, really exemplifies his witty lyricism and crisp delivery.
12.) Styles P - "Nobody Believes Me" (feat. Cross, J-Hood & Sheek) - An often overlooked classic by an often overlooked emcee.
13.) Nas - "Memory Lane (Sittin' In The Park)" - Even on an album as hallowed as Illmatic, this DJ Premier-produced track stands one of the best songs on arguably the best hip hop album of all time.
14.) J.Pinder - "Go Far" (prod. Kuddie Fresh) - Kuddie Fresh provides one of the best Seattle emcees with the canvas on which to do what he does best.
15.) Freddie Gibbs - "The Ghetto" - I swear that Gibbs is channeling Tupac on this track.
16.) Paten Locke - "Break Thru" - Top notch production with combined with superb lyricism. I've been meaning to put this track on a tape for a while, but it must have slipped my mind.
17.) Nappy Roots - "Good Day" (feat. Gregg Street) - A lighthearted track that's one of the group's best.
18.) J. Cole - "Villematic" - J-Dot kills the instrumental of Kanye's "Devil in a New Dress." I'm already drooling over Cole World.
19.) Chiddy Bang - "Opposite of Adults" - It's the sample of MGMT's "Kids" that really makes this song.
20.) Kanye West - "The Glory" - A great mix of Mr. West's above-average lyricism and superb production, this is easily one of my favorite Kanye tracks.
21.) Blue Scholars - "Bayani" - The title track off Geo and Sabzi's sophomore release provides a perfect transition into the last track.
22.) OutKast - "Slump" (feat. Backbone & Cool Breeze) - One of my favorite tracks of all time and the best OutKast song sans André 3000. More than a decade after it's initial release, Aquemini still holds its place among the great albums of the genre.
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