Skip to main content

The Best Hip Hop of 2011


While 2011 will not be remembered as hip hop's greatest year, there were a number of noteworthy releases to celebrate.  These include the following:

REKS: 'R.E.K.S.' LP


Boston MC REKS proves that tenacity and talent will pay off in the end.  On this eponymous album REKS' rapid fire, intelligent flow is complemented by a stellar line up of producers including DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist and REKS' Boston buddy Statik Selektah.  Guest MCs include Freeway, L-il Fame and fellow Boston lyricist Terminology.  With such a diverse cast of contributors it would be easy for this album to become an inconsistent compilation.  However, the consistency of the album is one of its strongest points.  There is no fast forward material.  Indeed, plenty of tracks demand rewinds.  This is the album that REKS was destined to make.   


The Roots: 'Undun' LP

The words 'concept album' would have many hip hop fans running away in fear.  However, The Roots yet again provide an album as consistent as it is diverse.  This is one of The Root's most hard hitting albums to date and anyone fearing they may lose focus with their 'Jimmy Fallon commitments' can breathe a sigh of relief as this is another addition to The Roots' catalogue of classic albums.  As a side note, this album should join Dr Dre's '2001' album as a master class in how a hip hop album should be mixed.



Elzhi: 'Elmatic' LP/Mixtape

An 'Illmatic' covers album would be blasphemy in the hands of a lesser MC.  However, Detroit's Elzhi had the skills and sincerity to not only do justice to, but also put his own spin on every track he reimagined.  Many MCs would have just rapped over the original instrumentals.  However, by collaborating with the Will Sessions Band, Elzhi was able to make the project come over well in a live setting.  Listeners new to Illmatic were given a funky hip hop lesson and fans of the original were given an enjoyable trip down 'Memory Lane'.


Popular posts from this blog

About The New Beatmaker

Hi!  I'm Lee.  Welcome to my blog.  Here we talk music: news, reviews, interviews, tips, tutorials and more.  I'm also working on the upcoming podcast  Influenced  as a guest, writer and researcher alongside music aficionado Mark Williams and friends.  Watch this space! I have been a lover of music for as long as I can remember, an amateur lyricist for 25 years, a music writer for 15 years and a hobbyist musician and blogger for almost 10 years. My tastes range from jazz to house to hip hop and I love helping artists from all genres develop their sound. My music, videos, reviews and interviews have been featured in a variety of magazines and websites, including: B-Boy Tech Report Gimme That Beat Humanhuman Audio Skills Dream House Beats Where Did the Road Go Beat Tape Co-Op Push Power Promo Drum Magazine You can find my music on Bandcamp: Monkey Mind Sounds AKA LeeTNB And you can find me on Facebook: The New Beatmaker page Lee's personal page

The Theory For Our Revenge 'OBORO'

REVIEW: Japanese multimedia art duo make a great first impression with their mix of industrial, trap and operatic pop The following is a paid for review and post, via humanhuman (see below).  It is always an honour and a pleasure to receive new music to check out and review; especially  when it's as enjoyable a listening experience as this first offering from The Theory For Our Revenge is. The Theory For Our Revenge are COLD FAITH and Jhas; a Japanese music production, fashion stylist and visual art duo The Theory For Our Revenge are COLD FAITH and Jhas; a Japanese music production, fashion stylist and visual art duo. Their debut single ,'OBORO', is a slice of experimental electro-trap / operatic-art-pop. Starting with an industrial sounding chugging and churning, the track moves into frosty, haunting melodies. It's in these opening bars that the only potential hiccup occurs. Around the 0:38 and 1:12 marks there's a jagged synth whistle which i

Forthcoming 'Influenced' Podcast

NEWS:  I'm contributing to a new podcast exploring creative connections between legendary and emerging artists Good news alert! I’ve got the great honour and pleasure to be working on a forthcoming music podcast. The podcast, called ‘Influenced’, will trace the path of new artists back to those which came before and reflect on how previous generations of music influenced those which followed their lead, be it directly or indirectly.  Playlists on Spotify and Apple Music will take the listener through our musical time travel in a mixtape fashion. ‘Influenced’ is the brainchild of a great friend of mine, Mark Williams. Mark is even more of a music enthusiast than me and his personality, charisma, enthusiasm and love for music is apparent to anyone who knows him, I’m sure. Follow Mark Williams of ‘Influenced’ on Instagram here:  https://www.instagram.com/markinfluencedpodcast/ Follow Mark Williams of ‘Influenced’ on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/markin