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The Best of What’s Left in 2011

We’re about three weeks late with this list as fourth quarter projects from The Away Team, Murs & Ski Beatz, and Exile already dropped this month. However, what you’ll find below is 15 albums (three dropping on Tuesday) that may get my money before the years out. Check out the list and let us know which albums you are for sure copping and which ones one get a dime of your money.

Reef The Lost Cauze & Snowgoons: Your Favorite MC

Release Date: 10/25
Philadelphia emcee and Army Of The Pharaohs member, Reef The Lost Cauze is following up his hard hitting 2010 release Fight Music with a collaborative project with Snowgoons. The German production duo’s aggressive production along with Reef’s smack you in your face rhymes is sure to please fans of hardcore rap. Features include Jus Allah, Sicknature, Outerspace, MC Esoteric, Wise Intelligent & Slaine among others. Should be dope.

Pre-order:  iTunes or UGHH

Jedi Mind Tricks: Violence Begets Violence

Release Date: 10/25
Jedi Mind Tricks is releasing their seventh studio album and first without Stoupe handling the majority of the production. The album is promised to have that same JMT sound and content, but with a “fresh take” on their formula. The albums features Demoz, Blacastan, Chip Fu, Young Zee, Pacewon and production from C-Lance, Nero, Hypnotist Beats, Scott Stallone and more.

Pre-order: iTunes or  UGHH

Statik Selektah: Population Control [read review]

Release Date: 10/25
Statik Selektah has mastered the art of the producer album. His three previous albums have been cohesive,  flawlessly sequenced, featured great production, and top notch guest.  On his 4th full length Statik has enlisted a good mix of up and coming emcee’s (Big K.R.I.T., Mac Miller, Nitty Scott, MC, XV, Smoke DZA) and his frequent O.G. collaborators (Bun B, Strong Arm Steady, Reks). The single “Live Let Live” is available on iTunes now.

Pre-order: iTunes or UGHH

Black Milk & Danny BrownBlack & Brown

Release Date: 11/1
The anticipation for Black Milk and Danny Brown’s collaborative EP, has been deafening since Black announced the project’s existence over the summer [read interview]. The ten track project will no doubt be filled with Blacks off-kilter drums, heavy bass, a mix of soul, and synths paired with Danny Brown’s high pitched vocals, rewind worthy punch lines, and metaphors. “Zap” proves the EP has the potential to be one this year’s best.

Pre-order: Black Milk Biz or UGHH

Rapper Big Pooh: Dirty Pretty Things

Release Date: 11/1
Rapper Big Pooh is finally releasing his official sophomore disc, Dirty Pretty Things after a two/three year delay and several side projects in-between. The album features a assortment of beat makers from Nottz, DJ Khalil, Mo Heat, Pooh, and Family Biz Ent.  The featured guest include Choklate, Torae, Kobe, Joe Scudda, Carlitta Durand and others. The first two singles [“Medicine Man” & “They Say”]  show Pooh’s ready to make his mark as a solo artist .

Pre-order: iTunes or UGHH

Torae: For The Record

Release Date: 11/1
After releasing Daily Conversation in 2008, Double Barrel in 2009, and the 2011 EP, Heart Failure; Brooklyn emcee Torae is ready to release his proper debut album, For The Record. The album is 15 tracks of Torae going for dolo over production from a who’s who’s of the underground elite (9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Large Professor, !llmind, DJ Premeir, Eric G, and others). The first three singles (“For The Record,” “The Raw,” and “Do The Math”) have been promising and has upped the ante on the album’s expections.

Pre-order:  iTunes or UGHH

Pusha T: Fear Of God Part 2: Let Us Pray

Release Date: 11/8
Many fans were excited when the younger Thornton brother announced his signing to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music Imprint. Then came Pusha first solo mixtape (Fear of God) that received a warm reception. Before he releases his official solo album on Def Jam next year he’s going to release a slightly reworked version of Fear of God with guest appearances from Kanye, 50 Cent, Tyler, The Creator, and Rick Ross. The only confirmed production credits come from Pharrell and Nottz (who produced the bangin “Alone In Vegas”). This should hold over thirsty fans until the proper joint drops.

Pre-order:  Amazon or UGHH

G-Side: Island

Release Date: 11/11
The Huntsville, Alabama duo is set to release a quick follow up to their critically acclaimed album, The One…Cohesive. Not many details on the album other than it’ll be released through their Bandcamp, but just knowing the high quality of their previous release earns them a spot on the list. We’ll follow up with pre-order/tracklist information as soon as it’s available.


Yelawolf: Radioactive

Release Date: 11/21
Yelawolf’s highly anticipated Shady debut album has suffered two push backs, but appears to have a firm date of November 21st.  Rumored guest and producers include Em, Gangsta Boo, Lil’ Jon, Royce Da 5’9″, Jim Jonsin, and Chuck Inglish.  There isn’t much solid information on the album, but I’m sure we’ll see more as the release date nears.  It appears The Source’s Maurice G. Garland gave the album 4.5 mics so the hype/anticipation for the album has gone up a few notches.

Action Bronson & Statik Selektah: Well Done

Release Date: 11/22
Queens emcee Action Bronson is about a month away from releasing his second full length album this year with Well Done. The collaborative project will feature Statik Selektah’s boom bap production and vocals/verses from Lil’ Fame, Nina Sky, Meyhem Lauren, Maffew Ragazino, and AG Da. The first single (“Cocoa Butter”) should have everyone hype for this release.

Pre-order:  iTunes or UGHH

Mobb Deep: Black Cocaine EP

Release Date: 11/25
As a long time Mobb Deep fan I’m interested in hearing what they have to offer in 2011.  . The last time they dropped an album (Blood Money) it was a G-Unit mess. Since 2006 P’s dropped three solo albums and completed a three year bid for a gun charge; during the same time span Havoc has dropped two albums and added additional production credits to his résumé. Will the chemistry be there? P’s been hit or miss with his verses/material since he returned home IMO. Does one of my favorite groups still have it? I’m waiting to find out.

Pre-order:  UGHH

The Roots: UNDUN

Release Date: 12/6
The Roots crew will drop their 13th album at the beginning of December. The concept album will tell the story of Redford Stephens and the ups and downs of his short life. The first offering from the album “Make My” (featuring Big K.R.I.T.) dropped last week to great reviews.  OKP’s Eddie STATS had the pleasure of attending the listening session and it appears it’s another stellar release from the 5th Dynasty.  The only confirmed guest for the album is P.O.R.N., Dice Raw, and maybe Phonte.  December 6 can’t come quick enough.

yU: The Earn

Release Date: 12/13  The Low Budget and Diamond District member is gearing up for the release of his sophomore disc, The Earn on Mello Music Group. The Earn is a quick follow up to his critically acclaimed album, Before Taxes released last year. Other than a solid release date there isn’t much information regarding the album.  Despite the lack of information I can safely assume the album will be knocking beats, witty word play, and jewel filled rhymes.


Young Jeezy: Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition

Release Date: 12/20
I’m probably the only person on the KN team remotely interested in the Snowman’s senior disc. The album has had numerous release dates, push backs, underwhelming singles ( “Shake Life” and “Lose My Mind” ) , and jokes from his label mate about the album’s delay. The album finally has a solid release date.  I’m going to assume Def Jam feels comfortable releasing the album after Jeezy’s latest singles, “F.A.M.E.” featuring T.I. (prod. By Big K.R.I.T.) and “.38” have been well received.  Or is it just Def Jam throwing an album out at the end of the calender year as usual (think Ghostface)?  Who knows.

Common: The Dreamer, The Believer

Release Date: 12/2011
Common’s ninth studio album finds him returning to his roots of sorts as NO I.D. handles sole production duties on the album. Common’s Warner Bros. debut album features the lead single “Ghetto Dreams” (featuring Nas) and “Blue Sky,” with both receiving rave reviews on the net. If the rest of the album sounds like the first two singles I think fans will forgive Lonnie for that bump in the road, which was Universal Mind Control“Ghetto Dreams” and “Blue Sky” both on iTunes now.

Pre-order:  UGHH

Other notable albums:

Rest of October

Big Bad 40 (40 Glocc) – New World Agenda
Freestyle Fellowship – The Promise
Marq Spekt & Kno (Cunninlynguists) – Machete Vision
Ro Spit – The Glass Ceiling Project

Cappadonna – The Pilgrimage
Celph Titled & Buckwild – Nineteen Ninety More
Childish Gambino – Camp
Donny Goines – Success Served Cold
Doomtree – No Kings
Drake – Take Care
El Da Sensei – The Nu World Remix EP
Eligh & Amp Live – Therapy At 3
Has-Lo – Conversation B
Idle Warship – Habits Of the Heart
Kidz In the Hall – Occasion
M.O.P. & Snowgoons – Sparta
Mac Miller – Blue Slide Park
Maino – The Day After Tomorrow
Medaphoar (aka MED) – Classic
Dom Pachino – The Last Armageddon
Quelle Chris – Shotgun & Sleek Rifle
Tech N9ne – Welcome To Strangeland
Wale – Ambition

Tha Joker – The Phenom
Masspike Miles – Say Hello To Forever
Rick Ross – God Forgives, I Don’t
Roc C – Stoned Genius
Tonedeff & Kno – Chico & The Man

No Date
Oddisee – People Hear What They See

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