best underground hip hop

Blueprint - So Alive

So Alive is my favorite song off of Blueprint’s outstanding 2011 album Adventures In Counter Culture.  I saw him perform pretty much the whole album live last year on 4/20.  It was quite a show.  Blueprint randomly had a guitarist playing with him that must’ve been 6’6” and 300 lbs and had extremely long hippy hair, which made for an amusing hip-hop combo.  Not to mention DJ Abilities was on the scratch…some truly sick shit.  ————————————————————————— 

My Song Rating: 9.4 out of 10

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Atmosphere - Always Coming Back Home To You

When it comes to songs about home towns, Always Coming Back Home To You is hands down my favorite one. Slug has a way with words. He’s definitely one of the best hip-hop lyricists of all time.

“Mosey down the road thinkin’ bout the old. I use to roam this zone with two feet of snow. Right here, this use to be a record shop. I’ve gotten love, I’ve gotten drunk, I’ve gotten beat up in that parking lot. I’ve had my lake street pride for three decades. These alleyways, and these streetlights have seen my best days.”

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My Song Rating: 10 out of 10

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Mac Miller - Of The Soul (Remix) (ft. Posdnous & Raekwon)

I really liked the original version of Of The Soul, but it’s blatantly obvious that this remix is a hell of a lot better thanks to the Wu-Tang and De La Soul features (they absolutely kill it). Surprisingly Mac still holds his own amongst the two legends…mostly because the verse he spits is one of his all time best.

I feel Mac Miller’s biggest problem is his versatility, since a lot of his songs seem to just drone on with the same standard Mac Miller flow and subject matter, and adding solid variation to his music in any way inevitably improves his works. So when this variation comes in the form of two outstanding features, some truly great hip-hop is produced. He needs to start doing this much more often.

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My Song Rating: 9.9 out of 10

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Common - The Believer (ft. John Legend)

Wow, all of a sudden I have VERY high expectations for his new album The Dreamer/The Believer (dropping December 20). I can tell Common is definitely striving to make this a true piece of collective art…which is appropriate considering how average his last album was. I already really enjoyed Common’s first single Ghetto Dreams, but I like this one even more. I have a feeling this will be a very diverse album. Can’t wait to get it!

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My Song Rating: 9.7 out of 10

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MF DOOM - Hoe Cakes (Jake One Remix)

Jake One has had many successful colaberations.  My favrorite song he’s ever done though is this remix.  The orignal was already really great, but Jake One turned it into something truly amazing.  I’ve played this at a lot of the parties I’ve hosted.  If all of your friends are MF DOOM fans it’s an extremely effective song to set the mood.  The original version of Hoe Cakes is off of MF DOOM’s outstanding album MM.. Food, and this remix is off of the corresponding remix album MM.. Leftovers.

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My Song Rating: 9.9 out of 10

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Blame One - Days Chasing Days (ft. Aloe Blacc and Beleaf)

Days Chasing Days the kind of hip-hop I love listening to over and over again. Intelligently worded philosophical interpretations of everyday life rapped over a chill ass beat.  Honestly nothing like it.  Every summer that I listen to this song, I get epiphany driven goosebumps, due to the fact that after awhile my summer days inevitably seem to meld together physically and emotional into one continual existence. The passage of time being distinguished only by the rising and setting of the sun. This profound concept is beautifully illustrated in Days Chasing Days.

In short, this is the kind of intelligent perspective lyricism that true hip-hop is all about!

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My Song Rating: 9.6 out of 10

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