Streets Is Talking: Top 30 Mixtapes Of 2011

12.23.11 6 years ago 78 Comments

Remember 2011’s mixtapes for several reasons: Houston invaded Harlem, a Detroit MC remade a Hip-Hop Holy Grail and a vaunted Ohio duo vowed to “elevate the game.” But remember it foremost as the year that 30 tapes dared to be different, expanding the possibilities of what a “Hip-Hop mixtape” could (and should) be.
Sure, MCs have recently been giving their tapes the same fastidious attention as major-label LPs; however, it takes more than just hustle and grind to make one’s voice heard. Rappers need to be special and stand out from the mudslide of projects that overflow the Internet on a weekly basis. Here are those individualized, precise and, often times, ground-breaking efforts that defined the year.
As for ranking them, don’t worry about it. Enjoy each and every one of them, as we did.
1. Elzhi x Will Sessions – Elmatic — A classic’s classic. (Download)
2. Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day In Hell — Let ’em burn on ice. (Download)
3. Stalley – Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music) — Along with producer Rashad Thomas, the Ohioan made the Midwestern blueprint. (Download)
4. Rittz x DJ Burn One – White Jesus — You could very well lose your religion to this shit and still smile about it the whole time. (Download)
5. Dee-1 – I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2 — Healthy food for thought in audio form. (Download)
6. Wiz Khalifa – Cabin Fever — Live free, die never. That’s the Taylor Gang way. (Download)
7. Juicy J x Lex Luger – Rubba Band Business 2“Get trippy, mane.” (Download)
8. Dom Kennedy – The Original Dom Kennedy — Often imitated but never duplicated. (Download)
9. A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$ap — Get lifted. (Download)
10. Ludacris – 1.21 Giga Watts“When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit.” (Download)
11. L.E.P. Bogus Boys x DJ Green Lantern – Now Or Neva — Going in for the kill…and then some. (Download)
12. Pac Div x Don Cannon – Mania! — Party and bullshit done so well in a West Coast way. (Download)
13. Trouble x The Empire – December 17th — The DTE beast is a free man and made his presence felt since walking out the jail doors. (Download)
14. SchoolBoy Q – Setbacks — Success even in the struggle. (Download)
15. Starlito x Don Trip – Step Brothers — Never ever take sides with anyone against the family. (Download)
16. Mac Miller – Best Day Ever — Carpe diem! (Download)
17. XV – Zero Heroes — All types of awesome by the kid from KC. (Download)
18. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Lost In Translation — Respect this ‘ol dirty bastard’s gangsta. (Download)
19. Pusha T – Fear Of God — Ezekiel 25:17. (Download)
20. Killa Kyleon x DJ Rapid Ric – Candy Plates-N-Texas Plates — The Lone Star State is still tippin’. (Download)
21. Camp Lo x Pete Rock x DJ Mark Divita x Trackstar The DJ – 80 Blocks From Tiffanys — Old school, new school need to learn though. (Download)
22. Overdoz. – Live For, Die For — Diamonds in the rough. (Download)
23. Jon Connor – Season 2 — The Flintstone kid whose career holds nothing but upside. (Download)
24. PUSH! Montana x DJ Drama – When PUSH! Comes To Shove Vol. 2 — The streets is watching. (Download)
25. Wale – The Eleven One Eleven Theory“Get geechi on ’em.” (Download)
26. DJ Burn One – The Ashtray — Po’ up, light up and press play to these country rap instrumentals. (Download)
27. Skyzoo – The Great Debater — Young rap scholars should take notes. (Download)
28. SL Jones x Don Cannon – The Number 23 — SL moved to the A, but he’s still bangin’ for Little Rock. (Download)
29. Rockwell Knuckles – You’re Fuckin’ Out, I’m Fuckin’ In“Move b*tch, get out the way.” (Download)

30. Meek Mill x DJ Drama – Dreamchasers — The MMG protege’s coming of age in a major way. (Download)

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