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Top 10 mixtapes of ’10 plus favorite song of the year

December 31st, 2010 by | Alternative/Indie, Before Bigs Exclusive, Hip-Hop/Rap, Pop, R&B, Rock |

Just got into Florida and 1st thing I had to do was figure out the top 10 mixtapes of 2010. I feel mixtapes are good because the artist isn’t putting it out for immediate profit but to build exposure and sometimes just to give back to fans (thank you B.o.B).

I ranked the mixtapes below by looking at the least amount of songs I deleted from the mixtape (none for most of them). Also I took into account the originality from the artist, looking for artists who can’t be defined by a specific genre and whose music stands out. Without furter ado, enjoy top 10 mixtapes of 2010.

*click links to download

10. ¡MAYDAY! – Lords of the Fly
If you haven’t heard of ¡MAYDAY! then I hope this mixtape convinces you to pay attention to this hip-hop/rock band based in Florida. “Lords of the Fly” features over 20 tracks and features from Cee Lo, David Banner and Lil Wayne (¡MAYDAY! was Weezy’s backing band on Rebirth. Favorite songs: Groundhog Day, Miles to Go, Robot Rock.

9. Rocky Business – Rocky Business Mixtape
Another alternative hip-hop band, Rocky Business brings a new urban rock style to the game. Though some of the songs are a bit raw, MC Strictly Business and Rocky Business have potential to make some hits. Favorite songs: Find Away, Army of Love, Amongst Stars.

8. Tayyib Ali – Eighteen
Tayyib Ali is young and has huge potential because he released several dope original tracks on “Eighteen”. Also being only 18-years old and from Philadelphia, he has lots of time to build his fan base and become a star. Tayyib Ali will get a record deal and be on the radio within a few years, mark my words on it. Favorite songs: I Ain’t Scared, Kid Again, Soundcheck.

7. The Dean’s List – Undeclared
My favorite new band of 2010, The Dean’s List are young 20 something’s with loads of potential. “Undeclared” features an eclectic mix of songs from hip-hop, pop, and R&B with some dope production as well that reminds me of a more pop/R&B Chiddy Bang with less sampling. Be on the lookout for their next mixtape, The Drive-In, dropping January ’11. Favorite songs: Impossible, Valley Girl (The Script sample), Last Semester.

6. OnCue – Leftovers
A 21-year old from Hartford, Connecticut, OnCue reminds me of Atmosphere with Hoodie Allen-type sampling/production. He’s got loads of potential as he is quickly carving his own niche to find mainstream success among alternative hip-hop artists. If you like “Leftovers”, download “Cuey Sings The Blues“, another dope mixtape OnCue dropped in 2010. Favorite songs: She Likes My Music (Grizzly Bear sample), You Must Be High, Story of a Lifetime.

5. Chiddy Bang – Air Swell
Finding and providing music that has similarities to Chiddy Bang is one of the small reasons why we started Only reason this mixtape is not in the top 3 is “Air Swell” only features 7 songs and isn’t as good as the Philadelphia duo’s The Preview EP. However, Chiddy Bang will become huge stars once their debut album, The Swelly Life, drops around Spring 2011. Favorite songs: Pass Out, Hey London, Breakfast.

4. Hoodie Allen – Pep Rally
Hoodie Allen has loads of potential and I only see him getting better as he continues to finish up his next project. There’s something about Hoodie’s music that attracts tons of bloggers (including myself) to continue to anticipate his next release and his popularity is only growing. After seeing him perform almost all the songs from “Pep Rally” live, trust me that you won’t want to ignore what Hoodie does next. Favorite songs: Tighten Up, Look At What We Started, Words of Wisdom.

3. Outasight – Never Say Never
This free album/mixtape is probably the most underrated free release of 2010. Outasight is like Fitz & The Tantrums but hip-hop; Outasight is basically dope production hip-hop mixed with R&B/Soul influences. Plus dope tracks featuring XV and Freddie Gibbs behind the white rapper from Yonkers, NY, only adds to the quality of “Never Say Never”. Favorite songs: She’s Leaving Home (Beatles sample), Ahh Yea, Near The End.

2. XV – Vizzy Zone
With the power of the internet, we have seen more and more dope musicians pop up in many atypical areas of the world. Add Kansas-native XV to that list of dope musicians from unusual upbringings as I can’t think of any other rappers from Kansas making the dope music that XV is putting out. “Vizzy Zone” has so many great songs, not only the several tracks where XV raps over other beats like Kid Cudi but the original material features dope lyrics, excellent production and overall catchy songs you can listen to again and again. Favorite songs: Nevermind, Gettin’ Bizzy, She Go I Go.

1. B.o.B – No Genre
B.o.B set out to prove all the haters wrong and turn the doubters of his talent into believers. He succeeded and went above and beyond in “No Genre” first putting out Beast Mode, showing his superb flow and lyricism, then putting out a mixtape which he could have easily turned into an album and made some dough off of. However Bobby Ray was nice enough to release the dopest mixtape of 2010 for free, providing music that you can’t put into a specific genre, hence “No Genre”. Favorite songs: Batman Flow, Beast Mode, Cold As Ice.

Honorable mentions:
J. Cole – Friday Night Lights
Wale – More About Nothing
k-os – The Anchorman Mixtape
Shane Eli – The Push
Moxie Black – How Did This Happen?

Any mixtapes you think we missed? Sound off on our chat box (right side of blog) or hit us up on facebook or twitter.

You thought it fucking stopped! Here’s my favorite song of 2010 that sort of epitomizes the beginning of a new year. Maybe these lyrics can help explain what I’m talking about:

Alright, already the show goes on
Alright, till the morning we dream so long
Anybody ever wonder, when they would see the sun up
Just remember when you come up
The show goes on!

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

2011 here we come.

BTB Exclusive: Rocky Business

August 30th, 2010 by | Alternative/Indie, Before Bigs Exclusive, Hip-Hop/Rap, Miscellaneous, Rock |

Above is a video of SB, the MC of the new indie-rock/rap group Rocky Business talking about the new group and how “Rocky Business sounds like music that teenagers will play in 3010” and that “Rocky Business is so anti the establishment.”

Read more to see our Q&A; with Jonny on the Rocks from Rocky Business:
How did Rocky and MC Strictly Business meet and come up with the idea of joining forces to create Rocky Business?

Jonny on the Rocks: Working as an engineer in NYC, I recorded at least 200 rappers and SB randomly ended up working there. We communicated that we were both looking to do something new and it was obvious that the scene needed something that was more authentic and energized.

We combined our projects and now we’ve added Cudoz on bass and Rex on drums.

What are some musicians that has influenced the sound of Rocky Business?

Jonny: The best of the best, Biggie, Nirvana, Outkast, Pavement, etc… We listen to a lot of dance music at parties and it’s always an influence. Our tastes are indiscriminate beyond pop music as well African music or Contemporary Classical are influences by default.

Introducing new members and their influences has been a chance to expand our sound.

What style of music and/or genre is Rocky Business?

Jonny: Our music is independent by nature and we fit into those circles, but the whole nature of what we’re doing is fusing “different” genres together. Hip Hop and rock like you’ve never heard it.

Who are some artists who you have performed with? Collaborated with? Artists your collaborating with in the future?

Jonny: We’ve been active in the NYC scene and with our collective Radical Outing, have performed alongside the best in our scene like Hoodie Allen & Ninja Sonik. We played with Wiz Khalifa, Redman and more at SXSW this year.

Recently adding Cudoz and Rex in our band has been a fruitful experience so far and we’re looking forward to their collaboration going forward.

What can we expect from Rocky Business in the future?

Jonny: We will be releasing our Debut EP “A Rebel’s Roar” on Babygrande / Frank Radio this fall. With the EP, we will be releasing a collection of 4 videos in a short film format directed by Tone & Biz ( These videos have been a huge project for us and we’re anticipating a positive response from our fans and turning some new heads.

Since we are based in Los Angeles and Tuscon, AZ, any plans to perform in SoCal or Arizona?

Jonny: We’re planing to fully tour North America and Europe, so stay tuned because we’re gonna be coming to you soon. Connect us with like-minded artists in your area so we can make this network global.

Anything else you would like to mention that I didn’t ask?

Jonny: Stay tuned for our EP; it’s 7 songs that are the best from our vaults. Add us on Twitter @rockybusiness so you can keep updated on everything we’re doing cause it’s all happening now and it’s changing the world.

Previous: Hidden Gem: Rocky Business

Hidden Gem: Rocky Business

August 8th, 2010 by | Alternative/Indie, Hidden Gem, Hip-Hop/Rap, Miscellaneous, Music Video |

I had heard and downloaded Rocky Business’ first mixtape in June but since we didn’t start the blog until July I decided to hold off on posting about them until they put out new music. I have been talking with the band within the last week and we will provide you with more news about them soon.

Rocky Business consists of MC Strictly Business and musician/vocalist/producer Jonny on the Rocks. Jonny is a Toronto native, while MC SB comes from Brooklyn. Look out for more news about this up-and-coming hip-hop/rock/indie band but for now you can find their first music video and a download link for their mixtape, entitled simply Rocky Business.

Download: Rocky Business – *Rocky Business* (Mixtape)

(By the way, love the song above!)


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