Battle For The Throne Comes Down to the 4th Quarter
Man, what a year so far. Somebody lit a match underneath hip hops ass in 2011. We’ve had major releases from some big names in the game and some of the newer faces, and we’re only a third of the way through. Hip hop isn’t Lebron James though. Three quarters isn’t enough. It’s who comes out on top at the end of this highly competitive fourth quarter that we’ll see who REALLY has the throne right now. Let’s break this bitch down to the camps battling for the 2011 throne:
I know I’m not alone in saying the fact that WTT didn’t leak is some impressive shit. It may have been the first time in a decade that I was completely unaware of what an album was going to sound like until the second it came out. They introduced us to “sophisticated ignorance” in that “Otis” video, and overall gave us a great album. They didn’t think that was enough though and decided to give us a “Watch the Throne tour” also. With their album and J. Cole’s being released end of summer and beginning of fourth quarter respectively, the tour is sure to keep Roc Nation buzzing to the end of the year.
Then you have the explosion of the J. Cole phenomenon. Us Cole World fans have been around from the beginning, but it’s safe to say he had a huge popularity boost and much bigger following this year alone. In a time where kids love songs that are one dimensional, or as I call it “Weed Rap,” it’s refreshing to see the fact that they are appreciating lyricism again. For example, I DJ’d a sweet sixteen last night and they’re requesting songs like “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Lost Ones.” The fuck? At a party? That’s how you know you’ve made an impact. Cole World.
The head honcho was back at it this year after a year hiatus due to some time in the pen. The Carter IV proved to be a good album and went on to sell extremely well too. Rumors of Birdman buying 100,000 copies or not, that was some impressive shit. With big hits like “6’7” and “She Will,” Weezy did his part for Young Money’s quest for the throne. Not to mention him AND Drake were features on probably the biggest song of the year, “I’m On One.” Good to have on the resume.
Then you got Drizzy Drake Rogers. It’s quite ironic that his album is being released in the 4th quarter this year though. The NBA 2K12 commercial where he claims the Miami Heat of today is the best team ever is suspect as all hell. They suck in the 4th quarter and haven’t even won a title of any sort. Let’s hope Drake is the opposite. The way Drake has strategically been spacing out his songs to keep his buzz strong and spread out is genius. From “Marvin’s Room” to “The Real Her” I’ve liked what I’ve heard so far. I think “Take Care” will be a great album and be a strong supporting role in Young Money’s quest for the throne. These two guys hold most of the weight on their shoulders due to the quiet year Nicki has had with new solo projects.
Maybach Music Group
Say it with me, M-M-M-M-Maybach music! Gotta love a movement that makes music that makes you just say “UNHHH!” Rick Ross is the boss in more ways than one now, overseeing this talented label. He was everywhere in 2011. From appearances on “I’m On One” and “John.” To newer joints like “I’m a Boss” and “Free Spirit.” The beauty of it all is the fact that he puts on his label, and in less than a year they’re on top of the game. I remember back in January when “Pandemonium” came out, Wale tweeted something along the lines of this song is going to be how Maybach’s year will go. Good prediction.
Speaking of Wale, he’s got an album coming out in a week. “Ambition” will prove to be his best work in my opinion. Ross gives him the freedom to make the music he wants to make and releases them instantly. Think of all the freestyles Wale released to us this year. Seems like every week we got something new. Impressive. Mix that with a great mixtape in “Eleven One Eleven” and you’ve got a bunch of hungry fans anticipating November 1st.
Oh, Rick Ross has an album coming out the end of this year too? “God Forgives…I Don’t” will mean that all of my favorite artists will have put out an album in one year. That shit cray. He released his first two singles and reiterated the fact that “I Love My Bitches” and “You the Boss.” His album is looking to be the final major release of all the biggest names in hip hop this year. Luckily God did forgive Ricky Rozay and didn’t take him away from us with all the medical issues he had last week. Scary. Two full length albums from Maybach’s two biggest names makes them a strong contender for the throne.
PS. Meek Mill’s “I’m A Boss” isn’t doing too bad right now either.
I’m going to give Shady 2.0 an honorable mention simply because I believe 2012 will be their year. Apart from the BME EP and the cypher at the BET awards, it’s been a quiet year. I am most certainly highly anticipating Yelawolf’s debut album dropping November 25th, but it’s asking a bit much for him to carry the whole weight of Shady Records on his shoulders to contend for the throne this year. Especially with Slaughterhouse’s project not due till next year. We’ll call this the calm before the storm.
Those are my top three contenders. All have the opportunity to reign supreme in this hip hop thing for the year 2011. Who will be Jordan in Game 6? All I know is I’m excited for all of these new project coming out. Who do you guys think will end up being on top?
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