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The Taste Test: Best Hip Hop Of The Week

As you may be aware, the Hip-hop genre has a non-stop influx of music released each week, and its very difficult to determine what’s worth your precious time. To help you out, The Taste Test is a new series here at TST where our team of experts find the best material released each week in a variety of categories. Our criteria is simple: the music has to be good and/or memorable.

Best Album: Big K.R.I.T. – Live From The Underground (purchase on iTunes)

After releasing 3 critically acclaimed mixtapes, Mississippi artist Big K.R.I.T. delivers his major label debut album Live From The Underground on Def Jam Records. K.R.I.T. continues to progress the Southern Hip Hop sound by acknowledging its roots and applying his own experiences to the music. Featuring a who’s who of Southern stars such as Bun B, Ludacris, 8 Ball & MJG, Devin The Dude and even a rare appearance by the legendary B.B. King, Live From The Underground is the proverbial passing of the “third coast” torch. -Mark Noisiri

Honorable Mention: Curren$y – The Stoned Immaculate (purchase on iTunes)

New Orleans rapper Curren$y is another artist who has released a massive amount of music for the past few years, and now he attempts to reach a bigger audience with his Warner Bros. debut album The Stoned Immaculate. Blending a cool demeanor with lyrical precision, Curren$y manages to make his music at its most accessible while staying true to the style that has formed his loyal fan base. -Mark Noisiri

Best Single: Chuuwee ft. Versis – “La Di Da Di” (listen)

The golden era of Hip Hop, the unforgettable 90′s will always haunt the new generation with its uncountable classics and never-ending influence on the youth. Amalgam Digital’s artist Chuuwee is attempting to re-create the sounds of the past with some modern-day flavor for his debut album Wildstyle. The latest leak, ”La Di Da Di” obviously pays homage to Slick Rick’s classic and the young rapper in his zone over some soothing ethereal production. Fellow Californian emcee Versis brings more potent wordplay and cleverness to the table, giving us cocaine in the form of a mp3. Chuuwee said he has two more mixtapes coming before Wildstyle, so be sure to look forward to those. -Travis Phillips

Honorable Mention: Boldy James – “For The Birds” (listen)

With the ink still wet on his recently signed deal with Decon, vivid Detroit rhyme spitter Bodly James hits fans with some brand new heat. Enlisting production from Cool Kid and blood related cousin Chuck Inglish, Boldy delivers a drug references filled, trunk thumping banger. -Travis Phillips

Best Production: Big K.R.I.T. – Live From The Underground (produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

Self-producing an album is always a challenge since it requires a strong effort in both making beats and writing rhymes. Big K.R.I.T. displays some of the best production in his catalog with Live From The Underground, which blends blues and funk with heavy drums. There is a strong sense of soul all throughout the album, leaving little room for the mechanized feel of modern rap. -Mark Noisiri

Honorable Mention: Evil Needle – Equilibrium (produced by Evil Needle)

This week, French producer Evil Needle dropped his latest project Equilibrium; a collection of brilliantly arranged instrumentals that take listeners on a trip out of this world while simultaneously breaking their necks. -Mark Noisiri

Best Feature: Nelly Furtado ft. Nas – “Something” (listen)

Nelly Furtado has her sights on the charts with her genre bending, comeback single “Something.” The Canadian songbird has been away for quite sometime but obviously hasn’t lost the magical touch that has attracted the masses to her in the past. The most surprising aspect of the song is the feature from Queens, NY’s most famous lyricist, Nasty Nas. He brings along the infamous Nasir charm, and delivers a noteworthy verse. With Nas Life Is Good and Nelly’s forthcoming The Spirit Indestructible albums coming this year, these two veterans could both be returning to stardom. -Travis Phillips

Honorable Mention: Usher ft. ASAP Rocky – “Hot Thing” (listen)

Usher has been known to make music that erupts passion in the bedrooms, but his latest single “Hot Thing”s is less for the ladies and more for the club enthusiasts of the world. With some banging and aggressive production by The Neptunes, you can hear Usher outside of his usual comfort zone. Maybe that’s what makes this ASAP Rocky feature so much more alluring. His pretty boy swag drips all over this one, and actually fits perfectly on this song as if it was his own. -Travis Phillips

Best Artwork: Del The Funky Homosapien & Parallel Thought – Attractive Sin

Simply put, this is a nicely drawn and fitting piece of the woman of the first sin for the Hieroglyphics member and Gorillaz-featured artist’s latest album. -Mark Noisiri

Honorable Mention: Nike Nando – “Sammy Davis Jr. (Got A DeLorean Too)”

As a freestyle  over ScHoolboy Q’s “Figg Get The Money”, heads were not expecting any single cover art for this track by Washington D.C.’s Nike Nando until this picture was found attached to the mp3. As random as this is, it’s a well-taken photograph that could make for a great actual cover. -Mark Noisiri

Best Video: Killer Mike ft. Bun B, T.I. & El-P – “Big Beast” (watch)

Killer Mike has blessed our ears with his amazing album R.A.P Music, but by tapping into his inner “Killer”, Mike gives our eyes a thrilling short film for his incredible single “Big Beast”. For just 9-minutes of your day, “Big Beast” delivers naked zombie women, high-speed car chases, naked zombie women, gore, naked zombie women, and did I mention flesh-eating, possibly bath salt-smoking, oddly sexually appealing naked zombie women? It’s a step in a more cinematic style music video, utilizing minimal acting, impressive effects, and a twisted story, making it an enthralling experience that easily deserves to be crowned this weeks best. -Travis Phillips

Honorable Mention: Danny Brown – “Grown Up” (watch)

Fill the body of a small, innocent child with the spirit of Dennis The Menace, the most unorthodox 90′s punk rock fashion sense and the lyrics to Danny Brown’s “Grown Up” and you’ll have the ingredients for this Greg Brunkalla directed video. “Grown Up” follows a miniature Danny Brown who embodies everything you’d perceived the Detroit rapper would be during his younger days – adventurous, unique, and bad as all hell. The best part is the revelation of how Danny got his mysterious chipped tooth. Even though this is Danny’s video, his younger version completely steals the show making his appearance at the end seem more like a cameo than anything else. Still a great video from one of the most promising artist in the game.  -Travis Phillips

Check out The Taste Test every Friday here at The Silver Tongue.

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