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The 2011 Black Awards

The 2011 Black Awards

  • Here we are, the beginning of a New Year, with all sort of craziness on the horizon. With that said it’s always a good idea to take a look back at the previous and see where we have been…and where we are going. With that said, I bring to you the 3rd annual “Black Awards”

  • Album of the Year (Nationwide)- The Roots “Undun”

I feel like it has taken the entire career of the legendary band to make this album. Featuring some of Black Thought’s most potent bars yet, ethereal production, some up and coming stars guest appearing and a fresh visual concepts, Undun is the perfect album hip hop of 2011.

Honorable Mentions: Murs- “Love and Rockets Vol. 1”, Kanye and Jay-z “Watch The Throne”, Childish Gambino “Camp” Saigon- “Greatest Story Ever Told”

  • Albums of The Year (Arizona)- Span Phly- Nothing Last Forever
Span Phly’s 5th effort features some of his best production yet as well as potent bars. The overall tone of the album sounds like a Caribbean cruise with all the works, which perfectly matches Span Phly smooth yet powerful rhyme style.

Isaiah Toothtaker- Illuminati Thug Mafia
With one of the most creative hip hop albums in a long time with powerful visuals to match, Toothtaker leads the charge in avant garde hip hop with eclectic rhyme schemes and gut punching lyrics on top of space out production and hard beats.  

Savant “Crash Course Series”
Not exactly an album per-say but rather a song series featuring amazing production from around the world and guest appearances from some of the biggest names in Arizona Hip Hop as well as across the nation.

Honorable Mentions: Natives are Restless “Humanists”, Mouse Powell “Where it’s Cloudy”

  • Artist Of The Year- Drake

A Lot of cats aren’t going to understand this choice, but hear me out. Drake has had the most consistent year: He was on one of the biggest songs(Grammy Nominated) of the year with “I’m On One” as well as countless features, his leaked tracks “Dreams Money Can Buy” and “Marvin’s Room” did better numbers than alot of rapper’s albums, plus the latter was remixed by every R&B artist that still exists. His album is a top selling album even outselling the kings, Jay-z and Kanye and is only surpassed by his “mentor” Lil Wayne. The facts don’t lie and while most of his music is designed to get in touch with women’s feelings, Drake can go in every once in awhile…listen to his verse on “Lord Knows”.

Honorable Mentions: Rick Ross, Jay-Z

  • Artist Of the Year (Arizona)- Random aka MegaRan

After quitting his job as a teacher to go full time rapper, Random has been on a roll. Releasing the very well received “Black Materia” Project with Lost Perception, Megaran took his talents and his team to The UK then later in the year to Japan. Random joined the Arizona Supergroup “Writer’s Guild” mid-year and had a major look in the scene as a result. Random just recently dropped “The Memorandum”, a collab album with long time associate Mr. Miranda.

Honorable Mentions: Isaiah Toothtaker, Badio, Mav of Sol Camp, Trap

  • Lyricist Of The Year (Nationwide): Kendrick Lamar

His Release Section 80. was able to bring light to his revolutionary-esqe content while maintaining his West Coast heritage. His rhyme scheme on “Rigamortis” proves that he can go as complicated as he wants to lyrically, while “Hiii Power” showed off a more straight forward approach. Kendrick Lamar is currently the most versatile lyricist in hip hop right now.

Lyricist Of The Year (Arizona): RoQy Tyraid

His track “The Culture is Back” solidified what those in know already knew…that RoQy is a beast. his sophisticated rhyme patterns with layered content put him on par with a Royce Da 5’9, except Tyraid has more focus with pinpoint subject matter and a tenacity that hasn’t been seen in years.

Honorable Mention: Savant

  • Producers Of the Year (Nationwide): Just Blaze

With his epic soundscape of Saigon’s “Greatest Story..”, we all thought that it was going to be a big year for Just Blaze, who already was coming off a great 2010. However he only produced a handful of tracks, mac miller, and Joell Ortiz being some of the blessed ones. Fortunately Just Blaze hooked up with Rick Ross, the king of beat selection. The result was a pair of beats that surpassed pretty much everything else in 2011. The fire posse cut “Self Made” and the Epic Choir assisted “Lord Knows” featured on Drake’s album. Just Blaze proved that it quality over quantity every time.

No offense to Big Sean but it was No ID’s amazing production that helped carry that album to the top. Not Satisfied with those results, No ID laced Common’s entire album to fantastic results. While doing that he also threw some hits to rhianna, J.cole, and the dynamic duo of Jay-z and Kanye West. It’s safe to say that he had a pretty big year.

Producer of the Year (Arizona): Lost Perception
Lost Perception of the Council Productions single handely changed the face of 8-bit/nerdcore hip hop with his amazing effort “Black Materia, a collaboration with the Nerdcore legend Random. By finding the perfect blend of nostalgia and the modern sound of hip hop today, LP created a soundscape for Random that reached epic proportions. Couple that with the rave reviews from critics, the fantastic fan reception and press from some of the electronic entertainment industry’s  biggest magazines and websites and you have a beautiful thing.

honorable mentions: Span Phly, 21 the Producer, Lifted of the New FO’s, Habeaus Corpus

  • Newcomer Of the Year: Frank Ocean

This dude went from a mixtape to guest appearing on one of the biggest hip hop albums of all time in the span of a few months. He easily has one of the most anticipated releases of 2012 and the ladies love him. Frank Ocean is that dude right now.

honorable mention: Tyler the Creator

  • Video of the Year: Tyler the Creator- Yonkers

The simplest video are always the best, and the video for Tyler the Creator’s “Yonkers” is no exception.Acting as the the perfect introduction to his sick and twisted style, the video features a single shot of the young emcee as he plays with roaches, vomits, and hangs himself. The creativity oozes heavy in this effort and that’s what i appreciate the most.
  • Video of the Year (Arizona): Cutthroat Logic “We Own The Night”

Featuring a dias de los muertos theme, Firedancers, breakdancers, fantastic camera work and editing and a quality that hadn’t been seen yet by Arizona Hip Hop, Cuttthroat Logic’s “We own the Night” set the bar for Arizona Hip Hop in 2011.

  • Song of the Year: Jay-Z and Kanye West- Otis

While not the album of the year, Watch the Throne does have a few gems on there. While “Niggas in Paris” featured a new sound and a infectious hook, it was the soulful Otis Redding “featured” “Otis. Featuring production that brought us back to Yeezy’s “College Dropout” days, brash, but warranted claims from Jiggaman (“I Invented Swag..”) and outrageous, yet entertaining declarations from Kanye (I made jesus walks, i never going to hell), “Otis” is the opus of Watch The Throne, and proof that these two men can claim the throne.

Honorable mentions: Eminem and Royce Da 5’9 “Fastlane”, Kendrick Lamar “Hiii Power” Childish Gambino “Not Going Back”  Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne “I’m On One”
  • Songs of the Year (Arizona) Will Be Revealed at a Later Time ;) 

  • Hip Hop Story of the year: Death of Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg is the number one hook man in hip hop, period. His runs includes some of the greatest hip hop songs of all time and he has work with pretty much everyone that has matter in hip hop. His death came from nowehre and sent shockwaves throughout the entire hip hop community. there will never be another voice like his and he will surely be missed. R.I.P. Nate Dogg

Honorable Mentions: Death of Heavy D/Sylivia Robinson,/Gil Scott/Slim Dunkin R.I.P
  • Story of the Year: Death of Osama Bin Laden

The alleged mastermind behind the single most horrific incident in American History was taken down this year by a navy seal team in Pakistan. As a result, Al Qaida has slowly been dissolving and all is right in the world….wait, what….oh. Oh well, Team America, fuck yeah.

Honorable Mentions: The Tucson Shootings, Occupy Wall Street Movement