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100 Essential Hip-Hop Tracks for 2010

As good a snapshot of no-bullshit hip-hop in 2010 as you'll get anywhere.  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 14, 2010


Before you write a single word in the comment section, please consider how myopic it is to trash my list unless you've checked every last track on here. I don't spend hours doing round-ups every year because I believe that I'm endowed with a divine ability to deliver definitive compendiums. I do it because I listen to 50 times more new music than 95 percent of hip-hop critics, and because I know that heads who still look for raw rap will appreciate the effort.

You'll notice that more than a few of these YouYube clips have just a few thousand views - or in some cases less than one hundred. That's because I don't consider swag or promo; unlike your average music fan, I know which acts are popular because they pay top publicists to push their garbage. Love my taste or hate it, I listen in a vacuum while these other suckers worship Nicki Minaj.

I'm sure that I missed more than a few deserving songs: I can only listen to so much music; some shit I dug is nowhere to be found on YouTube; I tried not to double-up on artists too much. With that said, this is as good a snapshot of no-bullshit hip-hop in 2010 as you'll get anywhere (though I also recommend the HipHopDX Vaults). And remember: most of these tracks are off seriously dope albums (some of which are free), so if you're feeling something, support these cats so they can keep cranking. Happy Holidays you filthy animals.

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