Submitted by The Runaway aka Jon Corbin (Current Album: A Brief Word - Prophetic Poetic Productions)
1. Relic It's All Relative
A self-produced hip-hop record from my man Relic in Brampton, Ontario. This one has been several years in the making and has been creating quite a buzz online. So few hip-hop records can offer dope beats and rhymes the whole way through. Here, both are outstanding.
2. Shad The Old Prince
The sophmore record from one of my favourite emcees. A brilliant combination of playful rhymes, incredible lyricism and honest inspiration. Really, only one man could do it like he does. Highly enjoyable.
3. Theory Hazit Extra Credit
There is just so much bad music out there, sometimes it's hard for a head to believe that hip-hop still exists in its pure form. This record made lifted my spirits in a down time. The beats on this record are phenomenal.
4. Dert Floyd The Westside of The Moon
This is a free album that can be found online. Dert (producer of Tunnel Rat fame) decided to take a crack at sampling Pink Floyd. Mixed with some inspiration from the movie 'The Squid and the Whale', this record is a statement to me of what real art is about. Dert has got me fantasizing about making albums for free, for art's sake and the benefit of the fans. He's also got me dreaming about rocking a Dert beat someday.
5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings 100 Days, 100 Nights
Phooey to the media who over-emphasize youth and devalue the older woman. Sharon Jones has got fire in her voice and it sounds so great over the jazz/soul sound. The record sounds like it's straight out of the '60s but it was recorded this year. I am dying to figure out how they did this. The sound is exquisite.
Honourable mention: Othello Alive at the Assembly Line
If I had made a record this year (oh wait, I did, A Brief Word) I would have wanted to make this one. Half beats, half band, incredibly smooth sound. Great guest appearances from Propaganda, Surreal and Vursatyl. As well, there is a real melodic quality to this record not often heard in hip-hop. The label Hip-Hop Is Music is certainly making things happen.