This was the year that Nashville and hip-hop became best buddies, with more shows, more albums and more awesomeness than ever before. And if this year in hip-hop belonged to any one artist, we'd have to say Dee Goodz owned that shit — totally and completely. From his single "Bananas," which dropped the first week of January, to his debut LP Donald G, which drops this month, Goodz has been hustling nonstop all year. In addition to his own mixtape Floetic Justice II, we've seen him pop up on just about every hot tape this year — Openmic's For the Rebels, Stix Izza's Highway to Mars and Chancellor Warhol's The Silver Factory, to name a few. Dee has managed to crank out more music videos than just about anyone, played shows all over the country and made a big splash in the national blog community.
But Dee's just the tip of the Nashville hip-hop iceberg. Local rapper/producer Ducko Mcfli dropped some of the tastiest beats this town has ever seen on his King Duck album and with Molotov, his new collab with Openmic. Scene fave Starlito hit new peaks of creativity and popularity this year, while new acts like Brian Cameron, Gametime and Last of the Horsemen proved that our talent pool runs deep. Artists like Warhol, Kidsmeal and Sam & Tre pulled the genre in new and surprising directions, expanding the definition of what hip-hop is and can be, while DJ nights like Recognize at Mai and The Boom Bap at The 5 Spot kept history alive with classic beats. But next year's gonna be even better — mark our words. See our top 10 local hip-hop releases of 2011 below.
10. Ziggurat, Flossed in Space
9. Mello Rello, Paradise
8. Amerigo Gazaway, Fela Soul
7. Ducko Mcfli & Chris King, King Duck
6. Starlito, @ War w/ Myself
5. Chancellor Warhol, The Silver Factory
4. Stix Izza, Highway 2 Mars
3. Sam & Tre, Sam & Tre
2. Openmic & Ducko Mcfli, Molotov
1. Dee Goodz, Donald G