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Top 10 New Rap Albums for December 2010

By

Barring miracles, December releases are always likely to be doomed by slow sales. Savvy artists avoid this commercially sterile period. But not everyone takes this approach, as you're about to see. In fact, you'll even find some bigwigs, like Diddy and T.I., in December's Top 10 New Rap Albums.

10. Large Professor & Neek the Exotic - 'Exotic Species'

While Nas and Akinyele were off thriving in the spotlight, another graduate of the Large Professor school of rap was still bubbling under. By some stroke of luck Neek The Exotic managed to crawl out of the periphery to lock down LP for an entire album. Neek was one of the emcees on Main Source's classic Fakin the Funk. Exotic Species, his sophomore effort, was largely produced by Large Professor.

Release Date: December 7, 2010

9. Madlib – 'Low Budget High Fi Music'

Lowbudget High-Fi Music takes a look back at Madlib's past Medicine Shows and gives us a glimpse of what to expect from the sound architect. All of his regular co-conspirators -- MED, Guilty Simpson, Strong Arm Steady -- are represented here with exclusive tracks. Dilla fans would be pleased to learn that Madlib unearths a Jaylib track that was earmarked for the never-realized sophomore album.

Release Date: January 18, 2011

8. Brand Nubian - 'Enter the Dubstep Vol. 2'

© ihiphop

A curious remix project that adds a gazillion bpms to some Brand Nubian classics. Your reaction will go from "Awesome!" to "WTF??" in just a matter of minutes.

Release Date: December 21, 2010

7. Tek - 'Smif-N-Wessun Presents Tek'

Let's see, how can Tek of Smif-N-Wessun make sure that this album is unmistakably personal? Well, of course, by crediting himself twice in one title. I don't mind the lame title, but what irks me is the redundant themes running rampant here. I doubt staunch BCC fans will find that to be an issue.

Release Date: December 7, 2010

6. Sheek Louch - 'Donnie G & Don Gorilla'

© Def Jam

Sheek was probably going for the scare factor on the cover but he's likely to scar kids instead. It's comedic as some of the themes aboard this D-Block vehicle. Just as in the LOX days, Sheek's strength has always been his ability to breathe fire with bassos profundos. Hardcore fans, proceed.

Release Date: December 14, 2010

5. Diddy-Dirty Money - 'Last Train to Paris' (Bad Boy Records)

© Bad Boy

What's rich, self-indulgent, and can't stop, won't stop dancing in music videos? Did you guess Diddy? Wrong! It's Diddy-Dirty Money. Get it right.

Release Date: December 14, 2010

4. Redman - 'Reggie'

© Def Jam

Redman (aka Funk Doc aka Pimp Nuts) hits the studio for yet another go at senior citizen rap. Reggie plays wise sage to the bevy of upstarts and weed buddies on display. He even sobers up before offering words of counsel to the POTUS on "Mic, Lights, Camera, Action." All while wearing his "I Love the 90s" t-shirt.

Release Date: December 7, 2010

3. David Banner & 9th Wonder – 'Death of a Pop Star'

What started out as a mixtape quickly evolved into a full-length project when 9th and Banner realized that they wanted to make a statement with Death of A Pop Star. Expect diatribes on manhood, racial discrimination, and the state of black music in America.

Release Date: December 21, 2010

2. Ghostface Killah - 'The Apollo Kids'

Ghostface - Apollo Kids
© Def Jam

If you don't think Ghostface is awesome, you need awesome lessons, stat. The King of Consistency unsheaths his sword for his third go-round in two years. Hey, did you know that Method Man and Ghostface once engaged in a war of fire extinguishers that nearly claimed Meth's life?

Release Date: December 21, 2010

1. T.I. - 'No Mercy'

© Grand Hustle/Atlantic

When T.I. was serving time for a federal gun charge, he got down to business and went on a songwriting binge. He ended up with so much material that he had to dump some of them on a mixtape. No Mercy chronicles the Atlanta rapper's personal turmoil and gives us a peek into the real Clifford James Harris Jr.

Release Date: December 7, 2010

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