In troubling times, soul-inspired hip-hop is just what the doctor ordered. And there's plenty of pound by the soul in this week's chart, thanks to the likes of Kanye West, J Cole, and Big K.R.I.T.
10. J Cole - "Villematic"
J Cole hops atop Kanye's "Devil in A Dress" instrumental and lets loose. It's a marriage made in hip-hop heaven.
9. Black Milk – "Deadly Medley" (Feat. Elzhi and Royce da 5'9")
While Elzhi always struck me as one of the few MCs that can go pound for pound with Royce da 5'9" and come out with his head held high, Royce got the best of him here. Black Milk also took advantage of the opportunity to decimate his own beat.
8. Reks - "This Or That"
Reks emerged in 2007 with one of the hottest songs of that year and disappeared for a while. He's now back on the saddle for another ride. "This Or That" leads the charge for his new EP, which in turn leads the charge for a new album. See how that works?
7. Foreign Exchange - "Maybe She'll Dream Of Me"
Foreign Exchange consists of rapper Phonte and producer Nicolay. The duo dropped "Maybe She'll Dream Of Me" as a free mp3 to pave way for their third LP, Authenticity, due out in October.
6. Trae da Truth - "Bad Don't Seem Wrong" (Feat. Lupe Fiasco)
Chicago's own Lupe Fiasco connects with Houston's Trae da Truth for a slam dunk off the latter's mixtape, Can't Ban tha Truth, due out September 28.
5. Kanye West - "Devil In A New Dress"
Former Roc-A-Fella producer Bink laced this succinct jewel and inspired Kanye to rediscover his Late Registration-era mojo. Perfect for wine-sipping at sunset in a hammock.
4. Kool G Rap - "Sad"
Music fans typically shower their idols with blind adulation on the strength of their legacy. G Rap is one of the few who deserves praise on the strength of his consistency. Over two decades in and Giancana’s still kicking that 8-ball corner pocket rhyme.
3. Freddie Gibbs - "National Anthem"
Gibbs' "National Anthem" is as subtle as a shot to the dome.
2. Big K.R.I.T. - "If I Should Die"
Fast rising rapper Big K.R.I.T. summons the spirit of Marvin Gaye on this mixtape cut sure to renew your appreciation for soul-inspired rap.
1. Rick Ross - "B.M.F." (Feat. Styles P)
The Bawse finally inches his way to number one on the back of his monstrous single, "B.M.F." If you haven't heard the extended version, let's rectify that now.