🎧🏆 Our Most Notable Albums and Songs of the 2010s🎧🏆
In the past decade, Hip-Hop completed its long transition from rebellious upstart to dominant cultural force, and we were there every step of the way, singing the praises of our deserving clients. Here’s a short list of the smash hits and hidden gems that we were most proud of being a part of this decade–we hope you take them into consideration if you’re still making your decade-end lists! 😉😉
The Audible Treats Team ✊
A witty and vicious screed against materialism and luxury culture, Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci” was one of the decade’s first viral hits. With dozens of meme-worthy lines, at least one contribution to the slang dictionary (“basic”), and an effortlessly charming video (66 million views), the Gold-certified smash paved the way for a whole new category of rap music.
Gold record? Yup!
Gotten old? Nope!
Legendary figure? Yup!
Signs of stopping? Nope!
Still making signature hits after multiple decades in the rap game, E-40 hit it big with “Choices,” a track so memorable that it earned cameos from every major figure in hip-hop in its video, inspired countless remixes, found itself parodied in a used car ad, and helped 40’s beloved Golden State Warriors win three NBA titles in four years.
Thirteen years after topping the charts with their classic “Lean Back,” Fat Joe & Remy Ma delivered the New York anthem of the decade with “All The Way Up.” With insistent sirens and an indefatigable hook from French Montana and Infared, “All The Way Up” peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100, earning Grammy nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.
“How the f*ck you miss a whole hunnid shots?”
With those nine words, Young Dolph evolved from a rising independent rapper to an invincible folk hero, transforming a potentially deadly shooting in Charlotte into a superhero origin story. Since dropping “100 Shots,” Dolph has become one of the game’s most popular rappers and grown his Paper Route EMPIRE to lucrative heights.
Emerging out of the notoriously rough city of Watts, CA, 03 Greedo won massive critical acclaim with his rare ability to paint a picture with melody and lyrics. One of Greedo’s most anthemic tracks, “Never Bend” earned a remix with Lil Uzi Vert and inspired the likes of The FADER to call him a “living legend.”
What could be more 2010s than a teenager expressing nostalgia for an era he doesn’t even remember? Released when Nef was just 18, “Big Tymin'” honors the Cash Money Billionaires, flipping parts of “Still Fly” and turning-in one of the Bay Area’s defining anthems of the decade.
Few rappers cut as unique a figure as Queens-born teenager Lil Tecca, who’s bespectacled and braced visage became one of music’s most recognizable on the back of this Top 10 hit. Produced by Nick Mira, the man behind Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” and powered by a Cole Bennett-directed video, “Ransom” packs countless memorable turns-of-phrase into a brisk two minutes. And this is just the beginning…
The start of a crazily prolific decade for the veteran Vallejo rhymer, Revenue Retrievin’ was proof-positive that 40 was a rap legend like no other. A 38-track double album, Revenue Retrievin’ featured new classics like “Lightweight Jammin'” and shined a major spotlight on the rising Bay Area scene that earned popular and critical acclaim during the ’10s.
The most commercially successful of Chicago’s drill “Class of 2012,” Lil Durk first made an impression with the Signed To The Streets mixtape. The mixtape offered artful tough talk, titanic production from drill sound architect Young Chop, and the early development of Durk’s superlative melodic instincts, most notably on the anthem “Dis Ain’t What U Want,” which Pitchfork just named one of the 11 Songs That Define Chicago Drill.
Before exploding later in the year with Drip Harder, his collab album with Lil Baby, the YSL signee showcased his unique flavor of trap music on the Drip Season 3 mixtape. Moody, atmospheric, and impossibly catchy, Drip Season 3 paved the way for a renaissance in downtempo trap, and established Gunna as one of Atlanta’s, and all of rap’s, essential artists. The album’s leadoff track, “Helluva Price,” was prominently featured in Season 2 of FX’s Atlanta, and the Turbo-produced “Oh Okay” (ft. Young Thug & Lil Baby) was the direct predecessor to Gunna’s biggest hits, “Sold Out Dates” and “Drip Too Hard”
Debuting in 2015 with the gritty, pitch-black Maxo 187, Houston rapper Maxo Kream quickly developed a reputation as one of rap’s best storytellers. Packed with harrowing ruminations like “Roaches” and “Grannies,” and gripping crime tales like “Work,” Punken paints a vivid picture of the world of Maxo Kream, with emotional and sonically diverse tracks sitting side-by-side with drug-dealing bangers. Maxo delved even deeper into his past, and his turbulent relationship with his family, in his 2019 major label debut Brandon Banks.
2018 Year-End Honors for Punken:
AV Club Music’s best hip-hop albums of 2018
Noisey’s The 100 Best Albums of 2018
DJ Booth’s 50 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
FACT Mag’s 50 Best Albums Of 2018
Pitchfork’s Great Records You May Have Missed in 2018
One of the decade’s most vital independent artists, Detroit rapper/producer Black Milk made a bold statement with the title of his 2010 album–a title that turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Released after a turbulent 2009 in which Black lost his close friend Baatin and saw his manager HexMurda endure a stroke, Album of the Year was the result of dedication and perseverance, giving new context to Black’s incendiary soul samples and MPC virtuosity. Featuring many of the most talented members of the Detroit underground rap scene, including a pre-fame Danny Brown on the highlight track “Black and Brown,” Album of the Year is a product of and an ode to the cathartic healing power of rap music.