DAR Hip Hop: 7 Underrated Projects Released In The 2010s

By @TrueGodImmortal

So, the 2010s have been a rather interesting decade for hip hop, that much is for sure. There have been numerous albums released that have garnered plenty of attention and accolades from the genersl public. On the flipside, there are albums that have received love but not enough of it. Today, I wanted to look at 7 albums/projects that deserve more appreciation and credit from the masses. Let's take a look.

*Blu- Good To Be Home (2014)

-This album is a classic. Though it isn't mentioned nearly as much as Blu's debut Below The Heavens with Exile, his double disc Good To Be Home might actually be better than that album. Production wise, I would argue it hits just a little harder than Below The Heavens and has a better all around vibe as well. While Below The Heavens is a classic, and the main album people look to when discussing Blu, this is my favorite and his best work. The highlights on this album include "He-Man", which is my favorite track, "The 50Z", "The Return", and more. The guest appearances are also top notch, with Prodigy, Mitchy Slick, Evidence, Alchemist, and many others featured. This album is a classic IMO.

*Skyzoo- A Dream Deferred (2012)

-I think Skyzoo is one of the most underrated MCs of the last 15 years and I think many people slept on his 2012 project, A Dream Deferred. The Brooklyn native would have guest appearances from Freeway and Raheem Devaughn behind production from Tall Black Guy, 9th Wonder, Illmind, DJ Khalil, and Black Milk, among others. There are a number of standout tracks here from the solid "Pockets Full" to "Range Rover Anthem", and my favorite, "Jansport Strings", which all showcase the great rhyming ability of Skyzoo. A Dream Deferred is one of Skyzoo's best projects and my favorite of his this decade, but he has a ton of other joints in his catalog that are great.

*Pharoahe Monch- W.A.R. (2011)

-It was tough choosing between two Pharoahe albums for this list, but I went with my favorite of the two since both are underrated anyways. While his PTSD album is definitely a banger, I'm just partial to this one for a few reasons. There have been themes to Monch's release this decade, and the theme here worked really well. Monch is of course a premier lyricist and wordsmith, so of course, he shines bright on mostly every verse. Highlights on this album include the Phonte and Styles P assisted "Black Hand Side", the Jean Grey and Royce Da 5'9 assisted "Assassins", "Still Standing", and the profound track "The Grand Illusion". Monch delivers a great album from start to finish.

*Black Milk- No Poison, No Paradise (2013)

-I love this album. It was one of the more slept on projects of 2013, and probably the most slept on Black Milk album period. While Black Milk actually has a solid catalog for the most part overall, he has some albums that stand out more than others, with Popular Demand, Tronic, and this one being the three that stand out. He would work with Black Thought, Tone Treazure, Robert Glasper, and Dwele on this album, bringing us highlights like "Dismal", "Black Sabbath", "Codes And Cab Fare", and "Parallels", among other tracks. All in all, Black Milk delivers a solid project that deserved a little more love.

*Scarface- Deeply Rooted (2015)

-So, when we look at the work that Scarface has put out over the years, his music seems to get better with time. At least the production and focus did. His subject matter also improved and on this album, which was his 12th release, he would have an excellent supporting cast, with appearances from Nas, Rick Ross, John Legend, and so many more, alongside production mostly from long time contributor N.O. Joe. The highlights on this album "Dope Man Pushin", "God", "Do What I Do", "Voices", and "No Problem". Face is a legend and this album should have been given much more love than it received despite being a critical success and one of the best albums of 2015.

*Phonte- Charity Starts At Home (2011)

-So, in actuality, this album is one of the best albums of the decade. However, if you ask most fans which albums they rank this decade, you'll hear TPAB, MBDTF, GKMC, maybe even Take Care or 2014 FHD, but if I'm being honest, Charity Starts At Home is better than about 3 of those albums and it rarely gets mentioned. With some production from 9th Wonder for the first time since the Little Brother days, Phonte delivers a number of tracks that speak to real life, relationships, and everything that comes with it. Alongside features from Big K.R.I.T., Elzhi, and more, Phonte delivers classics like "The Life of Kings", "Dance In The Reign", "The Good Fight", "Not Here Anymore", and more. Charity Starts At Home is a near classic that needs to make every album list for this decade.

*Big K.R.I.T.- It's Better This Way (2015)

-Every single K.R.I.T. project could very well be on this list. Each and every one. However, his most recent slept on project that does not get mentioned enough is his 2015 release that sort of flew under the radar following the release of also slept on 2014 album Cadillactica. This is the project that I always see get overlooked, even by K.R.I.T. fans. The project was a free mixtape but it is more like an album in the way that it flows together. The production is amazing as always, and K.R.I.T. has some solid guest appearances from Ludacris, K-Camp, Warren G, Young Dolph, and BJ The Chicago Kid. He delivers a number of gems on this album from "Vanilla Sky" to "Got Me Thru" to "King Pt 4" to "Can't Be Stll" to the title track, which is one of my favorite K.R.I.T. tracks. All in all, this is a very underrated gem and a great listen that showcases why K.R.I.T. is one of the best today.



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