January 23rd 2012

The Best of 2011: Free Downloads of the Year

We kick off our final week of Best of 2011 coverage with our Top 10 Free Downloads of the Year.

10. Fresh Daily’s The Quiet Life

Some brilliantly procured beats with catchy hooks were more than enough to outweigh the cliché lines that pepper this promising release.

9. Ray Black’s Spring Forward EP

Great EP with some jazzy futuristic production. Ray Black brings you back to the summer time as well on this EP. He brings a few guest features from other canadian rappers as well.

8. Shad’s Besides

Last year’s album of the year winner, Shad, hasn’t slacked in 2011, despite not releasing a new album. Instead he seemed intent on making as many remixes, guest appearances and collaborations as possible. Keeping track of them all was becoming tough, luckily, Shad decided to release them all in one 26 minute release.

Download Besides

7. Trebles & Blues’ The Blue Note

Straight away, from the opening track, you know that this free album is going to be something special. Instrumental and original jazz inspired beats from Trebles & Blues. I’m really surprised we haven’t had many artists using these tracks on their own mixtapes.

6. Sol’s Dear Friends Vol 3

With the dear friends series, Sol brings a very laid back sound to the Seattle scene. Tracks like This Shit are perfect for the summer time and really get you going.

5. Modern Shark Sampler #3

This might not mean a lot of non-fans of Modern Shark or Junk Science, but here Snafu raps. That’s probably enough to warrant inclusion on this list, but it’s also littered with great tracks and collaborations from the fine sounding roster at Modern Shark.

4. Kero One’s The Catch Up

One that I nearly missed here, Kero One releases what is essentially his best of, for free.

Download The Catch Up

3. Wugazi’s 13 Chambers

A perfect blend of Wu-Tang Clan accapellas and cut up records from Fugazi, Wugazi: 13 chambers takes you back to the 90′s.

2. The Good Sin & 10.4 Rog’s Late EP

Probably one of my most listened to releases of 2011, and that’s including music I’ve actually bought. 10.4 Rog delivers some of the best and ever-evolving beats of the last twelve months that excellently compliment The Good Sin’s deep voice. The bar has definitely been raised for Sin’s upcoming album, wherein the two will, at least for a few tracks, work together again.

1. Milo’s I Wish My Brother Rob Was Here

In the nearly two years of running this site, I’ve never been sent a release that has made me stop doing whatever I was doing and really take notice. For achieving that, Milo’s debut mixtape “I Wish My Brother Rob Was Here” was always going to place high in any end of year lists. It’s filled with far too many self-aware and intelligent quotables to mention, it uses beats that most artists will stay clear of and most of all it’s the kind of original and smart lyricism that we wanted to promote when setting this site up. It’s definitely the opposite of whatever Waka Flocka is, and we love it for that reason.