By Hillary Crosley, with reporting by Rahman Dukes, Sway Calloway, Shaheem Reid, Steven Roberts and Paul Cantor
This year, RapFix not only enjoyed our Top Mixtapes, hosted and mixed by the Top DJs — and maybe featuring our Fire Starter — we also relished the underground lyrics that are often too brash for the radio. Instead these MCs are relegated to the streets, which is where we found our Top Mixtape MCs of the Year.
Check out MTVNews.com for the official list as well as the video at the top of this post. Below, we present a round up of what each rapper was thinking when he crafted his standout work this year. Reminisce with us.
Vado on working with Cam’Ron and encouraging the Diplomats reunion:
I was one of the people that influenced him on the Dipset reunion. I told Cam, ‘Let’s take over. Yeah my buzz is crazy and yeah we can do this on our own, but at the same time, we want an empire. People love movements and people empires. Let’s build that.’ I say ‘Ya’ll already capable of doing what ya’ll do, making hits and just going crazy with the trends and everything. So you bring a new member to the table, which does the same, that smell like a takeover to me. Don’t it?’
Wiz Khalifa on how Kush & OJ became a hit:
“Just staying in the studio, always working, always putting out mixtapes, material for people to listen to, capitalizing off of whatever I do,” Wiz said. “If something does well, you got to keep going after that. You can’t get comfortable after that and think that’s it. So just constantly working and reinventing myself, making smart moves — and having great fans.”
Fabolous on Funeral Service: There Is No Competition 2 becoming an EP:
“I think we put a lot of work into it, with the whole funeral theme,” Fab told MTV News. “We didn’t just say it and you had to daydream it. We went into the funeral homes. We picked caskets out for the competition. Def Jam … put the mixtape out as an EP … A lot of people saying it’s a classic, one of the, if not the best mixtape of 2010. It’s crazy to me, because it started out as something I wanted to give free to the fans and people who accept my work.”
Rick Ross on crafting The Albert Anastasia EP:
“When I started recording and it was sounding too good, I wanted to put more songs in there than what I wanted to initially,” Ross explained to Mixtape Daily of the tape. ” But it’s The Albert Anastasia EP. I named it that because Albert Anastasia was a self-made man. He was a boss. He was a lot less celebrated. He was more focused on getting his job done, handling his business. Of course, he ultimately came to an untimely demise. But I feel when it’s time to go, it’s always untimely, so what’s the difference?”
Travis Porter on ruling the indie rap scene:
“At the moment we are an independent problem,” Quez explained of Travis Porter’s new mixtape Proud to Be a Problem. “We’re proud of it! It’s really a good vs. bad thing. It’s a good problem because we letting other independent artists know it’s possible to be known and out there, just grindin’. It’s a bad problem because we’re giving most signed artists problems.”
Did we miss anything? Share your picks for the Top Mixtape MCs of 2010 by tweeting us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below!
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.