There were contenders aplenty during the grueling process of determining the Insomniac Magazine Top Ten this week. Despite so many incoherent rappers gaining mainstream followings through lowest common denominator appeal, true lyricists and beat-smiths are practicing and honing their craft and keep making gems worthy of your attention. Insomniac Magazine’s editors have been curators of authentic Hip Hop for well over two decades. The artists you find on our top ten represent the tenets of Hip Hop that we experienced first hand during the golden era as kids in The Bronx and Harlem. Real recognize real; Hip Hop is Hip Hop regardless of the decade. Enjoy and spread the word.
1) Talib Kweli X Styles f/ NIKO IS, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch – “Nine Point Five”
Chock full of skillful lyricists, The Marco Polo produced “Nine Point Five” is solid evidence that stellar Hip Hop is alive and well. Check the powerhouse collab featuring top tier talent.
2) WestSideGunn, Mach Hommy & Keisha Plum – “Easter Gunday 2”
We typically don’t include tracks from Sunday posts on that same day’s top ten, but we made an exception for this Griselda banger. If you’re one of the true heads who have been up on the GxFR camp since the days before they were rockin’ wit’ Shady Records, you’ll remember last year’s “Easter Gunday.” Now WestSideGunn, Mach Hommy and Keisha Plum hit ya with a sequel! Our holiday’s officially made!!! Check out the illest poet alive, The FlyGod and the Haitian Superhero on the Daringer laced “Easter Gunday 2!”
3) Kendrick Lamar X U2 – “XXX”
The world is saying “Damn,” and that’s not only the reaction to Kendrick Lamar’s dope album, it’s also the title. And, it’s the reaction we have from hearing rock icons U2 on the amazing track “XXX.” Stream the incredible track, then the start the album from the top and take in premium Hip Hop music.
4) Mach-Hommy – “Warning Shot”
Mach-Hommy unleashes a lyrical assault on this minimalistic street sonnet produced by The Alchemist. “Warning Shot” is straight Hip Hop heat off of the anticipated “5 O’ Clock Shadow” full-length featuring production from top talent.
5) Daniel Son X Saipher Soze – “Task Force”
Daniel Son X Saipher Soze are killing it on the Vinyl Villain produced “Task Force.” Don’t you dare sleep on pure and raw Hip Hop.
6) Chief Kamachi X Junior Makhno – “Code of the Guru”
Philly lyricist Chief Kamachi and producer extraordinaire Junior Makhno show and prove on “Code of the Guru.” DJ Djaz brings the precision cuts on this dose of pure unadulterated boom bap. Proceed to check the steez, then pick up Makhno’s “Party Discipline” album.
7) Paperboi aka the Boom Bap Kid – “Time”
Lyricist Paperboi brings this Vibrations’ produced boom bap banger called “Time.” Check out the collab between a talented South African emcee and a dope Maryland based producer.
8) J-Scienide – “The Jux”
Real emcees shine through the noise. J-Scienide’s stellar delivery over Gensu Dean’s immensely tight production are sonic perfection. Check the steez.
9) cove. X EVIII Posse – “The Consommé”
There’s no shortage of Hip Hop talent in the Buffalo collective known as EVIII. On cove.’s latest, “The Consommé” featuring Mic Excel, Jay MF G, Legal The Lifesaver, H2O the Aquaman, Specill K, DJ Optimus Prime and Dr. Ooo, it’s nothing short of a lyrical hail storm. Relentless barz ahead.
10) Open Optiks – “Optimism”
Open Optiks brings the boom bap production and dope lyrical stylings on “Optimism.” The Maryland based duo serves up smooth wordplay and solid beats on the title track from their new album. Check the positive vibes on the single and then dig into the album.