Best Mixtape/Street Album of 2011

Reader's Pick

Big K.R.I.T.

Big K.R.I.T. "ReturnOf4Eva"

When it comes to Big K.R.I.T.'s ReturnOf4Eva, what isn't there is almost as notable as what is: the Meridian, Mississippi rapper/producer's breakout mixtape contained no ill-advised stabs at commercial appeal, no gimmicky viral hits, and only a smattering of big-name guest features (Luda and Bun B are among the most notable). In fact, you can go over the album with a fine-toothed comb, and all you'll find is dope, thoughtful lyricism over soulful beats that hark back to the Southern greats. Hip-hop fans choosing substance over empty hype, in today's day and age? Believe it.

Runner Up:
Wax "Scrublife"

Staff Pick

Big K.R.I.T.

Big K.R.I.T. "ReturnOf4Eva"

There might have been some small band of stragglers convinced that Big K.R.I.T.'s breakthrough project, KRIT Wuz Here, was an anomaly, a fluke, but his 2011 album ReturnOf4Eva settled any doubts from even the most hardcore pessimists. Displaying a cohesiveness rare even in full project form, stellar beats and evidence that Krizza hasn't come close to reaching his peak as a rapper, 4Eva is one of the few albums that was almost universally praised and still didn't get its full due. Recognize.




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