A countdown of the top 10 underground hip hop albums for the year 2010. With appearances from more-mainstream artists such as Big Boi to unsung heroes like Homeboy Sandman and Diamond District's yU.

The 10 Best Underground Hip Hop Albums of 2010

This is pretty straight forward so I’ll keep the intro short and sweet. It’s that time already. We’ve gone through an entire year of hip hop and now is the point where we try to reflect. Who had the best albums? Which ones were flops? We’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of our favorite hip hop albums from the year of 2010 and we want to share it with you.

Chances are that you’ve undoubtedly missed one of these albums along the way – so, our suggestion would be to pick it up. Support these artists because they’re supporting hip hop by making great music.

Our goal for 2010 is to dig deeper. There are undoubtedly thousands of albums that were released this year and our team can only absorb so much music in a year’s time. We’re working with scientists to figure out ways that we can ingest lyrics by simply touching the album art on our computer screens — no luck yet.

Just off the horse (honorable mentions):

The Good Sun

Homeboy Sandman

Label: High Water Music
Release Date: June 1

Homeboy Sandman’s “commercial debut” a marked another excellent release from a street-tested, optimistic MC from New York. Taking cues from any of your favorite conscious MCs, Boy Sand’s tight, technical rhymes tackle everything from over-commercialization to his un-fondness of frowns. Definitely worth checking out.

Distant Relatives

Nas & Damian Marley

Label: Universal
Release Date: May 18

Nas and the son of the late Bob Marley teamed up for a collection of reggae, hip-hop fusion tracks. While the release isn’t the solo effort from the Queensbridge poets that heads will clamor for, it does serve as a nice change of pace. The two blend styles well, for a complete and well-rounded album.

Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Big Boi

Label: Def Jam
Release Date: July 6

The first solo release from a member of the ATLien duo surely didn’t disappoint. Even though Jive barred the inclusion of raps from Andre 3000, and with a couple of clearly commercial stabs, Big Boi largely lived up to the hype surrounding his first singular outing, reviving the magic that’s made Outkast so successful in both mainstream and underground circles.

Album Of The Year

Black Milk

Label: Decon / Fat Beats
Release Date: September 14

Well, we didn’t necessarily agree with the title (although it’s offered at least partially in jest), Black Milk’s solo effort, Album Of The Year, was an excellent outing. His crisp lyricism marked a spectacular evolution in ‘Milk’s career, but his performance as a producer was the real shining point on this record. Front to back, Black Milk’s concoction of beats is nothing short of stellar.

Next Page: Albums #10-7

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