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

6. Live From The Tape Deck

Skyzoo & !llmind

Label: Duck Down
Release Date: October 5

The concept is just as cool as the record. Reaching for the days of good old-fashioned rewind buttons (and jammed eject buttons), Brooklyn MC Skyzoo teamed up with producer !llmind to concoct an album reminiscent of the 1980-1990 era of cassette tape classics. The formula resulted in a string of hard-hitting bangers blessed by one of the most talented MCs in the game. ‘Zoo and !llmind came up big with this record.

5. Death Is Silent


Label: QN5
Release Date: October 12

Stepping out from his nearly-exclusive role behind the boards, Cunninlynguists’ producer and MC, Kno, made a major splash with the release of his solo debut. Death Is Silent showcases the Georgia native’s ability to both craft breathtaking, beautiful instrumentals, as well as lay down complex and socially-relevant lyrics. Loosely based around the concepts of life and death, Kno’s Death Is Silent is a triumphant assertion of talent for himself as an artist and also for meaningful underground southern hip hop as a whole.

4. Gas Mask

The Left

Label: Mello Music Group
Release Date: October 26

Newcomers, The Left, strutted their stuff this year. Armed with a slew of beats from one of the nation’s fastest-rising beatsmiths in Apollo Brown, Journalist 103 flexed his lyrical muscle to produce an album that’s both reflective of the state of an impoverished Detroit and analytical of the state of the country as a whole. Backed by the stylings of DJ Soko, the trio has undoubtedly solidified themselves as a group to be on the look-out for in the future.

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