There is so much music that comes out per year that it’s almost impossible to keep track. While we’ve been chiming in on some releases that most folks at least heard about I think there are some CDs that tragically went unnoticed in 2010.

The VA rapper-turned-producer-turned rapper Nottz finally dropped his long-awaited solo album You Need This Music and best believe he didn’t save all the good stuff for Busta and Snoop. Check out the autobiographical “How Long Will It Last”

The Ballad of Purple St. James, the debut from the Foreign Exchange songbird Yahzarah, is seductively honest and  may leave the listener feeling a little vulnerable after a few spins. The Isley Brothers-flavored “Have A Heart” details the painful aftermath of a love affair that most songs about infidelity fail to capture.

Joey Crack is good for at least one hit a year and when the Scoop DeVille produced “(Ha, Ha) Slow Down” had us all digging for those Soul II Soul records we knew he’d hit the jackpot. But thanks to Just Blaze, Cool N Dre and Scoop he had a few more in store that folks overlooked. Peep “Valley Of Death.”

This QN5 producer, singer MC has an album that sounds as cool as its name implies. With the declarative statement on the soulful “Over There”, “youre either a robot or dinosaur/ no middle ground, so the sound ain’t changing no more.Kokayi sets us up for a retro-futuristic thrill ride.

Tanya Morgan’s Von Pea took his high school journal and turned it into a boombapstic tribute to the 90s that kept everything we liked and left  behind the neon biker shorts. Check out the sneaker-pimpin “New Pair.”

Producer Apollo Brown was busy this year with The Reset and Brown Study, but this shit right here? Gas Mask with emcee Journalist 103 and DJ Soko will have many MCs crying that they can’t breathe.

With this album title Pack FM conveys my sentiment towards much of the rap game. Fortunately he has enough dope beats and rhymes to separate him from the wannabes. The title track should be requisite listening for all A&Rs before they sign any more b.s.

Dres of Black Sheep continues to give us hope that hip-hop can grow-up without growing old. While the whole world has been bopping their heads to his voice in those Kia Hamster commercials they really need to pick up up his album and see what he’s been up to in 2010. Check out “Power to the Pih Poh” (which is Hip Hop spelled backwards…) featuring Rhymefest.

The ambitiously titled Album Of The Year wasn’t a boast by one of Detroit’s finest rappers and producers. Rather Black Milk was letting us know that it was 365 days of life that inspired the album. The beats bang, lyrics will make the average MC hurl. “I’m here to save the game like a memory card..”

Most people know North Carolina production vet Ski Beatz for his work on albums by Jay-Z, Camp-Lo, et al but his 24 Hour Karate School may be his best work yet. Check out “Cream Of The Planet” f the Mighty Mos Def.

Got an album from 2010 that people should know about? let us know in the comments!

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