The year is almost wrapped, the votes have been tallied and here’s the list of winners from URB’s annual Readers Poll. So what did we learn from this look back at 2010? For starters, traditional album and single formats are truly a thing of the past—proven by the fact that both your album and single of the year started life as digital only releases. Second, we learned that while hip-hop is dominated by some might big heroes, the URB reader still gives recognition to the next new names. And finally, we discovered that dance music dominates much of the American scene, even while ignored (thankful?) by the mainstream.
We also learned some peope take these polls way to seriously, as someone flooded our Best DJ category with some sort of automated bot, resulting in unusable results (we won’t say which DJ benefited from their over-eager hacker/fan.) Our apologies for all those whose votes in the category couldn’t be counted.
ATMOSPHERE – TO ALL MY FRIENDS, BLOOD MAKES THE BLADE HOLY: THE ATMOSPHERE EPs
This wasn’t even a proper album. I never got a physical release sans a few copies for sale on tour. There was zero marketing budget and even less spent on viral videos. Yet URB reader’s love for all things Rhymesayers outshone all of the nonsense in crowning this “double-EP” by Slug and Ant the finest album of 2010. And who are we to argue with the group that pretty much defined a decade of indie hip-hop. Looks like the ’10s might be just as good to Atmopshere as the previous ten years.
RUSKO – O.M.G.!
If you need any additional proof that dubstep is the sound of now, then look no further than the success of Rusko, who moved to America in 2009 with solid UK reputation and enough energy to leave the most pumped up punters breathless. People like to talk about is alleged sessions with superstars Britney, Rihanna and T.I. (none of which has emerged as of yet), but his own debut album was enough for URB voters to land at #2.
NAS & DAMIEN MARLEY – DISTANT RELATIVES
It was a match made in hip-hop heaven. The figurative God’s son meets the actual son of reggae god Bob Marley—and the sum was as great as the parts.
UP NEXT – BEST SONG OF 2010