The two best Seattle hip-hop albums of 2010 are region-specific. Def Dee and Language Arts’ Gravity is cloned from the DNA of mid-90’s New York City boom-bap. It’s a perfectly-penned love note to a definitive sound and era when millions of hip-hop heads came of age. The second album, Candidt’s Sweatsuit & Churchshoes, is a refreshing exercise in West Coast b-boy funk. The main complaint with Gravity may be it doesn’t bring innovation to its source material, yet the same can’t be said about Sweatsuit & Churchshoes. Candidt’s sprawling 21-track workout manages to find fresh ideas within a variety of West Coast sounds that came before it. It has one foot in Old School History Class and one foot in the New School hallway; its breadth of modification and manner in which the two schools are bridged are the album’s greatest attributes.

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