206UP YEAR-END: What Mattered Most in 2014

Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images News

Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images News

Great things happened in Seattle hip-hop in the year 2014 and many of those things took the form of cohesive, fully-realized albums. We’ll get to listing some of those tomorrow. Today, though, we’ll be talking about the two records that mattered most to 206UP, both within the last 365 calendar days and, as we’ll clumsily attempt to illustrate, time immemorial. One has specific ties to Seattle (it’s this blog’s top hip-hop album of the year). The other, while not intrinsically tied to the Town, was such a monumental — and surprise — release that it demands mentioning here. Both records flirted with the dimension of time the same way a drummer like Questlove flirts with rhythm: easily manipulated, altered to slow or speed our senses, and employed to imprint thoughts, memories and ideas onto our subconscious so that images like the one above become mere fossils in a morality tale we hope to never tell again in real life.

Best of 2014 Best Of Lists Features

TGIF: Best of 2012 (So far…)

Friday is Free Day at 206UP.COM, the day where I post whatever the hell I want, free of the encumbrances of Seattle’s small (but totally awesome) hip-hop scene and clear to wander elsewhere through the nation’s rap wilderness. I’ve done a better job at keeping up on new music so far in 2012 than probably any year prior, so allow me to pat myself on the back…

Ahh, that felt nice. Here then is a list of the five best albums (in no particular order) consumed by my ears three months inside the uno-dos:

De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2 Present: First Serve


Habits and Contradictions – Schoolboy Q


Brooklyknight – Sene


Bell Hooks – BBU


Live Okayplayer Mixtape – D’Angelo

Click to download.

“Left & Right (Live)” – D’Angelo


(Out of) Town Movement Best of 2012