Rap's Top 10 Heroes Of 2010 So Far, Part 1

The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to introducingliston@gmail.com.

This Week's Rapper: D-Risha

This Week's Subject: The rap heroes of 2010 thus far

Rocks Off: Ludacris apparently has joined CNN to help award the network's "Top 10 Heroes of 2010," awards given out to everyday people they feel have done extraordinary things. So the question for you is simple: Thus far, who have been rap's Top 10 heroes of 2010 and why?

D. Risha: Okay, I'll put 'em down here in descending order, starting from ten to one.

10. The Roots: The reason they would be my first choice is because as a group they have stood the test of time and with there release of How I Got Over, they prove that their music is timeless.

This is one of the first CDs in a while that I can put in any time or place and I get that good feeling I used to have when multiple artists would put out quality like this all the time and I had a hard time making a decision at Soundwaves [laughs]. I don't even know if any of those are around anymore.

9. Kanye West: What Kanye has done (I think), or is trying to do, is change his image and a few months ago a lot of people - including myself - though this was far-fetched. It's almost like he knew Taylor Swift was gonna throw a jab at him because he telepathically rebuttled it with "Runaway," a song admitting that he can be a douchebag sometimes and that's the first step to turning over a new leaf.

Also, with his Good Friday series, the one thing he has in common with giving away good free music is the fans. It seems like a lot of rappers have forgot to keep us in mind when they are recording, but Kanye hasn't.

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8. Purple Bastard: This next entry is a local guy who I have to mention because sometimes I feel like the underdog doesn't get the shine he deserves. Purple Bastard has climbed the ranks in the underground hip hop scene to become one the top promoters.

His "Turning Headz" showcase has opened the doors for a lot of MCs to get their first start. This culminating in one of the biggest festivals I've performed and been a part of (Fly Fest) has opened the floodgates to reopen the once -closed doors of the Houston underground scene.

D-Risha, "Fuck D-Risha"

7. Big K.R.I.T: This artist is one of the first I've heard in a while to embody what the "Old South" (Eightball & MJG,UGK, Goodie Mob) used to sound like as far as it having soul in the music and hunger in his voice. He's a producer as well, and all signs in his production style - such as church organs, 808s, and rolling hi-hats - scream out where the South has been musically and where it's going, and the message is to not forget the roots. His Krit Was Here mixtape is another gem that continues to get play from all regions, and it seems he is up to bat in the industry with his recent signing to Def Jam.

6. Detroit Hip-Hop: If you're fan of the golden era of hip-hop, pick up any release from Black Milk, Elzhi, Royce Da 5'9, Guilty Simpson and a plethora of others from that region. Every category is covered, from lyrics, beats, creativity, originality, etc. Each void is filled with each album that follows and so forth.

I think this has to do with their economy and crime rate, meaning that a lot of the people in Detroit are struggling to survive and their music reflects that hunger that was represented in the early '90s by artists such as Wu Tang, Kool G Rap, M.O.P and others.

Risha is also featured as this week's Artist of the Week, so come back tomorrow to see 2010's Top Five rap heroes.

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