15. Boogie - Thirst 48
Boogie is a West Coast up-and-comer with a ton of potential, and Thirst 48 proved that. He shows his versatility right off the bat, singing before he lets you hear his impressive flow. Thirst 48, which was his debut, has a consistent sound, a smoke-able vibe, as well as the perfect jams for any relaxing summer day. However, don't limit this tape to your summer listening sessions-- it's really something you should be bumping year round, or at least until Boogie puts out a sophomore effort.
14. Euroz - MOTF
Euroz is a great redemption story, as he began his rap career after being locked up for 4 years, now using it as motivation to spread a more positive message than what's out there currently. He's a dope lyricist with all the flow to back it up, plus, he's got an ear for beats that knock.
13. The-Dream - Royalty the Prequel
The-Dream has been a true hip hop Midas the past few years, everything he touches turning quickly to a smash, whether it's with Pusha T, Jay Z, or Beyonce (and whether you are aware of it or not). Before he drops his highly anticipated next album, he let loose this free EP to quench our collective thirst.
The crooner hadn't dropped off a new project in a while, so Summer felt like the perfect time for this heat. No More is the long awaited collaboration EP from Mr. Birthday Sex and producer Shlohmo, and has no shortage of weird, spooky jams. Although Jeremih soon followed that up with N.O.M.A, we have to say this one takes the cake.
11. Lil Durk - Signed to the Streets 2
Durk dropped his long-awaited STTS2 this summer and spoke with us about it, peep that below. Considering he's signed to the streets, he's gotta keep those same streets fed, and did just that with the hard-hitting Signed To The Streets 2.
10. Joey Fatts - Chipper Jones 3
The West Coast up-and-comer dropped his highly anticipated new project recently to high praise. The young rapper slash producer had killer features from the likes of his boss Waka Flocka and friend A$AP Rocky. In a crowded crop of young talented artists from California, Joey Fatts is making a lot of noise. Let's hope he stacks up a few more titles than the real Chipper Jones.
9. Amir Obe - Detrooklyn
Amir Obe's highly anticipated Detrooklyn mixtape finally hit the streets this summer to much underground acclaim. It was perfectly titled, as his style has the slowed down, trippy vibe of some of the rest of Detroit's rap scene, while also incorporating that classic New York grit and grime.
8. Alex Wiley - Village Party
Another young phenom from Chi-town, Alex Wiley made a lot of noise this summer with his Village Party sophomore project, bringing in a lot of new fans with his insane flow and hyped beats. It's perfect music for Summer with it's smooth vibes and hard hitting drums, and Wiley has talent far beyond his years in being able to ride the beat bar for bar whether it's fast, slow, whatever.
7. Wiz Khalifa - 28 Grams
One of the most divisive projects of the year so far, opinons on this tape are all over the map, as you can see in our review back when it came out. The bottom line, however, is that if you're looking for Summertime vibes and party music, Trap Wiz has what you need, with 28 grams of that sticky goodness. Most people say it didn't stack up with classic Wiz mixtapes, but it was never supposed to. Wiz took on an alter ego and released a concept project, looking for an outlet for all the trap influences he had found in music today, and wanting to release his take on it. Like any concept project, sometimes it takes a few years to settle into its own and grow on you.
6. Lucki Eck$ - Body High
Yeah, we know, we ranked this really high. If you don't think it deserves it, you haven't heard it. Lucki is an 18 year old phenom taking the game by storm with his "Alternative Trap" and his new set Body High is front-to-back gold. He adds another layer to the already wildly diverse Chicago rap scene, and is poised to do huge things going forward. This was the perfect tape to bump this Summer because every song had the perfect balance of smooth and in-your-face, whether you were turning up at a house party or driving around with the top dropped, Body High went off.
5. Lil Bibby - Free Crack 2
Bibby's follow up to his breakout mixtape Free Crack just came out the other day, but that doesn't mean it wasn't one of the hottest releases of the summer, it was definitely one of the most anticipated. Bibby came up under the Chicago drill umbrella, but is starting to separate himself from the pack, adding awesome tracks to his already impressive resume. The 2014 XXL Freshman is poised to have a great rest of the year heading into 2015, and we're excited to see what he does with all this buzz. For now though, call up Tyrone Biggums, because there's a free crack giveaway and he won't want to miss it.
4. Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]
Another relative newcomer to rank high up on the list, Mick Jenkins disrupted the whole industry with his latest offering, giving us A+ production mixed with raw, gritty and often thought-provoking lyrics. It's tough to take the tape out of rotation, which is a tell tale sign of a Summer classic. While it's not necessarily party music, it'll make you think a little bit, and that's a nice change of pace in the summertime.
3. Ty Dolla $ign - $ign Language
An R&B mixtape probably shouldn't be ranked this high on any hip hop list, but this isn't some regular R&B tape. Ty Dolla showed why he deserves a shot at the crown among the already strong group of singers in the game right now with an amazing collection of Summer bangers. It's a great listen all the way through, and a perfect tape to bump in the whip with your windows down, which is all you can ask for in a Summer mixtape. On an R&B project these days, you're obviously going to have a ton of features, yet nothing felt overly forced on this whole tape, and the production was top notch.
2. Travi$ Scott - Days Before Rodeo
Travi$ Scott has a strong influence on the current trends in hip hop, plain and simple. The Kanye West-discovered artist (who definitely has a lot of 'Ye in him, and even a bit of the old Kid Cudi) brought a new nothing-held-back energy to trap music, putting his own unique spin on it and almost single handedly changing the perception of what Houston rap is. Days Before Rodeo is a huge step for Scott, as his catalog wasn't very expansive before, and this free album showed a lot of growth in the area of crafting a full, cohesive project.
1. Mac Miller - Faces
Fuck what you heard, this was a statement mixtape from Mac Miller. After showing us how much he had changed on Watching Movies With The Sound Off, (not to mention Macadelic), he took this opportunity to show why he's one of the most innovative and fearless artists in the game today. Faces was definitely long, clocking in with 24 tracks, but it didn't drag on, every song pulled you in with weird noises and weirder lyrics, everything blended together for one long trippy ass ride. His move to the West Coast has been huge for him creatively, and we're seeing the results on projects like this one, not to mention the work he's done for other artists like Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt.
It's been a great Summer for new music, and now that we've hit September it's time to look back and count down the best of the best. Today we run through the some of the hottest mixtapes that dropped this Summer.
This Summer has been a wild one in hip hop, with veterans like Wiz Khalifa and 50 Cent dropping new albums, newcomers like Rae Sremmurd and Bobby Shmurda creating viral sensations, and Nicki Minaj's full moon eclipsing pretty much everything else on Earth. Now that we've hit September and girls won't be posting bikini shots on Instagram all day everybody's headed back to school, it's time to start looking back on the Summer that was.
Today, we'll look specifically at the best mixtape offerings of the past few months, going back to late April and early May, when you first started feeling those Summer vibes. We're counting down the top 15 hottest efforts-- not only does the overall quality of the tape factor into this, but the anticipation and hype surrounding a tape is also taken into consideration. If you think we missed one or five, hit us in the comments with your picks, or get at us on Facebook and Twitter. You always do anyways.