Sound Session #342 (1-1-12) – Best of 2011

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on January 2nd, 2012 by Hyphen

Another year is in the books and here on Sound Session, you already know what that means: it’s time for our annual wrap up show.  As we’ve said in years past (2009 & 2010), this playlist isn’t a definitive, comprehensive list by any means, nor is it compiled in any sort of numerical ranking marking which songs are “better” than the others.  Instead, we simply picked records and artists that played a large part on our show this past year and the songs we couldn’t stop listening to.

As I usually do, I’ve listed some notes on why each song made the cut, along with a few honorable mentions from artists not otherwise represented (i.e., I could have listed a plethora of tracks from Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick, Kanye/Jay, etc., but we’ll keep it simple…).

Enjoy the show and make 2012 your best year yet.

Show #342 (1-1-12)
**Best of 2011**

  1. Drake ft. Rick Ross – “Lord Knows”
  2. Nas – “Nasty”
  3. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Gotta Have It”
  4. Kendrick Lamar – “HiiiPower”
  5. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
  6. Frank Ocean – “Novacane”
  7. TiRon & Ayomari – “If I Had You”
  8. The Physics – “These Moments” (Local Music)
  9. Dom Kennedy – “On My Way”
  10. Curren$y – “She Don’t Want A Man”
  11. Big K.R.I.T. – “The Vent”
  12. Rocki Evans – “Funeral Song”
  13. Purple HeArts – “Know Go”
  14. Shabazz Palaces ft. Thee Satisfaction – “Swerve…the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” (Local Music)
  15. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us” (Local Music)
  16. Little Dragon – “Ritual Union”
  17. Common ft. Makeba – “Blue Sky”
  18. Childish Gambino – “Freaks and Geeks”
  19. Maffew Ragazino – “Black Sheep”
  20. Ghostface Killah ft. Black Thought – “In Tha Park”
  21. Thurz – “Dope”
  22. Lupe Fiasco ft. Skylar Grey – “Words I Never Said”
  23. Charlie Smarts – “Torture”
  24. J. Cole ft. Drake – “In The Morning”
  25. The Weeknd – “The Party & The After Party”

Link to download the mp3 of the show –
(back up / streaming link –
(2nd back up –

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email,


  1. Drizzy was everywhere this year and while most records were slow and brooding (“Marvin’s Room” is an instant classic), he reminded his deriders he can rhyme too.  Just Blaze’s incredible beat and Rick Ross coining the #YOLO term didn’t hurt either.
  2. Anyone who thought Nas slipped with the Distant Relatives project was crazy to begin with.  Nas punctuated that with “Nasty.”
  3. Did Watch The Throne live up to the hype?  Probably not, but it’s still one of the best albums of the year and while “Otis” and “Murder To Excellence” were also great, the standout is this short but sweet record…despite Jay’s “planking on a million” line.
  4. After a few good years, Kendrick broke out in a major way with Section.80 in 2011.  This J. Cole produced single was the first track released off the project and set the tone for the whole album.  Kendrick will drop a 5 mic classic before it’s all said and done.
  5. Tyler and the Odd Future crew had an amazing year in 2011 and while many tracks were a bit too heavy on the shock value, “Yonkers” didn’t go overboard (though the video might have, for some).  Instead, Tyler cooked up one of the best beats of the year that would have sounded at home on a classic Wu-Tang album.
  6. My personal song of the year.  Nuff said.
  7. They just don’t make music like this anymore.  TiRon & Ayomari’s uptempo record becomes a classic the second the horns come in for the first time.
  8. Three straight appearances on our year end wrap up show for The Physics, who consistently make my favorite music from the Northwest.  No need for drums on this record when everything else is that dope.
  9. Dom dropped two great projects in 2011 and had numerous records that we could have picked, but this one represents his trademark new west sound perfectly.
  10. The ongoing joke is that Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y are ALWAYS rapping about smoking weed with your girl, but hey, when it comes out like this, you can’t really be mad at it.  Unless that’s your girl.
  11. Along with Don Trip’s “Letter 2 My Son,” Big K.R.I.T.’s “The Vent” was the most heartfelt record of the year.  That’s what music should be all about.
  12. Rocki may not be on everyone’s radar (yet), but if he keeps making songs like this, he will be in 2012.
  13. While Drake, The Weeknd, and even our good friend Shad have been making headlines in the US all year, be on the lookout for another crew from Canada in 2012.
  14. International acclaim from fans and press alike marked a great year for Seattle’s own Shabazz Palaces.  Thee Satisfaction come along for the ride on this one, closing out the record in a way only they can.
  15. Speaking of international success for local musicians, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis blew up in 2011.  Seriously.  Did you see them rock almost 10k at Bumbershoot?
  16. Yukimi is incredible and gets most of the headlines, but the rest of the band is amazing as well.  You need to see Erik drum live to truly experience Little Dragon.
  17. Com just barely dropped his album in time for most people to include it in their year end wrap ups, but the minute “Blue Sky” was released, it instantly reserved its spot on our list.
  18. I was tempted to pick “Be Alone” or “Hold You Down,” which show a slightly more serious side of Gambino, but this record was Donald’s break out song for 2011.
  19. In a year where most newcomers came from other cities, Maffew and Action Bronson showed there’s still a bright future in NYC.
  20. Most forgot that Ghostface’s album was released right before the new year so this Frank Dukes produced banger was too late for everyone’s 2010 lists, and sadly forgotten on most 2011 wrap ups.  Except ours.
  21. Fans were disappointed to see U-N-I go their separate ways but both Thuz and Y-O dropped good projects in 2011, highlighted by this appropriately titled record from the former.
  22. While the beat and hook left much to be desired, Lupe spit some of the realest bars of the year on this track.  If Lu ever releases acapellas, it might destroy the internet.
  23. One of our favorite crews, Kooley High, saw one member, Rapsody, achieve a lot of notoriety in 2011 but our favorite track from the North Carolina collective was Charlie Smarts’ “Torture.”  Just listen to those keys…
  24. Always a good question…
  25. Anytime someone literally goes from unknown to the most sought after independent artist in the game, he has to be the rookie of the year.  Nobody came out of nowhere like The Weeknd in recent memory, thanks in large part to Drake’s co-sign and the strictly grown & sexy music.

Honorable mentions from artists not otherwise represented:

  • Amy Winehouse ft. Nas – “Like Smoke”
  • Asher Roth & Nottz – “Break Bread”
  • Fly.Union – “Hard Sell”
  • Goapele – “Play”
  • Gods’illa ft. Maimouna Youssef – “You Don’t Have To Be A Star”
  • Jhene Aiko – “Stranger”
  • Killer Mike – “Ric Flair”
  • Mayer Hawthorne – “A Long Time”
  • Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun ft. Styles P & Sean Price – “That’s Hard”
  • Phonte ft. Jeanne Jolly – “Everything Is Falling Down”
  • Pusha T – “Blow”
  • Raekwon ft. Nas – “Rich and Black”
  • Random Axe ft. Roc Marciano – “Chewbacca”
  • Raphael Saadiq – “Good Man”
  • Rapsody ft. Raekwon – “Black Diamonds”
  • Rick Ross – “I Love My B*tches”
  • Royce Da 5’9” – “Second Place”
  • Saigon – “The Greatest Story Never Told”
  • Schoolboy Q ft. Jhene Aiko – “Fantasy”
  • Stephen Marley ft. Damian Marley & Buju Banton – “Jah Army (Revelation, Pt. 1)”
  • Travis Barker ft. Lupe Fiasco & Pharrell – “If You Want To”
  • Young Jeezy ft. Jay-Z & Andre 3000 – “I Do”

2012.  Let’s go.

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Nick Van Exel beats the buzzer…and the Celtics (video)

Posted in Sports on June 19th, 2011 by Hyphen

I know we’re all starved for basketball now that the playoffs are over and I happened to stumble across this montage of the final time the Lakers played in the Boston Garden earlier today, so I had to throw it up on the blog.  It’s not really possible to put in to words how much the mid-90’s Lakers meant to a young Hyphen and Nick The Quick was the centerpiece of it all.  I stole his free throw routine  (before he started taking 17 foot FT’s, that is) and I’d give anything to find another pair of those Reebok Blasts he used to rock.

Anyway…check out the final shot from the highlights above.  That’s what you call a dagger.

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Sound Session #291 (12-26-10) – Best of 2010

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on December 27th, 2010 by Hyphen

In a few days, we’ll all celebrate the end of another year (or do you celebrate the start of the next…glass half full vs. half empty?) but before 2011 arrives, it’s tradition that every media outlet in the world releases some sort of wrap up on the previous 12 months.  Here at SNSS, we’re no different…although ours is [hubris] inherently better [/hubris].  In reviewing last year’s Best of 2009 list, I noticed my explanation still applies:

Keep in mind, these are not the biggest records of the year…nor the blogosphere favorites…or Twitter picks.  Nah, these are 26 24 of our favorite songs that we played heavily on SNSS in 2009 2010.  They are not in any sort of countdown or follow any other ranking schema.  We included a few of our favorite records from the town and crossed into other genres as well.  In other words, we followed our normal formula for spinning great music on the radio, but we just supersized it on some Barry Bonds-Roger Clemons-Alex Rodriguez super powered steroid type steez.

Speaking of baseball, we’re closing in on our 300th show.  Not exactly at Cy Young level yet, but still a notable accomplishment in today’s radio environment.  As always, we’re thankful to have the opportunity to shine light on great music and talented artists, plus we really appreciate every soul who tunes in.  We had more positive feedback and new listeners in 2010 than ever before and SNSS continues to move onward and upward.  In all seriousness, it’s humbling to be one of the last bastions of the culture on commercial hip-hop radio.  Thank you.

As I did last year, I’ve included some notes for our selections below, as well as a few honorable mention picks that we would have included on the air if we had enough time.  Any feedback/debate is welcome.  Did we miss any joints in particular?


Show #291 (12-26-10)
**Best of 2010**

  1. Nas & Damian Marley – “As We Enter”
  2. Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 & Sleepy Brown – “Lookin’ 4 Ya (Full Mix)”
  3. Candidt ft. Maya Jenkins – “Imaginary Stereo” (Local Music)
  4. N.E.R.D. ft. Nelly Furtado – “Hot-N-Fun”
  5. Freddie Gibbs – “National Anthem (FTW)”
  6. Big K.R.I.T. ft. Devin The Dude & Curren$y – “Moon & Stars (Hyphen Remix)”
  7. Wiz Khalifa ft. Killa Kyleon – “Spotlight”
  8. Concise Kilgore – “Alaska”
  9. Freeway & Jake One ft. Raekwon – “One Thing” (Local Music)
  10. Aloe Blacc – “Dollar”
  11. Nottz ft. Dwele – “You Need This Music”
  12. Reflection Eternal ft. Jay Electronica, J. Cole, & Mos Def – “Just Begun”
  13. The Physics – “My Place” (Local Music)
  14. U-N-I ft. Miguel – “Lately”
  15. Kanye West ft. Dwele – “Power”
  16. Rick Ross ft. Jay-Z & John Legend – “Free Mason”
  17. The Roots ft. STS & Joanna Newsom – “Right On”
  18. Bilal – “All Matter”
  19. Shad – “Rose Garden”
  20. Theophilus London – “Flying Overseas (Version 1)”
  21. Sol – “Dear Friends” (Local Music)
  22. Dom Kennedy – “1997”
  23. The Kid Daytona – “On The Hill”
  24. Drake – “Fall For Your Type (Same Mistakes)”

Link to download the mp3 of the show –
(back up / streaming link –
(2nd back up –

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email,


  1. Lead single off a hugely underrated album.  Damian’s production guidance + Nas’ introspective social commentary = WIN.
  2. It’s a shame that this flawless Outkast record (Dre’s verses!) wasn’t even on Big Boi’s album because of label politics. The Clipse told y’all bout Jive…
  3. Speaking of ‘Kast, this local gem sounded like it was birthed at Stankonia…but with a west coast and distinctly Seattle influence.
  4. “Ok, we wrote this for a purpose…” and they succeeded.  Stadium music, 50 thousand at a time.
  5. Gibbs is everything that hip-hop purists want in a MC.  We almost picked “The Ghetto,” but this record was harder, thanks largely to a chorus reminiscent of Pac’s best.
  6. When a record has an incredible chorus and Devin The Dude featured on it, you just assume he supplies it.  Not here, where Krit’s crooning steals the show.  I blended Curren$y’s verse from the remix with the original to round it out.
  7. There were a handful of great records on Kush & OJ and we were one of the shows to help break “Black and Yellow,” but our favorite was “Spotlight.”  Wiz wins the best adlib of 2010 with, “this beat go perfect with my belt.”  TGOD.
  8. I guarantee we’re the only show with this record on our Best of 2010 list, but that’s a shame.  The Sade sample gets flipped so nasty, you can’t help but make the Cliff face when you hear it.  Possibly my favorite beat of the year.
  9. Extended fam of SNSS (you may have caught J. Moore as Free’s hypeman on tour this year) dropped a great album and thanks to a careful clean edit, this was our favorite track to play off The Stimulus Package.
  10. Aloe was EVERYwhere in 2010 and his success is well deserved.  Many in the country don’t know the artist, but they know the song.  And he murdered “Politician” live in studio with us.  Epitome of an artist.
  11. Between the title, the lyrics, the hook, and the beat, no record summed up SNSS better than this song.  Take your corporate $$’s thaaaaattaway.
  12. Talib and Hi-Tek not only reunited with each other and Mos, but they brought along newcomers Jay Elec and J. Cole for an instant classic.  As Kweli mentioned in studio with us, this record could fit right in with any early Blackstar/RE project.  And that’s a beautiful thing.
  13. The Physics delivered our favorite local record of 2009 with “I Just Wanna Beat,” and they’re on the list again with the less direct, but equally sultry, “My Place.”
  14. And when wifey is at your place, play this record and let Miguel talk to her.  “You on my mind right now…”
  15. My favorite artist of the year (and the decade…and ever?) with the biggest song of the year.  Everything Yeezy did in 2010 was an event and this comeback record sparked it all.  Plus, the homey S1 got introduced to the rest of the world with a great look.  “No one man should have all that power”…but he does.
  16. I was ready to go back to back ‘Ye with “Live Fast, Die Young,” but J picked another great track from the Bawse.  Kudos to Ross, who successfully evolved from an industry punchline a few years ago to making some of the best mainstream hip-hop music we have.  His ear for beats might be the best in the whole industry.
  17. An incredible beat is complemented by a somewhat lackluster verse, until we hear, “I’m Black Thought, what could be more prolific?” and the song kicks into the next level.
  18. J’s favorite song of the year has an eerie Marley-esque feel to its lyrics and Bilal hitting notes that only he can.  Honorable mention for one of my favorites, “Think It Over,” off the same album.
  19. Sharing the “best writer in the game” title with Lupe Fiasco, Shad finally got some well deserved respect stateside in 2010.  If you’re still sleeping, you’ll wake up soon.  Don’t worry.
  20. Anytime your song acts as my ringtone for a good 6 months of the year, you’ll likely make the Best Of wrap up.  Your getaway anthem.
  21. As I mentioned in the post for this video, Sol is one of Seattle’s rising stars.  And with our well respected scene, he’ll soon be making noise around the country.  Cop it now while his rookie card is cheap.
  22. “1997” sounds like it was a great year for Dom and a 15 year old Hyph would agree.  I also agree that “I hate how rappers use the term fresh so looooooosely.”
  23. Daytona is one of our favorite MC’s in the game right now and his flow over this classic sample are a match made in heaven.  Add in a Nutso/Leon “Above The Rim” reference from the greatest movie ever made and I’m all in.  “He’s playin ball…with no ball!”
  24. Yes, Drake’s singing.  Yes, he has limited range.  Yes, 40’s beats aren’t the most varied (…yet).  Yes, he gave this record to Jamie Foxx.  But yes, he has an incredible knack for capturing situations many of us have been in through his lyrics and yes, this is one of the best records of 2010.  Don’t make the same mistakes in 2011.

Honorable mentions from artists not otherwise represented:

  • Black Milk ft. Royce Da 5’9″ & Elzhi – “Deadly Medley”
  • Donnis – “Gone”
  • Homeboy Sandman – “Mean Mug”
  • Janelle Monae – “Cold War”
  • Jay Electronica ft. Diddy – “Ghost Of Christopher Wallace”
  • J. Cole – “Who Dat”
  • Kidz In The Hall – “Grizzly Man”
  • Laws – “Hold You Down”
  • Lupe Fiasco – “I’m Beaming”
  • Miguel ft. J. Cole – “All I Want Is You”
  • Slum Village ft. Posdnuos & Phife Dawg – “Scheming”
  • The Foreign Exchange – “Maybe She’ll Dream Of Me”
  • Trek Life – “Wow”

Of course there are more, but if you really want to know all the records we liked in 2010, peep our archives!  See you in 2011!

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Shawn & Gary

Posted in Sports, Videos on August 8th, 2008 by Hyphen


Saw this on the Laced Up blog (what up fellas?) and had to post it.  Too many classic memories in there.  I mean, come on…how many times do you see someone get dunked on and dap the dude who did it (3:58)?  I can’t believe they’re gone.

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