WU’s Best of 2011BY Staff, December 20, 2011
Countdown to the 2012 WU Year!
Join us for the next 12 days as we countdown the new year with a staff list of BEST OF 2011. What follows is an epic list of our favorite discoveries this year. From films to Twitter to musical melanges, this is one list not to miss. We might even inspire you in that last minute search for the perfect gift.
Be sure to check in everyday for a new staff favorite in line with our mission to make the world smaller through hip hop, technology and education.
December 31, 2011
Best of International Hip Hop: We end our list with the best international hip hop 2011 list. Check out what we’ve been grooving to all year long!
The (w)Rap Up- 21 Dopest International Hip Hop Tracks of 2011:
14. Nneka – My Home
December 30, 2011
The lovely Ariam shares her favorite WU moments of the year!
The Best WU Late night grind work:
Best WU Outreach:
December 29, 2011
Peep Danielle’s favorite!
Best Mixtape: Blu & Exile “Give Me My Flowers” Although many noteworthy mixtapes dropped year, we’de be hard pressed to find one better than this.
December 28, 2011
We continue the countdown with Ari’s favorite of the year!
Best Photographer: Jamel Shabazz. 2011 marked the release of Shabazz’s 10th Anniversary edition of his classic “Back in the Days,” re-released by Powerhouse Arena books. If you’re unfamiliar with Shabazz (as I was before this year), you should know that he’s responsible for many of the most iconic images of the early days of hip hop. For a sneak peak, check out this New York Times slideshow.
December 27, 2011
Only 4 more to go! Check Ebenezer’s pick!
Best Live Shows:
December 26, 2011
Carol shares her favorite!
Best interview: If there’s a Struggle, Hip Hop Will Be There – The El Deeb Exclusive. It was really exciting and informative to not only speak with someone who is at the forefront of the Arab Spring movement in Egypt, but who is also an influential part and MC of the revolution. His love for hip hop and social equality was thoughtful and inspiring. The language of hip hop is truly spoken with the same passion and vigor in all cultures it touches.
With a prophetic song that dropped days after the revolution sparked in Egypt, MC El Deeb is an exemplar of World Up’s mission to use hip hop to fuel social change. We chatted with him shortly after about the “Arab Spring,” Egypt’s upcoming elections in September, and a unity felt with hip hop artists worldwide surrounding the cause.
“Because the state that we were living in before the revolution, you could end up anywhere, you could end up in prison and no one would know anything about you, for speaking against the government. But when I went down, I felt like it was the right decision to go down and then suddenly I got this adrenaline rush. I felt myself becoming involved in the uprising since day one.” -El Deeb
December 25, 2011
We continue with Valerie’s favorite!
Best bling: The WUdalion. This beauty speaks for itself!
December 24, 2011
Today, we check Eric’s pick!
Best table: Ari’s handmade table. WU is all about making something great with the tools around you. It is how we view hip hop and what we try to pass on to those around us so we can learn from one another. While at first glance, WU Digital Technologies Director Ari’s table may not seem very “hip-hop,” his approach to building it (and life in general) certainly is. Ari looked at the resources around him. Remixed them. And out popped a table that would make CB2 designers jealous. Ari’s table gets my vote in the best of 2011 category for his steadfast approach to DIY.
December 23, 2011
We continue the countdown with Laura‘s pick!
December 22, 2011
Check out Hannah‘s pick!
Best new musical genre: Moombahton. Born from Dave Nada’s musical genius while spinning his kid cousin’s “skip day” party the genre blends reggaeton, dutch house, dancehall, cumbia and whatever else falls in the mix. The mostly Latino high school crowd wasn’t feeling the amped up club music he was spinning, so he slowed down an Afrojack remix of “Moombah,” by DJ Chuckie and Silva Cuomo, to a crawling 108 bpm and overlayed a reggaeton beat in order to give them what they wanted. Hence Moombahton was born.
December 21, 2011
Today, we check out Agnes’ pick!
December 20, 2011
We start things off with Aaron’s pick!
Best cookbook: Rice and Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking, written by Skiz Fernando of the seminal Brooklyn record label WordSound Recordings. He also makes and distributes Skiz’s Original Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder, simply incredible. Claim to fame? He was Anthony Bourdain’s guide for the Sri Lanka episode of No Reservations!
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