9. Young Moose, "O.T.M. 2" (Out The Mud Records)

Detectives in the Baltimore Police Department may see Young Moose's music and videos as provocation and evidence, rather than art, but, like much of the rest of the city, we here at Baltimore's muddiest alt-weekly couldn't quit listening to "O.T.M. 2" this summer. Sure, a lot of Moose's sound--along with the notion of "out the mud"--comes from Southern rappers such as Lil Boosie, but he brings a particularly Baltimore bent and sensibility to the tracks on this diverse and yet aesthetically cohesive mixtape. There's the, well, dumb catchiness of the unexpected hit 'Dumb Dumb,' the deeply sad naturalism of 'Breathe (RIP),' the clubby bounce of the Miss Tony-referencing 'How Would U Carry It,' and the hardcore grit of 'Fuck Da Police' and 'Posted.' Each song takes a different aspect of city life and elevates it to art with a lyrical stance that noirishly mixes swagger and vulnerability in tales of street life, love, loss, and the family business that owes more to Tony Soprano than to Tony "Scarface" Montana. (Baynard Woods)
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