Year’s Best: Top 11 Detroit (Long) Players of 2011 - Okayplayer

Year’s Best: Top 11 Detroit (Long) Players of 2011

The city of Detroit has received many a mention on “trends to watch” lists over the last two years or so–mainly because everybody was watching to see how the bellwether metropolis would respond to the government bailout of the automotive industry and a housing crisis that trumped even Miami and Baltimore’s. The Green Economy seems like the only intelligent response to both issues. But though it may be some time before Mayor Dave Bing‘s initiative to reclaim as much as a quarter of Detroit’s urban prairie and convert it to urban farmland bears um, fruit, a very different kind of renaissance has taken place in the Motor City this year. In the absence of any kind of studio system or music industry–and in an era when regional scenes seem oddly absent from music–Detroit has emerged as an unlikely stronghold of underground rap, a kind of anti-Miami. Only fitting then that Okayplayer tapped frequent Metro Times (and LargeUp) contributor Jonathan Cunningham to run down the Detroit players (and longplayers) that defined this phenomenon–and  1/11/12 seems like as auspicious a date as any for the last of our Top 11s of 2011 (but stay tuned for the Top 12 upcoming artists to watch for 2012!)

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