Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Gucci Mane, Lead Mixtape Of The Year Runners-Up

G-Unit, Clipse, Micki Minaj, others also scored big this year, in Mixtape Daily.

On Monday, Mixtape Daily crowned Drake’s So Far Gone the best mixtape of 2009, but there were plenty of others that excited fans from ‘hood to ‘hood — plenty of mixtapes that were so popular the street couldn’t contain them and they made their way into the ‘burbs and even onto TV stations like ESPN. So without further ado — and in no order of preference — here’s our list of the rest of the best mixtapes of 2009.

The Hottest Mixtapes Of 2009

50 Cent: Forever King
DJ Collaborator: Whoo Kid
Necessary Notes: Who uses a Jackson 5 beat as the soundscape to rap about one of his one of his neighbors pumping crack cocaine down the block? 50 Cent! Who uses Jeff Redd’s dance-floor-friendly ’90s R&B classic instrumental “You Called & Told Me” to rap about eluding a D.A.’s charges and engaging in shoot-outs? None other than 50 Cent. You get the picture. Fif did indeed leave his beloved rugged drums and indignant basslines behind to smooth it out on the R&B tip, but the content was “harsh” just the same. The G-Unit General mostly dug into the crates for ’90s R&B instrumentals for his beat-jacking here.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Michael Jackson Freestyle,” “Funny How Time Flies,” “If U Leaving Then Leave”

50 Cent: War Angel LP
DJ Collaborators: N/A
Necessary Notes: Another classic for the street catalog! 50 Cent crafted a devilishly gangsta unofficial album as his protest to all the bubblelicious hip-hop he said he’d been hearing. “Redrum” hit New York radio as did “OK, You’re Right,” which wound up on Before I Self Destruct. Its video is one of the tightest of ’09.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Redrum,” “C.R.E.A.M. 2009.” “OK, You’re Right”

Lloyd Banks: 4-30-09: Happy Birthday Volume Four
DJ Collaborator: Whoo Kid

Necessary Notes: Gravelly voice? Check! Punchlines? Check! Banks celebrated his birthday by giving back to the streets with a double mixtape. Fans were treated not only to the Boy Wonder’s raw spit, but went beyond the G-Unit and reached out to the likes of Jay Rock, Uncle Murda, and even showcased a guest spot he did for Red Café. Our biggest gripe with Banks is that he still hasn’t dropped Volume Five.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “My Way or Nothing” (featuring Uncle Murda), “Have It All,” “Don’t Come Around”

The Clipse: The Road to Till the Casket Drops

DJ Collaborator: N/A
Necessary Notes: We loved the Re-Up Gang’s series of mixtapes, but nothing can compare to listening to the best two-man group in the game molest their peers’ tracks with assured proclamations and commentary on real-life, underworld experiences. In this prequel to Til the Casket Drops, their successes are boastful, their losses are explained as heartbreaking but life-changing lessons … and they still maintain they can out-rap everybody!

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Intro,” “Big Dreams,” “Feds Taking Pictures”

J.Cole: The Warm Up

DJ Collaborators: N/A
Necessary Notes: “Pardon the interruption/ A proper introduction is necessary/ When your sh– is legendary.” J. Cole may not have reached legendary status just yet, but the kid out of “Fayette-nam” (Fayetteville, North Carolina) certainly possesses the lyricism and hunger of some of the great ones. Although The Warm Up may have been the first time many people ever heard of theJay-Z co-signed J.Cole, it’s actually the follow-up to his relatively unknown 2007 mixtape with DJ On Point, The Come Up. Whether or not The Warm Up is the first you’ve heard of J. Cole, we can almost guarantee it won’t be the last.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Grown Simba,” “Lights Please,” “Dollar and a Dream II”

Gucci Mane: Cold War series

DJ Collaborators: Holiday, Drama and Scream

Necessary Notes: He had the nation yelling “Burr!” Gucci made the boldest moves on the mixtape circuit this year, being the first to release three tapes simultaneously on one day — a Saturday, at that. So what if his hotly anticipated album, The State Vs. Radric Davis, was less than two months from being released? So what if he had just put out the Burrrprint mixtape a week prior? Gucci Mane LaFlare had a lot to say, and the streets always stopped to hear him out.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “In My Business” (featuring Drake and Sean Garrett), “6,” “Street Cred”

Gucci Mane: Writing’s on the Wall

DJ Collaborators: DJ Holiday
Necessary Notes: This was the controversial return of Gucci Mane. There were hundreds of Gucci songs floating around in 2009, but this was the first full street opus sanctioned this year. His fans couldn’t download the tape fast enough, the hard copies were essential for any vehicle in the South. This is where Gucci’s flight started its takeoff, especially with the debut of his hit, “Wasted.”

Can’t Miss Tracks: “Girls Kissing Girls” (featuring Nicki Minaj), “She Gotta Friend” (featuring Juelz Santana), “Wasted” (featuring Plies)

Jadakiss: Kiss My Ass: The Champ Is Here, Part 2

DJ Collaborator: Green Lantern

Necessary Notes: The tape was the set-up for Jada’s Last Kiss LP. Lyrically, Jada was lethal as ever, swinging his battle axe in the booth like a Yonkers He-man. Once again, The Black Babe Ruth proved he can terrorize the rap scene whenever he decides to get active.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Child Abuse.” “The People” (featuring Styles P), “Letter to B.I.G. (Green Mix)”

R. Kelly: The Demo Tape

DJ Collaborators: Drama and Scream

Necessary Notes: Oh, the disappointment — not in the quality of this mixtape, but we were hoping to catch a couple of tracks like “Club to a Bedroom” and “Disrespect My Shorty” on Kell’s Untitled LP. It definitely was a great look to have a music legend as big as R. Kelly acknowledge the streets, freestyling over a plethora hip-hop tracks and even giving away original material for free. The Demo Tape was the Pied Piper’s first-ever mixtape, and a warm-up for his LP.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Club to a Bedroom,” “Disrespect My Shorty,” “Birthday Sex” (remix)

Kid Cudi: Dat Kid From Cleveland

DJ Collaborator: DJ E-V
Necessary Notes: “This kinda how it is when you’re livin’ young and fast/ Management is playing loud, b—hes dancin,’ shakin’ ass.” Kid Cudi only released one mixtape, 2008′s A Kid Named Cudi, but he built so much buzz off of that tape that fans wanted more. Cleveland’s own DJ E-V answered the call. He collected various Cudder tracks floating around in the ether that didn’t make the first mixtape to hold fans off until the album, Man on the Moon.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Rollin’ ” (featuring Jackie Chain), “Switchin’ Lanes” “She Came Along” (featuring Sharam)

Lil Wayne: No Ceilings

DJ Collaborator: N/A

Necessary Notes: If not for the undeniable impact of So Far Gone (which Wayne was all over), No Ceilings would easily have been the mixtape of the year. Stylistically he was a Sasquatch, stomping the competition to bone gristle and standing high atop the remains. With his raps, the “Mixtape Weezy” gave the most quotables on one body of work this year, plus Wayne gave an inadvertent peek into the future when he rapped “Tiger Woods on these hoes…” on “Swag Surfin’ ” …

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Throw It In the Bag” (remix), “Banned From TV” “No Ceilings”

Lupe Fiasco: Enemy of the State: A Love Story

DJ Collaborators: N/A

Necessary Notes: “Stay outta the sun’s way, like you drinking blood” — that one line says it all. Lupe Fiasco is fueled by a quest to be known as the Hottest MC in the Game. Lu may be taking awhile to craft his upcoming album The L.A.S.E.R.S. Manifesto, but his talent doesn’t take hiatus. Enemy of the State was released on Thanksgiving Day, and obviously Lu was hungry. He jacks beats from everyone from Lil Wayne to Slaughterhouse — and even Radiohead’s “Natonal Anthem” — and measures up to each and every one of them. Although the tape is less than 30 minutes long, we’re discovering a new punchline everyday.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “The National Anthem,” “Angels”
(remix), “All the Way Turnt Up”

Nicki Minaj: Beam Me Up Scotty

DJ Collaborator: Holiday
Necessary Notes: Nicki is a superstar in the making — and for her rhymes and her charisma, not just for her looks, which have had the fellas on the blogs swooning all year. Nick’s tape was an essential item for the iPod this year, proving that she is the leading candidate to resurrect the female rap scene. Minaj sang, she rapped, she talked dirty on the tape — and the promoters recognized her growing popularity (helped by her spot with the Young Money crew on Lil Wayne’s America’s Most Wanted Tour) , keeping her booking agent’s phone ringing.
Can’t Miss Tracks: “I Get Crazy” (featuring Lil Wayne), “Kill Da DJ”

Nipsey Hussle: Bullets Ain’t Got No Name series

DJ Collaborator: Skee, Reflex, Whoo Kid and The Empire
Necessary Notes: The consensus on the streets is that Nipsey Hussle is going to lock things down in 2010. We’ve been waiting quite some time for a new West Coast superstar, and Snoop Dogg’s favorite new artist seems destined to follow in the Chuck Taylor footprints of Snoop and Game. Nips’ series rang bells from East to West, and his flow was undeniable.

Can’t Miss Tracks: “Speak My Language,” “Rap Music”

Snoop Dogg: I Wanna Rock

DJ Collaborators: Whoo Kid, Scream and Skee

Necessary Notes: “The older I get, the better I’m made/ The bolder I get, the older I age/ So I’mma be here for a long muthaf—in’ time.” Snoop is telling the truth, 100 percent. The veteran’s mixtape was so cold, we feel it’s almost as dope as his new LP, Malice N Wonderland. The title track from the mixtape and premier cut from his album has to be one this year’s hardest party records.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Blasten” “I Wanna Rock” “World of a Gangsta”

Triple C’s: White Sand

DJ Collaborators: N/A
Necessary Notes: The album Custom Cars & Cycles didn’t connect on the SoundScan charts, but Rick Ross and his gang kept their love affair with the streets on full throttle. This mixtape not only showcased all of Ross’ young guns, but it was declaration that despite the acclaim and big sales for Ross’ Deeper Than Rap, he’s devoted to staying hungry and keeping his bars crisp.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Thug Battlefield” (featuring Jadakiss), “Southside (featuring Lil Wayne), “Where Dey Do Dat At”

Tony Yayo: Swine Flu series

DJ Collaborators: Whoo Kid
Necessary Notes: With no album since 2005, Tony Yayo knows that mixtapes keep him alive. Like Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent, Yayo the Talk of New York stood ten toes down on the asphalt, waving the G-Unit flag with multiple solo releases, none making more noise than his morbidly titled Swine Flu 1 and 2. No radio play? No problem. Yayo mastered the art of the viral video this year, using visuals to promote his tapes like they were actual LPs.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Cadillac” (featuring Lil’ Boosie), “Stay Strapped,” Goin’ In”

Yo Gotti: Cocaine Muzik series

DJ Collaborators: Drama and Scream
Necessary Notes: Gotti was moving independently, but his presence in the streets just felt like he had a machine behind him — especially in the Southern markets. This is a name you’re going to be talking about next year as an artist to watch: He’s building up to have a Gucci Mane-like pop in 2010. While the title of his mixtapes would lead you to believe that the subject matter is dense, Yo showed his reached with the women by giving them props on “5 Star” — that mixtape song turned into a hit single

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Shoot Off,” “5 Star,” “Newspaper on the Floor”

Young Dro: R.I.P.
DJ Collaborator: Don Cannon
Necessary Notes: “How many different flows y’all gonna make me have?/ How many different hoes y’all gonna make me grab?/ How many different 44′s y’all gonna make me blast?/ Who be the freshest in them clothes?/ Y’all gonna make me ask?!” Minus the last one, these are all legitimate questions. While the title of his mixtape may seem boastful, confidence is never lacking in a man rocking an all-white suit! Dro does back his declaration by killing each track with wit and flow.

Can’t-Miss Tracks: “Y’all Funny” “I Don’t Know Y’all” “Ric Flair”

What are your picks for the hottest mixtapes of the year? Let us know below, or upload a video to Your.MTV.com!