Ah, Charles Hamilton. My first post ever was dedicated to him. That was before I even knew how to put up my own Zshare links! Ha! Anyways, I remember when I heard the Outside Looking mixtape and I was instantly blown away. It was a mixture of raw talent and realness that I haven’t heard in hip hop since…shit, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this type of mixture. There are times when I cringe listening to Charles, because he says exactly what is on his mind, no matter what. This can range from crazy philosophies about Sonic to giving facials. Underneath it all, he comes across as a dude who really loves all kinds of music (he sampled Lykke Li and Modest Mouse, he wants to work with Brandon Boyd from Incubus in 2009), and has a genuine vision that he wants to be realized.
Part of the reason I think Charles is going to be successful is because he’s part of this new wave of artists that have built a following from the ground up. The “ground” these days isn’t just about the streets. There are plenty of local artists who never get recognition outside of their city. Before most people even know who Charles is, he’s established a cult-like following of fans, or Hamiltonites, that stay up until 3 a.m. waiting for his new mixtape to drop. When it’s late, they send hate mail to the sites that were supposed to drop it. They check his blog religiously, giving him advice on everything from girl problems to how to handle beef. Crazy right?
The other half of this phenomenon is that Charles responds. He talks to these people like they were friends reaching out. He takes their advice. He does his own crazy thing, but he still cares what his fans think. It just makes it a lot easier to get behind someone when you feel like you know them as more than just a voice behind the microphone. You get the idea that you’re listening to another human sharing their human (sometimes alien) experiences, and stumbling through life, figuring shit out along the way. Oh yeah, and he’s pretty fucking good at rapping.
Alright, enough. The point of this post is to present my favorite Charles tracks. Due to the Hamiltonization process (Charles dropping 8 mixtapes in the past few months), there’s a swamp of material out there and although I’d suggest checking it all, you have to start somewhere. So imagine that, a ‘best of’ before he even drops his first major album. Here is the Best of Charles Hamilton, brought to you by Pigeons and Planes. Note: Opinions will vary greatly so don’t give me shit for picking out my favorites, but I’d be interested to hear yours, so lemme know.
1. Charles Hamilton – Brooklyn Girls
2. Charles Hamilton – Beetlejuice
3. Charles Hamilton – C Food
4. Charles Hamilton – Harlem
5. Charles Hamilton – No Escaping
6. Charles Hamilton – Mixtape Vents
7. Charles Hamilton – Fans Are Cool
8. Charles Hamilton – Krispy Kreme Intentions
9. Charles Hamilton – Rockstar Girl
10. Charles Hamilton – Ambitions of Musicians
11. Charles Hamilton – What’s Going On
12. Charles Hamilton – Two Left Feet
13. Charles Hamilton – Don’t Touch Me
14. Charles Hamilton – Owww
15. Charles Hamilton – Outside
16. Charles Hamilton – Jeezy Hamilton
17. Charles Hamilton – Beat Abuse
Alright. I could keep going but I think 17 sounds good.