10 cuts from Charles Hamilton's more prolific days to get you acquainted (or re-acquainted) with him.
XXL Freshmen flop all of the time. They're sort of like first round draft picks in that sense. But what happened to Charles Hamilton after he graced the 2009 cover was a different story entirely: the man all but dropped off the face of the earth. While his classmates Wale, Kid Cudi, Curren$y and B.o.B were out making hits and gaining fans, Hamilton stopped releasing music altogether, suffering from undiagnosed bipolar disorder and hitting rock bottom. Not even Cory Gunz and Mickey Factz (also included on that cover) fell off that hard.
Then, last May, Hamilton reappeared briefly to share two unreleased mixtapes (which have since been deleted) and reignite a rumor mill that was long dormant. Thankfully, that instance would soon be followed by more concrete evidence that Hamilton was ready to get back in the game. Last month, we learned that he'd signed with Republic Records, and since then, he's explained his absence from hip-hop and even delivered some new music.
With new projects on the way (hopefully), we figured now was a better time than ever to revisit the days when Hamilton was putting out projects at a ridiculous pace. Most of you were around during his '07-'09 heyday, so this may be more of a refresher for you, but if you weren't hip to Hamilton's blend of wacky taste and relatable, skillful lyricism back in the day, get familiar before he begins making major moves once again.
Here are the ten tracks that best convey his unique qualities.