Independent hip-hop is no longer split between "backpack" and "street." In 2011, the underground defies categorization, and artists like Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar (both from the Black Hippy crew) or Mellowhype (from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) balance an unapologetic street ethos with a taste for complex sounds and themes. Even Sole, who helped create the modern indie-rap landscape with early '00s albums like Bottle of Humans, is collaborating with idiosyncratic swag thugs like Lil B and Isaiah Toothtaker.
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