These days one could probably make a compelling case that the best hip hop is coming from free online mix-tapes rather than traditional album releases. Over the last few years it's been true for me—most of the rap I've been listening to has indeed come by way of bootleg online mixes.

So I was psyched when New York Times pop critic Jon Caramanica recently compiled a nice little list of the best places online to discover new hip hop. It's just a jump-off point, but a good one for starters. The sites are as follows:

Cocaine Blunts also guests regularly on the Sound of Young America podcast, where Noz semi-regularly offers up his picks. The most recent appearance:

Noz's Pick on the Sound of Young America 5/20/11