Top 10 Albums of 2012

Posted: January 5, 2013 by woody in Fun, Music

Well, now that we are well on our way into 2013, I figured it was about time I give yall my annual top 10 hip hop album list.  And what a fucking year we had for hiphop. The one thing I can feel good about being wrong about us all dying is that I get to continue to listen to the incredible amount of new talent we have in the game today. Unfortunately, 2012 didn’t bring us “Act II” by Jay Electronica, which will without a doubt be the best album of all time, but hey, there’s always this year. So without further adieu:

10) Slaughterhouse – Welcome to: Our House

Not gonna lie, I was expecting this to be a little higher on the list when I envisioned the list during the summer, but there was just so much good shit that has come out this year, and I was also expecting a little more from Eminem’s super group. They went with more radio friendly songs then I personally care for, which is rare considering the artists in the group and how they’ve managed to stay underground for years. That being said, this CD was still fire and the lyricism from Joell, Budden, Royce, and Crooked was incredible as always. Plus with features from Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Sklar Gray, Swizz Beats, and Cee Lo Green, we get a nice array of great hooks and dope guest verses. My favorite track would have to be “Goodbye”. This song was more of what I expected out of them, and has Joe Budden, Crooked I, and Joell Ortiz getting real deep over an ill beat with a heartfelt chorus.

9) Big Sean – Detroit

This is the first of a few mixtapes that I will be including on this list, because in today’s day and age, CD’s and mixtapes are basically the same thing. There used to be much more thought put into an album, but nowadays people are just trying to get their music out there by any means necessary, and people come with the heat on their mixtapes now, instead of just having one or two songs that are good. After a somewhat disappointing album last year in my opinion, Big Sean had a huge comeback with this mixtape. With an impressive list of features, including J. Cole, Common, Royce 5’9, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop “Lion”, and more, there’s something for everyone on this mixtape. It was a toss up between “100” and “24 Karats Of Gold” for my favorite track, but here’s “24 Karats Of Gold” featuring J. Cole.

8) Ab-Soul – Control System

Another up and comer to the game, Ab-Soul is a part of Black Hippy and signed to TDE, which many of you might recognize as Kendrick Lamar’s group and label. Ab is without a doubt the second most talented in that group, and he is already on another level than a lot of the dudes in the game. He raps about shit that actually matters, and does it in a way that makes you really think. The thing I like the most about him is that he just doesn’t sound like anyone else out today. He is completely his own style, and that is hard to do these days. With features from fellow Black Hippy members Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Kendrick Lamar, as well as Danny Brown and some other lesser known artists, Control System solidifies Ab-Soul as another artist to look forward to in the coming years. My favorite track is easily “ILLuminate” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Bold statements everywhere in this song and I love it.

7) Rapsody – The Idea Of Beautiful

Coming out of nowhere this year is the best thing to happen to female MC’s since Jean Grae. I just stumbled upon this girl via twitter and when I found out she was signed to 9th Wonder, one of my favorite producers in the game, I had to check her out. This album is incredibly well done for a new artist. She is a breath of fresh air to hip hop, and I thank god there’s a new girl out there who can come with it and put annoying, talentless bitches like Nicki Minaj to shame. I strongly recommend checking this CD out, as well as all of the ones I put on this list, but this girl can flat out spit. My favorite track, “The Drums”, demonstrates exactly what I’m talking about, and with one listen you will fall in love if you know anything about real hip hop.

6) 1982 – 2012

No, that is not a time period of 30 years. 1982 is the duo of Termanology, one of the hottest dudes most people don’t know about, and Statik Selektah, one of the best producers in the game. This album came out just in time for the start of the summer of 2012, and delivers with jam after jam the entire way through. With guest spots from Bun B, Freddie Gibbs, Crooked I, Mac Miller, Roc Marciano, and more, there’s plenty to be happy about on this album. It’s nearly impossible to choose my favorite track off of this, because there are so many gems, but I’m gonna have to go with my number 1 jam to get you ready to party from this past summer, because it just brings me back to better times. Here’s “Up Every Night”. If this song doesn’t make you want to throw a rager at your house, then not only are you playing the wrong game, but your probably a fucking loser too.

5) Oddisee – People Hear What They See

Oddisee is probably the least known person on this list when taking into consideration how long he’s been around. He’s been making music since ’05, but has remained very under the radar for the most part. I just discovered him earlier in 2012, and when I heard the instrumentals he produced and how he would rhyme over his own beats, I was blown away. He has so much meaning in just his beats, and when he puts words to the sounds, its honestly incredible music. He has such a jazzy feel to his music, which I fucking can’t get enough of. He also is one of the few people today who carries an entire album by himself, with no features from anyone. He also produced every song on the album. That’s something you just have to respect. In his own words, “This album is about influence, inspiration, perception & reality. Every song was written in an outside environment, so that I could observe the subjects that would become my subject matter. All too often in Hip Hop, reality is limited to that of the artists own, actual experiences. People Hear What They See is my attempt to liberate the MC from those constraints & allow reality to be penned other than my own. Listening to congressmen & lawyers converse on the steps of the supreme court inspired ‘American Greed’, Watching a couple argue over the phone in a bar inspired ‘Maybes’. By having a visual representation of my subject matter, my hopes are that the listener will see them through the worlds & melodies of my songs.” Can’t really say much else after that, so although my favorite track was tough to come up with, I ended up going with “That Real”.

4) Game – Jesus Piece

This is Game’s second very high quality album in as many years. Somehow he has managed to become on of the lesser talked about MC’s in the game, even though everything he has put out over his career has been dope. Still trying to figure out how that happened, but in any case, Jesus Piece is another example of how talented this dude really is. He also enlisted probably the best guest spots from any CD to come out this year, with very respectable artists such as Kanye, Common, Kendrick, J. Cole, Pusha T, Fab, Big Sean, and many more big names such as Rick Ross, Wayne, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Wiz, Tyga, and Chris Brown. Again, as with many of these CD’s, its hard to pick a favorite track, but I’m gonna go with the title track “Jesus Piece” featuring Common and Kanye West.

3) Nas – Life Is Good

I almost feel bad about not putting Nas as the number 1 CD that came out this year, just because I love his music so much, but the 1 and 2 spots just flat out brought the heat, more so than anyone else. With this CD, Nas showed the whole world that he’s not to be forgotten about, and isn’t going anywhere soon. He is just living the life, because as the CD is so appropriately names, Life Is Good. Life isn’t the only thing that’s good for Nas, his music is also on point. One of my favorite artists of all time, I can proudly say that this was definitely the best CD he’s come out with in a long time. My favorite track has gotta be “Cherry Wine” featuring Amy Winehouse. RIP Amy. You probably should have gone to rehab instead of telling people “no, no, no”. All jokes aside, she absolutely murders this chorus. It honestly gives me chills when I listen to it.

2) Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.A.A.d City

As many of you probably know, Kendrick Lamar has been one of my favorite artists to come out in the last few years. It basically comes down to him, Jay Electronica, and Blu in terms of my favorite dudes out right now. And he finally dropped his debut album in October, and obviously he did not disappoint. I had expected this to be the number 1 CD on this list all year until I unexpectedly discovered the next artist. All that aside, this album was an absolute masterpiece. You really have to listen to it the entire way through to truly understand the message and story that goes on throughout the album, and once you do you will appreciate what a work of art this album was. My favorite track was definitely “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst” which in one song tells you exactly the type of artist this guy is. For any Kendrick fans out there, the first verse is from the perspective of the brother of the kid who dies in “Swimming Pools”, the second verse is from the perspective of Kesha’s sister, and the third verse in Kendricks view on the world. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then its not worth explaining. Listen to him more and you will know.

1) Joey Bada$$ – 1999

Just an absolute classic mixtape from this 17 year old rising star. Everything about this kid screams early Nas, which I don’t say lightly. This kid has everything that’s missing in the majority of today’s music. He is here to stay and there’s no doubt about it. The mixtape is appropriately named 1999, as it brings the listener back to the golden era of New York hip hop. The beats and his flow are just on point and there’s no other way to put it. I am surprised myself that this kid made such a huge impression on me in such a short period of time. The last person to do that to me was Jay Electronica. Really looking forward to what Joey will be putting out the next few years. My favorite track is without a doubt “Snakes” featuring T’nah Apex, who also absolutely kills the chorus. She makes this song just as much as Amy Winehouse made “Cherry Wine” for me. One listen to this song and you’ll know what I mean when I say this kid is destined for stardom.

  1. Jake says:

    honorable mention:
    mic tyson
    russian roulette

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