Top 50 Songs (2012)

Disclaimer:  It is hard and challenging to pick 50 tracks from the thousands upon thousands that dropped this year.  It is merely an attempt to list my favorite cuts of 2012.  Click the links to listen to the song!  I think it’s a great list.  There were a lot of great songs crafted this year and I know I left off some good ones.  I listened to 5,000+ tracks from 2012 alone this year, so as an artist, if you made this list you know you are on the forefront of my iTunes!

1. Megatron MindstateSpit Gemz, Shaz Illyork, and DJ Brans brought the banger of the year early on in 2012. For me this track just set a standard that could not be surpassed. The beat was epic and the rhymes intermingled the streets with theology to provide a brief but concentrated delivery of dope.

2. Tragedy TextRP from the Loyalty Digital game me the chills literally with this track about texting and driving and anyone who can provoke that type of response deserves to be acknowledged.  One of the great conceptual songs in the last five years.

3. The Greatest Mother EverRashid Hadee provides one of the great sarcastic songs of our lifetime with this joint.

4. Little Bunny RabbitLocksmith does angst so well.  He raps with a chip on his shoulder and delivers devastation to and and all in his path, in part to his little buddy.

5. Lo Siento AmigoDub Sonata x Double AB brought a lot of flavor and context to this joint.   Dub Sonata conjures a little latin boom bap and Double AB continues to be one of the best story telling emcees in the game, narrating a tale of romance, deception, and karma.

6. Local Artist – I could have honestly used any on the cuts off of The 17ths FREE EP.  It’s a damn great EP and you can listen to it through and through.   But this cut puts the listener in the shoes of your “local artist” and his life.

7. Under Their Radar, Over Their HeadsIllmaculate has always delivered dope bars but the production on this joint combined with the lyricism made this a sure shot for out Top 10.

8. Heaven – While this is not on any particular album, Mike Beatz provides an amazing banger for the fans and the visuals from the video give you that serial killer feel.  I can’t wait to hear more from this man in 2013.

9. How Do I SurviveEmilio Lopez and Falside link up for another banger that just makes the listener get out of the seat and get amped.

10. Dirt In The GroundPremrock’s reworking of Tom Waits music is impressive and this joint is the closing cut.  It’s very innovative and poignant.

11. Rare FlowSerge Severe and Jon Belz bring you that rare Portland air with this ‘rare flow’ over Terminill production.

12. J.O.Y.Copywrite features Torae and Jason Rose for this outstandingly soulful song.

13. My CondolencesSnake Hollywood released this beast of a track towards the end of the year and it instantly bypassed 95% of the other tracks out there.  Really dope rhymes.

14. Yesterday’s GoneSwerve and Co$$ define soul in hip hop with this track.  Just something to put you at ease.

15. 3AMJournalist 103 is prone to drop a gem on em’ and this is one of my favorite tracks from his most recent album.

16. Burn It DownGotham Green and Quickiemart bring you a track to tear the club up.  A 1940s club that is because this joint bumps with a nostalgic vibe.  Very unique.

17. Waiting In VeinMayhem drops one of the best storytelling joints this year.   You will just have to listen to this one and follow along.

18. Problem SolverVinnie Paz brings in the legend, Scarface for this song off of his most recent album.

19.  Futuristic – When is ‘The Wolves’ project going to drop because this collaborative deal between Shabaam Sahdeeq, Eddie B., and Harry Fraud is type ill.

20. Check My ResumeSubstantial rocking over some Oddisee beats is the sure shot.

21. Don’t HateOf Mice and Musicians are trying to convince the listener they are doing it for their benefit…so don’t hate.  Also, this is off of a great album so make sure you cop that!

22. Big BroFatal Lucciauno dropped a real raw ass album and this song is the crem de la crem.

23. Sorry Alias & Fakts One apologize for the vicious cycle on this joint but not their dope music.

24. Mr. Governor – The duo of Soul Khan and Akie Bermiss again deliver a dope song with this conscious cut.

25. Drowning ManCas Metah and Wonder Brown  offer a Christian message in the form of dope hip hop rhythm accompanied by Copywrite and Elias.

26. Digi Box – C-Rayz Walz pays homage to the hip hop internet scene.

27. Rock To The RhythmRuste Juxx and The Arcitype drop thisself explanatory joint but in the illest, and most high energy way possible.

28. Price & Shining Armor – When Sean Price and Ruste Juxx combine, it’s nothing but a win for everybody.

29. UnfukwitableRed Eye and company rock over a DJ Bless beat making this the best posse cut of the year.  Hands down.

30. SushiRas Kass is my all-time favorite emcee and he shows and proves his place in history once again with this track.

31. Monte CarloKing Mez and producer Commissioner Gordon once again combine for this audio masterpiece.

32. Jansport StringsSkyzoo and the horns are a formidable combination.

33.  Above The SkyApollo The Great is one of the best surprises this year to me.  His album is immaculate and this track is one of my favorites.

34. Terminate On Site – CF drops another tough joint.  Last year he brought ‘that fire’, and this year he ‘terminates on site’.

35.  Humid NightsJR&PH7 link up with The Kid Daytona for a soulful joint off their most recent project.

36.  SuccessThe Audible Doctor  and Chaundon showcase their verbals over the former’s tightest productions.

37. Walk With The Lions – When Swedish producer Pause Beats comes out with his album in 2013 you will recognize.  A lot of talent on this track.

38. Knob CreekJustMe, Marcus Wilkerson, and Sheisty Khrist give you a spiritual, soulful and bluesy vibe that this liste needed.

39.  Rabbit Season – Craig G is an OG.  He deosn’t care about end of the year accolades but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve them.  He once again shows these youngsters how it is done…proper.  Kids….go get your shine box!

40.  the Last Great – This is the title track off of MaLLy & The Sundance Kid’s album from this year.  It’s such a different sound and the two work great together.

41. Blame The LabelThe Narcicyst asks you to take a leap of faith with him which is easy when he drops an infectious track like this!

42.  UnlearnReks and Numonics kill the game with this track.  These are two of my favorites in their selected fields.  You can’t listen to this without stopping what you are doing and paying attention to the music,.

43.  Appreciation – Speaking of ill combinations, Donnie Darko  and DJ Bless continue their run with one of the best track this year.  Darko has a lot of power in his voice and Bless in his beats.

44. Sandstorms – This list needed another ill posse cut and who better to deliver than Blacastan, Emilio Lopez, Outerspace, and V-Zilla?  No One.

45. Holy Smokes – You don’t remember Mr. Complex do you?  Well, I personally think he is one of the most interesting emcees in the game.  A great talent with a great sense of humor.

46. People  – Falside ain’t right for this as he asserts his force on this Juan Deuce track featuring Romen Rok.  Real ill!

47. The First 48Apollo Brown and OC brought you one of the illest albums this year and this song typifies that release.  Dope beats and rhymes.

48.  You Know Who You AreOddisee is a unique talent with an old soul.  A producer extraordinaire with great lyrical ability.

49.  Balcony – Are you down with the Mission? The Black Opera.  You are either with us or against us.

50.  Time 2 Roll – The Red Giants are not only smooth but also extremely dope and don’t tell me Jermiside can’t flow.  This is ill lyricism and ability!

Top 5 Mixtapes (2012)

Here are my Top 5  Mixtapes from 2012.  Click the pics to be taken to the appropriate download links.

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Spit Gemz – Welcome To Hellzgate

If war came in your headphones, this is what it would sound like.   Spit Gemz is the quintessential street poet of our generation.  This man combines  the highest level of intelligence and wordplay making this the best street album/mixtape this year.

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Red Eye – St. Fatrick’s Day

Red Eye definitely has an argument for the best mixtape of 2012.  This mixtape is tough.  Really tough.  The beats are big and the rhymes are raw.  There are also tons of dope guest shots on this project as well. Lots of replay value on this joint.

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Juan Deuce – No Sweat

Juan Deuce’s first project, No Sweat, is a winner.   Juan Deuce is an artist all unto himself and can not be duplicated.  This project is absolutely unique.  And ‘unique’ in this instance means…fresh.

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DMP – Live From Early Street

DMP offers the most traditional of mixtapes in this year’s awards.   Lots of short but dope cuts on this project from a group of Virginia emcees back by Nottz behind the boards.  Good music to saturate your eardrums in.

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OnlyOne – Cult Classic

Do you want a mixtape to bang and knock in the whip?  Our Sandpeople brethren brought you some ill music in 2012 and perhaps none more sick than OnlyOne’s Cult Classic.

Top 5 EPs (2012)

This was a tough category.  There were so many dope, short projects that were offered up this year that it was really hard to narrow it down to my favorites.  I just kept the one ruling principle in mind as to who made the dopes music.  With that being kept in mind there were some dope artists left off…most notably The Brown Bag AllStars.  That crew put out a ton of dope EPs this year and surely some of them would have made a Top 10, just not the Top 5.  I simply couldn’t let got of these joints.

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#1 -The 17th – Free Music EP

The 17th gave us ‘FREE Music’ but not only that, he gave us some remarkable music.  This EP is close to flawless as they come.  You get eight tracks jam packed with flavor, great concept, flows, production, and delivery.  Another remarkable aspect is that much of the EP is his from beginning to end.  He of course is the lead emcee, but also the producer for the bulk of the tracks as well.

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#2 – Serge Severe x Terminill – Service Without A Smile

Serge Severe and Terminilllinked up for  a superlative effort on Service Without A Smile.  The two really played off of each other’s strengths and this proved to be one of the illest producer/emcee combos of 2012.

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#3 – Nefew x Shakes x Nottz – For Hip Hop

Speaking of ill producer/emcee combos, how about this one?  Swiss-American hip-hop group, Nefew, Virginia emcee Shakes, and super producer Nottz link up for for this five track EP.   You can’t go wrong with this joint!

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#4 – Mayday – Thrift Store Halos

MayDay has a sound all unto themselves.  They have have great production to back them up on Thrift Store Halos and their melodies, rhymes, and guest shots throughout make this one a clear winner for 2012.

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#5 – The Narcicyst – Leap Of Faith

The Narcicyst comes back in 2012 with a lyrical fury from Dubai.  Ok, a lyrical fury may be a bit extreme but his world observations set to rhythm set him apart from the pack this year.

Top Ten Albums (2011)

It’s never easy.  I like to think that I know music and have an open mind to all different sounds but you always run the risk of leaving out a dope release.  I have, in my collection,  combed over 250 albums (purchasable or free) for 2011 and this is my grand list.  There was a lot of great music out there, and I am sure some of you will find holes in my picks.  I judged each album based upon it’s content, production, ingenuity, and flow of the tracks.  Love it or hate it, here it is:

10.

Awthentik – Foreclosure –  This release just cracked my Top 10, but it’s definitely deserving of that status.  It is the only free release on this list and certainly worth the  listen. Awthentik is a no frills emcee who aims to deliver his thoughts and ideas direct and to the point regarding his life and surroundings.   It is just raw hip hop coming out of the DMV.

9.

Silent Knight – Busy Is My Best Friend – This album seemingly took forever to hit the streets but when it did, we could all say that it was worth the wait.   There are lots of good tracks with varying levels of dope production.  This is a diverse project when it comes to content and the sound that it’s covering.  Silent Knight shows you throughout the album why he is a master of his craft.

8.

Torae – For The Record – I didn’t have time to review this album but it really is on point.  Torae enlisted a ‘who’s who’ of production talents to go along with his strong flow and lyricism.  You’ve got Torae rhyming over beats of the likes of DJ Premier and Pete Rock and that is just a win-win every time.   I think Torae is highly unappreciated but this release makes him pretty hard to ignore.

7.

Rasheed Chappell – Future Before Nostalgia –  I will file this one under ‘I am so sorry I slept’.  Chappell is a beast on this album.  The knowledge he drops and his observations on life make this album remarkable. It took me forever to listen to this album and after I was done listening the first time, it never left rotation. This is intelligent music made for the head-nodding thinking man.

6.

Cold Heat – Raising The Bar – Cold Heat represent everything good about hip hop and they go about their craft in the right way. They have stayed true to their identities and drop an album full of bangers that flows exceptionally well from one track to the next.  If you want a sampling, you have to check out Danielz’ flow on the track, Flashing.  Even the most hardened of hip hop heads have to appreciate that.    Cold Heat really has meant consistency when it comes to making good music over the last couple of years.

5.

L*Roneous – Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw – LR came back this year and dropped this outstanding album.  It is so dope that it cracked the Top 5 albums of the year much do in part to his trademark lyricism and flow. His style is indescribable and you won’t hear another one like it.  This is the album you can listen to over and over again without it getting old.  Timeless…

4.

The Regiment – The Panic Button – The Detroit based tag team did not have a single track in the Top 50 tracks from 2011.  But their complete effort definitely did not go unnoticed.  They were able to put together one of the most complete projects of 2011.  Their talents just flow from track to track so effortlessly.  Hipnott Records (Kevin Nottingham’s label) has put out a few dope records over the last couple of years, but none has been better than The Regiment’s album, The Panic Button.  This is true school hip hop with a lyrically advanced flair.

3.

Premrock and Willie Green – Self-Titled – Even though these artists declared their aim was not to make a blog’s Top Ten, I couldn’t help it.  The album is really too good to exclude. The duo really expound upon hip hop on their self-titled debut.  It’s a little old school, a little funky, a little soulful and very lyrical, They show great chemistry and divergence from the norm.  Willie Green shows incredible versatility making beats.  This album is progressive and pushed hip hop in  a very positive direction for 2011.

2.

Moke and ToneThe Shot Heard Around The World – This album is one of the more well rounded projects to drop in 2011.  The sad part about it, is that it will probably be the most overlooked project on the list.  Conceptually, they really created some special music.  The lyricism on the project is second to none. The production knocks. It meets every criteria for one of the best albums this expiring year. Moke and Tone play off one another exceptionally well. I love this album.

1.

Kaimbr and Kev BrownThe Alexander Green Project – “The Budget is Low but the stakes stay high!”  This is my pick for best album of the year for multiple reasons.    Kev Brown used Al Green’s music seamlessly to create his own sound and Kaimbr gave a dominating  on the mic throughout the album.  It was impossible to ignore what the two did in terms of making cohesive and extremely dope music . From start to finish this album is consistently dope.  They took care to make sure the entire project was as close to perfect as it could be and it shows.   The project’s review on our site was also the most viewed post on the site this year. If you were to ask me, I consider this to be a  classic.

Artist Of The Year: M-Dot (2011)

M-Dot!!!!  The name rings clearly enough on any track this Bostonian finds himself on.   The trademark ‘shout-out’ announces his verse is up next, and yes folks, the man is up next.   M-Dot has found himself on countless projects this year and every time he spits, it’s a win.    He has put out a remixed album with DJ Jean Maron this year and a mixtape entitled, M.ore D.oubters O.ver T.hinking.   He also was a part of one of the dopest videos this year with DJ Brans and Armageddon (Terror Squad) entitled World Wide.

With all the being said, M-Dot is constantly on his grind, building on his budding reputation as one of the pre-eminent independent hip hop artists today.  Today,  Hip Hop Dependency wants to recognize, M-Dot for all of his accomplishments in 2011 as our Artist Of The Year.  His consistency behind the mic and his work ethic is well deserving.

M-Dot agreed to answer a few questions for me and I am proud to deliver this interview of one of my favorite artists.  Do yourself a favor, check this interview out but be sure to check out the projects he has out and support!

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Top 50 Songs (2011)

It’s subjective.  It’s my opinion, although I have excellent taste in music (conceited bastard).  I ranked these songs on the merits of their content, production, the emcee’s lyrical ability and flow, and originality.  All of theses songs have some combination of the aforementioned.  They may rank higher in one area than others.

Did I miss some? Of course I did.  But this is the grand sense of the music that I appreciated in 2011.

1. Stayin’ Busy – Silent Knight (prod. by The Audible Doctor) –  This song had me open for the longest time. The beat, the sample, and Knight’s lyrics really one me over from day one.  SK and The Audible Doctor are the big winners here.  This song has remained my number one song from it’s inception in February.

2. Agnes In Wunderland  Remix – Memphis Reigns – A song done regarding the various degrees of addiction that can be found in life has such great introspection.

3. Breaking Point – Emilio Rojas – No one does personal angst better than Mr. Rojas.  He kills this song.

4. That Fire – The Destruments ft. CF – Blam.  Blam.  This is the illest flow of the year, point blank.  I could listen to this song over and over again.

5. Pitch Black – Moke and Tone – This tale of deception, wrong doing, and karma is easily one of my favorites this year.

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