Top 10 Albums (2012)

id579717145

#1 – (Apollo The GreatHennessy Diaries) –  I know what you are saying right now…”What is he thinking?”   But you probably haven’t even heard this album.  I have listened to it at least 10 times in preparation for this list and I have come to the same conclusion every single time.  It is the best.  Now I haven’t even had the time to review the album in it’s entirety but I hope this accolade prompts you to listen to it.  This is going to sound like large praise indeed, but listening to this was similar to listening to Illmatic.  Now before you get your panties in a bunch…I said like.

This is a great album.  The beats are incredible and Apollo the Great is a superb lyricist.  There is not one skippable track on the entire project.  It is great from the alpha to the omega.  Above The Sky, Liquor Talk, and Bad Ones are all some of my personal favorites off of this joint.  Each joint is well done but the flow of this album is on point as well,   It’s an extremely fluid release

OddiseePHWTS

#2 – (OddiseePeople Hear What They See) – This album dropped in June and for no apparent reason I listened to it and moved on.  But upon revisiting this project, I too can see it’s brilliance.  Many people know Oddisee as the producer but people are getting more and more exposure to his lyricism.  He’s very introspective and delivers powerful performance after powerful performance.

2570570085-1

#3 (PremRockMark’s Wild Years) – Man, for two years running Premrock has cracked this list.  I guess that should come as not surprise as he is probably the most innovative artist on this list.   I mean combining Tom Waits and Hip Hop is no easy feat in my mind but he brought so much life and vibrancy to hip hop with this release.  I hope people will give this album a chance in their rotation.  I think you will enjoy.  Premrock gives the term ‘artist’ all the more credibility in hip hop culture.

artworks-000030758308-6hjolw-original

#4 (Ruste Juxx x The Arcitype –  VIC) –  I had never heard of The Arcitype prior to this release and for shame on me.  This gentleman gave Ruste Juxx the perfect auditory canvas for his verbals.   VIC not only knocks to a higher rhythm, but Ruste Juxx showed incredible versatility making this joint shine bright for 2012.

3737343241-1

#5 (SwerveThe Barrelhouse)  Here’s another one you all might be shaking your heads at, but I will not back down from this choice.  The Barrelhouse is silky smooth and Swerve just has “it”.  His lyricism, flow, and the ability to morph a turn of phrase really separates him from the pack to me.  I am determined to get this man’s name more shine in 2013 because his 2012 was criminally slept upon.   The highest caliber of emcee.

MMGAPOCCD

#6 (Apollo Brown x OC – Trophies) – I know the majority will have this higher on their lists.  It’s a great album.  Everything Apollo Brown is touching these days appears to be golden.  But truthfully, when was the last time you heard OC come off like this? He sounds tight on the mic device.  This album is loaded with dope tracks and a must have in your stash.

MaLLy-The-Last-Great-550x550

#7 (MaLLy x The Sundance KidThe Last Great) –  This is a great emcee and producer combo!  I felt like this project took forever to come out.  I was asking and anticipating and it finally arrived.  When it did, it did not disappoint in the least.  MaLLy doesn’t just rock mics…he commands them!  He just has incredible presence.  The Sundance Kid also is gifted behind the boards creating interesting blends of boom-bap and synth.  Check this!

20120328-LABYRINTH1

#8 (LocksmithLabyrinth) –  Some of you forgot about this one, didn’t you?  Locksmith is tenacious with his spit game and filled with angst.  This is another album that is loaded with great tracks. My two favorites are Illuminati and Little Bunny Rabbit.

Reks-REBELutionary-Album-Stream-Tracklist-Cover

#9 (Reks x NumonicsRebelutionary) – This is an artistic union that any fan or blog should be able to get behind.  Reks (in my mind) already has one classic album under his belt with, Grey Hairs.  Numonics has been cranking out some of the dopest production in the last couple of years.  The two sound really great together.   This album knocks hard and has edgy lyricism for the masses.

id529713210

#10 (LRoneousLgorithms) – LRoneous has been the epitome of consistency.  Last years’ Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw really caught my attention and Lgorithms just holds that captive audience and builds upon it.  He is one of the finest wordsmiths doing it right now and deserved to be recognized as much.  Lots of great cuts on this but perhaps none greater than his dedication to Mike Dream.

Advertisements

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!