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The Best Hip-Hop of 2012

THE BEST HIP-HOP ALBUMS OF 2012
1.    R.A.P. Music – Killer Mike/El-P – For being the most unexpected and fruitful collaboration of the year.

2.    Kolexxion – DJ Premier/Bumpy Knuckles – For demonstrating that Preemo’s rejected beats are better than most producers’ efforts, and for showing that – without Guru – Bumpy Knuckles knows how to handle them best.

3.    Dice Game – Guilty Simpson/Apollo Brown – For knowing it would be dope just from the press release.

4.    A Dream Deferred – Skyzoo – For Skyzoo’s voice and maturing vision.

5.    Ill Manors – Plan B – For being a UK rap album with true soul and depth.

6.    Baby Face Killa – Freddie Gibbs – For its sonic cohesion and Gibbs’ Tupac-like presence.

7.    Good Kid Mad City – Kendrick Lamar – For being the past, the present, and the future of West Coast hip-hop.

8.    Control Systems – Ab-Soul – For being the brightest young star in the new West Coast firmament.

9.    Mourning in America and Dreaming in Colour – Brother Ali – For proving that I should have listened to Brother Ali earlier.

10.    Trophies – O.C./Apollo Brown – For Apollo Brown being the new A-list producer in the underground.

11.    The Heist – Macklemore/Ryan Lewis – For being pop, real, and epic.

12.    God Forgives, I Don’t – Rick Ross – For Ross’s unique flow and his epic, cinematic beats.

13.    Ohnomite – Oh No – For being yet another solid Stones Throw release.

14.    Jesus Piece – Game – For marking Game’s graduation to OG.

15.    Interludes after Midnight – Blockhead – For being an inheritor to DJ Shadow’s tradition.

16.    Reloaded – Roc Marciano – For its grimy beats and gruff flow.

17.    Napalm – Xzibit – For surprising us by not falling off.

18.    Professor@Large – Large Professor – For its old-skool/nu-skool balance.

19.    Mugshot Music – Showbiz/AG – For reppin’ the Bronx section.

20.    Life is Good – Nas – For showing how rappers might manage the transition to adulthood.

THE BEST HIP-HOP JOINTS OF 2012

1.    They Ready – J.Cole/Big K.R.I.T./Kendrick Lamar
2.    M.A.A.D City feat MC Eiht – Kendrick Lamar
3.    Hip Hop – Nas/Scarface
4.    What I Do – Jon Connor
5.    South Bronx Shit – Showbiz/AG
6.    Ink Blotches – Guilty Simpson/Apollo Brown
7.    Pirates – Rick Ross
8.    Can’t Hold Us feat Ray Dalton – Macklemore/Ryan Lewis
9.    Need a Knot feat Bun B – Brother Ali
10.  Cold feat DJ Khaled – Kanye West
11.    Deepest Shame – Plan B
12.    Cheesesteaks – Vinnie Pax
13.    Make the Sound feat Rhymefest – M.A.S.K.
14.    Big Beast feat Bun B, T.I. & Trouble – Killer Mike/El-P
15.    The Don – Nas
16.    I Know This Game – Sadat X
17.    Blasphemy (Blast 4 Me) – M.O.P.
18.    HVN 4 A Gangsta feat Master P
19.    B.A.P. – DJ Premier/Bumpy Knuckles
20.    MARS – Large Professor
21.    Anotha One – O.C./Apollo Brown
22.    BFK – Freddie Gibbs
23.    Give it Up – Skyzoo
24.    Jingalin – Ludacris
25.    Food – Masta Killer

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Setlist (Cassetta, 17.5.12)

1. Oldie – Odd Future

2. Chewbacca – Random Axe

3. Blue Sky – Common

4. Dreamin’ – Big K.R.I.T.

5. Everything I Am – Kanye West

6. My God – Pusha T

7. Second Place – Royce Da 5’9

8. Stuck on You – Prodigy

9. Must Go Hard – Mobb Deep

10. 1979 – Jehst

11. A.D.H.D. – Kendrick Lamar

12. HiiPower – Kendrick Lamar

13. M.V.P. – Ludacris

14. That’s My B**** – Kanye West/Jay-Z

15. Bumping’ my Music feat Scarface – Ray Cash

16. We Ain’t Playin’ – DMP

17. Blasphemy – M.O.P.

18. Lyrical Tactics – Mr Voodoo

19. 212 feat Lazy J – Azaelia Banks

20. Body Work – Pusha T

21. Drug Test – The Game

22. Deadly Medley – Black Milk

23. South Bronx Shit – Showbiz/AG

25. One Time – The Roots

26. Look for tha Name – Sonja Blade

27. Celebrate – Common

28. Fast Lane – Eminem/Royce Da 5’9

29. Lord Knows feat Rick Ross – Drake

30. Ride With Me – Nelly

31. The Don – Nas

32. Cuban Link Kings – Cappadonna

33. I Wonder feat Hassan Chop – King Geedorah

34. Ready – NYGz

36. Dipset Anthem – The Diplomats

37. You Know What Time It Is – Teryaki Boyz

38. Ghetto Dreams feat Nas – Common

39. HYFR – Drake

40. All the Brothers – Strong Arm Steady

41. Time For Some Action – Action Bronson/Statik Selektah

42. Culture Move – Asian Dub Foundation

43. Feel tha Love – Nonstop II Rudmental

44. For the Record – Torae

45. Take Care feat Rhianna – Drake

46. Yonkers – Tyler the Creator

47. The Future feat MED – Guilty Simpson

48. Back At It – M.O.P.

49. NarcoCorrid – DJ Muggs/Ill Bill

50. End of the World – Lupe Fiasco

51. U’s a Freak – Black Milk

52. Like a Pimp – David Banner

53. Raid – Pusha T

54. Never a Dull Moment – Statik Selektah

55. Ruff Ryders’ Anthem – DMX

56. Jumanji – Azaelia Banks

57. N**** in Paris – Kanye West/Jay-Z

58. Trouble on my Mind – Pusha T

59. You Make Me Sick – Saigon

61. Keepin It Gangsta (Remix) – Fabolous

62. Luven Me – Nelly

63. Alcoholic Author – Jehst

64. Hail Mary – Tupac

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Favourite 30 Hip-Hop Albums

Favourite 30 non-hip-hop albums coming soon…

30. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury:  For being sparse and scary throughout.

“Yo, what up? What up? This ya man Grinding, from downtown Norfolk/Just want y’all to know it’s about time/For us to come up and make a change man/They keep tryin’ to keep us down, but that ain’t the way to be man/It’s about time for us to get it together man/Everybody else got their shit together/Why the n**** can’t get they shit together and get they money together?/Hustlers come together with hustlers/Know what I’m sayin? This ain’t just for the playas in VA/This for playas all over the world, this Grinding” Read more

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Top 30 Guest-Shots

 

Last week I turned thirty. To mark the occasion, I’ll be doing a number of ‘Top 30′ lists in the coming days and weeks. To kick off: Top 30 Guest-Shots.

30. Jadakiss: Rite Where You Stand

A common theme on this list is guest emcees murdering Guru on his own shit, although at least they have the decency to do it respectfully. Here it’s the barely perceptible shift from chorus to verse, the “they wanna know why I invest all my money in haze and dope…cos right now I’m currently a slave for Interscope,” and then the relentless upper cuts, reflected in the video, all with that incredible pearl voice captured brilliantly down at D&D, culminating in “Jay to the mwah” and Preemo speaking with his hands as we’d expect him to.

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