2012 Year End List :: The Leftovers

12-10-2012 § Leave a comment

In anticipation of my 2012 End Of The Year List, coming next week – here are the projects that came close but ultimately missed my collection of ten.

Ski Beatz – … Presents Twilight

An album I enjoyed greatly despite being made up of ‘leftover’ tracks from Ski Beatz first two “24 Hour Karate School” sessions, this is actually a more cohesive project featuring mostly underground MCs over Ski’s legendary production. I didn’t feel like an album made up of a producer and many many rappers should be on my list, but this is a smooth enjoyable project.

Uptown XO – The Color Grey

The official mixtape follow-up to his 2010 “1.1.10” mixtape, this tape is pretty dope and a free project. His intermediate projects haven’t flowed as well, but between these two projects & his other verses on Diamond District’s album I have to say XO is here to stay as a relevant MC.

Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions

Schoolboy Q’s album was interesting, and he’s promised to continue the dope releases after Kendrick Lamar blessed us recently this year – I’m not sure he can top that effort, which is not on this particular list but I did enjoy most of his album. Included some memorable shots at Jay Z, amazing guest verses from Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, & Curren$y and more of what has made him (and his label) an exciting mainstay in Hip Hop’s underground. Probably too long for it’s own good, with some filler here and there along the way.

Slaughterhouse – Welcome to our House

As a rather large fan of Slaughterhouse, I enjoyed the album but I wouldn’t say it’s among the very best this year – lyrically the four were on-point but too many skippable tracks bogged down the otherwise well-done debut album on Shady Records. I can’t think of a track on their true self-titled debut I skip, aside from the few skits.

Nas “Life is Good”

Just not the same Nas I was expecting, and a weak three tracks right in the middle throw the album off for me. I had heard a few of the tracks over and over on satellite radio and wasn’t really into this album when it dropped. It grew on me, yes – and there are some amazing tracks but the album itself just wasn’t what I expected from Nas. A step backward from his 2010 album with Damian Marley, we won’t likely rank this among his all-time great releases.

Ab Soul – Control System

A good mid-year release from TDE / Black Hippy to hold off the rest of the year until Kendrick Lamar’s album. Control System is a solid offering from the most eclectic of the trio (I don’t count Jay Rock so it’s not a quartet), I’m looking forward to his next release.

Brother Ali “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color”

A good album, from a great MC – just not on my ultimate list. Brother Ali will always likely be underappreciated, and albums like this will continue to steer him into that elite category. Deeply personal, a very forward album and Brother Ali has that always-an-activist type demeanor – just didn’t hold my attention as much as other releases this year.

Lushlife – Plateau Vision

This was probably the hardest album for me to leave off my main list, as it was an amazing album – I hadn’t heard anything about Lushlife prior to this release but was definitely impressed. The beats are insane, and his flow fits perfectly in crafting an excellent album.

Talib Kweli – Attack The Block

I knew I would forget something super dope, and it was Talib Kweli’s free project in September! Always informed, and dope with the lyrical craft this doesn’t disappoint.


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