It’s been a great year for rap. Like, the best year in a LONG time. At least 5 classic albums have come out and countless others that ranged from great to really good. In honor of this year, i figured i’d throw my hat into the “year end list” ring and tell you all my top ten favorite songs of the year. Keep in mind, they are not in order. I don’t think I could make a list that official but, hey, this is better than nothing, right? Okay. i hope you agree with me about some of these cause it would be a bummer for you to be that wrong.
Also, I made a point to not have more than one song by any given artist. I could have had a few repeats in here but figured it would be best to spread the love…after all, the worlds supposed to end tomorrow, right?
Cold facts: KA
KA made the perfect winter album. Not since the mid 90’s has an east coast artist come with an album so perfectly suited for grey skies and northface jackets. This was the first song i heard from his awesome album “Grief Pedigree” and it left it’s mark for the entire year. Even during the summer when it didn’t even make sense. Anyone who’s ever been on a new york subway alone at night should be able to relate to this song.
All smiles: Mark Spekt and Kno
Every now and that someone makes a feel good song that’s not even particularly positive but it still gives you that feeling. this is that song for 2012. Between the beat and Spekt going to town on the rhymes, it’s pretty much just one of those songs that hits on all angles. Not that it will give it any credibility but I definitely rocked this heavy when i was running on the elliptical this year. It made that bullshit tolerable , which is a feat in itself.
Rent party revolution Taco neck remix): Open Mike eagle
Not gonna lie, I really wanted to put his song “5ree thinkers” here but there wasn’t a proper youtube link…Luckily for me, this song is also one of my favorites so I don’t even feel that bad replacing my initial choice. Regardless, Open Mike Eagle has one of the more productive years in recent memory (second only to
Homeboy Sandman) and his quality has not lagged. This is a great remix that totally overhauled the song, bringing new life to it. But, seriously, check out the “5ree thinkers” joint. Not only does Mike kill it but Hot Sugar may be the best new producer out there right now.
Bible on the dash: Gunplay
I made a poll about Gunplay a few months ago to get an idea where my readership stands on him. Much like i expected, a decent amount of you weren’t into him and wrote him off as a typical gangster rapper. Unfortunately for those people, they were very wrong. I know it’s opinion and all but this dude is simply too dope a rapper to be denied over some petty shit like his topical range. He possesses every facet that makes an MC dope…I feel bad for those of you who can’t see it. Anyway, this song is awesome. It’s actually one of his more “introspective” joint…if that type of Gunplay song even exists.
This song got more run by me than anything else this year. I’m a huge mystikal fan and he delivers so hard on this. From the second I heard the first line come out of his mouth the first time i heard the song to yesterday when i bumped it in my Ipod it’s sustained it’s awesomeness. I could do without the Lil Wayne verse but , luckily for me, it’s at the end so it’s easy to skip.
Duck hunt : billy woods
In a year of incredible albums, billy Woods “History will absolve me” is probably one of my favorites. This song was like his call to arms. Woods got a lot to say and he says it unlike anyone else. This song reminds me of a new and improved version of what smart rappers were doing in the early 2000’s. Also, the beat is fucking nuts.
Gopher guts: Aesop Rock
It’s hard for me to really judge Aesop song cause I know him so well…but this song…goddamn. The first time I heard it it gave me chills. I don’t know if that’s BECAUSE I know him or simply because it’s just such a powerful song. Whatever it is, he hit on something that is highly uncommon in rap. Even more uncommon is that he did it without being even remotely corny or forced.. People talk about shit being “deep” but this is that for real.
Tek to a mack: Roc Marciano
It was hard to pick one song off this album. It’s an album full of great songs that are all pretty similar. Roc is a cocky asshole and I mean that in the best possible way. The beat reminds me of a Michael Mann movie and Roc’s vivid imagery just fits perfectly. That said, this could have been any number of songs from his new album “Reloaded”. And by that , I mean you should go buy that shit right now.
The miracle: Homeboy sandman
Sometimes, you just wanna hear a dude rip shit. This song is just Homeboy Sandman going for his relentlessly. It’s one long verse over an ever changing back drop that just seems to go on and on. People don’t make songs like this very much anymore and it’s too bad cause it’s like a calisthenics course for rappers. There are not many people rapping right now that could do it like Sandman does on this track.
Mighty morphin foreskin: Captain murphy
Hey! Captain Murphy is Flying Lotus! Okay?!?! I love this shit. It’s as close to Mavillian as anyone is going to get anytime soon (including MF Doom). Who knew Flying Lotus could rap? In fact, part of the reason it’s so good is cause you kinda get the feeling that he’s doing it just for fun. Remember when people made music cause it’s fun? Those were the days.