It’s not often that we get to write about music here on the AudioAcrobat WordPress blog, but when we do, you can rest assured that it is a real treat both for our staff and for you, our readers.
In this special edition format of year-end posts, we’re proud to bring you our staff’s 5 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2012, all available for streaming, for free, in their entirety via the popular music consumption platform, Spotify.
By which criteria are we ranking these favored releases? No special algorithms or chart analysis were used, really, we promise. They’re simply hip-hop-styled albums which were released in and stood out the most, each as a whole, in our lives during the year of 2012. No less, no more.
What do you say we get on to the list?!
Killer Mike – “R.A.P. Music”
Outkast-affiliated rapper slash barber’s intensely political collaboration with producer El-P had us listening on repeat, and wondering if the police were going to bust in his door…
Kid Koala – “12 bit Blues”
Longtime favorite Canadian DJ/turntablist/musician/author, Kid Koala, surprised the heck out of our ears with a masterfully crafted blues revival slash hip-hop record this year … a definite “must-hear”!
DJ Format – “Statement Of Intent”
After driving Jurassic 5’s tour bus, opening for DJ Shadow and landing the prestigious feature spot on FabricLive.27 in the last 10 years, 2012 saw UK’s Matt Ford release an eclectic gem of a record worth sharing with your friends, lovers and possibly even family members seeking to expand their concepts of hip-hop music. There’s literally something for everyone on this album, from psych rock to jazz to old school and back again.
Gift Of Gab – “The Next Logical Progression”
Hailing from the Bay Area, 1/2 of Blackalicious and frequent Quannum collaborator Gift Of Gab’s 3rd solo album may not have impressed the rigid music critics, but take a listen and you will see that this seasoned rapper has a lot to offer the ears of those looking for a record that is more focused on lyrical content and dusty breaks than glossy pop-sensible radio hits.
Jel – “Greenball 3.5”
Keeping hip-hop weird in 2012, Anticon Records’ Jeffrey Logan aka Jel is best known for his “on-the-fly” hip-hop production and while this is not an Anticon release, Greenball 3.5 is an instrumental hip-hop record that may remind the listener of why they got into hip-hop in the first place. Maintaining that classic “Jel” feel, Greenball 3.5 is a record mostly overlooked by mainstream media, and even by a lot of hip-hop aficionados, but take a listen and you’ll surely see why this release sits near the top of our favorite hip-hop records of 2012.
Aesop Rock – “Skelethon”
Words cannot express how imaginative and poignant Aesop Rock’s 2012 Rhymesayers debut, Skelethon, comes across. It is, perhaps, the best hip-hop record to come out in the last five years. With all tracks produced by Aesop Rock himself, a truly genius work of art has manifested by his hand and has raised the bar for every subsequent release, by any artist, ever.
Had you listened to any of the above albums prior to seeing this list? Let us know!
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