Our Candidates for the 2012 Album of the Year thus far…

The year is halfway complete and you can say that we are midway through the summer. So far the year has been full of excellent music and there’s still more to come. A slew of artists have released mixtapes that have caused the servers of some sites to go wild. Comments sections on many blogs have been bombarded with various opinions. Outside of the music itself hip hop has seen some drama, mostly revolving around Drake. The news of Frank Ocean’s sexuality has also been put on the spot and criticized and the subject has been ridiculed. We have decided to focus more on the music aspect and reveal our top 3 candidates for Album of the Year so far.

Schoolboy Q – Habits and Contradictions (released Jan. 14, 2012)
When this album dropped I was already bumping some of Q’s leaked tracks heavily. What I like the most about the project is the energy level doesn’t fall off throughout the album. Sacrilegious sets the tone with a sinister melody and background noises only helped to amplify the mood. The features were on point and the productions fit “The Fatboy” like a well tailored sports suit. This project was the perfect mixture of party it up music and lyrical substance for me. There was not a moment on the album that he sounded like he was out of his comfort zone. Tracks like Nightmare on Figg St. and Oxy Music only helped to build his identify while providing hip hop listeners with his unique perspective on life. 18 songs of pure energy.

Oddisee – People Hear What They See
(released Jun. 5, 2012)
A breath of fresh air combined with the perfect dosage of mental liberation is how I would describe this project. It was a project that allowed Oddisee to spread his wings and deliver music that was beyond the standards of the average up-and-coming artist. Ready to Rock had my heart pounding from the first drum kick and American Greed made me want to prepare a couple of Molotov cocktails for the revolution (which will not be televised). You can’t really go wrong with the productions especially when you’re Oddisee so all you have to worry about are the lyrics and trust me he didn’t slack at all. You Know Who You Are was a song that glorified him as an excellent lyricist. The features were purposeful and each song was made with care. This was an album that a lot of hip hop fans should have in their catalog.

Wiz Khalifa – Taylor Allderdice
(released Mar. 13, 2012)
This was the project that made me gain respect for Wiz Khalifa as a creative artist. This is the tape that I play when I’m chillin or rolling on the interstate, turnt up. California is the song with the most rotations on my pod till date. This project was less about rolling doobies and more about enjoying life and all of the moments in them.
still rolling weed on my double XL, only difference is that it’s me on the cover, once in a while call my little sister and tell her I love her
was a line that was a prime example of my previous statement. The mixtape was a thorough concoction of tough songs and mellow tracks. Cardo and Sledgren laced Wiz with some rich productions. Everything done on this project was beyond ‘mixtape’ quality and that’s why I believe his fans continue to support him and his gang. Now I’m on the bandwagon along for the ride.

Releases anticipating for the rest of 2012: A$AP Rocky ‘LongLiveA$AP’, Rick Ross ‘God Forgives, I Don’t’, Kendrick Lamar ‘Mad City’

Oddisee – People Hear What They See
(released Jun. 5, 2012)
I had high hopes for this joint and thought I knew what it would sound like. Well, it sounded totally different than I expected. Oddisee really put together this album well and showed great vision for balancing it out with an array of different sounds that we can all appreciate. I always thought he was a good lyricist but he took it to another level on this one. The subject matter isn’t new but all seem to be told in a unique way. Some might take a few listens to fully grasp. Production is top notch with a small use of samples. He proves to be one of the top producer/emcees out today with this cd as just about every track is a gem. He exceeded my expectations.

Big KRIT – 4EvaNADay
(released Mar. 5, 2012)
“In a world of fantasies, can you be a realist?” Consistent quality is what you can label KRIT’s last 2 mixtapes and now make that the last 3. I guess its the southern country boy in me that gravitates to this tape. From “Yesterday” to “Package Store”, KRIT make that everyday life music thats relatable over some groovy southern tunes that he produced. I find myself cruising to this one late at night, its the perfect album for the car. If you want some food for thought, introspection and a steady slow head bob, this is that album. KRIT delivers.

Ab Soul – Control System
(released May. 11, 2012)
“Genius-idiot, best description of myself” When that ‘Terrorist Threats’ dropped, Soul set high expectations for this joint. I was impressed, mostly with the lyricism displayed. He’s simple of some tracks and on others he’s complex but throughout it all he drops dope verses on some deep and thought-provoking songs, that seems to be the TDE formula these days. I like that Soul goes left field with some of his stuff that he spits, he lets out his thoughts – no filter. Pineal Gland has got bump constantly, especially. That has been my song of choice to get hype before work. Overall, Soul dropped a solid album here that I am still enjoying.

Releases anticipating for the rest of 2012: Nas ‘Life Is Good’, Kendrick Lamar ‘Mad City’, T.I. ‘Trouble Man’, Slaughterhouse ‘Welcome to: Our House’

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