MUSIC WORLD: Top 10 Albums of 2012
Whew! This year has flown by. I feel like I was just counting down to 2012 and now we’re a couple days into 2013. To say last year has been amazing for music is an understatement. We were granted with debut albums from the much-hyped Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar.. And that’s only about a third of the list. Not to mention we finally got Cruel Summer. Check where your favorite albums fall on this list. And no A$AP Rocky won’t count on this list since his album was technically leaked, not released this year.
So, without further ado, here are my Top 10 Albums of 2102!
10. Rick Ross: God Forgives, I Don’t
Rick Ross‘ album wasn’t better than his mixtape, “Rich Forever.” But, it was still good. It bred songs like, “3 Kings,”Hold Me Back” and “Diced Pinapples.” I can’t front, I didn’t like “Hold Me Back” until I saw the TDE video with Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar clowning to the track. But it doesn’t negate how much this album solidified Rick Ross‘ standing in rap right now. He’s a force to be reckoned with as a rapper and CEO of Maybach Music Group. He’s building an all-star team while dropping radio-ready, heavy bassed singles. Let’s see what 2013 brings.
9. Brandy: Two Eleven
Brandy Norwood needed this. She started off this release with the infectious “Put it Down” featuring Chris Brown. The album boasted a familiar, yet fresh R&B sound that reminded old fans of her potential and helped her gain some new ones. Tracks like “So Sick” and “Scared of Beautiful” presented a mature Brandy appealing to old and new fans. Check my full review HERE.
8. Meek Mill: Dreams and Nightmares
Petty Cassidy beef aside, Meek Mill has had a good year. Honestly, his mixtape, “Dreamchasers 2,” could slide right into this slot too. But Meek proved his worth with his debut album’s introduction alone. Let’s act like “Young and Gettin’ It” wasn’t a single or on the album. Tracks like “Tony Story Pt. 2” and “Traumatized” will have you reminiscing on the awesome rappers Philly produced in the 90s. Turn the decibels down a bit and Meek could have mass appeal.
7. Future: Pluto/Pluto 3D
Did you think he was going to be a one-hit-wonder? Yeah, me too. But with an album that includes tracks like “Magic,” “Same Damn Time,” Tony Montana,” “Turn on the Lights,” annnnnd “Neva End,” it was completely clear Future is staking his claim in hip-hop. “Itchin'” and “Loveeeee Song” don’t show up on the album or the re-release but it further solidifies his stake in music for 2012.
6. T.I.: Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head
Most of us counted T.I. out. He had become the modern-day Cliff Huxtable with his family’s reality tv show. But then he dropped his 8th studio album and it kinda shut us up. With features from some of rap’s hottest freshman (A$AP Rocky, Meek Mill), T.I. proved that he’s still got it. And that’s not even mentioning Andre 3000‘s standout verse in “Sorry.” Don’t believe me, check my review HERE.
5. Rihanna: Unapologetic
Rihanna has (not so) quietly released 7 studio albums. Yes, SEVEN! Unapologetic came at a time when the hype for Rihanna news was at a fever pitch. Were her and Chris Brown dating again? It looks like they are. Can she have another hit single and album? She has. Though I don’t think this is her best album, I’ll save that for Talk That Talk, this album was nonetheless highly anticipated and didn’t disappoint. The standout tracks include “Loveeeeeee Song” and “Pour It Up.”
4. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
You mad he’s at number 4? You thought he’d be higher? Well let me rationalize my ranking. As great of an album Channel Orange was, it didn’t completely live up to the hype for me. And honestly, outside of “Super Rich Kids,” I haven’t really gone back to the album. The album was fresh and what we’ve come to expect from Frank Ocean. But it was depressing. And not like, depressing that then felt triumphant. I just feel like I’m too happy to revel in the darkness and rank this above 4. Standout tracks include “Super Rich Kids,” “Pyramids,” and “Bad Religion.” You can read my full review, HERE.
3. 2 Chainz: Based on a T.R.U. Story
Criticize all you want to, but 2012 was the year of 2 Chainz. After standout appearances on tracks like, “Mercy” and “Beez in the Trap,” people were anxious to see what kind of debut album 2 Chainz was going to offer up. And it was everything I wanted it to be. Great production, funny lyrics, and charismatic flow helped present a great debut album from rap’s favorite rebirth. Tracks like, “I’m Different” and “Extremely Blessed” were exactly what I wanted to hear from 2 Chainz. And “No Lie” still sounds great months after it’s release as a single. That’s winning.
2. Nas: Life is Good
Can I be honest? I’m not a Nas fan, by a longshot. He bores me, his production choices suck, and I feel like he’s stuck in 1999. But then there was Life is Good. Post-divorce and in the middle of raising a teenage daughter, Nas presented an album full of honesty and progression, even from a veteran MC. Life is Good didn’t exactly turn me into a fan, but it definitely made me pay attention. This album easily surpassed that of so many new artists. Standout tracks include “Daughters” and “Bye Baby.”
1. Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d. city
No surprises here. Kendrick‘s debut album has landed at the top of nearly every list recounting the top albums of 2012. This isn’t a bandwagon cosign. I applauded his album early and my review stands. As a concept album, Kendrick weaved tales of his childhood and teenage years in what felt like the soundtrack to a movie. Which is fitting considering the rumors swirling about possibly making a film of the album. After listening, you wonder where Sherane is now and if Kendrick ever took his mama her van back. The entire album is amazing, but the standout tracks are “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Money Trees.” You can read my full review HERE.
So in summation, 2012 was a great year for music. There were some other great albums and mixtapes released that deserve honorable mentions they are:
Big Sean, “Detroit” mixtape
Schoolboy Q, Habits and Contradictions
Usher, Looking 4 Myself
The first half of G.O.O.D. Music‘s Cruel Summer
The Weeknd, Trilogy
Any of your favorites that I didn’t mention? Do you feel like some are ranked to high?! Let me know!
Posted on January 2, 2013, in ALBUM REVIEWS, music and tagged 2 Chainz, Album Reviews, Best of 2012, Big Sean, Brandy, Frank Ocean, Future, G.O.O.D. Music, GDE, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, MMG, music, Nas, Rick Ross, Rihanna, ScHoolBoy Q, T.I., The Weeknd, Usher, wale. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.