What Were The Highs and Lows of 2012?
Monday December 31st 2012,
Filed under: Feedback,Mom's Basement
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You’ve seen my picks for the year already, but since I moved back into my Mom’s Basement so that I could reclaim my title as “the O.G Boom-Bap dinosaur blog don” and finally interview Kool G Rap in the process, I have no idea what happened in the outside world.

What was the best and worst of the year in rap? Be it songs, events or disturbing trends? Speak ya clout or forever hold ya dome in shame…

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22 Comments so far
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Best – Roc Marcy_ Reloaded

Worst – The passing of MCA

Comment by LUMBERS 12.31.12 @

BEST: Anything by Pittsburg-based, CONSCIOUS, revolutionary hip hop artist Jasiri X.

WORST: Anything by ignorant, violent, non-rapping, “drill” rapper Chief Keef. Did I mention he was ignorant?

Comment by Sphinx 12.31.12 @

Best – Kendrick Lamar’s success.
Worst – The success of the drill movement.

Comment by fortiesandbluntskid 12.31.12 @

Killer Mike – “R.A.P. Music”

The passing of MCA

Comment by skinny 01.01.13 @

The Best – Pharohe Monch W.A.R. Album
The worst – Anything other than Real Hip Hop..

Comment by Blaqchalk 01.01.13 @

-more longplayers being released on vinyl.

-no more 12inches being released on vinyl.

-comedy rap in form of trinidad james.

Comment by swordfish 01.01.13 @

not best or worst just most significant points:

Action Bronson blew up. Which is not bad for true school rapper being in mainstream not only hipster douchebags (c) unkut.

Showbiz & AG and OC returned bigtime. Not halfassed forced releases but ones mentioned by everybody as years best.

Alchemist started “no drum movement”. Yeah Marceberg really started it but Alc made it to a movement level.

Overhypeness and overratedness of this Kendrik Lamar guy. Who is good but viewed as a messiah only because rest of mainstream scene is total bullcrap.

Overal mainstream BET oriented “rap” music get cornier and dumber to the point of not return.

Ill Adrenalin Records becoming strong force with untouchable releases.

Thats it i think. About almost everything else i didnt gave a F at all..

oh.. And Robbie returned to the ON mode from hiatus, which is one of the best things


Comment by andrewfrumrusha 01.01.13 @

Best stuff has been the Metal Clergy shit (aka Grief Pedigree x Reloaded), plus the vinyl pressing of “Dr. Lecter” as well as the CD treatment of the Statik Selektah-produced Freddie Foxxx longplayer from 2011. Honorable mentions go out to O.C.’s “Trophies” and the Freddie Foxxx/DJ Premier album. Oh yeah, I also enjoyed Pharoahe Monch’s “Damage” and the reissues of the Omniscence EP and the Phase & Rhythm “Hyperactive/Brainfood” 12″ with an unreleased bonus track.

Worst shit is the emergence of the term “drum-free” or “drum-less” rap (98% of the fags that use it know nothing about drums) besides the passings of MCA and Heavy D. RIP.

Comment by KayEmPee 01.01.13 @

Best: Seeing Nas coming back and reminding us that his pen game is still on point. That and Roc Marc just shittin’ all over the planet with “Reloaded” (and all the joints that didn’t even make the albm.”

The worst: Hands down….TRINIDAD JAMES!!!!!!!

Comment by oskamadison 01.01.13 @

Just a comment: I noticed a few mentioned the “emergence” of drum-free rap. This is really being overstated, who besides Roc Marc and Alchemist is doing this style of production on the regular??? Drum-free rap isn’t some kind of epidemic permeating rap music (as far as underground rap, don’t know about mainstream). Plenty of rap songs out there with drums, plenty of rap albums released this year with drums!!!

Comment by esto 01.01.13 @

Best-Top Dawg Entertainment running rap shit in 2012
Worst-Kanyes Cruel Summer project- shit was weak

Comment by rob22 01.01.13 @

Tommy Mas emergency as one of the finest and most consistent NY’s own beatmakers. Humble god, great muzak.

Kendrick hype, Frank Ocean album, the non-drums beats movement (stop bitin Marci).

Comment by stromberg 01.01.13 @

MCA !!!! …..Yo only the suckas can’t overstand how strong the culture is right now @ this very moment(check Robbies list of 40 if you’re not familiar…not to mention I saw Chuck/Flav on the same stage and Brotha J same night/same show). Str8 ^/dwn…if you represent the culture; stand fucking proud! Cause we in here and they still jockin the style! The fuck shit went over the ledge this year; watch’em come crawlin back fams……stand in your bboy/girl stance w/a screwface; cause we were always right! Keep it true 2013 til …Peace heads.

Comment by bboycult 01.02.13 @

Roc Marciano LP = Ka’s LP
‘Respect The Fly Sh@t’ (‘Mandatory Brunch Meetings’, not as much)
The Alchemist all over the place.
Byron Crawford torching the Rap Genius clowns.
The rise of the Pro Era kid’s movement.
Robbie continued to churn out unkut.com

Too much Action Bronson hype. (Dude ain’t bad, but c’mon. Meyhem? AG The Coroner? C’mon.
The complete and utter overhype and saturation machine that brought forth both Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar. (The latter not being a bad artist, and his LP was solid, it’s just that the cats in his own crew are doper. Both Lamar and Ocean turned in projects that were snooze-inducing, however, imo.)
Kanye and his whole ‘Cruel Summer’ roster of 1/2 assed 2nd tier clowns. That was likely the fallout of ‘Watch The Throne’ the previous year.
Adam Yauch passed away (a bad thing), but, I had tons of memories of Beastie Boys’ music (a good thing.)
Future. ‘Nuff said.
Lastly, most of the mainstream sucked this year, and some of the blame for it’s continued exposure lays at the feet of outlets like Hot97/Ebro, BET, and white people at the major labels that don’t appreciate or understand or recognise quality Hip-Hop music.

Comment by Fosterakahunter 01.02.13 @

Pluses for me last year were the LUV NY project, if only to hear Kool Keith doing his thing over more “traditional” production, the excellent 12-inch reissues, lost demos and general rare stuff each year brings was appreciated, and seeing Action Bronson reach a point where he’s relaxing with “Snoop Lion” put an honest smile on my grumpy maw.

i wouldn’t call the next things the “worst” aspects of last year, just things i noticed.
Last year was the “Movement” movement, anyone being talked about had a posse and “movement” behind them, be it A$AP, Black Hippy, Bruiser Brigade, Pro Era or OFWGWHATEVERTHEFUCK.
Major marketing firms “figuring out” rap promotion in the digital era : 10% skill, 30% “wacky outfit”, 2% some notion of a “message”, 50% taste in beats (you may notice that these numbers don’t add up to 100%, who said any of these acts were operating at a 100%?)
Production finally eclipsing any notion of talent at rapping. As much as i enjoyed the “goldies”, “dranks” and some third example i was always struck by the fact that pretty much anyone could be on those beats and still sound good. Like i said it represents more than half the battle these days now that no one is expecting anything too amazing in the way of rapping.
Rap embracing it’s feminine side and generally looking like hilarious attention starved guys in skirts in the process.
Vagina dentata: women rapping about how mean, thugged out and hood, yet desirable, transcendent and flavorful their pussies are. Reached a ridiculous point where we actually have two girls with “Azealia” in their name doing it.

The real question is what does the future hold in store this year? Here’s some of my guesses :
Obviously more and more gay stuff, i’m really of the opinion that this could be the year we have a gay rapper (the male kind, no one gives a shit about girl rappers being “bi” or “lesbian”, even if they were scissoring on stage) or a transsexual singer promoted ad nauseum to us as a “brilliantly brave genius speaking for a generation of right-minded forward thinkers.” This could just mean an established rapper outting himself and then “re-inventing” or someone new who’s been groomed for this role.
Simulated beef. The outcome of this year’s “movement movement” is a glut of young dudes looking imposing wearing all black with one of a dozen or so silly logos on their hoody, all thinking they’re a part of something “new.” All these factions can really only make so many moves when everything they do is so similar to one another that conflict, real, imagined or fabricated, will be necessary just to make the hordes of fans pick one of those posses and stick with it. (You can see the beginnings of this with the A$AP vs Spaceghostpurp shit.)
We can also all expect great things from unkut as Robbie being placed between a hard face and a low place (moms and her basement) will most likely force him to spin straw into gold.

Comment by Lair 01.03.13 @

Oh yeah, and this happened > http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8833/doggiebposter.jpg
Maybe both the best and worst summed up right there.

Comment by Lair 01.03.13 @

@Lair: If there was a prize available, you’d have won it for “Vagina dentata” alone.

Comment by Robbie 01.04.13 @

TDE…PRO ERA..Mugshot Music..KA..Roc Marciano

Comment by 357 nyc 01.04.13 @

Best (Spit Gemz) Worst (Riff Raff)

Comment by DJ SMOOTH DENALI 01.04.13 @

Lair nailed it.. lol @ some of these.. I think the best thing I noticed this year was a little bit of a reemergence of a unified hip hop scene in New York. I noticed a lot more trappers supporting other trappers then I’ve seen in a long time. I think the rise of acts like the Outdoorsmen and Pro Era and the Goblin City strength in numbers approach lit a fire under the scene. You’ve got vets rooting for the newcomers which hasn’t happened in a long time.

We lost a couple people as we do every year. Most notably Heavy D and MCA. More recently the young Capital STEEZ. OC, Masta Ace, Nas, Show and AG all showed they are still forces to be reckoned with.. the Beatnuts and Liks decided to unite forces.. people will blindly follow trends regardless of how idiotic (leather kilt madness). People decided they either loved or hated Kendrick Lamar.. I personally think his album was among the best of the year.. Ka and Roc Marciano continued to add to their tremendously unblemished catalogs.. Unkut solidified itself as perhaps the best rap site ever.. Trinidad James and 2 Chainz convinced me that it is possible to be worse than Soulja Boy and Plies. The standard has remarkably been set lower.. all in all it was an interesting year..

Comment by LEX 01.05.13 @

The crew covered most of my points. Only thing I’ll add is the Canibus DZaster battle. That was this year, right?

Comment by digglahhh 01.05.13 @

For 2012 My favorite mix tapes was Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers 2, Rick Ross ” Rich Forever” and Ar-Ab “Whose Harder Than Me 2”

Nas “Life is Good” was by far my most favorite commercial release.

For all you guys dissing Cheif Keef, I agree dude is a lot short on traditional rhyme skill BUT I can see why he hit hard. His break out song was something I could feel. Overall, all them little new cats coming out of Chicago are not big on talent, BUT I can see that they are having fun with their music and would be making it even if no one was listening. That’s kinda what make them dope.

Comment by BKThoroughbred 01.07.13 @

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