As Is Hip-Hop Awards 2012 - Album of the Year

As you know, or may not know, since I publish in October, I end my year for new albums in September and start over. Thus, it isn't a calendar year in the normal sense but it is twelve months.

6. Slaughterhouse- Our House

The lyrical quartet is in the honorable mention echelon because while I listen to the album regularly, the initial impact isn't what I was looking for. They managed to make some good songs and also had lyrics to back it up, but some of the joints fell a little flat and came off as aimed at the pop charts instead of their core hip-hop audience.

5. B.O.B. - Strange Clouds

Bobbie Ray dropped an album earlier in the year and it has kind of gone under the radar. The street single featured Lil Wayne on the title track but throughout the composition B.O.B. does an excellent job with providing unique concepts, strong lyrics, and a polished professional sound. What B.O.B. did was to mix the pop and hip-hop sound better than Nicki Minaj or Drake who both fit into that category.

4. Lupe Fiasco - Food and Liquor 2

This album just dropped and made the cut off and is already one of my favorites. Honestly, I feel like the top three could be a toss up but the number one is my personal favorite. This album was the culmination of Lupe's career and the album I have been waiting to get from Lupe since he came out. This album has some of the most needed to be heard songs in hip-hop this year.

3. Common - The Dreamer, The Believer

Common dropped another solid above average album this year with the usual deep, solid, jazz backed album with great imagination and lyricism. He bought the positive with the single "Blue Sky", then showed everyone he wasn't a punk on "Sweet" where he threw barbs at Drake that were reminiscent of his battles with ice Cube.

2. Nas- Life is Good

Nas dropped an album a couple of years ago with Damien Marley and showed he still had bars, but this year, he came out with his best full length album in almost 10 years. Finally getting tracks that matched his lyrics and ideas he put forth an album that went over his history, showed his growth, and reached new depths when talking about the relationships with his daughter and ex-wife, Kelis.

1. Childish Gambino - Camp

This is an unorthodox choice but this album spoke to me more than anything this year. From the ultra-descriptive "Outside" to "Power" with the story that follows and ends the album, this has been a front to back play through for months. Donald Glover shows off his punchlines on the album while simultaneously straddling the line between black and white and giving you a glimpse into a more average life that is ignored in today's rap climate of drugs, bands, and liquor. He talks about his own motivations and life growing up and it's such a refreshing break from the norm.


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