Once again we haven’t been as active over the last week or so because of the holiday season, but regardless, here’s the next of our 2012 in review features. A year of upcoming starlets and veterans proving their worth means a year of make or break singles. Several artists flop at the first hurdle, and it usually leads to long album delays, but there was a heck of a lot of good music floating around this year anyway. Hit the jump for our favourite 20 songs of the year, based on originality, cultural impact and how good the music actually is (obviously). Check it!
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cyril Hahn Remix)
Album: N/A Producer: Cyril Hahn
I literally know nothing about this guy, and it’s on the list for purely selfish reasons, but it’s fucking sick anyway. Featuring chopped and screwed Beyonce vocals over a mellow minimalist beat, Cyril Hahn composes one of the prettiest songs of the year. Check it below!
Major Lazer – Get Free (ft. Amber Coffman)
Album: Major Lazer Frees The Universe Producer: Diplo
Although Switch departed the group, Diplo hired more members to keep Major Lazer going, and thank god he did. Really different from previous releases, it’s a chill and reggae-inspired effort and it excites me for what they have in store next. Their next album Major Lazer Frees The Universe is expected in 2013.
Meek Mill – Burn (ft. Big Sean)
Album: Dreams And Nightmares Producer: Jahlil Beats
Meek Mill is probably one of the most hyped rapper’s of the last couple of years, and after signing with MMG it was only a matter of time until his debut dropped. This was the record that really set things into motion, however. Featuring standout performances from both MC’s and a hard-as-nails trap beat provided by long time collaborator Jahlil Beats, this song was a smash on the streets and the charts.
2 Chainz – No Lie (ft. Drake)
Album: Based On A T.R.U. Story Producer: Mike Will Made It
2 Chainz before recent years had a mediocre career and went by the name Tity Boi (seriously). However in ’11 and ’12 he dedicated to collaborating with just about everybody in the music industry (from Rick Ross to Justin Bieber) and the time came for him to release a solo record. No Lie was the first official single and it smashed the radio in America, nothing to do with the Drake collab of course. 2 Chainz is at his hilarious best, and Drake does Drake… need I say more?
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop (ft. Wanz)
Album: The Heist Producer: Ryan Lewis
Macklemore really doesn’t give a fuck. Never falling into cliches being a white rapper, he delivers individual and creative music, and Thrift Shop is probably the best example of that. Lampooning designer culture, he raps about shopping at a charity shop and disregards brands as “ignorant bitch shit”. Definitely worth a listen!
Nicki Minaj – Beez In The Trap (ft. 2 Chainz)
Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Producer: Kenoe
Yea, fuck off, I put Nicki on the list AND WHAT. This was a great song overshadowed by a lot of shit, and its actually sick so suck out. She can rap when she wants.
Pusha T – Exodus 23:1 (ft. The-Dream)
Album: N/A Producer: Rico Beats
Beef is best served like steak. This year Push showed why he’s not to be fucked with, and delivered one fo the hottest diss songs of the year. While the Common vs Drake beef raged on, Pushaton released this scathing heater, taking down Drake, Lil Wayne and Birdman with him. It sparked a reply in the Young Money camp, with Weezy releasing a pathetic reply, as well as Jay Millz and subliminals from Drake and Nicki. Sheesh.
Kanye West – Cold
Album: Cruel Summer Producer: Hit-Boy
Kanye returned with this banger, showing why he’s everyone’s favourite asshole, as well as announcing his relationship with the hottest bird alive. Fair play. This is ‘Ye at his best. Also, this isn’t the official video, but it’s hilarious.
Nas – The Don
Album: Life Is Good Producer: Salaam Remi, Da Internz & Heavy D
Nas has literally nothing to prove to anyone. He is a legend in the game, and has probably the best album to ever be made in hip-hop with his name at the top. Despite this, he isn’t sitting quietly, as he exploded back on the scene with this huge track. He made young rappers shit themselves with the beats booming 808’s and jungle sample, and proved why he is still the don.
Rick Ross – Stay Scheming (ft. Drake & French Montana)
Album – Rich Forever Producer: The Beat Bullies
Arguably the best song off Rozay’s album, and it wasn’t even on the album. Speaks volumes. Also, it added to the growing YM VS GOOD beef in hip-hop, and had Common release a freestyle to it dissing Drake. It’s heavy, dawwwwg.