Mac Miller: Macadelic
Although Mac Miller's adamant following and widespread recognition has earned him much respect, we honor his 'Macadelic' project with an honorable mention bid. Dominated by stellar production from ID Labs, this great sounding project didn't do much to show significant lyrical growth from Mac Miller.
Notable Tracks: Lucky Ass Bitch (feat. Juicy J), Angels (When She Shuts Her Eyes), America (feat. Casey Veggies & Joey Bada$$
Captain Murphy (Flying Lotus): Duality
The legendary producer tries his hand at putting together a full length rap album of his own. The cult-
themed project is definitely not your run of the mill rap tape but it is certainly good enough to warrant a
Notable Tracks: Between Friends (featuring Earl Sweatshirt), The Ritual, The Killing Joke, Disciples
Curren$y & Harry Fraud: Cigarette Boats
Technically it is only an EP but since its free and as good as it is, it makes the list. Harry Fraud is one of
the hottest new producers in the game and he laces Spitta with the material needed to throw his classic
flows on to make a few very good tracks. Its downside is that it’s only five songs but it is must have.
Notable Tracks: ALL.. Like I said its only five songs! And they’re all tough..
10. Wiz Khalifa: Taylor Allderdice
Wiz just barely squeaked into the top ten by giving us the last drop of "old Wiz" juice he had left with 'Taylor Allderdice'. With help from trusty producers like Cardo, Sledgren, and Lex Luger, there were more than a few high points on this mixtape. A relatively smooth listen all the way through. We don't expect much from Wiz in terms of deeply extensive lyrics, but when he does his thing well, it has to be acknowledged.
Notable Tracks: Nameless (feat. Chevy Woods), The Code (feat. Juicy J, Lola Monroe & Chevy Woods), Number 16
9. Dom Kennedy: The Yellow Album
LA native Dom Kennedy continues to throw his name in the hat for quality rappers currently out. The
twenty-eight year old has certainly been around for a few years but his latest mixtape, Yellow Album,
has been his best full piece of work to date. The tape is heavily party themed and contains some of the
best turn up beats this year. With anthems such as My Type of Party, Yellow Album definitely deserves a download and listen.
Notable Tracks: My Type of Party, Been Thuggin’, We Ball (featuring Kendrick Lamar), Hangin’ (featuring Freddie Gibbs)
8. Domo Genesis & Alchemist: No Idols
Twenty-one year old California native Domo Genesis teamed up with legendary producer Alchemist to
put together one of hip-hops best mixtapes of the year. Domo, who has been extremely underrated for
some time, solidifies himself as a rapper to be reckoned with. As a member of Tyler the Creator’s Odd
Future, he in a way plays a background role but the kid can straight up rap. Some may say that anybody can kill some Alchemist beats but I would argue its actually the opposite. The complexity of an Alchemist beat takes a certain type of artist and on this full-length release Domo fits the mold as well as anyone could.
Notable Tracks: Prophecy, Till The Angels Come (featuring Freddie Gibbs &Prodigy), Me and My Bitch, The Daily News (featuring Space Ghost Purp, Earl Sweatshirt, & Action Bronson)
7. Big Sean: Detroit
A fitting ode to his city, 'Detroit' was another lyrically solid collection from Big Sean. Producing from key Wane, Young Chop, and Lex Luger add to the allure and energy of the mixtape. Features from Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, French Montana, Tyga, and more gave 'Detroit' different looks for content. Sean continues to keep himself deservingly relevant.
Notable Tracks: Higher, Mula (feat. French Montana), RWT
6. Childish Gambino: Royalty
One of his more mature and noteworthy projects, Donald Glover became a more confident rapper with this mixtape. He impressed not only by producing his own raunchy beats, but providing raps that forces us to take notice of his improvement. Gambino (Glover is his real name) also brought along Nipsey Hussle, as well as TDE members Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q for the ride as lyrical reinforcements. A combination of ratchet, lyrical, and catchy, Gambino made more than a compelling case for one of the top mixtapes of 2012.
Notable Tracks: One Up (feat. Steve Lover), Black Faces (feat. Nipsey Hussle), Unnecessary (feat. Schoolboy Q & Ab-Soul)
5. Meek Mill: Dreamchasers 2
DJ Drama hosted the second installment of the Dreamchasers series, helping Meek Mill sustain his already overwhelming buzz prior to the sequel. One of the most complete mixtapes of the year, the production stayed consistent with Meek's rugged, gutter style and teamed him up with Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Drake, and Fabolous for a roller coaster of head bangers. Top five of the year hands down.
Notable Tracks: Burn (feat. Big Sean), A1 Everything (feat. Kendrick Lamar), Racked Up Shawty (feat. Fabolous & French Montana)
4. Big K.R.I.T.: 4eva N a Day
Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. has been on the elite rapper radar for some time now and with his latest
full-length work, he may have made a pretty good case for himself. The seventeen track work features
a little of everything for rap fans and critics alike. K.R.I.T. prides himself on being a southern rapper and
that element gives him a fervor to prove that he is legitimate. 4eva N a Day serves as one hell of an
Notable Tracks: Boobie Miles, Package Store, Handwriting, Red Eye
3. Action Bronson: Blue Chips (with Party Supplies)
The Albanian Queens native Action Bronson made quite the name for himself in 2012. A catapult for
his success was his March release of Blue Chips. The mixtape features a classic New York sound with
Action’s high pitched delivery which makes for a great listen. Bronson, even being twenty-nine years old,
has a very bright future if he continues to deliver the way he did with Blue Chips. His slick talking fast
flows are guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
Notable Tracks: Double Breasted, 5 Minute Beats 1 Take Raps, Dreamer, Intercontinental Champion
2. Rick Ross: Rich Forever
One of the most anticipated mixtape releases of the year, 'Rich Forever' was meant to stall fans who awaited the delay of Ross' 'God Forgives, I Don't' album. What resulted was a collection of club bangers like "Stay Schemin" and "Holy Ghost" along with some vintage boss lyricism on "Triple Beam Dreams" and "Rich Forever". The features ranged from his direct MMG circle to the likes of 2 Chainz, Drake, Nas, and French Montana. From our perspective, the project went considerably harder than Ross' album, making it one of the hottest mixtapes of the year and the era.
Notable Tracks: Holy Ghost (feat. Diddy), Yella Diamonds, Triple Beam Dreams (feat. Nas)
1. Joey Bada$$: 1999
The seventeen year old Brooklyn native takes the Mixtape of the Year honor with his debut mixtape
1999. The tape is a an ultimate throwback to New York 1990’s hip-hop. His boom bap sound is as natural
sounding as any work mimicking the sound since its hay day. Joey seems to be far ahead of his time
when it comes to his content and his delivery and is definitely someone to pay attention to in 2013. He
and his Pro Era collective have a very bright future on the horizon.
Notable Tracks: Hardknock (featuring CJ Fly), Waves, Survival Tactics (featuring Capital STEEZ),