6. Life Is Good by Nas
Every so often, there’s a special marriage of timing, skill, and universal appeal in the music world that changes everything. Such was the case with the 1994 classic “illmatic”, the debut album of then-20 year rapper Nassir Jones.
7. Live from the Underground by Big K.R.I.T
2012 saw multiple major freshman releases, including Krit’s “Live From the Underground”. Fans of his previous mixtapes were surprised to hear how commercial the album sounded (with the word Underground in the tittle itself, nonetheless), and while many were turned off by that, therein lies the true worth of the album.
8.Express Yourself – Diplo
Admittedly, Diplo is probably not the first artist you associate with Express Yourself. I doubt that’s his intention. What might interest he of Major Lazer, Mad Decent fame more is getting your grilfriend to shake her ass in ways you had no idea she could. In this way, Express Yourself is a total success.
9.Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them – Blu & Exile
When word broke that west coast artists Blu and Exile would re-up for a quasi reunion, it excited a hip hop community clamoring for just such an event since 2005’s Below the Heavens. Spun with a hunger, soul, and polish both on the boards and rhymes, Heavens was a modern classic for hip hop heads and a promise that Blu would have much to say before his career was done.
10.Keys To The Kuffs – JJ DOOM
The ever elusive Daniel Dumille, better known as DOOM(among his many other aliases), returned to the booth in 2012 with Keys To The Kuffs. Aided by New Orleans’ producer Jnerio Jarel, the duo devised many records that strayed even further left sonically than the Madlib-produced Madvillain, a feat that serves, unfortunately, as double-edged sword.