Welcome to See Beyond Genre’s Best Albums of 2012. Since so many great projects, across a number of genres, were manifested this year, we decided to go with our top 50 favorites – opposed to the top 25 selection we went with a year ago. We hope you enjoy the list and we encourage you to check out any of the works you’re unfamiliar with. Feel free to give us your feedback our on picks, and again, thank you for reading.
#50 Kami de Chukwu: Light
Light is our introduction to Savemoney spitter Kami De Chukwu. Contrary to the title, the project boasts a slight darker vibe, driven by menacing production and a lyrical onslaught from Kami. With such a unique style, we’re really looking forward to what this young rapper is going to cook up next.
Favorite Songs: “Prey” “Home” “Who You”
#49 Childish Gambino: Royalty
Once thought of as a part time rapper (that’s what happens when you act and write for NBC, do stand up and record in your spare time), Childish Gambino evolved as a rapper on Royalty as he tightened up his flow, focused more on details and matured as a lyricist. Molded by the electro-infused sounds of collaborator Ludwig, ‘Bino’s newest tape was a huge progression in the rapper’s skills and vision.
Favorite Songs: “We Ain’t Them” “Black Faces”
#48 Fun.: Some Nights
Fun. might not want 2012 to end after the success they had this year. Their release “Some Nights” was undoubtably the biggest songs of the year. With several chart topping singles to their name and even a few Queen comparisons, I think they may have found their perfect formula for song writing.
Favorite Songs: “Some Nights” “We Are Young”
#47 Meek Mill: Dreamchasers 2
For the second installment of the Dreamchasers mixtape series, MMG’s Meek Mill pulls out all the stops. Features from the likes of Rick Ross, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Wale, Big Sean, 2 Chainz. among others keeps this as star studded as any project we’ve seen all year (besides maybe The Game’s album). Meek also shows the strides he has made as a rapper, showing he’s ready to hit that next level.
Favorite Songs: “Amen” “House Party Remix” “Burn”
#46 Gaslight Anthem: Handwritten
NJ rockers have made no qualms about wanting to become the biggest rock band in the world; Handwritten is another step to the top. The record was recorded in Nashville, but the city sneaks into the songs along with ghosts of rock n roll past.
Favorite Songs: “45″ “Handwritten”
#45 Dom Kennedy: Yellow Album
Few people needed a big 2012 more than Dom Kennedy, and the Yellow Album thrusted the Cali rapper back into the conversations of “next up”. His effortless swag and laid back delivery (just listen to “lately” and “girls on stage” if you don’t believe us) made every track an easy, good listen. Dom epitomized the “less is more” approach by stepping out of the box just enough, and delivering his best project to date.
Favorite Songs: “My Type of Party” “We Ball”
#44 SUBMiT: Window Seat
Over the last few years, Atlanta emcee SUBMiT has become one of our favorite artist to cover here at SBG. His combination of superb lyricism and high standard of quality has resulted in some exceptional releases, however, this project marks his most complete to date. Window Seat is brilliantly executed concept album that we urge you to give a listen.
Favorite Songs: “The Tarmac” “Hometown Hero”
#43 Chief Keef: Back From The Dead
Regardless of your feelings on Chief Keef, his rise to stardom will go down as one of the biggest stories in music in 2012. The Back From The Dead mixtape, which included tracks like “300″ and “I Don’t Like”, was at the forefront of sparking that movement. Without this tape most of us wouldn’t love sosa.
Favorite Songs: “I Don’t Like” “300″
#42 Islands: A Sleep & A Forgetting
What’s the perfect time to drop an album influenced by a break up? Valentine’s Day. This year, Islands did just that with their work “A Sleep & A Forgetting”. Incredible song writing and a story to tell, make this Islands’ best album to date.
Favorite Songs: “This Is Not A Song”
#41 Caleb James: Ground Up
Savemoney’s dual-threat Caleb James showcased his talents both on the mic and on the boards with his debut release, Ground Up. Through a wide range of production and variety of flows, Caleb gives listeners a track for any occasion and has us raving about his versatility and his potential.
Favorite Songs: “WildNOut” “SaveMoney Cypher”