In an era of hip-hop where the quality of albums becomes second tier to that of the mixtapes, we thought it’d be a good idea to catch you up on some of the best ones to drop this year. So we hooked up with our buddy Gaston from PnutButterJams.com to gve us his favorite projects from 2012 thus far. With some notable names and some more underground artists as well, this varied list will help you compile some solid hip-hop playlists for the duration of your summer.
15. Sir Michael Rocks – "Premier Politics 1.5"
The newest member of the Jet Life crew lets loose a tape that showcases his smooth talking, steady production, and relaxed style and flair that made him an original “cool kid.”
Standout track: Sir Michael Rocks - New Dress f. Shorty K (prod. Cardo)
14. Young Roddy – "Good Sense"
It’s jet life to the next life as Curren$y’s right hand man, also from the N.O. drops his major debut mixtape: Good Sense. Complete with stellar production and verses from Curren$y, Trademark da Skydiver, and Smoke DZA, this tape is every smoker’s delight -- all in good sense.
Standout track: Young Roddy - What That Is f. Curren$y
13. Stalley – "Savage Journey To The American Dream"
MMG’s most lyrical MC showcases a sense of skillfulness on his latest release. With production from his long time collaborators, the Block Beattaz, and ½ of the Neptunes, Chad Hugo -- Stalley reaches for the stars on his MMG mixtape debut. And features from Rick Ross, Wale, and Meek Mill will make this an instant, necessary download.
Standout track: Stalley - BCGMMG Remix Feat. Rick Ross Meek Mill (prod. Block Beattaz)
12. Smoke DZA & Harry Fraud – "Rugby Thompson"
Harry Fraud has been one of the most influential and consistent producers for the past year or so, (see French Montana’s ‘Shotcaller’) and when he decided to link up directly with recent Jet Life signee, Smoke DZA -- we knew the result would be massive, and hazy. Features from the ASAP crew, Curren$y, Action Bronson, ScHoolboy Q and others make this mixtape turned album one for the history books.
Standout track: Smoke DZA - Game 7 f. A$AP Twelvyy (prod. Harry Fraud)
11. Dom Kennedy – "The Yellow Album"
The Cali native finally drops the tape that we’ve all been waiting for. After it seems like he found his own unique sound, Dom links up with a plethora of phenomenal producers to put together a project that details both his sudden success and progress. Complete with guest features from other Cali natives such as Too Short and Kendrick Lamar, Dom even reached out to Rick Ross for one of the best cuts on the album: “Gold Alpinas”.
Standout track: Dom Kennedy - We Ball f. Kendrick Lamar (prod. Chase N Cashe)