The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Over the past 5 days, Kenny, Kyle, our special guest contributor Johnny 5 and I have brought you our favorite mixtapes, disappointments, producers, artists and albums. Now to conclude the RapDose Wrap Up and the year along with it, we each give you our top 5 records of 2012. Thanks for the support and thanks to our guest contributor Johnny5 for lending his thoughts to the site. Stay safe and have a Happy New Year. #AccomplishIt.

Time Freeman’s Picks

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Meek Mill & Big Sean – Burn

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

When you combine the raucous Meek Mill with the motivated Big Sean (and that hot streak he’s been on as of late) then let them both run rampant with hunger on an instrumental by Jahlil Beats, you can only receive great results. As vigorous as it is ambitious, “Burn” is a heavy hitter, completely melting ears and speakers as it plays with raw intensity. Unquestionably packed to the brim with back and forth lyricism, it’s also one of Big Sean’s finest moments this year that defines his growth in lyricism and exists on Meek’s Dreamchasers 2 mixtape, making it beneficial to both parties, as well as our ears.

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Chief Keef – I Don’t Like (Feat. Lil Reese)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

I Don’t Like” stands as the leading track to Chicago’s rise this year. Created by Chicago’s own producing wunderkind Young Chop, the disrespectful instrumental charges the GBE duo Chief Keef and Lil Reese forward. Purely an anthem, the single has managed to bang and echo consistently throughout the year, to the point where musical genius Kanye West took the instrumental and redesigned it for his team and Keef to use on his Cruel Summer album with the rest of G.O.O.D Music. Whether or not it’s preferred to the original is debatable but irrelevant, as it proves in itself that this record was something to hear this year.

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Ab-Soul – Black Lip Bastard (Remix) (Feat. Black Hippy)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

This year was one in which we got to see most of TDE soar. ScHoolboy Q delivered with Habits & Contradictions, Ab-Soul impressed with Control System and of course Kendrick Lamar took over with good kid, m.A.A.d city but neither of the three truly explode on this vicious display of teamwork. Jay Rock terrorizes the menacing instrumental from the moment he gets on, making it his own but I digress, the flow from each artist is completely unique, diverse in effort and delivery. The track overall compliments the team and is a testament to their coordination. We won’t get to see these four as a team too often, but the infrequent moments we will get these in the future you can expect them all to be contenders for track of the year.

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Future – Turn On The Lights

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

The rising Hip Hop crooner Future waited until his 4th single on his debut album Pluto to take himself to new heights. Confirmed as the most successful release, “Turn On The Lights” is catchy as it is bewitching. Applying unique sounds and echoes with selective bass all courtesy of Mike WiLL Made It, it only would make sense that this serves as one of the better tracks not only on Future’s album, but of the year.

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Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Mixed by the legendary Dr. Dre and TDE’s own Ali, Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is fantastic. It’s a pivotal piece of everything it belongs to. As part of the album, it grows to be an extended version of the lead single, doing more than being a hit about the abuse of alcohol. It continues to push the story forward, revealing a shoot out involving his comrades as it concludes. As the lead single, it was listed on Rolling Stone’s best songs of 2012 and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #17, being Kendrick’s highest charting single in his young career thus far. As a visual, it screams creativity and as our hero defies gravity and pulls us with gripping imagery and for Hip Hop, it shows that there is room for a balance. There can be success beyond the usual these days in our beloved genre and Kendrick Lamar shows us that with his exertion, making “Swimming Pools (Drank)” the best record AND song of the year. Trust me, there is a difference.

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Kyle Fall’s Picks

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Dom Kennedy – My Type Of Party

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks
Dom Kennedy‘s “My Type Of Party” was the perfect summer single. I don’t know how many steaks and dogs got bbq’ed to this one in July and August but it will definitely start popping back up on playlists when the snow disappears.

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Future – Turn On The Lights

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Future‘s “Turn On The Lights” isn’t really a strong example of the type of song I normally find myself playing on repeat. It’s auto-tuned to hell and was obviously marketed towards the fairer gender, but there is more at play here than another boring radio single. The powerful chorus sticks to your brain like none other and the instrumental is the type that calls for a remix. That said, it’s proven by the fact that it was remixed by the likes of Ciara and Lil Wayne.

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Juicy J – Bandz A Make Her Dance (Feat. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Bannndz a make her dance, bannnndz a make her dance. Sorry, it’s just too catchy. This song was good enough without Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz but having them added to the official single version just puts this record over the top. A strip club anthem for years to come, the legend Juicy J does it again with this track.

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Chief Keef – I Don’t Like (Feat. Lil Reese)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks
No one song gained an artist more notoriety this year than Chief Keef‘s “I Don’t Like” featuring Lil Reese. Although Keef doesn’t credit the Kanye West remix for any of his success, it has, without question helped shoot the 17 year old straight into the lime light (no pun intended). How he will handle the attention however, is another story.

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Trinidad James – All Gold Everything

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Trinidad James literally blew up overnight with “All Gold Everything“. This is the type of song that when you scroll through your friend’s iTunes, it’s the only mp3 by the artist they have in their entire collection. That’s not to say Trinidad James doesn’t have other good material, his Don’t Be S.A.F.E. mixtape is a quality effort. It’s just that this song is leaps and bounds more popular than anything else he has released, to the point where it puts him at risk of being a one hit wonder. I’m sure that’s a problem plenty of artists would like to be facing. “All Gold Everything” is apparently worth $2 million dollars, the amount he reportedly signed to Def Jam Records for, amidst a ton of attention from record label executives.

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Johnny 5’s Picks

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Rick Ross – Stay Schemin Featuring Drake & French Montana) 

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

This song just has so many quotables — whether it’s Rick Ross “Damn..Life so short..f*ck it..I don’t wanna go to court” line, Drake throwing shots at Common and making Kobe Bryant even more legendary with the “B*tch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym!” or French Montana inadvertently creating a new internet meme out of a word he didn’t even say with “Fanute”. Infinitely quotable, but ultimately classic; “Stay Schemin” is lightning in a bottle and one of the biggest successes of the year. The only issue you’ll have with it is trying to find a verse you like the best.

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Dom Kennedy – My Type Of Party

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

In my opinion, the sleeper track of the year. The song plays like a to-do list of the many mantras of headliner Dom Kennedy (“Ni**as gotta live sober/I wrote this blowin doja” is particularly dubious in its irony), all under the guise of a downbeat party track. Producer DJ Dahi’s dreamlike beat is the real star here, as it perfect fits in the pocket of Dom’s lazy flow; meshing them together in perfect harmony. “My Type Of Party” succeeds in being a light hearted and enjoyable romp through a day in the life of the west coast MC.

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Future – Turn On the Lights

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

 

2012 was Future’s breakout year and a lot of it had to do with this song. “Turn On The Lights” is, like a lot of the songs on this list, infectiously simple and catchy.  From the opening aside of Future crooning that he’s “looking” for her — you know it building to something epic. And it gets there thanks to production from Mike Will, and the clever writing ability of Future.  “Turn On The Lights” is going to end up being the defining song that defines the new Ratchet&B era of Future (and many of his imitators) — the “Where were you when you heard..?” song of 2012.

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Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – Mercy

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Mercy” is a force of nature. It’s the only way to describe the feeling it gives off the moment you hear the Fuzzy Jones sample and the subsequent break into the sparse yet haunting beat that provides the backdrop for Big Sean to drop his defining verse (The “Ass/Ashtray” line still kills me). Pusha T does the lyrical heavy lifting and Kanye makes his entrance epic behind a clever interpolation of the Scarface theme — but this song is the 2 Chainz show.  In just a few bars (Is there a better opening verse than “Catch Up To My Campaign/Coupe The Color Of Mayonnaise”?) 2 Chainz transformed from C List mixtape rapper to superstar where he would continue to stay for the remainder of 2012.  “Mercy” is the perfect example of building to a climax while remaining enjoyable throughout.

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Chief Keef – I Don’t Like (Feat. Lil Reese)

The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Tracks

Quite possibly the most important song of the year.  The impetus of many internet memes (“Fredo In The Cut” anyone? Thanks.)  and the first peek at the Chicago-centered Hip Hop cycle we kept our eyes and ears on all year.  From the first tinge of Young Chop’s haunting piano you know it’s about to go down, the beat breaking into a horror movie- like scream at 67BPM.
I Don’t Like” is punk rock for rap fans, it’s rebellious and xenophobic — no one comes between Keef and his merry (or not so merry) band of friends and they most certainly don’t like fake shit, fake people and clingy women. Add in a show stealing verse from Lil Reese and “I Don’t Like” is the perfect song for parties and any other ratchet gatherings. It’s the energy of “Tear The Club Up” with the eye opening honesty of “Shook Ones.” “I Don’t Like” is a guilty pleasure, but most importantly it’s also the best song of the year. Bang Bang.

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