Grubeats’ Top 12 of ’12

Posted by on January 14, 2013

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Grubeats; fashionably tardy as always.  I can’t promise I’ve saved the best for last, but hopefully this eclectic mix of tracks tickle’s at least party of your fancy.  I’d enjoy hearing from you in the comments section if you have opinions on any of these songs!

12.) Skizzy Mars – Sirens

This young star didn’t sound my radar until late spring of ’12.  I had heard the name and few scattered verses, but overlooked the true talent Skizzy Mars was bringing to the table until I first heard “Sirens”.  With sounds similar to a young Cudi, Skizzy himself only recently graduated high school and has only begun to lie the brick and mortar for long, prosperous career.

11.) Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem

As you probably know, I’m not a die heard EDM head like many writers and followers of this site.  No kandi for this kid.  I do however, enjoy just about anything Skrillex lays his hands on.  Couple the addictive production with Damian Marley’s rasta raps and you have pure gold.  If and when hip-hop and EDM cross paths, this is the type of execution I expect. [Watch video HERE]

Continue reading for Top 10!

10.) J.T. Roach & Quincy Kwalae – Bad Bitch

If you told me last year J.T. Roach and Quincy Kwalae would be among my favorite artists of 2012, I would slapped your hand and called you Sally.  I had heard kibbles and bits of their music in 2011, but nothing close to the quality of content released on their debut EP, Piñata After Party.  The production from Quincy Kwalae on this track is nothing less than exceptional, pulling sounds from the Weeknd’s playbook and owning the electro-dub-hip-hop fused genre.  Vocalist J.T. Roach confesses his lyrical lust for the devilish one in the red dress, not overpowering with his vocals but keeping it smooth and balanced.  I’m still waiting on a video for this track, despite the fact I can already envision exactly how it would look in my head.

9.) Wax – Rosana

An artist that was completely new to me in 2012; the Venice, CA resident MC, Big Wax.  You want to talk about a catchy hook?  I heard this back in July and I still wake up singing this track.  Piece of advice, play the song for your girlfriend  before you start singing out “Rosana, freaky little mama, she be tryin’ f*ck all day” in her presence.  The video is definitely worth your time and reminds me of the scene in Austin Powers where Austin and Vanessa talk to to Bazzle, naked.  [Watch video HERE]

8.) King Mez – Reign

This North Carolina rhymesayer is one of the most promising, overlooked, young spitters in the game.  Although “Reign” was released as a promo track at the end of 2011, it wasn’t until 2012 when it was officially released as a single off Mez’s mixtape, My Everlasting Zeal.  The multi talented Tarheel not only wrote an introspective rap pitching his case for the throne, but crafted the beat as well.  These North Caroline kids don’t just rap these days, they produce too. [Watch video HERE]

“Now, I won’t say fashion that important, But honestly I learned roman numerals from studying my Jordans”

7.) YONAS – Don’t Give A Damn

RAP GAME MICHAEL PHELPS. One of my favorite young stars, YONAS, brings his “Don’t Give A Damn” mentality to the booth for his Sean Ross produced smash.  YONAS splashed his summer friendly tune through the speakers defying the laws of normality, eating pizza and rapping under water.  I have a feeling 2013 has a lot in store for the 25-year old Bronx preacher.

6.) DJ Khaled* – They Ready (feat. J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. & Kendrick Lamar)

*Once again, DJ Khaled proves why he is the world’s most prolific and highest paid chanter.  J. Cole produced it, J. Cole rapped on it, Big K.R.I.T. rapped on it, and Kendrick rapped on it.  I’m still trying to figure out what Khaled contributed to the record.  Made a couple phone calls? Had his assistant wire a couple stacks?  Brought a box of Krispy Kreme and a bottle of Henny to the studio? You tell me.  Bottom line is, the three amigos (Cole, Krit, K.Dot) murdered this track.

5.) Prince Ea – Smoking Weed With the President

Prince Ea caught YouTube’s wind in 2011 with his video single, “Backwards Rapper.”  After close to a year of preparation, writing, researching, and producing, Prince Ea not only released one of the most compelling songs of 2k12, he started a movement.  “Smoking Weed With The President” is more than a push to legalize the controversial green herb.  It’s a carefully crafted piece of art that not only questions the underlying legal issues associated with marijuana, but offers thought provoking solutions for some of our countries most daunting economic issues.  The time and research alone that was sunk into this record validates its worth for a spot in my top 12.  Regardless of your personal beliefs, take the time to listen to this song in full.  At the very least, it will exercise your cranium.

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4.) Logic – Numbers

It wasn’t easy for me to select just one song from Logic to include in this list.  Truthfully, I could have picked almost any song from his junior mixtape, Young Sinatra: Undeniable and been perfectly content.  Logic solidified his chair atop my favorite artists list in 2012 with the release of his YS Undeniable.  For me, “Numbers” was that record that needed to happen.  Mainstream appeal, ridiculous production from 6ix,  and an exposed level of confidence from the young Maryland MC.

“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t I see that.” -Logic

 Surely after seeing his stock rise in 2012, the numbers were no joke.  300,000+ mixtape downloads, 75,000 strong on Twitter, close to 150,000 Facebook fans, and several million YouTube views. Logic is humble, but “Numbers” was a statement track and 2012 was a statement year.

3.) Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

Where do I start?  Rather than choosing “The Recipe” or “Money Trees”, I felt it was only right to ring a solo hit in at my number 3 spot.  “Swimming Pools (Drank)” was undoubtely the most impactful release for Kendrick in 2012.  K.Dot exposed the aspects of alcohol in a manner very few hip-hop artists do and for that, I commend him as an artist.

2.) Kanye West – New God Flow ft. Pusha T & Ghostface Killah

In the past couple years, hip-hop’s heavyweights have all formed their respective “cliques”.  From Ross’ Maybach Music to Em’s Shady 2.o to Hov’s Roc Nation to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.  Although there are others, these are the 4 powerhouses that come to mind.  Kanye’s label delivered their debut album, Cruel Summer, markded by this standout single, “New God Flow”.  The original version featuring only Pusha T was enough to have me hooked.  When the album version first broke my speakers and I heard Ghostface come in and trounce the track, goosebumps sprouted.  Not only do Pusha and Yeezy come correct on their verses, but Ghostface’s feature solidifies this as one of my personal favorites of 2012.

1.) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, they’re cut from a different cloth.  They’re original style of music coupled with their down to earth personalities makes it hard to hate on what these two Seattle all stars are doing.  “Thrift Shop” was the most exciting release of 2012.  When I first heard it, I knew it was gold, but never did I think it would officially go “Platinum”, independently.  The beat is fun, infectious, and addictive.  Macklemore’s rhymes are funny, whitty, well thought out, and honest.  Wanz, I love you man.  Every aspect of this song was executed to perfection.  Whether you’re in need of a smile, a good laugh, or an anthem for your trip to Goodwill, hit play on “Thrift Shop”.

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