These are solely the opinions of the people at COMPLEX, and in no way reflects StereoTypez opinion on the top albums of the year (so far). With that being said, we still found it interesting and thought we’d share.
2012 hasn’t disappointed on the music tip. Whether it’s rappers like Schoolboy Q and Meek Mill spitting that audio crack, bands like The Shins and Best Coast letting it rip, or big-name vets like Usher and Fiona Apple singing their hearts out, the first six months of this year have held all our iPods down with plenty of that new-new.
We like to cut to the chase over here, so check out the Top 5 below.
5. Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Allderdice
Label: Taylor Gang/Rostrum/Atlantic
Released: March 13th
…Wiz came back with a mixtape named after his old high school, Taylor Allderdice, which found the perfect balance between gritty street anthems and catchy tunes meant for radio. Although it does run a bit long and there’s a bit too much Juicy J (we can’t believe we just typed those words either), there’s no denying smashes like “Mary 3X,” “Never Been,” and “My Favorite Song.” And yes, we can’t believe one of our favorite songs of the year featured Amber Rose.
4. El-P, Cancer For Cure
Label: Fat Possum Records
Released: May 22th
Fear and loathing. And paranoia and anxiety. In Brooklyn. Yes, the world offered by El-P, the rapper/producer of Company Flow and later Def Jux fame, on his latest solo LP, C4C, is a decidedly dark and manic one. And exquisitely captured, too. Imagine watching Orwell’s 1984, directed by Oliver Stone circa 1992, set to the music of Hank Shockley in 1988. While your eyelids have been clipped open on some A Clockwork Orange shit. And then imagine becoming addicted to it.
3. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…
Released: June 18th
Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel… is not an easy album to listen to. Her revealing lyrics spill pain and struggle over minimal soundscapes, and her delivery of those lyrics is devastatingly intense. She says that she shows these sides of herself because nobody else seems to be doing it, and she’s right. We’re so used to hearing music-especially in the mainstream realm-with airbrushed messages where every cloud has a silver lining. But Fiona’s return has been a necessary reminder of the very human side of things. Things aren’t always perfect, but this album comes pretty close.
2. Schoolboy Q, Habits & Contradictions
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
Released: January 14th
If his counterpart Kendrick Lamar (the man responsible for last year’s excellent Section.80) is the most calculated lyricist in recent memory, then Schoolboy Q is the most sporadic wordsmith around. Every verse on Habits and Contradictionssounds like a crazy-eyed, slightly aggravated Schoolboy hopped in the booth and just let loose.
Schoolboy has many admirable qualities but it’s his voice and delivery that make him unpredictable.(Read More)
1. Rick Ross, Rich Forever
Label: Maybach Music Group/Def Jam/Warner Bros.
Released: January 6th
Rich Forever tops this list for two reasons. For one it introduced us to the phrase “Bitch, you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym,” which is a motto to live by of course. Secondly, it showed that Rick Ross isn’t only rich when it comes to currency. He’s also rich with ideas. The Boss’ charm relies on a larger-than-life grandeur he displays on nearly every track he’s a part of. But in Rich Forever, substance is just as important as style. (Read More
Check out the rest of the list HERE.