The Best Hip Hop You’ve Heard So Far
The best hip hop you’ve heard…so far!
Can you believe it?! There’s only a little less than ⅓ of the year left! 2012 has been huge for Christian Hip Hop/Positive Music/whatever its going to be called this month. From the debate on what and how the artists identify themselves, to cats like Tobymac and Lecrae charting on Billboard, this has been a year of interesting ebbs for the genre. For your listening pleasure I’ve compiled a list of THE BEST music released in 2012 so far. I usually weigh the greatness of releases on the number of songs I actively skip, so that will give you a feel for how I look at music. And also note, this is just for the music that I’VE LISTENED TO. If you see something or someone missing that you feel should be listed, I didn’t listen to them. Either that or your music taste stinks…
Best music I’ve had to pay for in 2012
I wanted to be sure to create this distinction because CHH has been well known for many artists who simply “give” their music away. I’m not just talking mixtapes, but full-length features.
1. Swoope “Wake Up” – This CD could arguably be listed with the best hip-hop released since this century…across the board! That’s right, I think this CD stacks up against Lupe’s “Food and Liquor”, Kweli’s “Quality” and Kanye’s “Dropout.” Yes, people say he sounds like 2 of those 3, and no that is not why this is a great release. It just is full of amazing lyrics, excellent beats and solid hip-hop. Even Lecrae referenced this project as one that forced him to step up his game for “Gravity.”
2. Steven the Levite “The Last Missionary” – it was honestly hard for me to say that this project is the 2nd best I’ve heard this year. IT IS TRUE HIP HOP. You will have no choice to rock your head. In fact, this whole release justifies spending $200 on a pair of headphones. You need to hear every part of this. The intro alone is phenomenal. Throw in the Wifey tribute “S.O.S.” and you have 2 of my favorite songs of the year.
Best music that you’ll get for free in 2012
1. Theory Hazit “Thr3e” – If you have never heard of Theory Hazit, do yourself a favor and research him. He has rolled w/the Humble Beast and Scribbling Idiot teams for the past few years. All of these brothers are true lyricists, and will rarely disappoint you with bubblegum poppyness.
2. Derek Minor “PSA Vol.3” – I could have gone w/Propaganda’s “Excellence” here, but I figured I wouldn’t only mention Humble Beast, solely due to the fact that ALL OF THEIR MUSIC IS FREE! (humblebeast.com)…PRo (as he was known) has yet to disappoint on the PSA releases. Check out the first 2 so you can fully grasp and appreciate the growth of this brother. “Loud Music” is one of the hardest hitting songs in a while and the whole release has an excellent sound.
More on Humble Beast. The music isn’t ‘this is garbage’ kind of free. Everything is professional and clean, and sounds on par with anyone you can name. The label is home to some of the most fervent and still artistic believers you can hear rhyme.
I have to mention both Sean C. Johnson and Christon Gray. Both artists released some of the best music I’ve heard this year as well. I didn’t include them above as they are more “R&B” than hip hop.
Yes, I know I didn’t include Eshon Burgundy, JSon or shai linne. That is simply because I haven’t bought or gotten their music for free this year. But i’m working on that…