x CB » Best Rap, 2012

Best Rap, 2012

Here is some rap music from 2012. I think it’s the best rap music from 2012 but you might be inclined to disagree. Especially if you are the sort of person who is wrong.

The laws of the list are the same as they ever were and forever will be, the only new development is that I’ve now parenthesized the track’s producers instead of the record label. There are two reasons for this 1) due to the near death of the independent rap label most of the label listings here would’ve just been (No Label/Mixtape) or (Giant Faceless Conglomerate) and 2) rap producers don’t ever ever ever get enough credit. Anyway, commence your bickering.

1. Kendrick Lamar f/ Gunplay – “Cartoon & Cereal” (THC)
2. Future -“Turn On The Lights” (Mike Will Made It)
3. Chief Keef f/ Lil Reese – “I Don’t Like” (Young Chop)
4. Rich Kidz f/ Waka Flocka Flame – “My Life” (London On The Track)
5. Nicki Minaj – “Come On A Cone” (Hit Boy)
6. Ab-Soul – “The Book Of Soul” (Tommy Black)
7. Meek Mill f/ Drake & Jeremih – “Amen” (Key Wane & Jahlil Beats)
8. Rocko f/ Future – “Squares Out Your Circle” (Ensayne Wayne)
9. Gunplay – “Take This” (Slade Da Monster)
10. Kanye West f/ 2 Chainz & Complex Magazine – “Mercy” (Lifted)
11. Lil Durk – “Ls Anthem” (Paris Bueller)
12. Gucci Mane f/ Waka Flocka Flame – “Walking Lick” (Mike Will Made It)
13. Rick Ross f/ French Montana & Drake – “Stay Schemin” (Beat Bullies)
14. Shy Glizzy – “Busters” (For That Money)
15. Alpoko Don – “All I Know” (N/A)
16. Young Thug – “Keep In Touch” (London On The Track)
17. Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum” (Christian Rich)
18. Schoolboy Q f/ Ab-Soul – “Druggy With Hoes Again” (Nez & Rio)
19. Ty$ & Joe Moses – “Weekend” (DJ Mustard)
20. Fat Trel – “Devil We Like” (Boss Major)
21. Starlito – “Mental Warfare” (DJ Burn One)
22. Chance The Rapper – “Juke Juke” (Caleb James)
23. Aesop Rock – “Racing Stripes” (Aesop Rock)
24. Plies – “Can’t Let ‘Em Bury Me” (Big Herb)
25. King Louie – “Bars” (C-Sick)
26. Ka – “Cold Facts” (Ka)
27. E-40 f/ YG, Problem & Iamsu – “Function” (Trend)
28. Young Scooter – “Colombia” (Lil Lody)
29. Lil Reese – “Haters” (Dibent)
30. Cousin Fik – “Knocka N**** Down” (Thizzy Monster)
31. Odd Future – “Oldie” (Tyler, The Creator)
32. The Underachievers – “Gold Soul Theory” (Rich Flyer)
33. Mystikal – “Hit Me” (KLC)
34. T.I. f/ Andre 3000 – “Sorry” (Jazze Pha)
35. Trina f/ Gunplay and Ice Berg – “Beam” (??)
36. Lil B – “I Own Swag” (David Banner/”Swag“)
37. Metro Zu – “Sell Ma Ho” (Mr. B the Poshtronaut)
38. Yung Gleesh – “Skrong” (Somebody Else’s Instro No Royalties Batch)
39. Killer Mike – “Southern Fried‘” (El-P)
40. Lil Dev – “I’m Perkins” (Dnyc3/”Faded“)
41. Jay Ant & Iamsu – “Stoopid (P-Lo)
42. Cash Out – “Cashin Out” (DJ Spinz)
43. Don Trip f/ Danny Brown & Starlito – “Gold” (The Futuristiks)
44. Armstrong – “645” (Tony Fonzerelli)
45. Tree – “All” (Tree)
46. DJ Drama f/ 2 Chainz, Meek Mill & Jeremih – “My Moment” (T-Minus)
47. Action Bronson f/ Riff Raff – “Bird On A Wire” (Harry Fraud)
48. King of 334 Mobb – “Check On Me” (KE On The Track)
49. Juicy J – “Bands A Make Her Dance” (Mike Will Made It)
50. Macklemore f/ Wanz – “Thrift Shop” (Ryan Lewis)

Rules: This is a singles list, it generally focuses on tracks that were either promoted as standalone songs either via video or separate to or in advance of an album, though consideration is also given to lp and mixtape tracks that could or should have received that sort of push. There is a one song per artist rule is in effect and I’m also playing by the year of impact standard. A couple of these songs technically dropped in ’11 but didn’t really break or get a video treatment until this year. Deal with it. [Return to top]

Best rap: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011.

139 Responses to “Best Rap, 2012”



  2. wes Says:

    Kanye West f/ 2 Chainz & Complex Magazine – “Mercy” (Lifted)


  3. MFJOEL Says:

    I’d just like to congratulate you on the inclusion of Tree, most accurate list of the year, again…


    The only end of year list I look forward to. I love you Noz.

  5. C.P. Says:

    Yeah please don’t ever stop doing this. Thanks again.

  6. emynd Says:


  7. Thomas Says:


  8. Stephen Says:

    Great list. Nice on the Bird on Wire and Tree inclusion. Surprised Young Giftz ft Tree didn’t make the cut, I’ve been playing Nino regular since you posted it way back.

  9. LAVIIISH DC Says:

    Skrong is the song of the year in our book; smiles all around at its inclusion in this list. s/o noz for the geetchiest blog on the internet

  10. new york, new york Says:

    and not a single A$AP was seen on that day

  11. corpsey Says:

    Great list, forgot about ”Amen” but that definitely deserves its spot.

  12. hold on tho Says:

    thrift shop?

  13. fag Says:

    this is a piece of shit

  14. Flockapella Says:

    I’m glad to see the spelling of Yung Gleesh was corrected

  15. Free Stack Bundles Says:

    It breaks my heart that Bird On A Wire made this list but there’s nothing by Foxx, Mouse On Tha Track, or Lil’ Phat.

  16. like sound Says:

    ‘Squares out your circle’ came out last year on the Gift of Gab tape, may have even leaked before the tape dropped.
    Similarly I thought the ‘faded too long freestyle’ was the best thing Meek had done this year but realized that was also late 2011.

  17. word is bond Says:

    “My nuts sweaty, but she licked em already/
    New Bugatti still pumpin 87 unleaded”
    One of my favorite lines of the year. I mean – he doesn’t care that he’s ruining a car that costs over a million dollars, by filling it with regular gas.

  18. Kharissa Says:

    I look forward to this every. single. fucking. year.

    Mad love, Noz.

  19. rattlebones Says:

    “Thriftshop” is this year’s “Gucci Gucci”. No A$AP is this year’s no Drake. No Bodega Bamz, or Nas?

  20. Stunt Says:

    So glad to see “Beam” on here. That song isn’t just brilliant, but it also went in a completely unexpected direction.

  21. StevenK Says:

    blah blah blah, where’s the .rar/zip, jihad?

  22. SergDun Says:

    I don’t know how you can fuck with that mackrelmore shit, its just so heehaw

  23. dalatu Says:

    I am confused ASAP James is a rapper?

  24. noz Says:

    “I am confused ASAP James is a rapper?”
    Nah, he’s a performance stylist.

    “I don’t know how you can fuck with that mackrelmore shit, its just so heehaw”
    Totally, but I do think it’s well put together. I’ve typically reserved the 50th slot for heehaws, kiddies and other such factorish non-factors.

    “No Bodega Bamz, or Nas?”
    They got shortlisted. I want to like Bamz more than I do but I wish he’d rock something other than old Jay-Z cadences or that godforsaken asap flow. Nas is Nas. I dunno I don’t want to have that conversation with his stans.

  25. David Says:

    good list, imo

    so obv you didnt troll me nearly enough

  26. David Says:

    definitely read that rocko/future youtube as featuring Gift of Gab for a minute & did a double take

  27. GG Says:

    StephenK or whoever wanted the zip holler at me I got u

  28. Sir Nose Says:

    No roc marciano?

  29. Con Digi Says:

    Earl actually put some real emotion in to it and the beat doesn’t sound like it was made in fruity loops. Everything else is pretty much wack regurgitation without evolving what we know as rap. It’s the mind of a kid that comes up with some new shit, not an old worn out dude doin the same old same. It’s not formulaic it’s expressive and majestic and positive or depressing or at least something there not a shiny superficial coat of bloated bullshit.

  30. David Says:

    I agree with Noz’s choice of Louie & Young Thug tracks in particular

  31. Burgandy Says:

    Damn That Trina tack is tough.

  32. noz Says:

    “No roc marciano?”

    I really liked his album but it all melts together in my mind, so much that when it came time to pick a single track I realized that I don’t even know any of the song titles beyond the singles that I was listening to last year. I always struggle with album oriented rap when I make these lists, think it’s unfair to pull loose tracks out of cohesive works and expect people to get it. There’s a lot of stuff in that vein that I didn’t include here – Roc, Iamsu, Ice Burgundy.

    I don’t usually do an album/mixtape list because it’s rare that there are more than a half dozen or so things that are great top to bottom but this year does seem like a welcome exception to that rule.

  33. bding7 Says:

    On the one hand, I’m glad that SEA is represented (for the first time?) on this list since I’ve been living here. On the other, Serg’s right, Macklemore is insufferable.

  34. noz Says:

    well jake one’s definitely been on here more than a couple times.

  35. Chris Cool Says:

    i take it you didn’t care for the big boi album. Also surprised no hbk gang is on there.

  36. Andy Says:

    It’s Key Wane.

  37. AK Says:

    Not to be all “hey why isn’t _____ here” but, “P.M.B.B.”

  38. Syl Says:

    This list needs S’morez!

  39. TSF Says:

    The only year end list that actually deserves any credence. Of course everybody’s got their own suggestions about tracks that were left out. I agree with the folks wondering where HBK is at (Stoopid? Mainey? I personally banged the shit out of Mob Solo). Also, no love for Beef? I understand that Don’t Like is more significant as far as Young Chop/drill music goes, but I find myself listening to Beef more. And Plain Jane is among my favorite Mike WiLL beats of the year!

    Everybody slept on Arm & Ham Volume 1.5 this year.

  40. noz Says:

    “Stoopid” is on the list guys.

  41. based_boy Says:

    Think Clyde Carson – Slow Down ft. The Team should be somewhere on this list!

  42. bk Says:

    You didn’t build that, Mike Will Made It

    WIth the year-end CB Best Rap lists the Noz inner contrarian and populist achieve their fullest reconciliation once per year. Interesting every time.

  43. TSF Says:

    “Stoopid” is on the list guys.

    ^^Whoops, so it is. Good choice.

  44. bk Says:

    cmd-f-“the baddest”


  45. noz Says:

    “This list needs S’morez!”
    “cmd-f-”the baddest”

    this is not tosh point blunts.

  46. Martyn Pepperell Says:

    Great to see Alpoko Don and Tree on here.

  47. Cece Says:

    No Azealia Banks? Wasn’t it Ab Soul who said she’s got the most flows in rap right now?

  48. snål Says:

    what happened to the all-american rule?

  49. hotbox Says:

    Thank you based noz. This and unkut’s year end list are the only lists I need. I’m glad Gunplay’s “Take This” is on here; seems appropriate given the name of your site. Best video of the year, hands down.

    No Gibbs though?

  50. Supreme Neck Protector Says:

    Noz is 1000% don status forever. What up Noz. Good list.

    The biggest surprise for me is no “Get High Get Loaded”. That shit is so fucking perfect. I wouldn’t have been able to get through my last few weeks without it and I owe my knowledge of its existence to you and you alone.

    I loved the Gibbs record and was hoping you would too especially since the song with Rother was so insane. I note that this is the second year in a row with no ‘Ro! I’m surprised — the new one “This Ain’t Livin'” that you put into the last New Rap Music post works a lot better for me than “Lonely” or “Blast Myself” which were on old lists.

    I realize you don’t fuck with the way a lot of folks interpret or process what Gibbs is doing but I would have hoped that concern would die and folks on all sides of that labyrinth and maze would just be like ‘oh hey this music is still great let’s enjoy it.’ I think the Gibbs tape was his best shit in a long time, more worthy of the pure unadulterated props he used to get than anything since he got the Internet’s attention in the first place. Nothing on it moved you? Pity.

    I’ve always noticed that album-oriented rap gets short shrift here, of necessity, and I think it’d be cool if you included a list of projects like that which work well as wholes, just a few titles to be like ‘There is no single on these but they are good.’

    I am a big Bronson supporter so I like the fact that your distaste for him didn’t keep “Bird On A Wire” off the list, that beat is the best thing.

    You pay closer attention to Aesop Rock than I do, it’s great to see how good he still is at what he does. Such a great rapper and writer. This single reminds me of “Give The Drummer Some” by Black Milk, those two would prolly thrive together.

    Never liked Chance The Rapper but I’m glad someone is still making Chicago juke music.

    I like that Macklemore song. Beat feels like a oousin of “London Bridge” by Fergie.

    I love the Gunplay, Ka, Trina, Mystikal, Lito, Future, Tree, Meek and Ab-Soul songs, and especially #1. I feel like that Kendrick & Gunplay song is gonna live for a long long time.

  51. Supreme Neck Protector Says:



    Anyone got that zip or am I going to have to compile that shit myself?

  53. PBH Says:

    I put the ~30 of these that are on Spotify on a playlist if anyone wants:


  54. PBH Says:

    Oops, here:


    Lemme know if I missed anything.

  55. Daps Says:

    That Underachievers is really, really good.

  56. quan Says:

    I’m mad. For a second, I thought you guys were talking about Gift of Gab from Blackalicious putting out good music in 2012. QUANNUM PROJECTS FOR LIFE

  57. Stacks Says:

    No Freddie Gibbs at all?!

  58. Brandon Says:

    “satellites” from kevin gates should of gotten a look maybe Noz….or just one Gates record.

  59. Jacob Says:

    So glad to see some of Nicki’s rap music is still given credit where due. Come On A Cone was one of her best songs on PF:RR.

  60. quan Says:

    I’m surprised you were able to pick out a favorite Tree song from Sunday School. It seems similar to Roc Marciano’s shit in that it’s like an album statement. Seems like it’d be hard to take a song out of context, right?

  61. nico Says:

    thanks noz, dope list. as always, i dont agree on all of it but your opinion is awesome!

  62. nico Says:

    i really do think that new mystikal is weak though compared to what dude did in the past… how the fuck are so many folks in love wit it?

  63. needmoney Says:

    Very nice list, and props on your blogging/tumblring/writing in general. Glad to see Rich Kidz % Waka – My life rank so high, one of my absolute favourites this year. And also Tree. And Shy Glizzy who I would’ve never heard of if not for checking Tumblinerb.

  64. Midnight5nack Says:

    Bring on the hate CB, it’s all good I can take it! I gotta say that the biggest hole in this list isn’t some Chicago drill clique or some obscure trapper but rather any mention of the queer hip hop scene. Zebra Katz, Le1f, or Mykki Blanco could have easily found a spot on this list and IMHO are responsible for the most shocking and brave voices in hip hop over the last year. Honestly over the last year, hearing young dro go triple double overtime in his weed smoke haze or listening to another list of drug dealer cliche’s from flocka weren’t anywhere near as rattling as watching the “wut” video on worldstar. Love it or hate it, call it techno and not rap, say it’s about the fashion and not the music, whatever no matter how you want to criticize it or take it apart it still deserves some attention. One of the great virtues of hip hop is giving a god-like authority and power to the oppressed and that’s exactly what these queens in new york are doing. All in all this list is great and I always look forward to reading it. Just thought I’d put down my two cents

  65. noz Says:

    “Zebra Katz, Le1f, or Mykki Blanco could have easily found a spot on this list and IMHO are responsible for the most shocking and brave voices in hip hop over the last year. ”

    They may well be shocking and brave but I don’t think they are very good at rapping or making rap music.

  66. fullblaze Says:

    But whats ur top five though?

  67. Midnight5nack Says:

    being good at rapping is a weird metric to define quality of music by. Flocka isn’t good at rapping but he makes great rap music. The reverse also can’t hold true. Aesop Rock isn’t great at making rap music but he’s unbelievable at rapping.

    So really it’s a debate about taste and that’s not a zero sum game, I get that. I could list their merits you could detract but we can’t change each others minds. And I understand If zebra Katz, Le1f, or Mykki aren’t your thing and as such don’t want to give them space in a best of the year list.

    But with that being said they are breaking ground and taking shit in a whole new direction. As you are frequently a source for the currents of the underground I think they deserve more attention than you’ve given them. I don’t think you can overstate their significance in hip hop this year and that’s why I made the above comment

  68. noz Says:

    “I don’t think you can overstate their significance in hip hop this year and that’s why I made the above comment”

    Actually you can and that’s exactly what you are doing. While these artists might be very significant to people who hover around the perimeter of hip hop – bloggers, fashionistas, friends of diplo, gender studies majors – they are still empirically insignificant *in* hip hop. They do not intersect socially or creatively with any of the other names on this list and the vast majority of rap listeners are either indifferent towards them, actively repelled by them or (most likely) wholly unaware of their existence. I suspect many of these listeners would not even identify their music as rap music if they were to hear it. None of this would be enough to keep them off this list if I did think they were making great rap music, but I do not so they are not on this list.

    They aren’t breaking as much ground musically as you give them credit for either. I mean yeah KW Griff never remixed Anticon but there was probably a good reason for that.

  69. Midnight5nack Says:

    I get it, you think these dudes suck and so no top 50. I disagree I think these guys are awesome and I’d throw them on any top 50 because of their cultural significance and because they’re music is fucking great. So, I’m going to agree to disagree on that point.

    However, in the one critical sentence you’ve given this subculture you make some lucid points about queer rappers and what role they play in the larger world of hip hop. In fact I agree with the points your making so I continue to try to convince you that as a hip hop subculture it deserves your attention and am openly trying to goad you into that conversation. While these rappers and producers may be sitting on the sidelines right now my guess is that their outsider status won’t remain. I mean do you think that not even one of these dudes will crossover? even as a producer? I mean le1f and Harry Fraud both produced beats for heems and while heems may be another hip hop outsider I think the fact that you could mention the two in the same scentance speaks to the inevitability of the cultural intersection. And just because queer people in hip hop isn’t significant in hip hop doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be significant in hip hop.

    Also for the record I am not a blogger, a fashionista, a friend of diplo or a gender studies major. And while I had no idea who KW Griff was before I googled him 10 seconds ago, I think that if he remixed buck 65 it would create a black hole of neediness that the entire universe would get sucked into. But I’d also probably bump that shit.

  70. dilletaunted Says:

    plz justify lack of gibbs

  71. emmitt Says:

    ‘come on a cone’ over ‘beez in the trap’? i like that

  72. dice mane Says:

    make your own lists guys. i’d rather see midnight snack’s list of the notable queer rap so i know what to check for than have noz shoehorn one or two songs he’s not feeling into the lower end of his list on account of “significance”–not a lot of utility in that latter option. or if people wanna use their lists to tell me which freddie gibbs songs i need so i don’t have to go through that whole tape again. canon building is fun and useful if you embrace the subjectivity and don’t take it too seriously.

  73. Stunt Says:

    Firstly, Heems is fucking garbage.

    Secondly, I’d love to see a gay producer blow up. Beats have no sexual orientation, and it’s important to widen what is socially acceptable in hip hop. However, I’m rather indifferent to (if not wholly leery of) overtly-gay rappers blowing up, because I don’t listen to fucking heterosexual booty chatter either.

    What percentage of rap songs about getting head/fucking bitches/baby mommas avoid being in the bottom third (from a quality standpoint) of their respective album or mixtape? When there’s a rap album made by a guy like Omar from the Wire, I’ll bump that shit. DoseOne by all accounts is at least Bisexual, and I still jam old, pre-corny Anticon. If there was some Curren$y affiliate that rapped like Paul Lind, I’d get the same belly laughs I get from Spitta himself. But I don’t want to hear any rapper’s one-dimensional loverman bullshit, regardless of what tickles their pickle. The second somebody does, I automatically assume their agenda has taken precedence over their passion for the music itself.

  74. B.S. Says:

    I’m happy to see that 2 Chainz only appears in two tracks on this list. Actually, I’d be happy if he didn’t appear on any of these tracks, but hey, what are you gonna do?

  75. irrational Says:

    No spotify in Canada, anyone gotta zip?

  76. BiggieG Says:

    Best Rap 2012 on zippyshare : http://t.co/7cbB0sUk / http://t.co/vO8fyzlh

  77. AK Says:

    Le1f makes good dance music. I’m not sure if we can talk about him in the context of rap in the same way.

    That actually goes back to something I’ve had on my mind recently – “Turn On The Lights” isn’t in any way a rap song, it’s a straight up R&B move, but it exists in the context of rap. Isn’t that interesting/weird? Doesn’t it speak to unusual aesthetic distinctions?

    The even weirder one might be Kendrick Lamar – obviously he’s one of the most rappity-rappers to rappity-rap, but at the same time there are certain songs on GKMC that are almost entirely sung, and composed with the logic of a singer rather than a rapper. The one that really made my ears perk up was “Money Trees,” with the extended chorus structure and the clipped verse lines with the call-and-response echo, right? It’s a rap song that isn’t a rap song. Jay Rock’s (great) verse sounds like a rap break. Really interesting.

  78. AK Says:

    @dice mane: The song off that Gibbs tape that is mandatory is “Boxframe Cadillac (83 Deville Mix)” with Z-Ro. Though to be fair I think it’s a very strong tape and holds together better than anything he’s put out since midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik.

    But I mean, motherfucking Z-Ro. “Even if it’s raining I’ma still drop the top.” I’m sold.

    Also, “Seventeen” is a ridiculous sample flip and makes me grin every time I hear it. Series of good decisions.

    I think there was a bit of a backlash against Gibbs once he ditched the sound of that first tape – which was a horrible decision, “County Bounce” is that shit – and took up with the Real-Hip-Hop crowd and started overstressing his authenticity. Unlike Big KRIT, however, Gibbs seems to have come to his senses.

  79. Fredo Fantano Says:

    Heems is a rapist who nobody other than SPIN staffers gives a shit about; Freddie Gibbs is even more boring than ever; and Mykki Blanco is little more than thinkpiece fodder for articles about homosexuality in hip hop written by the sort of idiots who don’t even know that Afrika Bambaataa is bisexual and has been living with a fella since the late 80s.

  80. carney Says:

    Any insight as to why “Cartoon & Cereal” didn’t make P4k’s list, Noz?

  81. Stunt Says:

    I don’t disagree that “Turn on the Lights” has a significant component of R&B, but I think it’s far more important to praise it for being the first non-condescending “for the ladies” jam to get this popular in a long time. It’s probably slightly facetious when Noz mentions his “Sensitive Future” playlist, but Mr. Hendrix has a knack for capturing genuine emotion that a thousand fucking Drake & Jeremih duets could never get in the ballpark of. Shit resonates.

    Also, Fredo is so dead on-accurate on points one and three that I’m worrying I could be completely wrong for enjoying most of Gibbs’ output.

  82. Sweet John James Says:

    Fat Trel is the second coming of Freddie Gibbs.

  83. noz Says:

    I thought long and hard about whether or not to include “Turn On The Lights,” briefly considered swapping it out for “Same Damn Time” but I think “Turn On” is the better record. And the important thing is that the singing is an outgrowth of his rapping. This is not uncommon in hip hop. If this were 1997 I couldn’t write this list without including “Crossroads.”

    I’m not being facetious at all when I mention my “Sensitive Future” playlist. I listen to Future to feel emotions. I joke about a lot of bullshit on the internet but I don’t ever joke about liking music, that’s sacred ground.

    Freddie Gibbs is fine, “Boxframe Caddy” was on the list briefly but then I bumped it for some shit that I liked better. One thing I tried to do this year is not have the exact same underground artists every year just to have them there, especially guys like Gibbs and Z-Ro who reliably do the same thing year end and year out but aren’t necessarily making the best music of their career right now. I’m trying to keep things fresh.

    “Any insight as to why “Cartoon & Cereal” didn’t make P4k’s list, Noz?”

    Dunno, I voted for it.

    “Fat Trel is the second coming of Freddie Gibbs.”

    I hope not.

  84. Stunt Says:

    Didn’t mean to suggest you were being facetious about liking/loving Future, I simply meant that I sometimes read it as “I’m semi-jokingly presenting a thing I seriously value, because I realize that there’s an inherent absurdity in distilling the potentially profound importance I place on something to 140 characters”.

    I take a number of things very seriously that I also describe in somewhat winking tones on the internet, because it provides a richer portrayal of how it actually fits into the larger picture of who I am.

    I could still be off base, but it seemed worthwhile to clarify what I meant.

  85. irrational Says:

    Thanks BiggieG

  86. gabe Says:

    thanks for all the hard work, always such a pleasure each year to check this list, a real holiday miracle…

    but who is the Cocaine Blunts of modern R&B?
    I want a list like THIS for THAT. halp.

  87. Supreme Neck Protector Says:

    That Alpoko Don song is amazing.

  88. Danny Says:

    Sadly, Alpolko Don is doing 8 years now, I believe. Thanks BiggieG – listening now

  89. faux_rillz Says:

    Great list, Noz. What I like best about it is that it includes so much music that is unfamiliar to me.

    Also, an aside: I find it oddly reassuring to know that as much as the world may change, little dudes who mistake queer performance artists for actual important rappers will apparently remain an eternal constant.

  90. Please Send Help Says:

    I prefer “Love Sosa” to “I Don’t Like”. Have I been infected with Wrong?

  91. The Corner’s 2012 Year In Review: The Best And The Rest Of 2012 | The Corner Says:

    […] Laneway vs. ‘Laneways’ – It’s not even held in a lane in Auckland BBQ Reggae – This doesn’t even exist anymore, there’s no reason to sully its two excellent components Leftfield raps – Literally everything sounds weird now, it’s not new anymore. Check this Top 50. […]

  92. noz Says:

    “I prefer “Love Sosa” to “I Don’t Like”. Have I been infected with Wrong?”

    No, I do too I think. “I Don’t Like” felt bigger though.

  93. Jon Says:

    noz, what did you think of “pop that”

  94. StevenK Says:

    Thanks, BiggieG. Can you do YAYO’s next? *wink

  95. non phixion phan Says:


  96. Zirov Says:

    Dope list as per usual, propz Noz.
    Tree , Alpoko Don & that Lil Dev kid are all standouts in my humble opinion.
    good to see the South is still running thangs….

    peace GOD$UN

  97. 420hitlerblaze Says:

    no Lil Ugly Mane? Mista Thug Isolation was one of the best releases this year

  98. kyle sv Says:


  99. Brad Says:

    I’m also curious on Noz’s thoughts on “Pop That”, which is probably my favourite club song of the year. Semi-apocalyptic ass shaking.

  100. noz Says:

    “Pop That” is horrible. I’m not a fan of the dj khaled type graft a gang of unrelated verses from a bunch of famous rappers in pro tools genre in general but even still it seems like a particularly lethargic example. French Montana is not a pop star he is a downer eeyore rapper who should only make songs about buying and selling cocaine and possibly pain. I’m not trying to ever hear dude make party music unless it’s driven by echoed out horns, produced by harry fraud and sounds like something that would inspire me to hold my palm forward at a 90 degree angle while I bounce up my arm up and down, preferably while wearing a champion hoodie in front of a burning trash can. And fuck lil wayne for repurposing bounce for the juvenile to push his ugly hot topics clothing line. totally gross record made to sell bottles of ciroc and hot wings and designer sweatpants and a sad man with a bear hat and a sideways face.

    if you want to talk apocalypse club shakers you should check the brook gang record that is built around the same luke sample and predates the french version by about a year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaKnRLtcpWM or the joe moses and ty$ version that came slightly after i think but is still vastly superior http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf7dScoBYGE

  101. noz Says:

    this shit too man there are about a thousand songs with pop that samples and all of them are better than french’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfgjSYej4n0 i would much rather hear french sing this song at karaoke than listen to his awful pop that he should be the one making songs about climbing on walls like a spider that’s what god gave him a voice for

  102. noz Says:

    “no Lil Ugly Mane? Mista Thug Isolation was one of the best releases this year”

    Best New Minstrelsy 2012

  103. Brad Says:

    That Brook Gang one was dope, thanks for expanding my vision. The synths on the chorus give it a dark/gloomy feel to contrast with the pussy popping goal of the song. I feel uneasy listening to the King South one, which means I need to listen to it 15 more times.

    I should’ve mentioned that French’s “Pop That” is like “Mercy” to me where all the excitement ends as soon as the rapping starts. I still have to co-sign those high pitched strings, fast high hats and Rick Ross saying “WORK WORK” on “Pop That”. In the club most DJs only play through the 1st verse at most, so that certainly colored my fondness for the track.

    PS DJ Jimi said the “biiitch stop talking that shit” first…I only know cause I thought it was from “bounce for the juvenile”, too til I looked it up.

  104. noz Says:

    well “bounce for the juvenile” is a song by dj jimi featuring juvenile. but you’re right that jimi said it on “where dey at” first. my brain stops sorting rap stuff right sometimes.

  105. B.S. Says:

    No love for Katie Got Bandz?

  106. Jorge Says:

    Your article on pitchfork was horribly written. It was god awful. Thanks for editing and writing a really shitty article. I can’t believe yu were paid for that blowharding bullshit.

  107. noz Says:

    i love you jorge

  108. corpsey Says:

    ”French Montana is not a pop star he is a downer eeyore rapper who should only make songs about buying and selling cocaine and possibly pain. I’m not trying to ever hear dude make party music unless it’s driven by echoed out horns, produced by harry fraud and sounds like something that would inspire me to hold my palm forward at a 90 degree angle while I bounce up my arm up and down, preferably while wearing a champion hoodie in front of a burning trash can. ” ahahhahaha

    I know I told you before you should write more negative stuff and you said it’s pointless, but I can’t help but dream of a Cocaine Blunts Top 50 worst/overrated tracks list, preferably with lengthy explanations for each track’s inclusion.

    ”Love Sosa” took a minute to grow on me but I’d rate it higher than ”Don’t Like” now easily.

  109. Sofauxreal Says:

    I love that you threw Young Scooter on the list. I thought Truckloads was a better song honestly but glad you to see you even bring it up cause i hadn’t seen you mention anything about him before

  110. Please Send Help Says:

    I don’t spend enough time online to know who noz was referring to when talking about acts propped up by “separatist college radio indie rap groupthink” last year, nor did I recognize the cargo shorts people. But perhaps I am better off not knowing.

  111. Blunter S. Thompson Says:

    I was waiting for this. This list is what will be in my headphones til spring, I assume. Thanks Noz, You are God.

  112. scjoha Says:

    Anyone else thinks Scarface had a good run on the guest feature circuit in 12? He sounded good over the melodic soulful music that his hosts put him on (Wish It Away, Concrete, Can’t Look Back, Life, Limitless) as well as the few trap type beats he was on (U Ain’t Trill, Hoodiez, Scarface). (But of course Scarface has proven for decades that he sounds good over all kinds of beats.) Problem Solver was cool too.

  113. faux_rillz Says:

    It’s hilarious that anyone would invoke the apparent novelty of “semi-apocalyptic ass shaking” to justify the existence of an awful record.

    Does such a person even listen to rap? At all?

  114. The Best Lists of 2012 « TUNED MASS Says:

    […] 02 Cocaine Blunts | Best Rap, 2012 […]

  115. Fredo Fantano Says:

    Enjoyed seeing you pay homage to FrankieThaLuckyDog on teh Redbull site.

  116. Brad Says:


    I know you were losing sleep over the answer to your question, so the answer is Yes. Yes such a person listens to rap and in a quantity exceeding what is genrally advisable.

  117. chu Says:

    Chinx Drugz – I’m a Coke Boy

  118. AMXDZ Says:

    errthang except macklemore. dude is a str8 herbbb.

  119. AMXDZ Says:

    macklemore..but no french montana “pop that” lame

  120. dilletaunted Says:

    wha’d you think of theesatisfaction? queenS

  121. Alex Says:

    I prefer Bible on the Dash over Take This, but great list

  122. Profil: Shy Glizzy (Rap/DC) | 10kilos.us Says:

    […] te tiennes loin des blogs plates qui font juste nommer les même 20 artistes. C’est donc dans les 50 chansons préférés de @NOZ, de loin mon journaliste rap préféré, que Glizzy m’est […]

  123. Megan Says:

    Lmao at Gunplay Face

  124. Malaya Says:

    breathe slow was way better than i own swag.

  125. Malaya Says:

    You should do a yearly top 20 Lil B songs noz

  126. sam Says:

    most of this music is just lame to me with the videos making it lamer. cartoon & cereal is the only sure classic. I’m definitely feeling kendrick lamar, gunplay, and earl sweatshirt (for the most part). kanye west, killer mike, andre 3000, e-40 & T.I. are still sounding good. danny brown and (on occasions) riff raff are entertaining with the words. but otherwise it seems like nobody has anything clever or meaningful to say anymore. the lyrics are just generic and many of the beats are too. and when someone tries to be creative it sounds forced (ex: earl – chum) or not good at all (ex: mystikal – hit me).

  127. CrowleyHead Says:

    Since the critical consensus is more or less “DEAR GOD, NOT MACKLEMORE”, care to clinically point out the good qualities to deflate the hysteria?

  128. Blake Says:

    Some of this list is just whack. How are you gonna look through a list of 2012 and not put on ANY Joey Bada$$, Gibbs, Nas, Krit you missed the BEST Black Hippy track of the year in Blessed, I know you explained why no Roc but that was one of the best tapes of the year, I’d include that whole mixtape over songs like I Don’t Like…come on that song is awful. Your perception of West Coast hip hop is also pretty off, dude. So many guys out here dropping great tracks…Dag Savage, Fashawn, Co$$…

    I’d keep maybe 8, 10 of these. The rest, throw it away, start from scratch.

  129. noz Says:

    “Your perception of West Coast hip hop is also pretty off, dude. ”
    “Your perception of West Coast hip hop is also pretty off, dude. ”
    “Your perception of West Coast hip hop is also pretty off, dude. ”

    “Dag Savage, Fashawn, Co$$”

  130. sam Says:

    KRIT and nas did release tracks in 2012 worthy of a top 50 list. More worthy than a number of those you listed.

  131. Jasa Pembuatan Website Pekanbaru Says:

    Please try to share the best rap 2013, I will enjoy it

  132. Pekanbaru Komputer Says:

    You should do a yearly top 20 Lil B songs noz

  133. Liz Says:

    Great list of singles. It’s a pity that rappers don’t get enough credit and it goes to the big guys.

  134. deej cokane Says:

    i think gov’nor by doom should be on here but at leas u got walking lick thas my shit when the beat change durin the hook it get real

  135. gentrifyingyourstreet Says:

    Do a write on Chance the Rappers new tape

  136. cocaine hyacinth Says:

    Ayo noz u know who this is I need 2 contact u but I ain’t an industry faggot so I don’t have a twitter. Ill tell u like this…I have found the singular greatest psychedellic rap artist ever. However far as I can tell the only way 2 access his shit is to be his friend on fb. He is not doin it 4 fame and would not want u to write about him,that ain’t why I’m tellin u, call this whatever marketers call what they think they r doing via the ‘personalized shopping experience”. Dude is more prolific and better than any era of lil b and u know I been followin ur shit 4 like 10 years or sumn so I know. And get this someone just introduced this dude to lil b like a month ago. Of course he likes it but he don’t know the history. This fuckin dude is over 40 from what I can tell…he talks about the 70s in a way that makes me feel like he might b in his 50s. He looks like he’s in his 60s…pretty sure he’s a fresno tweeker. His symbol is a cartoon retracing of a really dumb nickatina picture with his initials tatted on the neck. Dudes a trip made me think of u first time I seen his shit which was on a bored stiff fucking ning like 4 yrs ago.

  137. Richard Says:

    Gunplay face homies!

  138. gentrifyingyourstreet Says:

    stoked 4 2013

  139. Emes Says:

    1) yung lean – gatorade
    2) YRN one of the best rap albums in years

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