It's New Years Eve, and I'm remembering how much I've loved music this year. On that note, here are MY favorite albums of the year. Feel free to agree.
1) Camp- Childish Gambino
- If you're reading this blog for the first time, this might come to a surprise to you. But I am a huge fan of Childish Gambino, and I'm a huge fan of this album. There was a lot of hype going into this release, and Gambino lives up to it with incredibly witty wordplay, great production, and a great overall story with his first studio album. An album can often be judged by your reaction after the first listen, and after my first listen of Camp, I was left amazed.
2) Watch The Throne- The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
- I can't think of a better possible duo to put together a hip-hop album than Ye and Jay. This was definitely my most repeated album of the year, and considering I got to see it live, it's going to be an album I will never forget. Jay-Z has said that there may be another album in the works for 2012, so I'll be sure to save a spot for The Throne on my favorite album list next year.
3) Take Care- Drake
- So much for a sophomore slump. Drake shows his maturity as a musician from the beginning to the end of this album. With help from The Weeknd, Drake hit notes we've never heard him hit before. And with the combination of his great voice and smooth flow, Drake has established himself as one of the best in the game.
4) Cole World: The Sideline Story- J. Cole
- J. Cole has a promising future as a young Roc Nation artist, and that is very clear through this great debut album. J. Cole writes his rhymes not as a celebrity, but as a person, and that relatability is what's going to allow his already growing fan base to reach new heights in 2012.
5) nostalgia, Ultra- Frank Ocean
- Frank Ocean has a bright future in music. This album is a beautiful combination of well written song lyrics, tight production, and a voice of an angel. He is already in good favor with The Throne
- In a time where Adele's heart was broken, she stole ours. This will go down as one of the classic break-up albums of all time. Adele amazes us with her incredible voice, and she gets us really pissed off at the idiot who broke her heart. Adele, I hope you find love, and I hope you continue to make great music.
7) Common - The Dreamer/Believer
- I just had my first listen of this album this week, so I don't know if it's because it's fresh, or because it's actually really good, but I loved this album. Common has been away from the game for a while now, but he certainly hasn't forgotten how to rap. No I.D produced the whole thing, so you know it's good. Also, he starts beef with Drake, so that's also interesting.
8) Hell: The Sequel- Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce Da 5'9)
- I'm a sucker for almost any Eminem track, and in this album he was as great as usual. But more notably, this album was a coming out party for the underground veteran Royce Da 5'9's, who keeps up with, and at times out-raps the great Eminem which is undoubtably a recipe for some great rap music.
9) Gutter Rainbows: Talib Kweli
- Talib Kweli continues to be one of the most underrated rappers in the game. Gutter Rainbows is thoughtful, well executed, and well produced, something that you are likely to hear in every Talib Kweli album.
10) B.Y.O.B.- Saint Kris
- If you haven't heard of Saint Kris, you're missing out on some great local talent. Saint Kris has had a big year. He was a runner up for Hypetrak's "Blue Sky" Cover Contest, was named one of Manitoba's Most Fascinating People, and put out one of my favorite albums of the year with B.Y.O.B. Keep an eye out for Saint Kris, he's a hard worker and he's got the talent to do huge things in 2012 and onward.