81. Kendrick Lamar – “The Art Of Peer Pressure”
Kendrick’s flair for storytelling shone through with a great tale here. The song does a good job in exemplifying how the company you keep gets you out of your comfort zone in a flash. Yet acceptance is a big deal for many so you have to wonder if K. Dot’s fans got the message or simply dug the record.
82. Flying Lotus – “The Nightcaller”
Picks up where “Do the Astral Plane” left off.
83. Meek Mill – “Dreams & Nightmares (Intro)”
Regardless of where you hold the Maybach Music Group, most can agree that it was good to see Meek Mill get the chance to see his dreams unfold with a major labor debut. And when he got the chance, Meek screamed on the game to announce his formal arrival.
84. 2 Chainz – “I’m Different”
A masterfully dumbed-down song with one of the catchiest beats of the year, 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different” belongs at or near the top of any 2012 party playlist. Be honest with yourself: you still randomly blurt out “PULL UP TO THE SCENE WITH MY CEILING MISSING,” months after you first heard the track.
85. Major Lazer Ft. J. Cole & Amber Coffman – “Get Free ColeWorld”
Coming off a career year, J. Cole had a relatively quiet 2012. If nothing else, his remix of Major Lazer’s warbling, melodic “Get Free” showed that he had his ears to the right tunes. The addition of a couple potent verses to the song didn’t hurt either.
86. Killer Mike – “Reagan”
Fiery as ever, Mike put the former President and his policies in the cross-hairs and hit the bullseye on behalf of the babies born during the War On Drugs.
87. Ab-Soul Ft. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko – “Terrorist Threats”
Rappers and the world at large are in danger.
88. Lupe Fiasco – “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”
I’ve learned over the years that listening to Lupe is kind of like listening to an alcoholic preacher. He’s the man with so much wisdom and knowledge. Still, half of what he spews is chastising, judgemental, and hypocritical. But you have to sit and listen because he speaks the truth and it’s the right thing to do… once a week and only on Sundays.
89. Arctic Monkeys – “R U Mine?”
The Arctic Monkeys wasted no time and went right for the jugular on “R U Mine.” It’s one of those records that makes an impression on the first few chords and doesn’t hold back.
90. Rochelle Jordan – “Make Me Wanna”
Few R&B duos work as well together as Rochelle Jordan and K L S H. Such is especially true on “Make Me Wanna” where the pair masterfully complement each other’s sounds.