Here’s the thing. I don’t consider myself a “tastemaker.” I’ve never seen myself as apart of the in-crowd of people who cover pop culture. I’m just a guy who listens to a lot of music, watches a lot sports, gets faded quite often and make no qualms or apologies for liking what I like.
Nevertheless, Jaap van der Doelen of The Rap Up asked me to take part in a meeting of the minds-type deal to formulate what would – in a roundabout way – serve as a response to MTV’s always controversial list (the fuss being the point at the end of the day). Humbled that he respected my measly two cents enough to ask, I graciously accepted knowing rankings have never been my cup of tea. The names seen below are a result of over 15 lists. Have a problem with the rankings? Agree wholeheartedly? Below you’ll find the voters behind the rankings, so hit them up to bitch or compliment.
1. Kendrick Lamar
3. Action Bronson
4. Freddie Gibbs
5. Killer Mike
6. Pusha T
8. Roc Marciano
9. Kanye West
10. Big K.R.I.T.
Jeff Weiss (Passion of the Weiss)
Mobb Deen (Passion of the Weiss)
Khal (Rock The Dub / Do Androids Dance?)
Justin Tinsley (The Smoking Section)
Big Ghostfase (Big Ghost Chronicles)
Ivan Rott (Hip Hop Is Read)
Arasia Magnetic (Former Exexutive Editor KevinNottingham.com)
Hardeep Aujla (The Word Is Bond)
Dart Adams (Bastard Swordsman / Hip-Hop Wired / Producers I Know / The Urban Daily
Danny Veekens (The Find Mag)
William Ketchum III (Speech is my Hammer / HipHopDX)
Brando Caldwell (Managing Editor Day and a Dream)
Brad Gilmore (Day and a Dream)
Monica Jones (Day and a Dream)
Cecilia Smith (Day and a Dream)
Aaron McKrell (The Rap Up)
Nahshon Landrum (The Rap Up)
Jaap van der Doelen (Managing Editor The Rap Up)
Henry “Rizoh” Adaso (The Rap Up Founder / Editor Rap.About.com)
Bonus: And in case you’re wondering what my list was, wait no further. I’m sure you’ll hate it, which is fine. I promise my feelings won’t be hurt because it’s not like we’ll be riding in the same car anytime soon.
1. Kendrick Lamar – Hip-Hop fans from every corner of the spectrum rock with buddy. He won 2012. Point, blank period.
2. Drake – I’ve already spoken at length about Aubrey.
3. Pusha T – As much as his dedication to mixtapes takes its toll on me, he quietly (I guess it was quiet) held my attention for all of 2012.
4. Freddie Gibbs – Let’s be fair. Gibbs is by far one of the most talented MC’s to come through rap in years who seems to be getting better with experience. And off rip, Baby Face Killa’s replay value is something the majority of projects could stand to learn from.
5. Big Sean – If he’s not your cup of tea, cool. Yet and still, Sean’s 2012 – which included obvious evolution as a MC – is the reason Hall Of Fame stands near the top of my most anticipated albums of 2013.
6. Future – **kicks feet back, awaits for the uproar, and the village to chase me out of town with burning pitchforks**
7. A$AP Rocky – I’ve never been a huge fan of Rocky or the whole A$AP movement, despite caving in more in recent weeks. However, Rocky proved to me throughout 2012 he’s more than capable of making a name for himself as a MC and his debut album is one of the better riding albums in a minute (sans a speed bump here and there).
8. 2 Chainz – Looking back, I thought I changed this selection to another artist, but screw it. Tit made it and I won’t change it. I enjoyed buddy in 2012. **rinse and repeat #6**
9. Curren$y – The hardest working man in rap didn’t slow down in 2012. The quality didn’t dip either.
10. Killer Mike – Quite frankly, Mike should’ve been higher up, but it was dope to see him finish where he did in the group’s consensus. There hasn’t been a politically charged album in Hip-Hop in years in the vein of Mike’s R.A.P. Music. And probably won’t be for quite some time.
You’ve got mine. Now what’s yours?