The 10 Rappers Most Responsible For Making Twenty Twelve Their Bitch

This is not a list of the best rappers of 2012; this is a list of the rappers that did the best with what they had, worked the hardest, stirred up the most hype for themselves and made the most bank of course.

1.  Young Chop

For the rest of the year after I Don’t Like dropped, every banger was produced by Young Chop.  He was everywhere and more than any other rapper or producer he was consistent.  No, every song he produced wasn’t good (Lil Reese’s only single of the year Us) but every beat was fire.  Unfortunately for Young Chop, he might go the way of Lex Luger and lose customers to cheaper just as talented copycats but for now 2012 belongs to Young Chop.

Essential 2012 Listening: Blocka- Pusha-T, I Don’t Like-Chief Keef, Us- Lil Reese

2.  Big Sean

This isn’t a ranking of who the best were in 2012 because if it were Big Sean wouldn’t be on the list.  This is a list about who put the most work in, made the most connections, and advanced themselves furthest. That’s why Big Sean is here.  It’s a bad year to be a Sean hater because after Cruel Summer and Detroit he has proven he is here to stay.

Essential 2012 Listening: Detroit, Guap, I Don’t Like Remix ft. Kanye West, Chief Keef Jadakiss, & Pusha T

3.  Chief Keef

Yes he is probably 2012’s response to Soulja Boy and probably won’t be around in 2013 and good goddamn riddance but Chief Keef took the rap game by storm in a manner that not many people could have seen coming.

Essential 2012 Listening: Kobe, Love Sosa, Hate Being Sober ft. 50 Cent & Wiz Khalifa

4.  Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick released one of this year’s best albums and in doing so solidified himself and the rest of Black Hippy as the next generation in rap.  If you were a hip hop head, you were talking about Kendrick, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock almost nonstop.

Essential 2012 Listening: Good Kid M.A.A.d City, Halloween Freestyle, Black Lip Bastard (Black Hippy Remix)

5.  Joey Bada$$

Hello New York hip hop it’s good to see you again we missed you.  Joey Bada$$ dropped 1999, which was the best thing to come out of NY that sounded like New York City (so not A$AP Rocky).  He took the hip hop scene by storm with Waves, Hardknock, and Survival Tactics.

Essential 2012 Listening: 1999, Catharsis, Like Water ft. Pro Era

6.  Frank Ocean

The man responsible for Channel ORANGE which topped (or was second) on literally every best of list this year.  Frank Ocean is also the man that took The Weeknd’s hype and turned it on its head making it his hype 2011 was House of Balloons this and The Weeknd that but 2012 belonged to the Odd Future phenom and besides Toro Y Moi there wasn’t an R&B artist that Frank Ocean didn’t see as a tiny… tiny dot in his rear view mirror (except Rihanna that joke of a musician doesn’t even show up).

Essential 2012 Listening: Channel Orange | All the way through… twice

7.  Meek Mill

Meek Mill is the cross over hit of the decade.  The hype heads love him, and the hip-hop hipsters love him too.  Dreamchasers and Dreamchasers 2 were the driving mixtapes for anyone with for speakers and a hard on for some bass.  And with clever wordplay like: “The meek shall inherit the earth/So Ima own this bitch until I’m buried in dirt” I can still feel real smart while listening to them.  And if there is one thing Rick Ross does right (and there is ONE) it is to sufficiently advertise his protégés to the point of lasting fame.  So thank you Rick Ross, we know Meek’s here now… now would you please go away.

Essential 2012 Listening: Dreamchasers 2, Maybach Curtains ft. John Legend, Nas, Rick Ross, Lay Up ft. Wale, Rick Ross, Trey Songz

8.  Kanye West

C’mon now… its Kanye.  Not only did he himself dominate the radio everyone he ever gave props too did amazingly (see Big Sean, waaay the hell up there at number 2).  With both the Watch the Throne tour and the slow very lucrative release of Cruel Summer Kanye surely made more money than god this year and earned it.  Oh and I think he and Kim were on every tabloid cover in your local super market for three months straight.

Essential 2012 Listening: New God Flow ft. Pusha T & Ghostface Killah, Cruel Summer, Diamonds (Remix) ft. Rihanna [Kanye killed this shit]

9.  A$AP Rocky

This one is a little bit cheating because A$AP spent most of 2012 riding the delayed hype from Live.Love.A$AP (10-31-2011) but to be fair A$AP never would’ve boned 2012 so hard if it weren’t for his mad dash at the end dropping single after single from upcoming Long.Live.A$AP, Fucking Problems ft. 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar and 1 Train ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T. which were two of the best songs of late 2012 and still get a view run-throughs on my iPod.  A$AP Mob will never take over until Ferg, Ant, and maybe someone else steps but A$AP WILL take over and I have no objections.

Essential 2012 Listening: Goldie, Fuckin’ Problems ft. 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar, 1 Train ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T.

10.  Big K.R.I.T.

Big K.R.I.T. isn’t the most famous rapper on this list nor did he make the biggest stride in popularity but K.R.I.T. was the most unexpected addition to this list.  Last year Big K.R.I.T. was an underground hip-hop after thought and this year he is at the tip of the tongue of any real rap listener.  Live from the Underground and 4eva N a Day made the biggest splash from the south this year hands down.  His two albums this year restored my faith in Deep South rap.  If you were one of the few that wasn’t worried every time you here a southern drawl on a rap song good for you but I was.  Big K.R.I.T.’s ability to destroy lyrics with a Kendrick Lamar like style while sounding like Mike Jones has make me a believer.

Essential 2012 Listening: 4eva N a Day, Live from the Underground, Jet Life ft. Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa

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