January 24, 2012

Son Raw doesn’t know if all of these will drop this year but he hopes so. Also, Schoolboy Q was supposed to make this list but son dropped his album already. I was right about that one so I’m probably right about these.

10. Odd Future – The Odd Future Tape 2.
To the consternation of the rest of this site’s editorial board and most Las Vegas bookies, I still ride for Odd Future against all odds. Yes they blew up too quick and no one’s waiting for the next great Mike G solo release but a group album is just the kind of low-pressure, high-return project the crew needs to shake the stench of critic-bait and remind us of just how fun they can be when they’re banging out tunes about gang-banging your sister. Here’s hoping for more tunes like this Tyler outtake and plenty of Taco & Jasper.
MP3: Tyler, The Creator – Fuck This Election

09. Pinch & Distance – Deleted Scenes
Pinch & Shackleton was the experimental, genre redefining art move and Fabriclive 61 was the OG-status solidifying mix but Pinch’s collaboration with original Dubstep metalist Distance as Deleted Scenes is the release the steppers have been waiting on for the longest. While details on the album are scarse, every leak so far has pointed towards heavily synthesized, sci-fi influenced half-step bangers perfect for DJs and skunk smokers alike.

08. Ghostface Killah – Blue & Cream
A couple of years ago after a legendary run of classics and a sudden burst of late, misguided critical adulation, Ghostface finally faltered and lost his ironclad grip on the rap game. It’s not that Wizard of Poetry or Apollo Kids were bad, but they just didn’t have the same energy and enthusiasm that characterized Ghost’s best work and it felt like the best rapper ever (yeah I said it) was going through the motions. Stepping back for a minute to work on his pen game, Ghost has been suspiciously quiet since then, popping up on the occasional guest verse but mainly playing the back while partner in crime Raekwon has taken on the mantle of most consistent man in the Wu. Don’t count him out: if there’s one thing to remember about Ghostface it’s that his best projects have dropped after extended breaks from the limelight. Blue & Cream might just be the comeback move to cement Dennis Coles’ spot as greatest of all time.

07. “Erykah Lotus”
Flying Lotus is immune to Baduizm due to the simple fact that he’s even weirder than Erykah Badu is, which makes the prospect of this (possible) collaboration album very interesting indeed. Frankly we have no idea what this might sound like – Erykah over bass music? Flylo indulging in jazz? Something else? – but we can’t wait to hear it.

06. Killer Mike & El-P – R.A.P Music
The standard issue comparison is Ice Cube X Bomb Squad but let’s leave the unrealistic expectations at the door and look at this for what it is. El-P has a preternatural knack for getting classic albums out of unlikely candidates and Killer Mike is a beast on the microphone who never has the proper A&Ring and production to live up to his potential. This has the potential to unite the Grand Hustle and Adult Swim audiences AND piss off NY and Atlanta purists. If that isn’t a good deal, I don’t know what is.

05. LHF – Cities of Technology EP + Untitled Album
Seems like the Internet is finally beginning to realize just how deep the LHF collective goes with Fact anointing them “Dubstep’s great hopes.” It’s hard not to see why; with their mixture of South-Asian samples, junglist drums, scratchy movie dialogue and hardcore Boom-Bap, LHF are the sons of Photek and Rza – urban beat makers that express the anxiety of urban life.  Miles away from the chintzy Bass House, moronic Brostep and desperate leftover Chillwave dominating the blogs, the collective’s upcoming Cities of Technology EP and untitled album promise to be subterranean music done right. No art school kids allowed.

LHF – Keepers of the Light Vol.3 by ERRR…

04. A$AP Rocky X Araabmuzik – A$APMVZIK
All we’ve got to work on is an instagram photo of these two hanging out in the studio but c’mon: New York’s hottest rapper in ages working with the East Coast’s first truly innovative producer since the Rocafella era? That something to look forward to. Plus it’ll be nice to hear Rocky spitting over beats that aren’t 95% THC: Hip-Hop’s gotten a little too fuzzy and laid back and Araabmuzik’s the dude to bring some definition to the picture.

03. Madgibbs

Much like the Killer Mike X El-P joint, the combination of hard as nail gangster rap to experimental Boom-Bap is exactly the kind of music that this site’s editorial board grew up on. The notoriously fickle Madlib doesn’t work outside his crew very often and Freddie Gibbs isn’t the type of MC to spend hours downloading jazz mixtapes so odds are that these two established some strong musical chemistry before committing to this project. What else can I say? Just throw the Thuggin video on repeat and wait.

02. Royal-T – Untitled
Grime isn’t typically an album based art form and that goes double for the instrumental side of things. Then again, Royal-T isn’t your typical Grime artist, easily combining Dubstep bass to 2-Step drums to sweet and sour melodies in the pursuit of that perfect beat. After a stellar 2011 producing or remixing P-Money, Wiley, Lethal B, Random Impulse and more, Butterz’ break out star is set to remind the world that Bass music doesn’t need massive appliance-breaking drops or heavy metal riffage in order to convey a hardcore attitude and street wise toughness.

01. Addison Groove – Transistor Rhythms
London Dubstep producer discovers Chicago Footwork and releases album on German techno group’s label: welcome to 2012. Details about this release remain few and far between but it’s dropping in April and promises to be heavy on the 808s and vocal samples. Get your dancing shoes ready.

Addison Groove “Savage Henry” (50WEAPONSCD06) – Out March 30 by Modeselektor