By Ardrita Jane
2012 held many major moments- Barack Obama was re-elected as president. Honey Boo Boo and Tan Mom were introduced to the world. Beyonce and Jay-Z welcomed a baby, while the country mourned the loss of Whitney Houston. Hostess shut its doors one final time, and bookstores were ambushed by readers picking up their own copy of 50 Shades of Grey. The final season of Jersey Shore was like the end of a Guido era. And let’s not forget the infamous Gangnam Style dance seen around the world.
Besides these significant popular culture moments, 2012 also housed the releases of many well-received hip hop and rap albums.
1. TI- Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head Shortly after being released from prison back in August 2011, TI wasted no time getting started on his eighth studio album. The album was released earlier this month, and features collaborations with Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Akon, R. Kelly and more.
2. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Heist Seattle rapper Macklemore’s first album debuted in October with the help of his producer Ryan Lewis. It became number one on the iTunes download list, and number two on US Billboard 200 charts almost instantly. His single “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz reached over 40 million views on Youtube.
3. Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid: M.A.A.D. City (Deluxe Edition) Lamar’s second album was released in October, and follows his life growing up in Compton, California. As of this month, the album was certified as gold by the R.I.A.A. Singles off the album include “The Recipe,” “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice.”
4. The Game- Jesus Piece Jesus Piece was the artist’s third album to reach number one on the Billboard charts. “I’m calling it Jesus Piece ’cause last year in August I got baptized and so I’ve been going to church, but I still been kinda doing me out here,” Game explained to Jenny Boom Boom. “I still love the strip club and I still smoke and drink. I’m faithful to my family, so I wanted to make an album where you could love God and be of God, but still get it poppin’ in your life.”
5. Wiz Khalifa- O.N.I.F.C. Khalifa’s fourth album reached number two on Billboard 200. Singles from the album include “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “Remember You.” Fiancé, Amber Rose appears on the album as well.
6. Flo Rida- Wild Ones Flo Rida’s fourth album was his first with more than two top five Billboard singles. “With this album, there’s gonna be a lot of No. 1s, so that’s why I came up with the title ‘Wild Ones,'” Flo Rida said in an interview with Billboard.
7. Big Boi- Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors (Deluxe Edition) “Big Boi’s second solo LP will surprise anyone who assumed he just brought the street thump to Outkast,” Rolling Stone said. Single “Mama Told Me” features Kelly Rowland.
8. Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, The Re-Up This is the first box set released by the artist. It includes a re-issue of her second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, with eight additional songs and a DVD with behind the scenes footage. An article in JET Magazine said Minaj was blaming discount retail stores for her poor album sales.
9. Pitbull- Global Warming (Deluxe Explicit Edition) This was the seventh album released by the rapper. A teaser to the album was posted on Pitbull’s Facebook and Youtube accounts before the album’s official release in November.
10. Kanye West- Cruel Summer The album debuted at number two on Billboard charts. Upon its release, the album generated mixed reviews from fans. “Mercy” was the lead single off the album.