The 2012 Hip-Hop List: DJ Treats Edition

Mass Appeal and Decon SXSW 2012 Showcase at Kung Fu SaloonPhoto by Johan Ospina. Thursday March 15th, 2012 at Kung Fu Saloon, Austin, TX.

It’s that time of year when everyone is coming out of their ears in lists. If mine is the first or the last you’ll read for the year, thanks. Wherever it falls in your reading itinerary, I’m ever-so-grateful. Hopefully what I’ve compiled in most of the categories put together by my friend Dart Parker will go beyond just Best Album.

Last night I finally completed a pretty comprehensive survey that covered Best Cover Art, of course Best Artist, and a category I made up, Best Promo T-shirt. It was tough to finalize my decision, as I even had to revise my selections after realizing I had forgotten folks like Big Sean in favor of the flavor of the moment, Kendrick Lamar. No hating on those who didn’t make it in any category. Much of my reasoning was based on their level of notoriety, their frequency of output, then my personal taste, which will explain some repeat appearances by artists in multiple categories (FTW). Read below for what’s been in my rotation this year.


Best Artist of 2012 (Top 5)
1. 2 Chainz
2. Kanye West
3. Pusha T
4. Rick Ross
5. Nas

Best New Artists (Top 5)
1. 2 Chainz
2. Meek Mill
3. French Montana
4. Danny Brown
5. Big Sean

Best Artist on the Rise (Top 5)
1. Mr. MFN eXquire
2.Trinidad Jame$
3. Wikispeaks
4. Earl Sweatshirt
5. Kendrick Lamar

Best Performer (Top 3)
1. El-P
2. Roc Marciano
3. Juicy J

Most Slept On Artist
1. Fabolous

Best Comeback
1. KA

Best Artist Twitter (Top 3)
2. @Noreaga
3. @Alchemist

Best Artist Website (Top 3)

Best Album Artwork (Mixtape/ EP/ LP)
1. Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head – T.I.
2. The Black Bar Mitzvah – Rick Ross
3. Wiki93 – RATKING

Best Producers (Top 5)
1. Mike WiLL Made It
2. Alchemist
3. El-P
4. Araabmuzik
5. Diplo

Best Videos (Top 5)
1. T.I. feat. Lil Wayne “Ball” (dir. Marc Klasfield)
2. Drake feat. Lil Wayne “HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)” (dir. X)
3. RATKING “Wikispeaks” (dir. Eric K. Yue)
4. 2 Chainz feat. Kanye West “Birthday Song” (dir. Andreas Nilsson)
5. Odd Future “Sam Is Dead” (dir. Tyler, The Creator aka Wolf Haley)

Best Major Labels (Top 3)
1. Def Jam Recordings
2. Warner Music Group
3. Interscope Records

Best Boutique or Indie Labels (Top 3)
1. Fool’s Gold
2. Mad Decent
3. XL Recordings

Best Terrestrial Radio Stations (Top 3, terrestrial)
1. Hot97
2. 98.7FM ESPN New York
3. NPR

Best Alternative Radio (Top 3, satellite or online only)

Best Music Website (Top 5)

Best Music Blog (Top 5)

Best Way To Listen To Music (Radio, CD, Vinyl, Spotify, Pandora, etc)
1. Radio
2. iTunes
3. Spotify
4. Soundcloud
5. Mixcloud

Best Music Venue (fill in your own category)
1. Santos Party House
2. The Westway
3. Music Hall of Williamsburg
4. Terminal 5
5. Studio at Webster Hall

Best Music Promo T-Shirt (fill in your own category)
1. Coke Boys “Fanute” by Fool’s Gold
2. Flatbush Zombies by Flatbush Zombies
3. Into the Wild Tour by Mishka
4. WRKOUT by ILLAMERICA for Chuck Inglish

Stream the homie Dart Parker’s Hip-Hop 2012 List on Spotify below.

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