The Most Anticipated Hip Hop Albums Of 2012

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The staff at Gutta World highlights 10 releases this year that we are personally excited about. And no, we’re not counting on “Detox” either.

After so many colorful releases in 2011, Hip Hop fans have a lot to look forward to in 2012. No, we’re not actually basing our hopes on Dr. Dre’s Detox or Jay Electronica’s elusive debut, the mythical merger of Nas and DJ Premier or the long-delayed complete reunion of Goodie Mob. Like any fan, we would love if any or all of those released before we purchased new calendars, but there are a plethora of albums already underway that have a ton of promise in making this year musical.

Younger artists who had powerful impact in ’11 as well as some “golden era” alumni keeping the hardcore alive are slated to make bold statements with their music this year, and the Gutta World staff sat down and compiled 10 releases that we can count on, and why we think they’ll make 2012 all the more exciting.

The Ecology by Fashawn


Few debut albums in recent memory were as potent and honest as Fashawn’s 2009 debut Boy Meets World. The independent release, produced entirely by Exile, helped rush the forefront of a West Coast renaissance of music coming from young emcees with wisdom well beyond their years. Late this summer, when the Fresno DXnext alum announced that he was going to uphold the formula with Ex on the boards, the Gutta World staff rejoiced. Expect colorful sample-driven sounds and common-man themes as the Young Santiago helps expand his legacy as one of the more resonant voices of this time. As Common, Talib Kweli and Mos Def all began as independent artists in the ’90s before reaching mainstream stature, Fash is another poised to have that kind of impact.

Trouble Man by T.I.


2010′s No Mercy felt like a rushed T.I. album, as the Grand Hustle founder was quickly recording as a free man before serving for his latest (and hopefully last) felonious brush with the law. Given Tip’s track record for every-other-album being outstanding (see Paper Trail and King), the album sharing a name with the Marvin Gaye hit sounds audiobiographical and brutally honest before it even nears roll-out. Hopefully the man who made Atlantic Records relevant to Rap music can go in and delicately walk that line with a mainstream-friendly album that still carries plenty of trappings.

The Kolexion by Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Premier


Dating back to O.C.’s Jewelz, Bumpy Knuckles and DJ Premier share a musical chemistry that reflects their strong personal bonds. Two “kings of the underground sound,” these masons of the East Coast Hip Hop sound have teamed up for a March album that’s fully collaborative. Whereas 2000′s Industry Shakedown was a mosiac from the likes of Pete Rock, Diamond D and The Alchemist, The Kolexion is a project the fans have been asking for and brings Premier back to one of the fiercest emcees of the Gang Starr Foundation glory years. We anticipate a mosaic of wisdom and aggression.

Live From The Underground by Big K.R.I.T.


Few artists have the ability to appeal to the streets and the college campuses as well as Meridian, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. With two mixtapes that easily could have been albums held in the highest regard, the Cinematic/Def Jam emcee, like J. Cole has the ability to make an album entirely by himself that could change the face of Hip Hop. Given K.R.I.T.’s history of working with icons that influenced him such as 8Ball & MJG, Devin The Dude and Ludacris, even if that’s not the case, the expectations for this are high. Plus, with Sha Money XL (who made classic albums with 50 Cent and Game as G-Unit Records’ former President) having a strong hand in the project, this is an album that could prove to be another Def Jam southern game-changer in the line of debuts from Ludacris, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross.

Good Kid In A Mad City by Kendrick Lamar


After making the “album of 2011″ (according to us, anyway), Compton, California’s Kendrick Lamar is expected to go right back and drop another one. Good Kid In A Mad City, as its known now anyway, finds Jay Rock’s lil’ homie dealing with rumors of an Aftermath deal, Tech N9ne, Game, and Drake working with him, as well as a whole different place than he was in just a year ago. We hope the supporting cast is as obscure as they were last time (GLC, RZA, J. Cole, Terrace Martin), but that one of the smartest 24 year-olds you’ll ever meet has more anthems that carry Hip Hop out of its stupor.


God Forgives, I Don’t by Rick Ross


Few superstars have the ear for beats that Ricky Rozay possesses. Just as Teflon Don was one of the best-produced albums in recent years, we expect a refreshed (hopefully healthier) Rawss to make another gem. With the Maybach Music Group compilation and Wale’s sophomore LP being winners of 2011, this seems in the cards to one of the biggest voices and personalities in Rap since the 1980s. Moreover, like Drake and Lil Wayne, Rick’s guest-lists usually pack surprises that change lives, just ask Styles P.

R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike & El-P


Ten years ago, this collaboration would have sounded like a clunky April Fool’s joke. However, Company Flow-meets-Dungeon Family next year, as Brooklyn-meets-Adamsville. Mike Bigga and El-Producto have been at work on this album for years, and two of the smartest guys in Hip Hop music are expected to make joints that sound informed as well as experimental. Hopefully it puts each talent in front of audiences previously not exposed to their greatness. El-P’s track record with producing others’ albums (see Cage’s Hell’s Winter and Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein) is of the highest level. We are trying to get subs back in the trunk before this rolls out.

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj


The emcee with 2010′s “Verse of The Year” has proved herself to be one of Rap’s most animated lyricists since Busta Rhymes. While her debut, Pink Friday may have been guilty of trying to do too much, after strong appearances with Lil Wayne, Drake and Big Sean, Oneka is the one to watch in ’12. Mainstream Hip Hop fans should tune in to see this 2008 DXnext alum step in and give Lil Wayne a run for his millions as YMCM’s sharpest spitter.

The Make Believe Album by David Banner


2005 belonged to Houston. 2008 belonged to Detroit. 2012 may belong to Mississippi. The Magnolia State’s Hip Hop pioneer David Banner, along with K.R.I.T. may shake things up with brutal honesty over-top self-produced beats. After making ethery commentary on 2011′s “Swag” (an inclusion on The Make Believe Album), expect D.B. to come out vocally swinging. In late ’10, David brought out one of his strongest works to date in Death of A Pop Star. Now removed from the controls of SRC Records, this Rap veteran may do for ’12 what Killer Mike did for ’08.

Godfathers by Kool G. Rap & Necro


For years, Necro’s rhyme delivery has been compared to Kool G. Rap, and the Psycho Logical Records’ founder will proudly admit that the Juice Crew spitter is a deep influence. As not all G Rap works have sounded cohesive since Roots of Evil, hardcore Hip Hop fans can count on this merging of the musicians to sound grimier than New York in the 1970s. Meanwhile, this is a perfect vehicle for Necro to bring his brand of “Death Rap” and amazing sources for sounds back into the ears of common Hip Hop fans. As Riches, Royalty and Respect went under the radars of most, this is a perfect collaboration for two cult followed icons.

What albums are you most looking forward to in 2012?

Shawnna Releases New Single ‘Big Booty Judy’; Preps New Album

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M.O.E. recording artist and formerly signed to Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace label, Shawnna is back at it with the release of her official single Big Booty Judy, which has received an overwhelming response from DJs and industry insiders.

Inspired by her lovely figure, Shawnna gives her fans new and old, a song to love. Currently on a Midwest tour and getting ready for the Female Hip Honors Award out in LA, Shawnna is showing the world she is not ready to throw in the towel.

To have her career based on a solid foundation, the raptress founded her own label M.O.E., which stands for Money Over Everything. She is currently in the studio recording for her new album, which will be available in stores later in 2011.

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Ludacris Says New Album ‘Ludaversal’ Is On Another Level

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Ludacris recently sat down with AllHipHop.com to discuss the progress of his upcoming eighth album, Ludaversal.

The rapper, born Chris Bridges, has been busy pursuing an acting career with roles in upcoming movies like “Breakaway” and “Fast Five” co-starring Vin Diesel, which is due in theaters this Friday (April 29th).

According to Ludacris, his busy schedule and his acting career have not interfered with his ability to make a hit album.

“When you hear the album you’ll know,” Ludacris told AllHipHop.com. “People can expect me to take it to a level they know I’m capable of. If anybody has doubts, I have no problem continuing to prove myself. And I have no problem slapping the ones who’re sleeping to make them wake up. It’s about consistency.”

Over the years, Ludacris has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, from singers like Enrique Iglesias, Fergie and Mary J. Blige to rappers like Lil Wayne, Nas and Jay-Z

During his 11-year career, Luda has sold almost 20 million records worldwide.

The rapper attributed his success to his ability to make cameo appearances on hit records, while maintaining his Hip-Hop roots as a lyricist.


Ludacris said he always had the “perfect balance between always staying true to the Hip Hop lyricists’ roots” and never limited himself to working with one particular type of artist.

“Who else is able to do those and still get on the ‘Welcome to My Hood (Remix)’ and kill shit – period? That’s what I think I’ve been able to consistently do,” Ludacris told AllHipHop.com.

Ludacris album Ludaversal is due in stores in early 2012.

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CHRIS BROWN – F.A.M.E.

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To say that Chris Brown has been given a rough ride recently would be the understatement of the century. The incident with Rihanna more than two years ago is still on the tips of everybody’s tongues. Many “fans” deserted him as he seemed to apparently be spiraling out of control. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, somebody has leaked nude photos of Chris on the Internet. At times, it’s hard to stay focused on the music; his life seems to play out like a cringy soap opera but lets remember, Chris Brown started off fresh faced, 16 year old whose debut album Chris went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies in the United States alone. The talent of Breezy cannot be disputed!

Now this month, Chris is set to release his latest album, the greatly anticipated F.A.M.E.

The first track off the album is Deuces, featuring Tyga from the Young Money camp. We all know it, it has become something of an anthem…the ultimate break up tune. Still getting heavy rotation on the radio both stateside and in Europe.

But the rest of F.A.M.E. is not all as ice cold as Deuces. Chris shows a more sensitive side on tracks such as the slow jams No Bullshit and Up 2 You. Up 2 You gives us a glimpse of the romantic side of Chris Brown as he is the perfect gentleman whilst he croons, “It’s so unusual for me to be waiting/ But I don’t wanna blow it girl” — just what every girl wants to hear.

Wet The Bed, featuring Ludacris, is a sexual, sensual piece. Brown owns this track and does not get overpowered by Luda. Delicate water drops, drip their way through this delectable ditty. I will be adding this one to my slow jam playlist at home.

Look At Me Now was confusing to me. Chris doesn’t sing on this — he raps. I’m all for trying something new but after listening to this several times I still have come to the conclusion that Chris should definitely stick to singing. He does himself no favors. The beat is pretty hot though. A punchy, mid-tempo beat with a heavy bassline and something skipping over it sounding a lot like a cool, futuristic, mechanical bird. Busta Rhymes comes in after Chris and to put it bluntly — shuts Chris down. Busta’s flow hits hard and fast like a machine gun and by the time Lil Wayne came in I was like, “Lil who?” Not the worst track I’ve ever heard, but probably the weakest on this album.

She Ain’t You, one of the other more warm, mellow tracks. SWV’s Right Here has been sampled with just a few added tweaks. It was definitely complimentary to the sugar sweet vocals of Chris Brown and put me in a reminiscent mood as I was gently taken back to the 90’s. Loved it! Everything about She Ain’t You worked.

Tracks such as Say It With Me, Yeah 3x, Oh My Love and Beautiful People are all more fast-tempo, dance tracks. I’m not too much a fan of dance music but I loved the feel good vibe and positive messages in Beautiful People.

All Back and Should’ve Kissed You are more reflective than the rest. All Back was more of a ballad. The cliche ‘Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone’ track. It was fairly average, but one couldn’t help wondering who he was missing. Could it be Rihanna?

I should probably say something about the recently leaked Next 2 You, featuring Justin Bieber. I didn’t like it, it was cheesy, unoriginal and sounded as if they were singing to each other rather than singing with each other. Big thumbs down.

After listening to this album a few times, I realized that there is a little something for everybody. From slow jams to tight rap verses all the way to dance music. F.A.M.E. was an easy listen. Nothing out of the ordinary or super original but not dull either.

F.A.M.E. is a good attempt by Chris Brown to re-establish himself as the Prince Of R&B, which unfortunately, I don’t think this has achieved. Overall, not a bad album!

Standout Tracks: “She Ain’t You”, “Wet The Bed”, “Beautiful People”

Tracklisting:

1. Deuces ft. Tyga & Kevin McCall
2. Up 2 You
3. No Bullshit
4. Look At Me Now ft. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
5. She Ain’t You
6. Say It With Me
7. Yeah 3x
8. Next 2 You ft. Justin Bieber
9. All Back
10. Wet The Bed ft. Ludacris
11. Oh My Love
12. Should’ve Kissed You
13. Beautiful People ft. Benny Benassi

Lil Kim Talkin’ Shit On Nicki Minaj

Posted: Saturday – June 5, 2010

It’s long been speculated that when female rapper Lil Kim returned to the music world she wouldn’t take too well to realizing that her spot was taken by Nicki Minaj and perhaps in an attempt to ignite what could be a great battle, fans are suggesting that the first shots have already been fired.

Kim was performing her single, Crush On You, during a Buffalo, New York concert recently when she tossed her wig out into the crowd and said, “I’m going to another level. I love the wigs and everything but I’m so above this. I’m so above this… I’ll be back!”

Leading some to believe it was a strike at Nicki, who in a move that reflects Kim’s former days, has taken to wearing various color wigs.

Whether that constitutes as a diss differs with each listener and really people may be grasping at invisible straws, but all the chitter chatter surrounding the issue highlights just how excited the Hip-Hop community is to hear about the return of the Queen Bee.

Kim’s last release, 2005’s The Naked Truth, was released on the same day that she reported to prison on perjury charges. She was released on July 3rd, 2006, and since then she has popped up here and there on various projects including a stint on the reality show Dancing With The Stars and a feature on Ludacris’ LP, Battle Of The Sexes.

Ludacris Drops New Video With Nicki Minaj, Offers Free Song Before “Battle of The Sexes” Drops [Video Included]

Posted: Monday – February 22, 2010

Ludacris is still prepping the release of his Battle of Sexes album.

Keeping anticipation high for his new project Luda and his Island Def Jam fam are offering fans a special offer and dishing out a free download.

Stans of DTP’s frontman will have a chance to download a never before heard freestyle from Cris called “Pennies.”

Promoting the offer via his Twitter Ludacris says,

“Ludacris is giving away more free music… This Freestyle is HOTTTTT!!!!!”

To download “Pennies” visit Island Def Jam’s website here.

In related news, Ludacris has released the final tracklisting for his Battle of The Sexes album and the album’s first video, “My Chick Bad,” featuring Nicki Minaj.

As previously reported an incomplete tracklisitng hit the net featuring collabs between Luda, Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim for the March 9th release.

Now with the final tracklisting available we see Cris Lova Lova linking up with Ne-Yo, Gucci Mane and Trey Songz.

Peep the final tracklisitng for Ludacris’ Battle Of The Sexes below as well as the video.

1. “Intro”
2. “How Low”
3. “My Chick Bad” feat. Nicki Minaj
4. “Everybody Drunk” feat. Lil Scrappy
5. “I Do It All Night”
6. “Sex Room” feat. Trey Songz
7. “I Know You Got a Man” feat. Flo Rida
8. “Hey Ho” feat. Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Fate
9. “Party No Mo’” feat. Gucci Mane
10. “B.O.T.S. Radio” feat. I-20
11. “Can’t Live With You” feat. Monica
12. “Feelin’ So Sexy”
13. “Tell Me a Secret” feat. Ne-Yo
14. “My Chick Bad (Remix)” feat. Diamond, Trina, and Eve

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