Rapture & Verse Overtime: The 2012 Concluder

Featuring The Last Skeptic, Ruffstylz, Chemo and more...
Kendrick Lamar new

What to make of hip-hop in 2012 then...amongst its calculations back in January, Rapture & Verse forecast that Plan B would have a strong campaign (we’re gonna claim victory there, although it wasn’t exactly a long shot), that Azealia Banks would have plenty to say (she did. Over and over and over), and that we’d stand by taking a gamble on Diggy Simmons making a mark (aside from a minor beef with J Cole, this flutter barely left the gate).

Anyway, we thought some horse’s mouth gospel would provide a better, eyewitness summarisation of the past year, so see what the below, on-the-button rhymers and insiders made of how the previous 12 months came and went. Looks like a certain Comptonite did the business for the majority...

The Last Skeptik - @thelastskeptik
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “Excellent. The cycle came back around and all those bandwagon fuckwits decided it was time to dickride hip-hop again. Far from being a bad thing, it cued a LOT of incredible albums, big nights and things looking very, very bright for 2013.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kid M.A.A.D City’, because...the beats, the rhymes, the vibe. Best hip-hop album of the past five years. Apart from maybe ‘How Not To Make A Living’ by Rewd Adams & The Last Skeptik, obviously.”

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Ruffstylz - @Ruffstylz
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “Rejuvenated. At the end of the day creativity always wins.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor 2’. It was too commercial, but the good parts outclassed everything else out there.”

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Chemo - @chemouk
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “Pretty strong by all accounts. Everyone was talking about Kendrick Lamar, and he broke a few records which is impressive considering that the majority of his music is pretty creative and thought provoking. Really enjoyed listening to Joey Bada$$ as well. In the UK, High Focus and YNR consistently released quality stuff, and Onoe Caponoe cemented himself as a real exciting prospect.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Jam Baxter’s ‘Gruesome Features’, because he is a master of his craft. His imagination and wordplay is beyond compare, and rewards repeated listens as all good music should.”

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P.L.O. - @P_Leezy
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion.... “Set free. Sales are smashed. No one's really trying to make hip-hop to be cool anymore. Charts don't care unless you're one of a handful of chosen few. So, we're largely back to hip-hop made for the love and the art, by people doing it for the love and the art. Don't worry though - it'll all swing back around by about 2018.”

This year's best hip-hop release was... “For me, Aesop Rock's ‘Skelethon’. Because everyone else is gonna say Kendrick Lamar and I don't like Nas anymore.”

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Micall Parknsun - @MicallParknsun
This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Roc Marciano's 'Reloaded' album, because of its consistent sound throughout the whole LP and rhymes which were out of this world! 10 out of 10 in my eyes, hands down – a future classic.”

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Ralph Rip Shit - @ralphofAM
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion was... “Fucking ace”.

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Kendrick Lamar’s 'GKMC' because it had everyone talking about it. Ain’t had that since ‘The Black Album’”.

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Jazz T - @jazzt71
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “A force to be reckoned with. I have played at loads of events this year and independent artists out of the UK and US are pulling in the masses.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Kashmere & Jehst’s ‘Kingdom of Fear’, because it takes you away from life’s standard grind into a world of mayhem. It’s an aural movie, a masterpiece.”

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Spin Doctor / @SpinDoctorUK
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... ”On its way back! There was a bunch of great indie and mainstream releases.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was “1993, because... Midnight Marauders & Enter the 36 Chambers! Need I say more?”

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Metabeats - @chesusmetabeats
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “Brought back to life.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Anything by Action Bronson, because he has more style in his left nut than most of these fools have nowadays”.

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Ti2bs - @Superti2bs
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “A year in which real lyricists took hold of the mainstream. From Sway maintaining a healthy run in the charts without sacrificing any lyrical integrity, to the man of the moment Kendrick Lemar's assault on the mainstream. It's been a year in which hip-hop as a community has seen the impact of its influence on a global scale. From Jay-Z's involvement in President Obama's election campaign, through to Dizzee Rascal repping at the Olympics. In the UK I think there's been a shift of direction in the sense that ‘road rap’ has dominated the scene in contrast to the traditional ‘UK hip-hop’ sound, with artists like Benny Banks, Krept & Konan and K Koke all doing really well.”

This year's best hip-hop release was... “In my opinion, Saigon's ‘Greatest Story Never Told 2’. I say this because all of the beats bang, he is socially/politically vocal and bang on point in my opinion. Great album.”

Seb Merhej, DigiDJ - @DigiDJ
So, in 2012, hip-hop was, in my opinion... “Optimistic.”

This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid m.A.A.d city’, because it re-wrote the rules of what a hip-hop album should be, providing ample avant-garde moments, while still catering to an old school aesthetic which amalgamated into the best of both worlds. A truly stunning record, and one that won't be topped for some time.”

Mike Lewis, Lewis Recordings - @lewisrecordings
This year’s best hip-hop release was... “Stig of The Dump's “Cannon Fodder” EP, because his rhymes were as cutting as ever and Pete Cannon's beats are the perfect accompaniment. If that's no good because he's on my label, this year’s best hip-hop release was Kendrick Lamar's 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' because he's got the energy and style lacking in so many bloated rap albums.”

Words by Matt Oliver

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