Here are the songs that I think are the finest that I had the opportunity to hear in 2012. If you want to see the other 10, go here.
I am endlessly fascinated with the way the record-buying public views Nas with a mixture of amusement and indifference. Unlike Kweli or Mos or Common or Tip, something about Nas's overtly political and heartfelt messages doesn't connect even though he's a better emcee by half.
I say this because as usual people don't really like Nas' new song.
These people are crazy.
Most people who read me or know me know that I was pretty underwhelmed by most black music released this year. I do think this was a stronger year for individual songs than it was for albums, but even so I could literally only come up with 10 songs that I really love, that I played a lot, that I repped for hard this year.
Before we get to those though, here are a few runners-up. These are songs I like, that are good in their own way, but didn't quite bowl me over the way the top 10 did for one reason or another.
After the jump, get into the 10 songs that I adored this year.
Talk about taking it back to the essence:
This is a master working at a very high level. It manages to resurrect Nasty Nas of the early 90s, but keep it current too (thanks to the great production by the unstoppable Salaam Remi).
It should go without saying, but Nas is one of the five greatest living emcees. Period.
It is amazing how beautifully Mobb Deep build so much atmosphere into their music.
Nice to see that Nas and Mobb put aside their beef to make some magic together.
Also – Nas slays this.