As 2012 comes into its last few days we decided to repeat last year’s near- impossible task of picking our top 20 tunes of the year. Based on the tunes we have been playing out and the tunes we have been listening to at HDD Headquarters, in no particular order, here are our top hip hop, dancehall and tropical tunes of 2012.
The fam at Bad Taste are about to release a monster. Sweet lord this is good. K Dot and Coco the UK’s best tandem (take that UK cyclists) destroy a monster of an instrumental by the Sheffield boys. Part grime, with bassline and lush tropical touches. Look out for it soon.
Following Press Up, Stylo G has teamed up with Adde for Bad Santa. As the title suggests this is not one of your average classic Christmas songs but in true dancehall style Stylo chats about how Santa go hard from Decmember and how gyal a wine pon Santa. Ho-ho-ho! Stream or download below!
We are huge fans of Jr Blender’s reggae remixes here at HDD HQ and his latest addition is a remix of Rihanna’s Diamonds just in time for Christmas. Jr Blender’s refix brings Diamonds a little closer to Rihanna’s Caribbean roots while keeping the vibe of the Sia-penned original. You can also check out his edit of Ri Ri’s No Love Allowed here.
You won’t find the same old Fact Mag/Resident Advisor mixes in this list. To be honest it’s not really a list just a bunch of recommendations of some Mixes and Mixtapes that Hootie Who has been listening to over the past year.
Gucci Mane x Trap Back
When you think of hip hop in 2012 you may think of breakout star Mike Will Made It, the producer got so big that he produced the latest Rihanna single. Bearing in mind her Lp’s are constructed in some weird boot camp laboratory with the best of the best this has to be an honour. Anyway back to the tape Gucci Mane has never really struck on with me but i did run this tape back many man times. This didnt get as much love as it should have but collabs with Future, 2 Chainz (just before he became a tad oversaturated)and his protege Flocka. The highlight is Get It Back a collab with 2 Chainz and an amazing flip of the Tetris theme by Mike Will. (Shoutout CWD for putting me on to this, go cop his new tee as well)
Famous Eno x Mixpak FM
This to me was the most genius mix of the year, he had been talking about it for a while and he executed it perfectly. The mix is basically you listening to the radio that switches station and genres with really entertaining sound clips throughout. The genres span Disoc, Dancehall, House and many more. It isn’t skitzo it’s all measured and fit in perfectly with the single All Good FM (one of our fave videos of the year).
Jeremih x Late Nights
A lot of end of year lists will have Miguel in them, deservedly so. He kicked the year off with a series of free EP’s that helped build buzz into the latest LP (hold tight the shortened version of Adorn). Another person who i expect to make a big jump in 2013 is Jeremih, no longer template r and b singer for any Hip Hop artist looking to appeal to their female fan base. Jeremih’s mixtape showed that not only did he have a great ear for beats, repped Chicago a lot (this off cut of the mixtape is one of the songs of the year) and showed more diversity in subject matter. 773 produced by Mike Will Made It is 1b R and B song of the year. I have listened to this so much that i know all the ablibs (DJ Drama was on top of his game here), the skits and even the one part where a song is pulled back (for a Gucci Mane verse)
Glover Junior x Long Clothing Mix
We kicked of the year with a ballroom/Jersey club boom in this country sparked by the Zebra Katz song . Since then we have gone on to see more Jersey club producer get their deserved shine. That’s not to say that Glover Junior is Jersey but his style of mixing reminds me of that. This New Yorker is great and this mix was something that really got me throwing impromptu dance parties on buses. Don’t forget to check out his own stuff as well.
Trackstar The DJ x Out Of The Darkness
When on holiday you often take music with you that you normally don’t have a chance to fully digest. The thinking being that you can when you are away. This rarely works, in May i took a mixtape with me to New York that i had on repeat. Out of the Darkness is a mix comprised completely of Organized Noize songs. Usually when you hear that you are thinking great just the hits and it will send you back to a specific time that producer was really hot. This spans almost 17 years of the crews songs from TLC to Ludcaris to Society of Soul. It has it all, the fact that it is narrated by one of the best voices of all time Big Rube is a massive bonus.
Every week the excellent So Shifty guys will bring you a performance that they deem #unf*ckwithable. You can give them suggestions on twitter just using that hashtag but ultimately they will decide. This week’s edition is from the fantastic Parang Band their xmas song Thiefin.