20. Boldy James - Consignment
A bleak, joyless, gangster album that truly stood out in 2012, Consignment by Boldy James was an epic 26-track tape that had no skits or intros, just hard soul-sample boom-bap songs. Boldy's not the sort of rapper who cranks out one quotable punchline after another, instead he sinks deep into the track, creeping into your head and his lines stay there.
Action Bronson loves to team with just one producer for an album or mixtape. He worked with Tommy Mas for Dr.Lecter, Statik Selektah for Well Done, and El-P for Rare Chandeliers. But, the chemistry between Bronson and Party Supplies on Blue Chips was one of a kind. The former chef changed up his flow to go with Supplies' dope beats, riding the sweet, heavy baseline on "Steve Wynn," and then absolutely murdering the slow banger "Double Breasted." You can't skip a track on this tape as each is so heavily different from the others. It's a great piece of work and arguably, Bronson's best work to date.
Tell Ya Friends did exactly what it was supposed to do: it garnered a significant buzz for King Chip - previously known as Chip Tha Ripper - and rose him from the underground into the eyes of the mainstream. Always known as an affiliate of Kid Cudi, Chip went hard on this tape, especially on tracks like "Good Evening," "Out Here," "Stay Sleep" - on which he raps about always being overlooked as an artist despite all his releases. Easily one of 2012's best tapes due to Chips' rise from anonymity.
What Freddie Gibbs does on this tape is stick to a tried and tested formula and he does it with such perfection that you can't help but admire the tape, which sounds like an album. From true, hard gangster songs to mindlessly entertaining songs about nothing, Gibbs brings to hip-hop what it already has and knows but he does it with such aplomb that it's now considered an anomaly in the game. Kudos to Gibbs to risking what's already been done but still gaining success from it.
V6 will be remembered as the release that propelled Lloyd Banks' career back to relevancy. After dropping off the map for a few years, Banks became virtually forgotten, but with this hard-hitting street music, Banks is once again remembered as the phenomenal lyricist and MC that he is. Though beefs with other rappers, most notably 50 Cent, have clouded the tape this year, other rappers should watch out as Lloyd is clearly coming back to his best.
HNHH takes a look at 20 of the hottest mixtapes dropped over the past 12 months.
From being a rarity in the hip-hop game to the norm, mix-tapes are now a way for artists to get their name recognized; they're a way for an artist to release songs that didn't make the album but still deserve recognition and sometimes, mix-tapes are crucial for an artist to find their voice and make it stick out amongst the masses. At HNHH, we recognize that mix-tapes deserve recognition, especially in this day and age, and have listed the Top 20 MixTapes of 2012.