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Top 10 Rap Albums - September 2012

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For a second there, it looked like the summer blaze was about to singe the hair out of this year's rap lineup. Nas dropped a winner in Life Is Good. Rozay followed with the ULTRAhyped God Forgives, I Don't. Then came 2 Chainz and Slaughterhouse. But we're not done with the big league, boys and gals. There's also: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II, Kanye West's Cruel Summer, Brother Ali's Mourning in America. Peep game.

10. Stu Bangas + Vanderslice - 'Diggaz With Attitude'

Diggaz With Attitude. As in, they love digging for samples. And there's plenty on Stu and Vanderslice's 17-track LP. There's also plenty of dirty drums and cinematic loops. And a strong lineup: The Alchemist, Roc Marciano, Evidence, Apathy, Ill Bill, Esoteric, Blaq Poet, Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, and Smiley the Ghetto Child.

Release Date: September 4, 2012

9. Apathy - 'The Alien Tongue'

A compilation of Apathy's early recordings (from 1994 to 1998), restored from cassettes and ADATs. His work with Jedi Mind Tricks and the first batch of beats he purchased are all accounted for.
Guests: Wodsworth, Eternia, Open Mix
Release Date: September 11, 2012

8. Murs + Fashawn - 'This Generation'

Two of the most underappreciated west coast emcees join forces for a full-length. And, naturally, they hired equally underrated artists Beatnick & K-Salaam to produce the entire album.
Release Date: September 25, 2012

7. Blu + Exile - 'Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them'

These two didn't exactly disappear after 2007 standout, Below the Heavens. Blu dropped some sample-based stuff, then some half-mastered stuff. Exile did some solo stuff. And now, they're back like they never left with more of Blu's introspective, coast-defying raps and more of Exile's sample-based goodness. Wait...this is all new stuff, right?
Guests: Homeboy Sandman, Fashawn, and Black Spade Release Date: September 2, 2012

6. Chino XL - 'RICANstruction: The Black Rosary'

Think of Chino XL is as a hip-hop superhero. He definitely takes a vigilante approach to the proverbial rap game, pounding his chest, touting his skills. The man can rap an IKEA manual and make it sound like poetry. He's not going to do Drake numbers but you'll never question his pedigree. RICANstruction is a 35-song double album with guest turns from Tech N9ne, Bun B, B-Real, and Immortal Technique.
Release Date: September 25, 2012

5. DMX - 'Undisputed'

If you think Undisputed won't see a release, I understand your skepticism. DMX has been all bark and no bite lately, hasn't he? But trust me, I've seen the tracklist for this one and it looks every bit like a DMX album. For starters, there's a song titled "F--k You B--ch." You've already heard "I Don't Dance." There's also a track dubbed "What They Don't Know," followed by—no kidding—"Y'all Don't Really Know." So, yeah, this thing is as real as John Boehner's tan.

Guests: The Notorious B.I.G., MGK, Adreena Mills, Rachel Taylor, Dani Stevenson
Release Date: September 11, 2012

4. Z-Ro - 'Angel Dust'

Enigmatic Houston rapper Z-Ro has made a habit of announcing and releasing new albums out of the blue. He's being doing that for about half a decade now. One common theme with his new stuff is that he names them after illegal substances: Crack (2008), Cocaine (2009), Heroin (2010), Meth (2011), and Angel Dust (2012). #thathilariousmomentwhenzrorunsoutofdrugnames

Release Date: September 25, 2012

3. Brother Ali - 'Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color'

It's the product of a trip to Mecca, and it came together in a two-week period of solitude and reflection. No, that's not a press release for a new Bon Iver album. It is, indeed, the plot behind Brother Ali's latest, which promises to be as sharp, succinct and saliently honest as Classic Ali. Fingers firmly crossed.
Release Date: September 18, 2012

2. V/A - 'Kanye West Presents: Cruel Summer'

The pressure is on. Kanye West gets a chance to showcase his ability to assemble the right beat-talent combo on Cruel Summer. The key players on his GOOD Music roster (Pusha T, Big Sean, Kid Cudi, CyHi, and Teyana Taylor, and more) are well accounted for here.
Release Date: September 25, 2012

1. Lupe Fiasco - 'Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1'

Evidence strongly suggests that Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 is the album that marks Lupe Fiasco's return to conscious M.O. Songs like "B-tch Bad" and "Lamborghini Angels" may not sound like hits to you and me, but they are, essentially, the Lupe Fiasco experience.
Release Date: September 25, 2012

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