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Top 10 Rap Albums, April 2012

10 hip-hop albums worth checking out this month

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Below: Nine albums aimed at underground-rap musos and one aimed at Barbz.

10. Game - 'California Republic'

He's still infatuated with Hov, still dropping names, still beating himself up over past mistakes. But somewhere in the middle of the confusion, Game finds a way to reignite an old flame -- that good ol' west coast flow that endeared him to the world in the first place.
Features: Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Pharrell, Shyne, Snoop Dogg
Release Date: April 17, 2012

9. 4two7 - 'Internal Dialogue'

4two7 is a Bay Area rapper. Internal Dialogue is his debut. Production from his own team, Eat machine, ensures an album cohesive enough for those discovering him right here, right now. Title winks at his birthday, April 27.
Features: Casual, Planet Asia, Fashawn
Release Date: April 27, 2012

8. Sene - 'Brooklyknight'

Well, good evening, boys and gals. Welcome aboard the Crooklyn Express. My name is Sene, and I'll be your tour guide for today. Please pick up your menu, you'll notice our 13 specialty items. We have an array of sumptuous soul samples, crisp rhymes, synth showers, we even have jungle boogie. Sit back and enjoy your stay.
Features: Blu, Co$$, Soul Khan, Scienze, Jay Jennings
Release Date: April 24, 2012

7. Stik Figa - 'As Himself'

Meet Stik Figa. He's from Kansas, that hot-bed of hip-hop. He's as hebephrenic as they come, with topics running the gamut from love of money to love of plus-size babes. As Himself is one of two albums planned this year from Stik Figa. This one is produced entirely by Strange Music beatsmith, Micael "Seven" Summers. The second album (due this winter) is produced entirely by Oddisee.
Features: Ron Ron (no relations), Gee Watts, Greg Enemy, Jabee
Release Date: April 17, 2012

6. Prozak - 'Paranormal'

Great rappers choose meaningful monikers like Immortal Technique or Brother Ali or Pharoahe Monch. But how about the wack ones (Swollen Members, Cunninglynguists)? They don't matter in the grand scheme if the music delivers. Read into Prozak's name what you will, it's there to get your attention. You'll stick around by way of his octane flow.
Release Date: April 24, 2012

5. Luckyiam - 'Time 2 Get Lucky'

He's ditched the "PSC" from his moniker but not the gift of gab. Lucky sounds thoroughly energized on his 5th studio album, Time 2 Get Lucky. Mike Gao holds down the heavy side of production duties, while Budo and Exile chip in a track apiece.
Features: Del The Funky Homosapien, The Grouch, Scarub, Lana Shea
Release Date: April 17, 2012

4. Azealia Banks - '1991 EP'

Look who's having a grand year: signed a major deal the same day I showcased her on this site as one of ten new rappers to watch in 2012, played Coachella, and even managed to start a feud (with T.I. signee, Iggy Azalea). Oh, and "212" is still listenable. Banks is about to up the ante with 1991, which sports production from Diplo. Her proper debut will follow later this year.
Release Date: April 17, 2012 [Delayed]

3. REKS - 'Straight, No Chaser'

His wordplay dripping with subtle smarts, his delivery swift in its confidence, his outlook matured, Reks is one of the best rappers rapping right now. Straight, No Chaser affirms his pessimistic views on the state of rap, while advancing his own skills. Produced by Statik Selektah.
Features: Action Bronson, Termanology
Release Date: April 24, 2012

2. Posdnuos & Dave - 'First Serve'

It's called De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present 'First Serve.' That sounds like a mouthful, but it won't matter once you dive into this movie-on-wax project. The concept centers around two young kids from Queens with big dreams: Deen Witter, who is actually Dave, who is Plug 2 and Jacob Barrow, also known as "Pop Life," who is actually Pos, who is also Plug 1. It's a hip-hop fable for the ages and one of the better rap albums released this year.

Release Date: April 3, 2012

1. Nicki Minaj - 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'

So bad she quit Twitter. That's bad meaning good meaning bad meaning good. It's a massive vortex of bad and good.
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