I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again, this year has absolutely flown past! It’s been a brillant year for African Hip Hop so we decided each writer would do a mini-review of the year behind us. This is the first in that series, which we will be rolling out every day for the next couple of days.
The idea? Each writer selects his/her top 5 highlights of 2012 from each category.
Favourite Song of 2012 || Favourite Album/Mixtape of 2012 || Favourite Artist of 2012
I don’t believe we ever need to state this, but I’m going to anyway because there is always plenty of opinions whenever some kind of ‘list’ is published:
THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A DEFINITIVE AND/OR AUTHORITATIVE LIST. THE CHOICES ARE PERSONAL OPINIONS OF THE WRITER, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. SIMPLY 5 HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH CATEGORY THAT WE HAVE ENJOYED THIS YEAR.
Ok now that’s out the way, let’s kick things off with my (@rosshagan) top 5 highlights of 2012!
2012 in Review: Muvheti’s Top 5
Favourite Song of 2012
- Tumi, Youngsta and Reason – What Have You Done - Three of the top hip hop artists come together on this track courtesy of Red Bull Studios in Cape Town. Nothing more to say here, except this was one of those studio sessions where magic happened.
- E.L. – Kaalu - E.L. has had a great year, releasing a fantastic album and this song is still stuck in my head months after release. Immense.
- Khuli Chana – Tswa Daar - Simple looped beat that makes your nod your head, laced with some venomous bars. The video has that raw energy that captures the atmosphere perfectly – a packed underground venue with all the hands in the air moving in unison. This oozes hip hop. Anthem.
- Tehn Diamond – Happy - Play this at any party in Zimbabwe and the crowd is guaranteed to go bananas. This makes me Heppi. Look out for the video for this one soon.
- Blayze – Bravestars - This one BANGS! Thumping anthem that has become a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Bongo Riot kills the hook too. To be played at high volumes!
Favourite Album/Mixtape of 2012
- Raiza Biza – Dream Something LP - Hands down my favourite release of the year. The only reason none of the songs were in my top 5 above, was because I couldn’t pick just one from an album full of gems.
- Synik – Syn City – Despite all the talent in Zimbabwe, nobody has managed to put together a top quality complete package in ages, until now. Splendid debut.
- Kananji – Fools Gold – One that caught me by surprise at the time, but still gets plenty of spins. An excellent body of work which is consistently impressive throughout.
- Sarkodie -Rapperholic - A fantastic album which unfortunately did not receive the push it deserved. Hugely enjoyable from start to finish, one of the best of the year.
- Reason – Audio 3D - An excellent offering from Motif Records which put Reason in the spotlight, and he does not disappoint.
Favourite Artist of 2012
- Raiza Biza – watching his progression throughout the year was a pleasure and it culminated with the release of the best album of the year (in my opinion) in Dream Something LP. If you download one African hip hop album this year, make it this one.
- Jnr Brown - This guy has been in sublime form. Everything Jnr Brown appeared on in 2012 was better for it, and he was nearly always the highlight. Whether this is a career-best run, or something he can maintain into 2013 is yet to be seen, but I sure as hell hope it continues.
- E.L. – E.L. has been everywhere in 2012, not only as an artist but as a producer too. He had a hand in some of the biggest Azonto hits of the year, and stepped up as one of the most talented artists in a country where you have to compete with some of the best such as M.anifest, Sarkodie, D-Black, etc. Impressive.
- Khuli Chana - Khuli Chana kept the quality leaks coming all year round. From Tswa Daar to his behind the the scenes studio vlogs and HazzazdazMove he kept the fans updated with plenty of great content in the run up to the release of his second album Lost In Time. Take notes.
- Youngsta – I had to give the final spot to Youngsta simply for his work ethic if nothing else. I lost count how many mixtapes/EPs/videos this guy has released over the last 12 months, he has put in an insane amount of work. I personally hope he takes his time next year to craft a really special project – something which I’m sure he has in him. It’s not as if he hasn’t had plenty of practice.
There was so much quality released this year, picking 5 was not only extremely difficult, but also not an entirely fair reflection on the amount of amazing music the continent has blessed us with over the year.
So by all means check out these highlights, but don’t stop there and make sure you spend the holidays browsing the archives right here on africanhhb.com for the rest of the equally impressive sounds that aren’t included above.