The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012
7. Various Artists, Luv NY
Helmed by Bronx-born producer Ray West, Luv NY is a slightly-aging Big Apple supergroup of sorts, with Kool Keith, Roc Marcy, Kurious, and D.I.T.C. alumni A.G. and O.C. hopping on and off tracks. It's a curious listen at times, half existing in a short-term time-warp back to the '90s and half coming across like some secret rap club where the MCs pass through on a whim and drop verses as much to impress each other as in any hope that the wider world will ever hear them. Best kept secret status.
6. Meyhem Lauren, Respect The Fly Shit
Food rap! Whether hip-hop music that invokes hearty references to the fine dining scene evolves into a genuine movement or peters out as a flash in the pan, Queens vet Meyhem Lauren nevertheless dropped one hell of a fearsome rap album with Respect The Fly Shit. Now pass that consommé.
5. Homeboy Sandman, First Of A Living Breed
It's a rare treat to hear a rap record from an artist still so openly in love with the art form and its roots, but that's the charm of Homeboy Sandman's full-length Stones Throw debut. Odes to hip-hop's birth blocks ("Cedar & Sedgwick") snuggle up to clever laments on the nature of fame ("Not Really"), and by the time the album closes with the perky "Let's Get 'Em," Homeboy Sand's humble everyman rap fan persona has won you over. For 2013: Homeboy Sandman for mayor, anyone?