The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012
4. EL-P, Cancer 4 Cure
EL-Producto's top-to-toe production work on Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music might have somewhat overshadowed his own solo offering for 2012, but Cancer 4 Cure endures as his most convincing and gutsy album yet. The spin-off visuals also contributed to the esteemed canon of hip hop puppeteering.
3. Action Bronson & Party Supplies, Blue Chips
Flushing Meadows Park deserves a triple life-size sterling statue of Bronsolini and Party Supplies while "Pouches Of Tuna" plays out loud on constant repeat.
2. Roc Marciano, Reloaded
Roc Marciano might spend some of his days on the west coast now, but as he put it when I interviewed him about pressing matters like Shiela E and Riesling wine, Reloaded is the direct product of his New York years. At times Roc Marcy's raps play out like scenes from a pulp action movie yet to be filmed: The Fendi trench-coat and 12-gauge incident that closes out the first verse of "76" is majestic. Forget the hullabaloo about Kendrick Lamar's album -- Reloaded is the year's most cinematic rap experience.
Its spectacular vividness comes from its restraint.