Our 20 Most Popular Stories of 2012, 10 - 1

Categories: Lists

We've covered a lot of music ground in 2012. And you loved all of it. But you read some stories more than others. Here now, our 20 most popular posts of the year, from 10 - 1. (20 - 11 here.)

The Ten Best Reissues of 2012
The Ten Best Noise Tracks of 2012
The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012
The Ten Best Country Albums of 2012
The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012

10. Hip-Hop's 25 Best Weed Songs

A diagnosed manic-depressive, Brad Jordan has mentioned in interviews how weed helped him deal with his illness. Here then is a tribute to his "girl" Mary Jane, whose name alone makes him happy. In his rap, 'Face highlights how she's better than cigarettes and alcohol for relieving stress.

9. Swans' Most Terrifying Songs
One of the many things experimenting with acid taught me was how to listen to music differently. Long before I heard Merzbow or Wolf Eyes, I tripped and listened closely to the droning ovens and hissing dishwashers at the Pizza Hut where I worked as a lunch cook. Six years later, when a friend turned me on to proper "noise," it wasn't too shocking. I also learned that some albums and some songs contain particular moments that can totally shatter and terrify; my whole world can be flipped upside down, turned inside out and burnt down to the ground with a single lyric or guitar squall or cymbal crash.

8. 100 & Single: Buy An Adam Lambert Album, Strike A Tiny Blow For Gay Rights
A couple of out gay performers (fewer than you might imagine) have topped the Hot 100 singles chart. But I would argue that the Billboard 200 album chart is a specifically important yardstick. Albums are how the recording industry makes the bulk of its profits, and it's particularly meaningful to see Americans willing to shell out more than a buck for a performer's work--especially in a recording's opening week, which in the Soundscan era has become as important to the music business as opening weekend is for Hollywood.

7. Nicki Minaj Masters The Art Of The Diss Video With "Stupid Hoe"
Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" is supposed to be a diss track aimed at Lil Kim, but in the tradition of diss tracks, it's pretty weak. Something like Jay-Z's "Takeover" uses specific, personal information about the people involved, going so far as to propose a mathematical equation at one point. Even Lil Kim's diss of Nicki, "Black Friday," gathers together evidence about Nicki (she is weird, she has a large butt) and Kim (she is real, she has been around for a long time) to make its case. The diss track is a lawyerly form, accumulating exhibits and summarizing with a killer closing statement to produce a unanimous jury decision.

6. The 17 Best Songs Of 2012 (So Far)
• Get ready for a slew of end-of-year thinkpieces on Canadian teenpop singer Carly Rae Jepsen's utterly earwormy "Call Me Maybe." Or maybe we'll have devolved enough as a culture so that the "thinkpieces" will actually be GIF walls?

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