The 10 Best Bay Area Hip-Hop Records of 2012

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Roach Gigz
Bugged Out
[Goomba]

Roachy Balboa stays winning through sheer force of personality. Super likable while kicking his raps, Bugged Out underscores that Roach Gigz is gifted with the skill to deliver off-kilter punchlines with the entertaining ease of a stand-up comedian. This all happens over beats that slap, wobble, and bang with an infectious glee. All hail Balboa! -- Phillip Mlynar


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The Coup
Sorry To Bother You
[Anti]

With Boots Riley regularly in the news as an unofficial leader of Oakland's Occupy movement, it's only right that the Afro'd activist's longtime rap-funk outfit returned in 2012 with Sorry To Bother You. Riley's confident rhymes are as fervently, rabidly political as you might expect -- decrying capitalism and calling out phony rebellion at every turn, it seems -- but Sorry To Bother You can still be a lot of fun. Largely eschewing classic hip-hop DJing in favor of a hard-hitting live band, the Coup's beats hit with the heft of classic funk, and even ride stompboxes into hard-rock territory once in a while. So while it may not sound like a traditional rap album, Sorry to Bother You can't be ignored. -- Ian S. Port


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IAmSu!
Kilt
[HBK Gang]

A co-sign from E-40 can take you a long way, and after appearing on the rotund elder's hit "Function," Richmond-raised rapper IamSu! found himself tagged as one to watch. Over beats courtesy of The Invasion production unit, Kilt proves that the plaudits are worthy, with Su coming over as a supremely charismatic MC. "Every show I kill/ Fuck a record deal," he exclaimed on "Wake Up 2 Milli," but by the end of next year we suspect he'll be snugly signed up with some canny label. -- Phillip Mlynar


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4 comments
whichzach
whichzach

"throaty vocal cadence". ORLY?

FriscoSmoove
FriscoSmoove

@HOPIEspitshard glad someone else said it.

kjax22
kjax22

@DaVinci415 Congrats my nigg

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