The Five Best Rap Songs of 2012 You May Have Missed
3. Devin the Dude - "You'll Be Satisfied"
With 2012 being the rare year that the list of great albums was somehow longer than the number of great singles, the artists who released outstanding EPs became largely under-discussed. The greatest casualty of these was Devin the Dude's Seriously Trippin' EP. Returning to Houston's Rap-A-Lot Records, his original label, Devin recaptured what made him a favorite among hip-hop listeners. The EP's single "You'll Be Satisfied" captured the melodic delivery and laid back humor that made his best work so accessible. Hopefully, it's a glimpse at what Devin has in store for us in the new year.
2. Aesop Rock - "Zero Dark Thirty (Blockhead Remix)"
As well-received as Aesop Rock's rightfully heralded entirely self-produced Rhymesayers album Skelethon was last year, longtime fans were still delighted to hear Rock's longtime collaborator, producer Blockhead, take a crack at a remix of the album's "Zero Dark Thirty." Like all great remixes, Blockhead pulled a certain playfulness out of Rock's lyrics not easily detected in the original, giving Rock's performance a new degree of appreciation and the track itself an entirely new life in the process.
1. Mystikal - "Hit Me"
While 2012 was home to The One, perhaps the greatest James Brown biography ever written, it was also the year veteran rapper Mystikal offered up the most inspired James Brown tribute in recent memory, "Hit Me." Produced by longtime collaborator KLC, "Hit Me" features the MC as energized as ever, mixing his trademark chaotic unpredictability with his razor sharp wit and still somehow sliding in a positive message to two without lessening the track's overall fun.