50 Best Albums of 2012

Frank Ocean reimagined R&B; Dylan drenched us in blood; pop-punk vets, disco orchestras and Scottish oddballs made an election year bearable.

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Killer Mike, 'R.A.P. Music'

20. Killer Mike, 'R.A.P. Music'

Ten-plus years into his career, Outkast colleague Killer Mike stepped up to headline status with a bare-knuckled, politicized Southern-rap record produced by New York sci-fi dystopian El-P. Two thirtysomethings who share a keen sense of paranoid-lefty outrage and hip-hop history, they update Eighties polemics for a new era. “I’m a public enemy because I’m cold lampin’/And I don’t give a fuck about a party in the Hamptons,” Mike brays on “Don’t Die.” Which doesn’t mean the dude don’t party – just that when he does, the past haunts him hard.

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