We’re rounding off our 2012 series with breaking down my picks for awards in our Album Edition.
2012 has been a huge year for Christian Hip-Hop. This past year was jam packed with releases. It seemed like every month either an unknown artist was bursting onto the scene making a name for himself or a big named artist was showing off his skills. We saw super groups formed, record labels establish themselves and some of the best albums CHH has ever seen.
I have listed some of the best albums in different categories:
Best Album from a New Artist
1.) Christon Gray – Body Art- One of the most versatile and creative artists in CHH burst onto the seen with a terrific record that showed off his many talents.
2.) Alex Faith – Honest 2 God- Alex brought a new and fresh perspective to CHH with his project. It solidified his presence into the genre.
3.) KB – Weight & Glory- Not new to CHH fans in Florida, KB became a household name after his debut album. It was a complete record that showed KB’s potential and huge talent.
Best Production on an Album
1.) Wit & Dre Murray – Hell’s Paradise II- Wit is the best producer in the game. This project is all the evidence I need to support that claim. He created a beautiful canvas for Dre Murray to paint on.
2.) Black Knight – The Break In- Black Knight is an up and coming producer in CHH. “The Break In” had a wide variety in sound. And was one of the few albums this year that didn’t need any rappers on it, the production was that strong.
3.) Lecrae – Gravity- The Watchmen, Heat Academy, Tyshanne, and Big Juice all lent a hand on this project; need I say more.
Best Comeback Album
1.) Japhia Life – Westside Pharmacy- Anytime a legend comes back looking like he is still in his prime, it’s a special thing to see. “Westside Pharmacy” is a special record by a special artist.
2.) Timothy Brindle – The Restoration- “The Restoration” is a picture of what God can do. It was a great record from a great artist that CHH definitely missed.
3.) J. Johnson – No Excuses Vol. 2: The Ghostwriter- After being gone for over 3 years, JJ came back strong with the second installment of his mixtape series. Clearly he hasn’t lost a step.
Biggest Surprise Album
1.) Kareem Manuel – Until Forever- Kareem has a good career coming into this year, but I don’t think anyone saw “Until Forever” coming from him. This was a phenomenal record. It showed amazing song making, creativity and lyricism. A truly fantastic record.
2.) B. Reith – How the Story Continues Vol. 1- B. Reith is primarily known as a singer. He surprised the CHH world with the release of “How the Story Continues Vol. 1” because it was a true hip-hop record. That wasn’t the only surprise though, B. Reith is also a fantastic lyricist; Who knew?
3.) J Johnson – No Excuses Vol. 2: The Ghostwriter – JJ surprised all of CHH with his sudden return. There was no surprise that J can still spit.
Best Album Artwork
1.) Flame – The 6th – One of the most intricate and thought out covers I have ever seen on an album. Simply amazing.
2.) S.O. – So It Continues – It made you take a second and third look. It was completely out of the box. A risk well taken.
3.) Propaganda – Excellent – Simple yet sophisticated. The perfect image for Prop’s incredible album.
Best Conceptual Album
1.) Swoope – Wake Up- Swoope took a common theme and created a masterpiece with it. The idea of “waking up” was woven throughout the entire record from the song titles to the lyrics.
2.) Json – Growing Pains- This is a timeless record because of the theme that J used. This is a record for anyone that is going through any kind of hardship. That never gets old.
3.) Kareem Manuel – Until Forever- No one knew what to expect from the title of this record. By the end of the record, listeners knew exactly what Kareem was trying to say. That is how you use a concept.