Albums We Loved (And You Hated) In 2012
From Maybach Music Group to Nicki Minaj, we pick five albums that HipHopDX favorably reviewed, while our readers did not.
There are times when readers will disagree with critics. Okay, there are a lot of times when readers will disagree with critics. Sometimes that goes in favor of the artist being reviewed. However, there are those other times when readers feel certain emcees are getting more critical acclaim than they actually deserve. That’s what this list is for: showcasing the albums we loved but you hated in 2012. From the looks of this list, readers weren’t too pleased with some of Maybach Music Group. The label’s Self Made Vol. 2 release was roasted by many and Rick Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t was met with an even more unforgiving response from readers.
But the MMG crew wasn’t alone in this journey. Slaughterhouse faced some intense criticism after we deemed their Shady Records debut a near-perfect album. Commenters ridiculed other emcees as well, like Diggy Simmons, who some felt was “just for the junior high kids,” even after positive reviews from DX. These reader responses may seem harsh but that’s not even the worst of the bunch. In fact, Nicki Minaj probably got to the brunt of the pain here. We thought her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up was a bit above average but readers felt it deserved a much lower ranking. Commenters called her a sellout, fans felt disappointed and she ended up with a 1.7 reader ranking.With that said, here is a list of the 2012 albums we loved but you hated.
Diggy Simmons – Unexpected Arrival
DX rating: 3.5
DX user rating: 2.4
The arrival of Diggy Simmons’ project was anticipated. Aside from being the son of Rev Run he built a decent buzz for himself as an emcee. We thought he delivered a little more than expected on Unexpected Arrival. You did not. Diggy received an overall user rating of 2.4 and the most popular rating was a 1. Some readers felt it was “for the junior high kids” and others felt he simply didn’t live up to the buzz. One commenter added, “You will never surpass the legacy your dad set up.” While that is yet to be determined, Diggy understands he isn’t going to get the 5 stars from everyone. “It starts with the belief in you before you try to go and look for others people’s approval,” he told Karen Civil in an interview this year. He’s got confidence, and time will tell if he has your approval too.
Maybach Music Group – Self Made Vol. 2
DX rating: 3.5
DX user rating: 2.8
These guys were in the headlines all year and it wasn’t always about music. But when the MMG emcees focused and dropped their Self Made project, we thought they created what Slava Kuperstein called, “a noted improvement from its predecessor.” Some of our readers felt the same but the majority of you weren’t feeling it. Instead, you ridiculed. “Worst album ever,” one reader complained. “My ears are bleeding.” While we hope that was hyperbole, we understand that this project didn’t sit well with many listeners. Still, with the success and notoriety they had this year, in and out of the booth, this certainly won’t be the last we hear from Maybach Music Group.
Rick Ross – God Forgives, I Don’t
DX rating: 4.00
DX user rating: 2.6
Maybach Music’s leader, Rick Ross, didn’t get your love as a solo emcee either. While his album God Forgives, I Don’t paired the Bawse with the likes of Andre 3000, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z for one of the year’s major releases, he still faced criticism and mockery. Readers hated everything from his sound to his past, with 1.00 being the album’s most popular reader ranking. In our review, we wrote that the album “embodies why Rick Ross has become a fixture that listeners can depend on.” Still, some listeners felt this album, mixed with the lambasting of Self Made, really embodied why Ross was losing favor with fans in 2012. But with 18 pages of positive and negative comments, this also proved Ross’ name continues to ring bells and that it will continue to get the people talking. You can at least depend on that.
Slaughterhouse – welcome to: Our House
DX rating: 4.5
DX user rating: 3.8
This was, by far, the least hated of the bunch. In fact, many fans agreed with us, making 5 the most popular ranking among readers. But some were still upset about the rating, dragging the reader ranking down to 3.85. While some artists would kill for that rating, it just didn’t measure up to the near-classic status we gave it. “This might be the most overrated group in years,” one reader commented. Still, we felt Slaughterhouse’s Shady debut was a strong one, writing, “They’re probably the strongest-rhyming collective in Hip Hop today.” And while we also noted that “they’re capable of so much more,” that is only to praise Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9 and Joe Budden as they gear up to release some solo work before the next Slaughterhouse release.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up
DX rating: 3.00
DX user rating: 1.7
On the other hand, this album took the cake as the most hated of the list. But we understand some of the criticism. In the review, William E. Ketchum explained that there were many flaws throughout this project. “The results, like last year’s album, are inconsistent: the instrumentals and lyrics often work fine on their own merits, but they don’t work well together.” It’s possible that this lack of consistency ultimately led to a less-than favorable response from readers. “A clown by any other name is still a clown,” one anonymous commenter wrote. Some called Nicki Minaj a “sell out,” while others wrote that “Nicki was always terrible, even when she was underground.” For whatever reason, The Re-Up did not do much to bring Nicki favor. Instead, it created more criticism from our readership. Perhaps the next time she re-ups, the results might be different.