Mr. MFN eXquire - "Dom Perignon At The Days Inn"
Mr. MFN eXquire is that rare breed of artist whose thought process pours right out onto the track. This cut, "Dom Perignon At The Days Inn" takes multiple directions, and all of them are intense. While layering the cut with sexual innuendos, eX launches into discussions including parental distrust, the price of fame ("Problems come with addictions / That's what we use to try to fix them"), and then back around to reckless sex before getting to the point that he's actually drowning his sorrows "she bit on my neck, and then I lost my head." He's the type of artist, where you have to keep rewinding to get everything he's saying, because he obviously has something to say. It's been a while since that's happened. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)
A-Trak featuring Juicy J, Jim Jones, Flatbush Zombies & Flosstradamus- "Piss Test Remix"
When it comes to my tastes, both remixes turned into posse cuts and production featuring Electro squelches, claps and sped up Trance synths usually miss a lot more than they hit. But as a track that's landing at the end of the year, A-Trak's remix of the anti-P.O. anthem "Piss Test" is a great wrap-up of the artists who mattered in 2012 because of who is one the track - and who is missing. Pulling Danny Brown definitely makes the track feel a bit emptier as his frenetic high pitched delivery is the perfect counterpart on collaborations with artists that have a slower drawl like this year's comeback king Juicy J. From their amazing mixtape D.R.U.G.S. to their Man With The Iron Fists collaboration with RZA to their performance right here, The Flatbush Zombies show why they're the new artists everyone needs to follow in 2013. Finally as someone who first got into Hip Hop through the New York crews of the '90s, I was psyched - after working through being mystified - to see Dipset Capo, Jim Jones, and the mastermind behind Def Jux, El-P, sharing some bars. The former had one of my favorite albums of the year Cancer 4 Cure and did all the production on my #1 of 2012, Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music, while the latter, well, he fought with a teenage girl on Twitter about who created "Vamp." Hey at least that's news. - Michael Sheehan
Alexander Spit featuring Bago - "A Breathtaking Trip"
Decon is just flat-out winning this year. Three illustrious albums from Gangrene, Alchemist and Roc Marciano. Along the way, there are fan-friendly physical releases, creative artwork, and videos like this. Alexander Spit is on the label roster for the 2-0-1-3, and "A Breathtaking Trip" is an enaging introduction for those not already in the know on this Los Angeles rising act. The lyrical display isn't exactly Xzibit's "Shroomz," but the self-produced jam has one of my favorite beats of the year, and a visual that you can't possibly look away from - especially if you're a fan of the N.S.F.W. viral. I'm not really a fan of the live fast, die young attitude penetrating a lot of the new music in Rap today; I'm too old and too boring for it. But Alexander's record pulled me in, and made me feel the very thing that prompted this bugged-out record and video. Jason Goldwatch may as well be Hype Williams in 2012. - Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)