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I almost gave up on mainstream rap music when all these kiddie groups started surfacing with their skinny jeans, high tops, and trucker hats, singing the same song with auto tune all over the airwaves. Mainstream Hip hop is slowly rebuilding and becoming worth listening to again thanks to recent underground artists climbing up to the surface to reclaim it. Record labels have been signing REAL talent over the past few years like Roc Nation with J. cole and Big K.R.I.T., Maybach Music Group with Wale and Meek Mill , Shady records with Yelawolf and underground supergroup Slaughterhouse( Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9″, and Crooked I). This is fantastic news for fans of “real” hip hop because rappers are getting lyrical again.

Now the question is, which label will have the most fire in 2012? Young Money took 2011 with Three of The hottest albums of the year “Pink Friday”, “Tha Carter IV”, and “Take Care” Dominating everything, making them the label to beat, and the competition is coming with everything they got. In my opinion the crown is either going to MMG or Shady 2.0. Wayne, Nicki and Drake will no doubt do very well, and Tyga is gaining a lot of buzz as well this year with rack city all over the radio, but they have fierce competition.

As far as Shady goes, Eminem Released a number one solo album last year and another chart topper with Royce Da 5’9″ of slaughterhouse in the same year, Yelawolf recently released his first album under shady called “Radioactive” that was very successful, Royce Da 5’9″ released “success is certain” following the success of his collab album with King Shady, and the rest of the Shady 2.0 is hard at work and getting A lot of buzz.

Then there’s Maybach Music Group has Wale who had recently released his first album under MMG that is still hot, and Meek Mill who released arguably the hottest mixtape of the year in 2011, and of course Rick Ross who has been all over the airwaves, featured in everything, and dominated the top of the charts for a good portion of last year and this year, and has another album coming soon. It’s gonna be a good year for MMG and hip hop.

Honorable mentions(measured by hotness alone, not skill):Ace Hood, 2 Chainz(tity boi), gucci and wacka flocka, and Wiz Khalifa

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