As the year comes to a close, and the holiday stress puts your therapist on speed dial, why not take a moment from your debilitating rage against the department store cashier to reflect upon the last calendar year of music—we sure have. 2012 has brought us tripped out folk singers, potty-mouthed mermaids, indie super groups and jams hot enough to boil a waterbed, just to name a few.
While some of these artists have been around for longer than a hot second, we're selecting them based on their debut studio or major label albums dropping in 2012. After all, how can you choose a "Best New Artist" without hearing a completed effort? So let’s take a look at the artists we think gave this year a real good shakedown.
Kendrick Lamar: Certainly not a new face to the game, but this year marks the beginning of Kendrick Lamar’s journey into the hip-hop stratos as a full-fledged star. Following in the footsteps of other Dre protégés like Eminem and Snoop Dogg , the LA-based artist’s first major label album good kid m.A.A.d city peaked at #2 in the US after having already worked with the top names in the industry. Lamar doesn’t need million-dollar cars and a mouth full of diamonds to blow you away; just a mic, a stage, and a moment of your time. This one will be around for a long time, trust.