12 Musical Moments We're Thankful for in 2012

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  • Rihanna, Frank Ocean
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Nas
  • Jay-Z
  • Rihanna
  • West Coast Cypher
  • G.O.O.D. Music
  • Jay-Z, Beyonce
  • Frank Ocean
  • 2 Chainz Pushes Up on Nicki
  • Barack Obama, Jay-Z, Beyonce
  • A$AP Rocky, Rihanna
  • 50 Cent, Fat Joe

Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar's amazing major-label debut, and its almost-as-amazing success on the charts, warmed the hearts (and ears) of hip hop heads when it dropped in October. The funky, Southern-influenced production, sung melodies and nimble rhymes recalled OutKast in their prime and the album sold 200,000 copies despite its left-field artistic vision and lack of overtly radio-ready singles. It was great to know that music like this is still being made and that it can even blow up.

(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Samsung)

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