Kickmag’s 2012 Picks

THEESatisfaction –awe Naturale
High-tech Nubian poetry for the future of soul.
Nona Hendryx-Mutatis Mutandis
Hendryx’s latest funk party of Americana political truth.
The Coup-Sorry To Bother You
The Coup reinvents itself with irascible rock/rap to command your attention.
Esperanza Spalding-Radio Music Society
Spalding’s well-bred jazz/R&B mash.
Take 6-One
Take 6’s timeworn vocal harmonies elevate parts of the gospel canon with sublime arrangements.
Santigold-Master Of My Make Believe
Santigold adds more ruggedness to her errant ’80’s influenced pop.
Childish Gambino-Royalty
Gambino’s third mixtape is intelligent fun and progress with his muse.
Heady rhymes from Bay Area battle king.
Nas-Life Is Good
A return to Nas’s classic street cinema
Incognito- Surreal
The UK’s favorite jazz/funk masters deliver another solid excursion.
Kendrick Lamar-Good Kid M.A.A.D City
The next wave of West Coast rap from the region’s number one commercial upstart.
Oddisee-People Hear What They See
Unpasteurized hip-hop from D.C.’s favorite underground emcee.
Meshell Ndegeocello-Pour une ame souveraine
A divine tribute to Nina Simone from R&B’s most prominent forerunner.
Robert Glasper-Black Radio
Black pop surveyed with smoothness and a superb cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Flying Lotus-Until The Quiet Comes
Otherworldy electronica, lo-fi jazz and re-tooled New Wave.
Dwele-Greater Than One
Dwele’s self-contained R&B gets posher.
Miguel-Kaleidoscope Dream
A honest trip from a self-avowed R&B maverick.
Frank Ocean-Channel Orange
A brave debut from one of R&B’s new voices.
Hawthorne Headhunters-Myriad Of Now
Left-field soul from Coultrain and Black Spade.
Bad Brains-Into The Future
Standard speed reggae elixir from the punk hardcore kings.