2012 has to me been one of the best years in music, which probably has to do with me paying more attention than ever, but still, a lot of music has come out over the past 12 months. Now guest features might not sound like the most important or catchiest list of all, but to me it’s one of the most interesting and, yes, important ones of the year. With guest appearances artists can prove two things: the artist that invites another can prove his incredibly good taste and the ‘guest’ can prove his skill by doing his trick and making it work on someone else’s track as well.
The influence of the guest can differ per track and that in itself can be a key factor in how good a track is. Some artists have a big influence on a track, producing it themselves for example, like Jai Paul did for Big Boi or they can have a smaller influence by ‘just’ doing one of the verses or singing the hook. Not only has 2012 be a great year in music, it has also been one of the best years in terms of guest appearances with some of my favourite artists doing their best guest collaboration ever.
20. Theatre Roosevelt on Nicolas Jaar’s The Ego
19. Penguin Prison on RAC’s Hollywood
18. Sam Smith on Disclosure’s Latch
17. Glasser on Chad Valley’s Fall 4 U
16. Jesse Boykins III on Zodiac’s Come
15. Beck on Childish Gambino’s Silk Pillow
14. Mykki Blanco on Autre Ne Veut’s Counting (Remix)
13. Frank Ocean on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Made in America
12. Hodgy Beats on Toro Y Moi’s So Many Details (Remix)
11. Little Dragon on Big Boi’s Descending
10. Erykah Badu on Flying Lotus’ See Thru To U
Two of the most respected names nowadays in the futuristic hip-hop scene working together and sounding like a match made in heaven. Erykah Badu’s beautiful voice over FlyLo’s class beatwork is something I could only dream of at first.
9. Frank Ocean on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s No Church In The Wild
One of my anthems last year got released as a single this year so I sneaked it in. Frank Ocean’s singing over the powerful beat is just plain beautiful.
8. Jessie Ware on Benzel’s If You Love Me
Jessie Ware sure knows how to show her taste. First working with the likes of Julio Bashmore for her album and then working with very young (sixteen years-old) producer duo BenZel covering Brownstone’s classic If You Love Me.
7. Frank Ocean on MellowHype’s Astro
Frank Ocean has got six Grammy nominations and in this song he declares he will wear a yellow tux to the Grammies and rock out with his cock out. We’ll wait and see, while listening to the cool hook he sang for his OF friends.
6. Earl Sweatshirt on Flying Lotus’ Between Friends
Most of us already know Flying Lotus has great taste, teaming up with the greatest artists around like Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu, but together with the young and talented Earl Sweatshirt and himself as Captain Murphy he makes this crazy track very cool.
5. Drake on Kendrick Lamar’s Poetic Justice
Not a big fan of Drake usually, especially not for re-doing Gil Scott Heron and Jamie xx’s Take Care Of You in an ugly way, but together with Kendrick Lamar he sure manages to grab my attention.
4. Earl Sweatshirt on Frank Ocean’s Super Rich Kids
Music sensation of the year Frank Ocean asked Odd Future colleague and probably one of the collective’s most talented rappers Earl Sweat shirt to rap a few bars on his track Super Rich Kids and it’s just what the track needed besides Frank’s warm voice.
3. André 3000 on Frank Ocean’s Pink Matter
Frank Ocean sure knows what collaborating is about, working with The Throne but also inviting great artists. In this case inviting my favourite rapper alive to come do a verse and it’s clear to see why. Such a great verse on a great track.
2. Jai Paul on Big Boi’s Higher Res
Jai Paul delivered one of the most beautiful songs of the year with the lo-fi and soulful Jasmine and shows his skill, both as a writer and as a singer on Big Boi’s Higher Res. Big Boi sure has good taste.
1. André 3000 on T.I.’s Sorry
Not too much in T.I’s style of hip-hop but very much into André 3000’s style of rapping. This is probably one of his best verses ever. It’s too bad he doesn’t work with his former Outkast colleague Big Boi anymore.