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The 50 Best Albums of 2012 (So Far)

21. KA, Grief Pedigree

Label: Iron Works
Released: February 13th

Throwback rap. Yuck. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Children chasing the aesthetic of an era they never knew or has-beens desperately trying to re-ignite their flames. Both, more often than not, with the effectiveness of damp matches. However, Ka, a '90s rap never-was who's often unfairly lumped into this category, is truly altogether different. His music is evocative of a time-his prime-yet what he's offering is absolutely new.

A 39-year-old man, Ka spends his uniquely compelling debut, Grief Pedigree, eschewing generic '90s fly talk to articulate 20 years of real life with precision, consideration, and most notably perspective. And he does it over a body of self-produced beats that, again, may on first listen sound like they were unearthed from a 1995 Havoc beat tape, but are, in fact, absolutely new. The future has a past.

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