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The 50 Best Albums of 2012

24. G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer

Label: G.O.O.D. Music, Def Jam
Released: September 14

G.O.O.D. Music's compilation Cruel Summer dropped only a couple of days before fall began, but the collective dominated the summer with the smash hit posse cut "Mercy," Pusha T and Kanye West's "New God Flow," Kanye's swaggerific solo cut "Cold," and the Hov-assisted single "Clique" with Yeezy and Big Sean. By the time we got the whole album, the major highlights from it were already on repeat.

The album had plenty more heat following those releases. A high-potent verse from Ghostface Killah, whose "Mighty Healthy" beat and chorus was sampled on "New God Flow," was added to the album version. His Wu-Tang partner-in-rhyme Raekwon appeared on "The Morning," another reggae-infused posse jam with a hard, hip-hop tone that also featured Common, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, and CyHi Tha Prince. 'Ye teamed up with R. Kelly for the lead song on the LP, "To The World" to similar effect.

Bottom line, this was an album packed with hit songs, crazy collaborations, and star-studded remixes featuring both new and veteran talent behind the mic and the boards. If anything, it was just too cold for the season it was released in. -DI

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