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The 50 Best Albums of 2012

14. Meek Mill, Dreamchasers 2

Label: Maybach Music Group, Warner Bros.
Released: May 7

Remember when you knew a couple of Meek Mill songs, but had no idea who he was personally? That changed this year when Dreamchasers 2, anchored by a few massive hits, broke the personality behind those decibel-shifting yells. It's with this mixtape that we learned "Ima Boss" wasn't a lucky strike by proxy of Meek's mentor, Rick Ross.

On this project, Meek proved that he's a wholly capable solo artist, one who can fearlessly compete alongside the most revered artists in hip-hop. He goes bar for bar with Drake on "Amen," Big Sean on "Burn," Kendrick Lamar on "A1 Everything," and emerges as the most intractable character in each instance. Dreamchasers 2 is when Meek Mill became a star, a truly requisite figure of the hip-hop zeitgeist. -EB

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