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The 50 Best Albums of 2012

8. Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Allderdice

Label: Taylor Gang, Rostrum, Atlantic
Released: March 13

Wiz Khalifa himself admitted that his major label debut, Rolling Papers, was flawed. More constructive than defeatist, the observation meant that the Pittsburgh MC knew what he needed to accomplish with his next release. Fans wanted music that was informed by Khalifa's pop sensibilities, not controlled by them, and Taylor Allderice executes that.

The production is more atmospheric than glossy, the raps more ruthless than pandering. Throughout the entire project, Wiz unapologetically presents himself as an obscenely rich young man who, despite his comforting stoner charms, still leads a life that's inaccessible to most. It's simultaneously aspirational and relatable.

When Wiz speaks of spending $30,000 a night on champagne, there's a feeling that you can do the same, if you smoke enough weed and talk enough shit. It's a notion that can make any song, particularly the well-crafted ones here, sound a lot better. -EB

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