Label: TDE/Interscope
Released: February 25

Just as we all started wondering whether Kendrick's reputation would forever precede his teammates', ScHoolboy gave us a tape full of dope beats and aggressive rhymes. He's often growling, often haunting, like Freeway in his Roc-A-Fella prime. "Man of the Year" and "Break the Bank" are the obvious arena-pleasers, and they're obviously successful as such, but Oxymoron leads with Q's funkier foot. Featuring West Coast brethren Kurupt and Tyler the Creator, "The Purge" is, literally, a fire engine melody. Oxymoron is grim, and it's gangsta, without once forgetting to have fun. Ab-Soul's album is out next week. Q reset the bar. Oh, it's high all right. —Justin Charity