2. Vybz Kartel, Kingston Story (Mixpak)
Vybz Kartel had probably the strangest year of any major recording artist the world over. When it started, he was the only dancehall artist that mattered—he could’ve farted into a microphone and called it a hit. As it ends, he’s looking at life in jail as the murder charges pile up, and the tide continues turning against him. In between, Addi Di Teacha somehow quietly released one of the stronger dancehall albums in recent memory. A truly cohesive LP produced entirely by Brooklyn’s Dre Skull, Kingston Story nonetheless covered a wider variety of material than some might realize Kartel is capable of, from protest songs to fairly heartfelt love tunes, and even a haunting piano interlude.
[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/02-Beautiful-Girl.mp3|titles=02 Beautiful Girl]