In this unprecedented edition of Nitpick Six, we narrow the scope and focus on the stellar work of local musicians this year. Here are the six best beats by local artists in 2012. Let us know your favorites in the comments, and we'll sample them, chop them up and throw down some 808 drops.
6. Tef Poe - "Alcohol and Aderol"
Rapper (and RFT columnist!) Tef Poe's excellent mixtape War Machine 2 is well stacked with bangers, but the slightly chilled "Alcohol and Aderol" features the album's best backing track. Produced by Tom Beatz, the track features an old school soul sample, chopped up just enough to give an unsettling air to a song about drugs. And just when the hook drops and the beat is the most settled, well, you probably weren't anticipating that air horn.
5. Ra Cailum - "Al-Sham"
While it seems that producer Anthony Engelhardt stayed moderately quiet this year, he dropped the Ra Cailum Chimbus EP and collaborated on a few tracks with his buddy Jay Fay - one of which showed up in an Alexander Wang fashion show. Fay's influence comes through on Ra Cailum's "Al-Sham." The minimal, drum-heavy track is not as immediately grabbing as the songs Engelhardt released on last year's Finding My Way, but the payoffs are massive. "Al-Sham" is nothing but defied expectations; each beat is unusual, and each build releases into a section weirder than the last. Given the abuse of the predictable dubstep bass drop in so much electronic music today, the unconventional structure of "Al-Sham" is that much more effective.
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