The best hip-hop albums of 2012 include a diverse list of rappers with projects that offered a wealth of songs heard for much of the year. Kendrick Lamar brought true lyricism and storytelling with his stellar concept album 'good kid, m.A.A.d. city.' Now that's not to say we weren't impressed with other rap efforts, on the contrary, there were a few other noteworthy releases that caught our attention.

Among them is Nas' 'Life Is Good,' a mature effort from the Queensbridge wordsmith featuring thought-provoking lyrics and sample-based production and Nicki Minaj redeemed herself with 'The Re-Up,' after critics felt she abandoned hip-hop with 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.'

To celebrate the best recordings that were released in the past 12 months, check out our list of the 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2012.