Rick Ross, Drake, Wiz Khalifa Lead 2012 Mixtapes

With our awards for 2011's best online release in the rearview, Mixtape Daily selects next year's most anticipated.

Mixtape Daily: Most Anticipated Tapes Of 2012
2011 has been notable for hip-hop mixtape releases. Veteran artists like Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy released mixtapes Sorry 4 the Wait and The Real Is Back, respectively, to build anticipation for their major-label albums. Pusha T and 2 Chainz used their ’11 tapes to brand themselves as soloists after breaking out from their respective Clipse and Playaz Circle roots, while Future and A$AP Rocky emerged as two of the year’s top newcomers.

So with the past 12 months almost completely in our rearview, Mixtape Daily looks ahead to 2012 in anticipation of some upcoming gems.

Rick Ross and Drake’s Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once)
Their chemistry is undeniable. After getting together on songs like “Aston Martin Music,” DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One” and “Lord Knows” (the latter off Drizzy’s Take Care), Drake and Ricky Rozay are planning to hook up on a tag-team mixtape. At first, it sounded as if this was one of those dream collaborations that gets talked about but never executed, but both Drake and Ross have separately confirmed the project. “It’s official, the music is most definitely official,” Ross assured MTV News. “But, you know, me being a boss, I’m trying to find a way that we could put that on the shelves for the world, baby. But it’s most definitely official.”

Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Wale and more took prizes for Best 2011 Mixtapes!

Fabolous’ There Is No Competition 3 (Death Comes in 3s)
Funeral Fab is going back in. In 2011, he took a break from his There Is No Competition series and instead offered up The S.O.U.L. Tape, but on last month F-A-B-O tweeted an update: “There Is No Competition 3 — Death Comes In 3′s…. Coming Soon #TiNc3[." Niiiiiiiice.

Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice
In 2010, Wiz brought us the modern-day classic Kush and Orange Juice. This year, he not only dropped the much darker Cabin Fever, he also released his debut album, Rolling Papers. Next up is Khalifa’s ninth solo mixtape, Taylor Allderdice, named after his Pittsburgh high school. In preparation for the tape, the TGOD captain has already released a smoked-out video for “Dessert,” his take on Wale’s “Bait.”

Big Sean’s FFOE (Finally Famous Over Everything)
Snagging a #1 rap hit this year hasn’t curbed Big Sean’s hunger. Before he drops his sophomore LP in 2012, the G.O.O.D. Music spitter will release FFOE. “I feel like a lot of people who get to put albums out either forget about the mixtape circuit or disregard it. But I know that’s what got me here, the mixtapes,” Sean recently told “RapFix Live.” “I was able to sell out shows doing mixtapes, so I don’t take that lightly. I’m working on the new mixtape, putting real time into it.”

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4Eva & a Day
With his previous mixtapes — K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, 2011 Mixtape Daily favorite ReturnOf4Eva — K.R.I.T. has set a standard that focuses on high-quality production and album-style attention to detail. Now, the Mississippi upstart can boast one of the game’s most anticipated major-label debuts with his upcoming Live From the Underground. But before that, K.R.I.T. will drop 4Eva & a Day as a free online download. “Based off the experience of touring in the past year, I’m creating this free album from scratch as we speak,” he told Pitchfork. “I have locked myself back in the studio — 4Eva & a Day coming soon on bigkrit.com.”

For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.

Mentally been many places, but I'm Brooklyn's own. Hip-hop gives me life!
@RobMarkman