There are several rap albums and mixtapes that have generated a significant buzz in the first quarter of 2012. If you haven’t paid close attention to the newest releases in hip-hop, we have compiled a list of a few that deserve your attention.

Here are the 10 hottest rap albums and mixtapes you should own today.

Stalley: Savage Journey to the American Dream

Rick Ross added a bit of consciousness to his MMG record label by signing Ohio native Stalley. On his recently released mixtape, Savage Journey to the American Dream, Stalley continues to lay thought-provoking rhymes over trunk-knocking production. Reminiscent of the Dungeon Family’s soulful street sounds of the late ’90s, Savage Journey to the American Dream takes listeners on Stalley’s honest journey toward stardom.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Big K.R.I.T.: 4evaNaDay

Big K.R.I.T.’s last mixtape Return of 4Eva was one of the best rap albums to be released in 2011. The self-proclaimed “Country Boy” follows up with 4evaNaDay. The mixtape unfolds in a fashion similar to the hit TV show “24″ as each song represents K.R.I.T.’s feelings during particular moments of a given day. Produced entirely by K.R.I.T., 4evaNaDay will keep his fans yearning for his official Def Jam debut.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Pill: The Epidemic

Pill’s on his own again as a solo artist after falling out with Rick RossMMG label. However, Pill proves he’s man enough to stand alone and create good music with his latest album The Epidemic. His tales of drug deals and crime in the inner city are often cautionary and rarely glorifies the troubling issues that most poor blacks face.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

De La Soul: Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present … First Serve

You don’t have to be old enough to remember De La Soul’s glory days of the early ’90s to enjoy the group’s latest album Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present …First Serve. Presented as a concept album that follows the story of two childhood friends, De La Soul’s latest effort challenges listeners to pay attention to each lyric in order to follow the album’s storyline. While the album may be a bit too unorthodox for many, those who take the time to listen will be pleased with the outcome.

Rating: 7 out of 10

The Game: California Republic

It’s safe to say that The Game’s career is a bit on life support after struggling sales of his last album The R.E.D. Album. On his new mixtape, California Republic, Game brings the west coast attitude that was reminiscent of his debut The Documentary. He’s at his best on the Lupe Fiasco-featured “Skate On.” Although there are a few bright spots, California Republic often comes off as a compilation (Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Snoop and others are featured) full of braggadocio.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Tech N9neKlusterfuk

Because Tech N9ne calls his own shots as an independent rapper, he’s able to create the music he likes without major label executives constantly over his shoulder. On his latest EP, Klusterfuk, Tech N9ne offers six songs that are arguably better than a lot of albums that are 10-15 songs deep. He wins with his ability to spit rapid fire lyrics while telling stories that are compelling, hilarious and personal.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Wiz Khalifa: Taylor Allderdice

The Wiz Khalifa that was presented on his debut Rolling Papers wasn’t the same guy we heard on his mixture classic Kush X OJ. Wiz returns to the essence of his mixtape excellence on Taylor Allderdice. Mostly driven by laid-back production, Wiz creates the perfect sound track for partying and cruising on a hot summer day.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Chamillionaire: Ammunition

Chamillionaire seeks to rebound after years of living under the large shadow of his biggest hit “Ridin Dirty.” Chamillionaire’s EPAmmunition, is a great step at returning to greatness. His melodic choruses and on point lyricism proves that Chamillionaire has more to offer to the hip-hop game.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Mac Miller: Macadelic

Along with Tech N9ne, Mac Miller continues to provide the blue print on how independent artists can sell tons of records without the help of a major label. Mac Miller keeps his loyal fan base appeased with his latest mixtape, Macadelic. The mixtape provides Mac Miller the opportunity to prove that his rhyme skills are legitimate as he raps alongside hip-hop heavy hitters such as Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and Cam’ron. Although it won’t be remembered as the best mixtape of 2012, Mac Miller’s Macadelic is a descent piece of work that will hold his fans over until the release of his sophomore album.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10