Now that we are entering 2014, it’s time to take a look back at 2013. After a very disappointing 2012 in Hip-Hop , 2013 was a good comeback year. At least for Hip-Hop, but for rock and R&B it was another story. R&B was few and far in-between and the labels did their best job at staying away from pushing the albums that were released, with the exception of Beyoncé’s album. It seems that R&B is dying a slow death, but I’m in hopes someone like Miguel or Frank Ocean comes along in 2014 and changes the culture.
As for hip-hop, it seems we are in a transition period and I will have to admit that I like the direction we’re headed. Here is a list of 25 albums that stood out to me this year creatively and otherwise.
25. Big Sean – Hall Of Fame
Can’t put my finger on the pulse or figure out why, but he deserves a spot on this list. A good sophomore attempt from the G.O.O.D. Music artist.
24. Juicy J – Stay Trippy
I was worried about this one, but when it was all said and done this 3 Six Mafia founder did alright with his first solo attempt.
23. Talib Kweli – Prisoners of Conscious and Gravitas
Two albums from Talib this year and both were stellar. I’m still debating if he should have been higher on my list.
22. Wale – The Gifted
Honestly, I wanted this album to be better than it was. With that said Wale stayed true to himself and stayed away from playing copycat. A good album overall.
21. Ghostface Killah – 12 Reasons To Die
With help from Adrian Younge, Ghostface takes his story telling rhymes to another level.
20. Killer Mike and El-P – Run The Jules
I would much rather hear Killer Mike all by his lonesome, but the album was still worth a spot on the list.
19. Brotha Lynch Hung – Mannibalector
In what’s supposed to be his last album but I truly doubt the rumors, Lynch murders and kills everything in sight both lyrically and literally. Nowhere near as bold and shocking as Dinner and a Movie, but good stuff.
18. Tyler, The Creator – Wolf
It speaks for itself. Tyler the Creator just continues to do what he always does. Rep the Wolf Gang, shock and live up to the Odd Future name.
17. Prodigy and Alchemist – Albert Einstein
Back again and better than ever. It was like reliving Prodigy’s old solo album H.N.I.C which was released 14 years ago.
16. Asap Rocky – Long Live Asap
I admit, I found myself nodding my head. I wouldn’t call his album a classic but as far as albums go Asap Mob made quite the impression in 2013.
15. J. Cole – Born Sinner
Not the most creative release, but for his sophomore album he didn’t disappoint. The album was well-rounded and made a statement that he is here to stay or at least for the moment.
14. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
Chance gave us reason to forward him into 2014. This was a breath of fresh air for hip-hop.
13. Kanye West – Yeezus
As far as creativity goes Kanye gets an A+ like always. Yeezus was one the best-selling album of 2013, so you can’t argue with that but the album is a tough listen at first glance. You have to spend time on it to grow on you because of how different it is, but hey it’s always tough for the trend setters.
12. Mac Miller – Watching Movies With Sound Off
I must admit I was never a fan of Mac Miller, but I have to remind myself that he was just a kid. Now at 20 years old, he’s growing and maturing. This is probably his most personal album and in my opinion his best release to date. A great year it was for him. He also released a live album and made the Forbes Cash Kings top 20.
11. Goodie Mob – Age Against the Machine
After Cee lo Green’s successful solo career, he returns to his roots and get the band back together. It’s like they never missed a beat. It was refreshing to hear that old Dungeon family sound revived.
10. Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2 and Saaab Stories
Not one but two great mixtapes from the underground MC. He lit 2013 up with his classic gritty East coast style.
9. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Drake is a statue in this game right now, and honestly I think the album is highly regarding in most part because of the hype around it. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good album, but a part of me wants to say he can do better.
8. Danny Brown – OLD
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan Danny Brown gives us an original style and unique way to tell trap stories. His concept album was a few standout songs away from genius. He gave us an old school cassette tape sound, and tells a story that really makes you feel his personal struggles and mind set in the hustle. Can’t wait to see what he gives us next.
7. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
The Wolf Gang is still making noise and Earl may be the best lyrically out of the gang. He displays lyrical skill and proves he is a MC worth respecting while still finding the balance of staying true to Odd future values and underground sound.
6. Big Krit – King Remembered in Time
One of his better releases, Krit grows a little bit and no matter what he does he still manages to keep it south.
5. Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP 2
Eminem has been looking for his old self and trying to get back into shape for his last few attempts in my opinion. On this album he brings back a lot of the values that his fans fell in love with. His word play and rhyme scheme may be the best it’s ever been.
4. M.I.A. – Matangi
She would like us to classify her music as hip-hop so I’ll do just that. It took a long time for her to actually release it but she came through in the end.
3. Tech N9ne – Something Else
Just when I was beginning to think that Tech was tiring out and his better days were behind him, he puts out an exceptional album blending rock with hip-hop seamlessly and showing the world that he has more MC skills than most. It’s been a while since Tech has delivered this well. He also released a Metal EP last year, that I’m hoping was a preview of things to come.
2. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
Pusha T had an exceptional release in 2013 ,and it may have been his project to date. Critics all over the web and in every hip-hop publication praised it. If you missed it well, there were no D-boy albums that compared.
1. Childish Gambino – Because The Internet
I’m a sucker for a good concept album and this was a masterpiece. Donald gave us a piece of his soul and I believe he did what Drake has been attempting to do minus the radio singles. This was my favorite album of the year.
These were the hip-hop albums that stood out to me in 2013. I’m sure I missed one or two. I’ll let you fill in the blanks and round out the top 30. I’m looking forward to the year ahead 2014 should be a very promising year.