The Year In Hip Hop: 2013

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-When we set out to do these year in hip hop articles, we tend to look to highlight the positive of the year. However, to say that every year in hip hop was mostly positive is impossible. Going forward, some of the years we discuss may not be the strongest, and there will be more recent years discussed as well, starting with our first look at a year in hip hop for the 2010s, as we look back at 2013. To be fair, the year holds significance for me, as I released my classic album Soul Revival 2 (which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, etc.... you know the cheap plug was coming), and I remember experiences and moments during that album vividly. Outside of my own personal experience with this album, Speed On The Beat dropped his own album "Songs For...", a personal album that set the tone for the rest of his recording career.

Outside of that, I'll be honest, there wasn't much to really get excited about as all the major releases this year truthfully were underwhelming. I enjoyed Born Sinner somewhat and to be honest, Nothing Was The Same is my favorite Drake album, but Yeezus was garbage (and still is now), and MCHG was very underwhelming. No Poison No Paradise by Black Milk was solid, but Childish Gambino and his project, Hall of Fame by Big Sean and Indicud by Kid Cudi were pretty disappointing. What's my pick for project of the year?

Big KRIT and his free album/Mixtape "King Remembered In Time". That project got me through 2013 honestly and each song told a story that connected with me. From "Bigger Picture" to "Meditate" to "Life Is A Gamble", this project was undoubtedly one of the best in KRIT's discography. What about the rest of the year? I'll allow the team to discuss that and more. Let's get into it.

I liked 2013. We had a mix of great albums and albums that needed improvement. Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same” is a solid album. Cohesive and emotional, but it felt that Drake held back on this album. It’s a beautiful album, but it’s not “Take Care”. “Acid Rap” was a mixtape from the Chicago youth Chance the Rapper. The alternative rap production in this album with some elements of 808 would usually make it a daily listen. It does not have high replay value however, but Chance had something to prove with songs like “Cocoa Butter Kisses”, “Juice”, and my favorite, “Favorite Song”. "Born Sinner" is Cole’s best work in my opinion. The release of this album is balls of steel in summary, and showed that Cole can be fearless as he went up against Yeezus in release date and sales. And won. Wow.

“My Name is My Name” by Pusha T dropped this year, which was a great debut album. “Numbers on the Board” and his soft spoken yet slightly aggressive lyricism in this album sounded hauntingly vicious. The futuristic production in this album also must be noted by G.O.O.D Music. Run the Jewels dropped their first self-titled album and this album slaps. It would have been album of the year, but take with a grain of salt, as I think “Yeezus” wins. I considered it as one of his worst albums and I have to take that back. It’s messy and experimental production with Chicago drill teaming up with alternative rap and dancehall music. Braggadocio rap with some misogynistic lyrics are the reason I say this is the album that broke his fanbase.

2013 was in most ways, a HORRIFIC year for hip hop. It is definitely forgettable, as a lot of the music released this year was  horrendous, and extremely awful. It's extremely sad hip hop has come to a time where lyricism doesn't matter anymore like it did just 10-15 years ago. Now, don't get me wrong, there are ALWAYS positives in every year, but this one definitely lacked many positives.

Lil Wayne released I Am Not A Human Being II this year, which had some decent songs, but most of it sucked, and disappointed a lot of fans. Nothing Was The Same, Hotel California, Indicud, Reincarnated, Almost Home, Born Sinner, Yeezus, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, are all also terrible albums. All were anticipated highly by the fans and media and all sucked. ESPECIALLY Yeezus & Born Sinner. J Cole had came off of a horrible debut album, as I had hopes for me to somewhat like his music, so I decided to listen to Born Sinner. Wasted an hour of my time. Same with Yeezus. Waste of my money. The Gifted, another horrible album, released by Wale, was anticipated by the fans, and it sucked, like almost every album did.

Don't even get me started on Magna Carta Holy Grail. Ha. I'll skip that terrible album. Self Made 3, BOATS II, MMLP2, I Am, Knock Madness, Because The Internet, Underground Luxury, are all more TERRIBLE albums released in 2013. We got too much shitty music in 2013, and was even worse the following year, 2014, but I'm sure we will get to that. As I said earlier, no matter how terrible the year is, there's always positives, and 2013 definitely had some. Trap House III, Excuse My French, Long. Live. A$AP, Wolf, Trials & Tribulations, Doris, Stay Trippy, & Trap Lord were all decent albums released in 2013. Okay, maybe not every album sucked, but I'm pretty sure you guys understood the point. 2013 sucked.

2013 was a busy year in hip-hop. Yeezus dropped, MCHG dropped, Born Sinner dropped...plenty of big names released in 2013, but most of the releases that I really enjoyed that year were free - mixtapes - put out by both newcomers and veterans. Casey Veggies' Life Changes, Raekwon's Lost Jewlry, Vic Mensa's INNANETAPE and Joey Bada$$ Summer Knights were standouts, but Chance the Rapper's second release, Acid Rap, definitely was one of the best mixtapes put out that year. In my opinion, only Fabolous' The Soul Tape 3 can rival it for that MOTY title. Busta Rhymes' and Q-Tip's joint release The Abstract & The Dragon was another great free project. In terms of studio albums, I'd have to name Oddisee's Tangible Dreams as my favorite and personal Album of the Year. Ransom and Statik Selektah' The Proposal was another excellent album which definitely deserved more attention than it got, while I remember Run the Jewels' self-titled album really being a very solid project which was highly critically acclaimed.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-While Soul Tape 3 ended off the year properly, the year itself was one that had so much potential with all the big releases, but it failed to do its job truthfully. 2013 is a memorable year in some way, but it doesn't hold a place as one of the best, better, or even a good year in hip hop. And that's a shame. However, the game goes through peaks and valleys, so I believe that 2013 might have been a learning experience for the artists who released disappointing projects.



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