Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Raps of 2013

I made the bold resolution to try and listen to more than just rap in 2013. Well that went sideways real quick. I ended up doubling down on rap and was mostly rewarded for it. 2013 was a great year for rap and below are my top 10 albums. Below that are albums I need to spend more time with before passing judgement and further still are the disappoints of the year.

1. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels
From front to back Run the Jewels is a work of perfection. It is supremely rare to find an album where every track could be a single. EL-P and Killer Mike balance each other well and reign each other in from the mild hang ups I've had with their solo work. Album of the year hands down.

2. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
I slept on the Clipse through the early aughts, much to my dismay. I think it is fair to say that it is never too late to discover Pusha T though. MNiMN has some insanely good beats and raps. I can't wait for King Push.

3. Spark Master Tape - The #SWOUP Serengeti
I still have no clue who Spark Master Tape is, but that had zero impact on the number of times I spun this tape. The beats and raps are grimmy as hell and I loved it.

4. Problem & Iamsu! - Million Dollar Afro
This tape came out of no where for me and I ended up banging it all summer. It has a distinctly West coast feel, during a period in rap where styles are blending together more and more. Bumpin' bass and a feature from Juvenile, who knew I wanted more Juvenile?

5. Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Even though it came out in late 2012 I found myself returning to VLaDR all 2013 long. It has great mellow tracks with indie rock bands I have very little familiarity with, but also bangers like the video above.

6. A$AP Rocky - LONG.LIVE.A$AP
The follow up to my far and away favorite tape of 2012 was a bit of a let down. Not so much that it didn't make this list though. Plenty of good tracks, but a few stinkers too.

7. Action Bronson - Blue Chips 2
Action's follow up tape with Party Supplies is loaded with over the top party tracks. But didn't even contain his best track in 2013. Taken as a whole though, Blue Chips 2 kills it.

8. Tito Lopez - Y.O.U
A great radio clip of Tito Lopez from last year got me up on his mixtape from this year. From the opening track (above) all the way through he really shows off his rap talent. I just wish I liked the beats a little more.

9. J. Cole - Born Sinner
The internet hip hop hype train left me way behind on this album from J. Cole. I dismissed it as hype for most of the year and was then surprised by most of it this Fall. A lot of the tracks are hit and miss for me, but over all I dig it.

10. Trinidad Jame$ - Don't Be S.A.F.E.
This tape came out in the fall of 2012 and I dismissed it out right. Some how the Goldeneye 64 laced beats of All Gold Everything ended up getting trapped in my head though. Turns out the rest of Don't Be S.A.F.E. was pretty good too.

Needed More Time
Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
Isaiah Rashad - Welcome To The Game
Travi$ Scott - Owl Pharaoh
Nipsey Hussle - Crenshaw

Kanye West - Yeezus
Trinidad Jame$ - 10 Pc. Mild
Flatbush ZOMBiES - BetterOffDEAD
Ka - The Night's Gambit

No comments:

Miles Logged

Books Read

Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness