Another Bootleg Liquor On A Sunday Night release from Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire.
The following lists are strictly ranked based on personal enjoyment. Nothing else.
Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2013
10. Because the Internet – Childish Gambino
Admittedly, Because the Internet by Childish Gambino is his first release that I have actually enjoyed. I have failed to see the appeal to the actor/writer/comedian/rapper extraordinaire’s music but his December release has gotten plenty of spins. Since it has just come out this month, I have had a lot of trouble ranking it in my list. Last year, Big Boi’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors was ranked 5th on my list and in hindsight, that was a huge error. As a result, I am going to safely place this one at 10th because it is hard to contrast it with albums that I have had months to sit with.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Zealots of Stockholm”, “3005”, “Sweatpants”, “Shadows”, “WORDLSTAR”, “Pink Toes”, “Crawl”
9. Indicud – Kid Cudi
When I first heard this album, I was extremely underwhelmed. As a semi Kid Cudi stan, it was unfathomable to me to make a top ten list of albums for a year that did not include a Kid Cudi release (if he had released an album that year). After some time and research, Indicud really grew on me. The main problem with this album is that the low points are as rock bottom as the bottom of a well but there are some great high points. I was also lucky enough to see Cudder perform most of his album live when he came to Toronto and that really helped me appreciate the album more. Check out my Kid Cudi concert review here. To a certain degree, another flaw to this album was the production. However, this serves as a silver lining on my outlook on the album because Kid Cudi actually produced the album himself. This serves as great news for any music he releases in the future as he is sure to improve on his beat-making skills as time goes by.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Just What I Am”, “Immortal”, “Unfuckwittable”, “Lord of the Sad and Lonely”, “Brother”s, “Solo Dolo Pt. II”, “Young Lady”
8. Yeezus – Kanye West
As much as I hate his antics of late, the infamous Kanye West’s discography has to be one of my favorites in all of hip hop. In 2008, he released 808s and Heartbreaks and it wouldn’t be until three years later that I actually came around to it. I was not going to let the same thing happen again with Yeezus. Upon first listen, I was impressed but had no intention to return to the self-proclaimed genius’s 2013 release, however, I made sure to give it a couple more spins a couple weeks later to really be able to take it in. Ignoring the obvious Death Grips influence, Yeezus is definitely a radical album that is sure to push the boundaries or hip hop, especially production-wise. Seeing his live show in Toronto definitely helped me appreciate this album even more.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Black Skinhead”, “New Slaves”, “Hold my Liquor”, “Bound 2”, “Guilt Trip”
7. Wolf – Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator’s Bastard completely blew me away when I had first heard it. Since then, I have become a huge Odd Future fan, mostly because I just love everything they represent. To their core, they’re a bunch of friends taking the rap world by storm and having so much fun doing it, all the while releasing some great music. His second album Goblin left me very unimpressed and my expectations for Wolf were very low. When I first heard it, however, there were a bunch of tracks that brought me back to Bastard. At the same time, he was still able to keep it fresh and original with top-notch production and a plethora of styles and tempos. Check out my concert review for Tyler, the Creator’s show in 2012 here.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Rusty”, “Pigs”, “Jamba”, “Tamale”, “Trashwang”, “Answer”, “Treehome95”, “Colossus”
6. BetterOffDEAD – Flatbush Zombies
Flatbush Zombies really stepped up their game, especially if you compare their first release, D.R.U.G.S, to their most recent release, BetterOffDEAD. The consistently great production and variety of different sounding tracks really attracted me to this album. Admittedly, I am not a very huge fan of Juice, but Meech’s heavy and commanding verses in combination with The Architect’s relentless lyrical attacks more than make up for it. Add in some top-notch guest features and you have an album that gets the #6 spot on my list.
Tracks with four or five starts on my iTunes: “Death”, “222”, “Death 2”, “Nephilim”, “Regular and Complex (GNB)”, “Bliss”, “Live from Hell”, “Club Soda”
5. Doris – Earl
After what felt like forever, Earl Sweatshirt finally released the follow up to his debut self-titled album. Doris really met the young Odd Future rapper’s huge expectations, in my opinion, after coming back from his highly publicized hiatus in Samoa. Earl really has a way with words as his rap verses can very well stand alone in a very poetic manner with or without a beat to accompany them. Similarly to Indicud, the low points on this album were very forgettable, but the songs that I enjoyed were some of my favorites of 2013. Once you can get past his monotone sounding voice, there is definitely a lot to like about Earl and Doris.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Centurion”, “Whoa”, “Sunday”, “Hive”, “Burgundy”, “Uncle Al”, “Chum”, “Guild”
4. CZARFACE – CZARFACE
Inspectah Deck from the legendary Wu Tang crew teamed up with 7L and Esoteric to form CZARFACE. 7L lays out some great beats for Esoteric and I.N.S. to absolutely ravage with their technically flawless verses. The album is filled with comic book references and surprisingly well-done hooks. Once the album starts, it never stops and it serves as the perfect definition of a “boom bap banger.”
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Poisonous Thoughts”, “Savagely Attack”, “Air ‘Em Out”, “Rock Beast”, “World War 4”
3. Old – Danny Brown
Danny Brown took the (internet) rap world by storm in 2012 with his release: XXX. He followed up with his highly anticipated album Old in the fourth quarter of 2013. The album was split into two separate parts, all the while sticking with an overall theme. Side A was more rap heavy and lyrical where Side B pleased his molly-loving rave fans. The album almost felt like two packaged into one, however, there was a strange sense of unity between the two sides. Packed with fun moments, deep concepts and numerous replayable tracks, Old easily cracked the top three of my favorite albums of 2013.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Smokin & Drinkin”, “Side B (Dope Song”), “Torture”, “Side A (Old)”, “Red 2 Go”, “Lonely”, “Clean Up”, “Wonderbread”, “Gremlins”, “Break It (Go)”
2. Ghost in the Shell – Azizi Gibson
Ghost in the Shell by Brainfeeder rapper, Azizi Gibson, was easily my biggest surprise of 2013. The album was incredibly fun and appealed to me for so many reasons. I have explained most of the reasons of why I loved this album on my written review that was posted on the site earlier in the year. Look out for this guy in the future.
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: “Ghost in the Shell”, “Crunch Time”, “S.S.B. (100MPH)”, “PHC LA LA”, “Bass”, “Party Woman”, “Gold On Black”, “Burning Bridges”, “Last Kings (Outro”), “Good Morning Pimp”
1. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
Similarly to the Roots’ album, Undun, in 2012, when I first heard Run the Jewels I instantly knew it would be my favorite album of the year. Killer Mike and El-P rap out of their goddamn minds on this album. On top of that, Producto’s beats bring the album together perfectly. Run the Jewels are all about making your favorite rapper seem like they make children’s music and having a lot of fun while doing it. After seeing them perform the album live at their show as well as hearing their recent track, I can’t really put into words how excited I am for their follow up to their debut album. Side Note: am I the only one that thinks that El-P outraps Killer Mike on this album?!
Tracks with four or five stars on my iTunes: Every. Single. Track.
- My Name is My Name – Pusha T
- Stolen Youth – Vince Staples & Larry Fisherman
- King Remembered in Time – Big KRIT
- Watching Movies with the Sound Off – Mac Miller
Top 10 Hip Hop Verses of 2013
10. Whoa (2nd Verse) – Earl Feat. Tyler, the Creator
“Too pretentious, do pretend like he could lose with spitting
Steaming tubes of poop and twisted doobies full of euphemisms
Stupid, thought it up, jot it quick
Thaw it out, toss it right back like a vodka fifth”
9. Nosetalgia (2nd Verse) – Pusha T Feat. Kendrick Lamar
“He said ‘Son, how come you think you could be my connect?’
I said ‘Pops, your ass is washed up with all due respect’
He said ‘Well nigga, then show me how it all makes sense’
Go figure, mothafucka, every verse is a brick
Your son dope, nigga”
8. Sea Legs (1st Verse) – Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P)
“On the lam in a hatchback blasting some rap shit, trying not to slam into traffic
With my feet on the wheel and my hands through the moon roof laughing
Let’s crash this
See the truth from the womb is a fool-proof plan to be doomed while the damned do they dances
So I move through the room like an animal fooling a master
But I don’t got love for the hand with the food, matter fact I am drooling at that shit
I don’t only bite but I’m rabid”
7. Hive (3rd Verse) – Earl Feat. Vince Staples
“If this was ’88, I would have signed to Ruthless
’94, would’ve had them walking down Death Row
First is when the best go, hate is what the rest do
Voice inside my head told me: ‘Wet ’em if they test you’
So it’s Raging Waters season”
6. Rusty (2nd Verse) – Tyler, the Creator Feat. Domo Genesis & Earl
“I’m harder than DJ Khaled playing the fucking quiet game
The fuck am I saying? Tyler’s not even a violent name
About as threatening as stained windbreakers in hurricanes
But he rapes women, and spit wrong, like he hates dentists
God damn menace, 666 and he’s not finished
And my shit’s missing, he hates women but loves kittens
See y’all niggas tripping, man”
5. Just What I Am (2nd Verse) – Kid Cudi Feat. King Chip
“But I can’t fold, some poor soul got it way worse
We’re all troubled in a world of trouble
It’s scary to have a kid walk this Earth
I’m what you made God, fuck yes I’m so odd”
4. Death (2nd Verse) – Flatbush Zombies (Juice, Meech and The Architect)
“Dunk from the free throw since I was spewed from the womb
Survival of the fittest, I ate my twin in the womb
And due to Robin Givens, I may never jump the broom
And while you pay for pussy I was out in Paid Dues
Stage diving, turned a couple thousand people to my pool”
3. Rage Is Back – J. Period Feat. Black Thought
“You deaf, dumb, and blind
I’m emphasized like I’m underlined
My definition is: I’m undefined
Cause I’m one of a kind, at the top of the line
At the top of the food chain when it come to the rhyme
And I’m cynical cause I’m at the pinnacle
Jokers is ridiculous, they the ones I ridicule”
2. Bird’s Eye View (3rd Verse) – Statik Selektah Feat. Joey Bada$$, Raekwon & Black Thought
“Who lose? If you really ain’t nobody till somebody love you
I say you ain’t nobody till they speaking highly of you
And what I’m sure you wouldn’t want is any kind of trouble
Unless you got a crash dummy or a body double
You got a couple homies down to catch a ‘homi’ for you
Well Imma fold niggas into origami for you”
1. Poisonous Thoughts (3rd Verse) – CZARFACE Feat. Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire
“Liquor all over my liver I’m still sippin’ it
Grab it, guzzle it down like I don’t give a shit
That’s how I fight back like, ‘Life, take that’
Right to the heart that’s why that shit be burning my chest
I invested in all the shit they sell you in
‘You’s a little man’, ‘Sky’s the limit’ all that other shit
Blah blah blah, get a tad older then it’s evident
That you gon’ settle in whatever job can help you pay the rent
Jimmy Olsen and the Super Friends”
- Fragile (1st & 2nd Verse) – Tech N9ne Feat. Kendrick Lamar
Top 5 Non-Hip Hop Albums of 2013
Correct me if I am wrong, but I really feel like hip hop fans are usually confined to the one genre. It can be the most refreshing thing in the world to find an album that you really enjoy from another genre. If this applies to you, try out any of my favorite non-hip hop releases from 2013 to start out if you want to try listening to something new.
5. AM – Arctic Monkeys
4. Anything in Return – Toro Y Moi
3. Overgrown – James Blake
2. Holy Fire – Foals
1. Love in the Future – John Legend
- …Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stoneage
- Black Radio 2 – The Robert Glasper Experiment
The opinions and views expressed here are the opinions of the designated author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or views of any of the individual members of Dead End Hip Hop.
Harlem emcee Kyle Rapps is bringing low budget multimedia visuals to a new level of griminess and fun factor. The quirky green screen-meets-photoshop platform portrayed in his videos is both artistic and hilarious, and is a welcomed departure from the fashionista and weedporn swag that the new New York scene is becoming known for. As a result, Rapps has garnered the attention and cosign of some higher profile artists such as Action Bronson, Mr Muthafuckin’ eXquire, and Murs, who are all featured on his mixtape “SUB” which drops this May. Show promoters are also taking note as last month Kyle was tapped by Live Nation to play a Vice Records showcase at Santos Party house with Bodega Bamz, and A$AP Twelvyy.
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