It’s the end of the year. What has happened? Well, talking about music, I think this year brought us quite a few good records, hip hop records that is.
In my humble opinion, album of the year is Drake – Nothing Was the Same. The production and sound design are extraordinary. And Drake is in his zone. More rapping, less singing than on Take Care from 2011.
Another great album is J. Cole – Born Sinner, it’s more traditional styled, but most definitely a finely crafted piece of work, except for the album cover.
The Weeknd – Kiss Land is one of this years favorites. It’s the best record since the House of Balloons back in 2011. Now sounding like an explicit Michael Jackson on a glitchy soundtrack. Real good.
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels, oh man, both Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music and El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure from last year were good, but this shit is even better than the two combined. And El-P’s production hasn’t sounded this tight since 2002. Free download here.
A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP is a great album, Big Sean – Hall of Fame is a great album.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All released two really heavy albums. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris and Tyler, The Creator – Wolf.
Even if you can’t really compare Jay-Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail to Odd Future’s releases, it should be noted that this is ol’ Jigga’s best album since The Black Album from 2003.
And there’s so many more not mentioned here, e.g. A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord, Tyga – Hotel California, Big K.R.I.T. – King Remembered in Time and Pusha T – My Name Is My Name… There’s no women on this list, which is strange, I’m sure it’s my mistake and next year will be women’s reign. I did like Iggy Azalea’s singles during 2013, but there was no album released.
For me personally, 2013 has mostly been about hip hop. Electronic music, dubstep, what have you, well I haven’t heard that many good releases in 2013. Maybe those artist are occupied on tour.
But I did like James Blake – Overgrown, it’s a beautiful record.
And then we got I Am Legion – I Am Legion; I think Noisia are some of the finest producers out there, and I really like Foreign Beggar’s two last albums, but this full length album isn’t as good as expected.
Also Destroid – The Invasion isn’t what you might have thought. Excision’s X Rated from 2011 was the bomb, but this, well, we’ve heard it before and in much better shape. Maybe I’m just being grumpy.
Another big disappointment is Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience. FutureSex/LoveSounds was a perfected pop album, but this isn’t quite as inspiring. (Perhaps I shouldn’t judge this album, because I haven’t even heard the second part of the two-piece project.) Other disappointments were Daft Punk – Random Access Memories and Kanye West – Yeezus.
P.S. Also check out Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap. Download the free mixtape.