Tag Archives: Best of 2013

WCDB Hip Hop Department’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

Acid Rap

1. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap

Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper dominated the internet and hip hop scene with his highly anticipated Acid Rap project. With his experimental sound mixing with hip hop roots, Chance delivers one of the most original and successful projects of the year.  

Available for free download > (http://www.datpiff.com/Chance-The-Rapper-Acid-Rap-mixtape.483826.html)

Born Sinner

2. J. Cole- Born Sinner

J. Cole’s sophomore major label album combines insightful story telling with compelling instrumentals to provide a standout album. Born Sinner delivers what some (Nas) felt his debut was lacking.

Yeezus

3. Kanye West – Yeezus

The most controversial figure in music today unsurprisingly delivered one of the most interesting albums of 2013. With production help from the likes of Daft Punk and Rick Rubin, Kanye heads into uncharted territory.

My Name Is My Name

4. Pusha T -My Name is My Name

After much delay, one half of the Clipse released his major label debut as a solo artist. His debut is concise collection of some of the finest crafted verses 2013 with orchestrated beats by Kanye West, The Dream, and more.

Run the Jewels

5. Killer Mike and El-P – Run the Jewels

The continued pairing of  these hip hop veterans has lead to one of the finest works of their respective careers and of the year 2013. With production almost entirely by El-P, this project delivers for true fans of lyricism.

Nothing was the same

6. Drake – Nothing Was the Same

The native Canadian and best-selling artist released his 3rd major label album in 2013. Combining stellar production,  lyrical insight, and some of the catchiest melodies of the year. Drake proves why is he the only artist who pressures Kanye West’s position.

The Beauty In All

7. Oddisee- The Beauty in All/ Tangible Dream

Hailing from Washington D.C., Oddisee shows why he is truly a hip hop ARTIST. In 2013 he released The Beauty In All, which had the instrumental style behind it. While The Tangible Dream exhibited Oddisee’s lyrical prowess.

Almost Home

8. Masai – Almost Home

Metroland’s 2013 Best Rapper in the Capital Region released his the third album in his “Almost” series titled Almost Home. The album delivers an introspective look at his life with  fresh lyrical delivery. Check out the video for his single “Dear Masai” > (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk3g78gLlZ4)

marco-polo-pa-2-the-directors-cut

9. Marco Polo- PA 2: The Director’s Cut

Hip Hop produce extraordinaire Marco Polo released the follow up to 2007s Port Authority this year. The project features some op the top lyricists in the game laying vocals over some of the finest boom bap of 2013. Features include Talib Kweli, Masta Ace, Styles P and The Doppelgangaz.

Pete ROck

10.Pete Rock & Camp Lo- 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s Pt.2

Hip Hop veterans Pete Rock and Camp Lo deliver another barrage of hip hop with features by Talib Kweli, M.O.P. and Ab-Soul

Kyle’s Best of 2013

2013 wasn’t an amazing year for music, but a lot of cool things did happen. There were artists who re-emerged on the scene in Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and The Pixies, and then there was a movement headed by Daft Punk and Arcade Fire to try and revive disco in a modernized way. The reason for my semi-disappointment is that a lot of the artist’s efforts this year to set a new standard for their peers failed in my eyes to create something overly significant and lasting (with one exception). Motives aside, and favoritism thrown out the window, here are my top 25 albums to get released in 2013

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220px-Lousycover

25. Of Montreal- Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Grade: B

I’m really interested to know if this album’s stripped down and more accessible approach was a choice made by Barnes or his management. A part of me hates it because I view him as one of the most fascinating artists out there and really enjoy hearing what he creates when he tries to make electronic masterpieces, but Lousy With Sylvianbriar serves as a reminder to earlier Of Montreal days when he made his living off making pretty pop songs and displayed his thoughts in a less bizarre way.

Track Pick: “Triumph of Disintegration

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24. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin

Release Date: April 16, 2013

Grade: B

One of the better noisy rock albums that came out this year, Thee Oh Sees is a band that must be an absolute blast to see live and tries to capture that energy on the album. When that does happen it’s an awesome thing to hear, but it happens inconsistently as interest tends to fade during the second half of the album, but there are some gems on it like the one suggested below in “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”.

Track Pick: “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster

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Afraid of Heights

23. Wavves- Afraid of Heights

Release Date: March 16, 2013

Grade: B

I like listening to Wavves because their music is fun, and that’s why Afraid of Heights gets mentioned here despite it’s struggle to be substantial. They can do much better than this and have shown potential to write interesting songs, but they haven’t quite gotten to their peak yet in my opinion and I’m hopeful that they do soon.

Track Pick: “Cop

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22. The National- Trouble Will Find Me

Release Date: May 17, 2013
Grade: B

The product was still good on Trouble Will Find Me, but it’s a difficult one to get inspired by because it sounds uninspired in comparison to the previous three releases. I do enjoy Berninger’s delivery and cadence in their music a lot though, and it appears that even a sub-par record by The National is a quality album when you compare it to it’s peers.

Track Pick: “Don’t Swallow the Cap

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peace-in-love-album-leak21. Peace- In Love

Release Date: March 25, 2013

Grade: B+

This was the debut album for the group and it was a great success by a lot of standards. Their sound has evolved already from their first EP, and In Love is a more consistent album than most bands will achieve in their entire discography, let alone on their debut. This group has a ton of potential but I still have some questions about which genre they ultimately gravitate towards, because they’re stuck in between pop and rock right now and that’s not a good place for them to be because they’re completely different approaches.

Track Pick: “California Daze

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Continue reading Kyle’s Best of 2013