Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2013
New rules, new slaves, new mobs and gangs, and more ways of soul searching. That was 2013.
There's no denying hip-hop stuck its chest out with enough bravado that would make Michael Jordan believe you were challenging his throne. Who else but Jay Z could sell one million albums BEFORE it was released? Yeah, Beyonce sold 800,000 over albums in a few hours out of no where, but that was just taken out of Kanye's playbook after announcing Yeezus a month before its release with drive-in-styled showings of "New Slaves" across the country being its primary source of marketing while doing battle with J. Cole on the same release date.
The tours? Forget it. Jay Z and Justin Timberlake. Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar. Drake and Future. A$AP Rocky opened for Rihanna. Hell, Maybach Music Group had their own weekend in Miami. And then there were the albums. Coming off the tail-end of 2012, detained by Kendrick Lamar's classic good kid, m.A.A.d city, A$AP Rocky introduced 2013 to his highly anticipated debut album, Long.Live.A$AP. Aside from the overflow of mixtapes, many of them providing album-worthy recognition (see Acid Drop) and another Lil Wayne album, momentum didn't gain much steam until the summer when artists provided charitable amounts of ear candy.
So with no further adieu, we bring you the top hip-hop albums of 2013. That's right, albums, no mixtapes on this list. Let the all out debate wars commence!
1. Kanye West - Yeezus
So brash. So disrespectful. So arrogant. So ingenious. No one saw it coming, at least not until about a month in advance. You either understood it or you didn't. With Rick Ruben by his side, Kanye gave many what they didn't want, and he knew it. Escaping the complacency of producing more "Gold Diggers" and "Can't Tell Me Nothings," the catering to the masses, he added two gracious middle fingers worth of caring in the process. Yeezus was heralded as not only the best hip-hop album of the year, but the probably the best overall oeuvre of 2013, even if the Grammys doesn't think so.
2. Pusha T - My Name Is My Name
Today's "coke" rap is nothing without the Clipse. But after his "better half chose a better path," and what seemed like a longer wait than a line outside of Wal-Mart on Black Friday, Pusha T arrived. He evoked the bravado, street chic and Rick Flair-glamorized drug dealing lifestyle in "Numbers On The Board," contrasted fade-to-black pitfalls in "S.N.I.T.C.H." He installed the right features on the right songs and wasn't outperformed by them, not even by Kendrick Lamar on "Nosetalgia," Pusha's MNIMN made the setbacks worth the wait.