After the majority of Twitter agreeing that “Yeezus”, arguably the most highly anticipated album of the year, turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the year so far, I have decided to compile a list of 2013’s top five albums so far. There is no way that everyone will agree with my ranking, and no way that I have listened to every album to be released this year. I caught up on any albums I had missed which caught my eye from Twitter suggestions and one or two are definite contenders for the top spot. The list will not consider mixtapes or EP’s, I will be releasing a similar list for those types of projects in the near future. This list is applicable to any albums released before the 17th of June 2013.
I wont accept anyone’s argument if they believe this album is not in your top five albums of the year so far. From the phenomenal production (Skrillex, Hit-Boy, T-Minus), fantastic features (“Fuckin’ Problem”, “1Train”) and suberb singles (“Goldie”, “Long Live A$AP”) this album is nothing short of excellent. A$AP Rocky may not be your favourite rapper – most likely due to subject matter – but you have to respect his talent at making a hit-packed LP which is truly head and shoulders above any albums released of a similar style of Hip Hop in this half of 2013.
The fact I only listened to this albums for the first time only 24 hours ago speaks volumes about its position. This isn’t a rash decision. I genuinely hate myself for never giving this album a full chance before, when it was fresh out of its release. Although previously Cudi’s albums have been hit and miss (mostly miss) I do love “Pursuit Of Happiness” and “Erase Me”. That love is more consistent in “Indicud”, especially for tracks such as the RZA assisted “Beez” and “King Wizard”.
A lot of people will argue that this is the best album of 2013 so far, and rightfully so. Tyler’s rapping significantly improved from his two previous LP’s and the beats were as incredible as ever. The problem for me was, there were many tracks which had they not been on the album, “Wolf” would have blown even “Long.Live.A$AP” out of the water. “Jamba”, “Rusty”, “Collossus”, “Pigs” and “Tamale” are better tracks than almost anything created in 2013 so far, but they were held back by “Treehome95” and the much – in my opinion – overrated “IFHY”. A great album never-the-less and one which is certainly a ‘must-have’ for any fan of music. Hip Hop or not.
Despite the fact that this was an album which Joe didn’t live up to my expectations. In hindsight it is still a great album, just a little work could have done with solidifying one particular route, or atleast a better blend of emo-Joe and club-hop-Joe. Any album which features “Runaway”, “Castles” and “Skeletons” is a must have album. Assisted by a mixture of collaborations from Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and French Montana to Slaughterhouse and Emanny there is something for everyone on this album. Just a lack of consistency hurt Joe.
Easily the best bar-for-bar British emcee I know of, Devlin’s debut album “Bud Sweat & Beers” blew me away. Unfortunately “A Moving Picture” couldn’t live up to the standard set, and yet it has been easily my favourite British album of the year so far. The Wretch 32 featured “Off With Their Heads” is a personal favourite which is as good as those on the predecessor album. If you’re a fan of multi’s upon multi’s then you need to listen to both of these albums, “A Moving Picture” is more accessible to the mainstream masses though. So it depends on personal preference between underground and mainstream as to which you should listen to first.
Honourable mention for Talib Kweli, Jarren Benton, Brotha Lynch Hung and Sadistik who all pushed the top five with their album releases. Maybe they, and others, will grow on me and feature on my end of year top ten.
What do you think of my top five? Have I missed out on a hidden classic? Is there an album here that you don’t think deserves to be? Comment any and all thoughts below!
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