Alright so after seeing the Huffington Post's, Complex's, WorldStar's, Pitchfork's, and others compilation lists of the best albums and songs of 2013, I thought I would create my own. Although I can only briefly comment on the content of the aforementioned lists (THEY SUCKED), they motivated me to make my own. Here are, in no particular order, the best songs of 2013 from various mixtapes and artists that you may or may not have heard of. Either way, take this as an opportunity to sift through the nonsense of those commercial lists, and really nail down some of the best true hip hop talent of 2013.
Stalley- "Swangin ft. Scarface"(prod. Block Beataz)
It is almost single-handedly that Stalley is holding down the old school hip-hop scene. Surely an outsider in the Maybach Music Group clientele, this Ohio native killed it this year with Honest Cowboy, and Swangin was the main single shining through this incredible mixtape. The production work is out of this world and Stalley only compliments this with his lyrical content juxtaposing legitimacy with popularity/marketability. Seriously, he has got to be my favorite in the scene right now. P.S. the verse by Scarface is rather tasty too. But then again you cannot go wrong with a member of one of the most influential hip hop groups in history. Either way enjoy this...
Big K.R.I.T.- "Shine On ft. Bun B" (prod. Big K.R.I.T.)
Justin Scott aka Big K.R.I.T. (acronym standing for King Remembered In Time) hails from Mississippi, and you can tell it both in his production and also his lyrics. The young 27 year old is single handedly carrying the torch passed from Bun B, Pimp C, aka UGK, Big Boi and Outkast, etc. and handling it well. Although he is most well known for his production work, in the process his lyrical content has emerged and is just as legitimate. Shine On has this old school vibe that you just want to turn on and think about where you came from and where you are today. "Ain't Nobody Trippin Cuz the Money Already Made." P.S. check out K.R.I.T.'s entire mixtape "King Remembered In Time."
Chance The Rapper- "Nana ft. Action Bronson" (prod. Brandun Deshay)
No words need to really be spoken in regards to Chance's seemingly infinite rise from the bottom to the top of everyone's mind and on the tip of everyone's tongue. Seriously, I saw him play a showcase at SXSW last year, and he was not even supposed to be there, and now he is doing features with Justin Bieber (which sucked but you get the point). Either way, d was voted one of the best mixtapes of 2013 on nearly every blog, and I could not agree more (surprise surprise). Although I could have decided to include nearly every tune on this mixtape, I settled on my personal favorite featuring another up-and-comer Action Bronson. Oh yes, the video itself is seriously entertaining. See if you can pick up on the joke.
Action Bronson- "Amadu Diablo" (prod. Party Supplies)
One of the most anticipated mixtapes was Action Bronson's followup to his highly praised Blue Chips. Blue Chips 2 was released 2 years later and certainly did not disappoint anyone, and instead seamlessly surpassed any hype that was surrounding the newly inducted TDE member. The track I decided on is a lyrical powerhouse spit over the great Tracy Chapman single "Give Me One Reason." Seriously only the great Rick Pitino, Bronsolino, aka Action Bronson could do justice to this super funky bluesy tune circa 2007. Well Action and his fellow collaborator Party Supplies. Either way, great tune, great mixtape, promising east coast up and comer.
Flatbush Zombies- "Death" (prod. Erick Arc Elliot)
Do not be turned off by the name. Actually yes actually you may, these guys can be a little . . . out there. However, I have quickly dubbed them the bad boys of the east coast, they can spit lyrical street-wise lyrics like Joey Bada$$ (who they toured with last year), and can go nuts and act like gangbangers like A$AP Mob (who they frequently collaborate and are friends with). Either way, they are super entertaining and I am excited to see where they are headed in the coming year. P.S. Check out their big hit "Thug Waffles." That was their number one single from 2012.
Vic Mensa- "Lovely Day" (prod. Vic Mensa & Peter Cottontale)
So the former member of the great "Kids These Days" (may that group forever RIP) Vic Mensa is following in the footsteps of Chance the Rapper (frequent collaborator and friend) while seemingly forging his own path into hip hop glory. I hope to god after discovering Vic and Chance, people will stop even mentioning Chief Keef. Either way Vic in many ways is like Chance, but less Acid ridden(no disrespect) and well just functions in a different vibe altogether. Check out Vic's mixtape "INNANETAPE" that came out in late September. It is truly out of this world. For now just sit back and vibe to this tune . . .
Run the Jewels- "Banana Clipper ft. Big Boi" (prod. El-P)
There has not been a more beautiful or appropriate power-duo since maybe Andre 3000 and Big Boi, or hell Jordan and Pippen. Either way Killer Mike's militaristic street-G lyrical prowess could not have been more appropriate for El-P's aggressive, and dense attack and production style. Check this single featuring fellow southern legend Big Boi (P.S. rumor of new Outkast album, NOT SAYIN JUST SAYIN) from their self-titled freshman effort "Run the Jewels."