HipHopDX's Top 25 Albums Of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, HipHopDX looks back at Eminem's "Marshall Mathers LP2" and the rest of our favorite 25 albums of the year.

With approximately 200 albums reviewed on HipHopDX in 2013, we present our annual list of the 25 best Hip Hop albums of the last 12 months, as voted by our editorial staff. With two dozen impressive retail releases from the mainstream and underground, respected veterans and long-awaited solo debuts, these are our best (or "favorite") albums.

Editor's Note: This list is presented chronologically, in the order the albums were released. This is not a ranked list.

Long.Live.A$AP by A$AP Rocky

Released: January 15, 2013
Label: Polo Grounds Music, RCA
Highest Charting Position: #1
Producers: Finatik & Zac, Jim Jonsin, Hit-Boy, T-Minus, Nikhil Seetharam, Clams Casino, Soufien 3000, C. Papi, Noah “40” Shebib, Birdy Nam Nam, Skrillex, Hit-Boy, Friendzone, Hector Delgado, Lord Flacko, Danger Mouse, A$AP Ty Beats, Hector Delgado, Lord Flacko, V Don, Amsterdam, Amanda Ghost, Emile Haynie
Guests: Haim, ScHoolboy Q, Santigold, Overdoz, 2 Chainz, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T., Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, A$AP Ferg, Gunplay, Florence Welch  

Harlem’s latest Rap superstar started 2013 on a high note with the release of Long.Live.A$AP. With production by “40,” Hit-Boy, Clams Casino and more (including EDM producer Skrillex, who assisted on the popular crossover track “Wild For The Night”), Rocky’s pretty-boy flow helped create some of the year’s most memorable tracks, including “Fuckin’ Problems” and “1 Train,” each of which contained verses from nearly a half dozen of Hip Hop’s biggest emcees. With the rising success of the A$AP Mob and Rocky’s continued success as a featured artist, the “Fashion Killa” made his mark on 2013 thanks to the success of his first full-length retail project.

What We Said Then:

“One spin of Long.Live.A$AP., and it’s clear why A$AP Rocky didn’t break a sweat when the album leaked. Debuts this good just don’t come along very often, and it all comes down to the precocious Harlem rookie’s vision. He’s all over the place with the subject matter, but the topics are tied together by Rocky’s personality, which informs his genuine interest in waxing about them.” 

CZARFACE by CZARFACE (Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric)

Released: February 19, 2013
Label: Brick Records
Highest Charting Position: #36
Producers: DJ 7L, Spada4, DJ Premier
Guests: Roc Marciano, Oh No, Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson, DJ Premier, Mr. MFN Exquire, Cappadonna, Vinnie Paz

What do you get when you combine the Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck with Boston hardcore Hip Hop duo 7L & Esoteric? A verbal assault worthy of a Mike Tyson rant. With hard-hitting beats by 7L and Spada4—with a lone production by legendary producer DJ Premier—CZARFACE was a lyrical masterpiece that allowed Inspectah Deck and Esoteric free reign to diss, insult and gloat for 14 tracks. Aided by verses from New York emcees like Roc Marciano, Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson and Mr. MFN Exquire, CZARFACE makes for an entertaining listen, one that harkens back to Rap’s Golden Age while simultaneously reminding listeners that a select few emcees have made it their sole purpose to carry on the legacy left by the rappers that dominated the ‘90s.

What We Said Then:

“For an album that pays homage to pop culture references and an ethos from nearly two decades ago, CZARFACE is refreshingly progressive. Make no mistake; this is very much insular, headphone music. Esoteric and Deck treat rapping as an art form, as each verse plays out like verbal calisthenics. And 7L may very well be the MVP of the trio, with production that makes everyone involved bring their best bars.”

Niggas Is Men by Quelle Chris

Released: March 19, 2013
Label: Mello Music Group
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Quelle Chris, Messiah Musik, Sifu
Guests: Tanya Morgan, Denmark Vessey, DJ GroWeyez, Chay, Bwameeks

In a perfect world, HipHopDX would have proudly co-signed Quelle Chris before catching a late pass on 2011’s Shotgun & Sleek Rifle. But such a world doesn’t exist, and thankfully, that world provides great subject matter for Quelle. He’s jaded enough to ditch inferior rappers in favor of smoking, but not so delusional that he can’t question the point and rewards of rapping (“Addiction Cycles”). The everyman vibe carried through on tracks like “We Eat It” and “Hot n Crusty.” Due to a flood of other projects—and us missing the fact that it was a free mixtape later packaged for retail as an iTunes album—we missed reviewing Niggas Is Men. But, unlike us in 2011, you shouldn’t let that prevent you from discovering some great music.

Wolf by Tyler, The Creator

Released: April 2, 2013
Label: Odd Future Records
Highest Charting Position: #3
Producers: Tyler, The Creator
Guests: Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Laetitia Sadier, Pharrell Williams, Casey Veggies, Mike G, Domo Genesis, Earl Sweatshirt, Jasper Dolphin, L-Boy, Lee Spielman, Left Brain, Lucas, Na'Kal, Taco, Coco O., Erykah Badu, Tallulah

On 2011’s teen angst anthem “Radicals” Tyler, The Creator’s internal monologue spoke through his character Dr. TC, advising, “All this rebellion, you’re getting too old for this shit.” No longer needing shock and awe tactics to separate himself from competition, Wolf was Tyler’s most grown up effort to date. Developing into a fully realized production mastermind, he somehow tied a summer camp story in with his usual themes of relationships and the struggles of fame, not to mention the ghetto’s crack epidemic and bullying leading to school shootings. Left with an unfettered imagination, Tyler also got Pharrell, Erykah Badu and the lead singer of Stereolab to play musical roles under his direction on Wolf, his third tour de force.

What We Said Then:

“No longer reliant on shock value to carry him, Tyler, The Creator has thrown a series of curveballs putting his craft first and foremost with Wolf. The album follows the story of its lead character shunned at music camp for being different (a theme reflecting Tyler’s struggle to be taken serious in Rap), ultimately winning the favor of his nemesis Sam’s girlfriend Salem. Similar to a stage play of sorts, Tyler makes songs from the perspectives of both Wolf and Sam, perhaps tying both to different parts of his bizarre artistic personality.”

Twelve Reasons To Die by Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge

Released: April 9, 2013
Label: Soul Temple
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Adrian Younge
Guests: Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Scratches, DJ Mark Luv, Cappadonna, William Hart, Mekalek, Killa Sin, U-God

The leader of the Black Dynamite Orchestra and the man who’s been rocking tan wallabies since ‘93 join forces on an album based around the potboiler-style plot of deceased mafia enforcer Tony Starks being brought back to life through the playing of 12 records as the Ghostface Killah. Yeah. If you’re in the habit of giving Yeezus an A-plus as an art-house Rap project, listen to how well-crafted and professionally executed this album is and reconsider your grading scale. Master craftsmen deliver masterful craftsmanship (and yes, Wu fanatics, even Masta Killa gets in on the act).

What We Said Then:

“In the archives of Ghostface Killah’s catalog, Twelve Reasons To Die should place somewhere above his most recent releases. Unless an artist is approaching Illmatic territory, it’s difficult to glorify a project that clocks in under 40 minutes, with a third of the lyrical efforts dispensed to guests. Still, the album is a satisfying glimpse into the minds of Younge and Ghostface. Experimental is a tag few artists at his age would attempt, and yet Ghost does it with immeasurable confidence.”

Capture the Sun by Illogic & Blockhead

Released: April 16, 2013
Label: Man Bites Dog
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Blockhead
Guests: Slug, Taylor Francis, Blueprint, Zero Star, Abstract Rude, Kristoff Krane

Illogic & Blockhead’s Capture the Sun couldn’t be categorized as easy listening, but it was filled with quality material through and through. Illogic displayed the type of rhymes you would expect from someone who has been penning bars since the age of 16—equal parts battle-ready bars, spoken word, deeply personal introspection and social commentary. Much like other dynamic emcee and producer duos, such as Gang Starr, Blockhead provided the perfect soundbed for Illogic and a small group of featured guests. For those who took the time to peel back its multiple layers, the third installment of Illogic & Blockhead’s Capture… series was one of 2013’s most rewarding musical experiences.

What We Said Then:

“Overall, Illogic and Blockhead collaborated on a strong release here. Detractors may complain about Illogic’s flow being unorthodox. Others may criticize Blockhead’s instrumentation for also being unconventional. However, both artists bring some of their most inspired work to date to the table with this offering.”


The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant by Rittz

Released: April 30, 2013
Label: Strange Music
Highest Charting Position: #25
Producers: Track Bangas, Five Points Music Group, M. Stacks, Lifted, Kasper Brightside, Coop Take Off On Em, Snake And Bat Music, Matic Lee, Mike Posner, Jonathan McCollum
Guests: Big K.R.I.T., Mike Posner, Suga Free, Krizz Kaliko, Tech N9ne, Yelawolf

Rittz forces us to reckon first with his double-time flow, inspired by his hometown’s fast-talking street anchor Big Boi. But in this debut, his flow exists to show why, before his 2012 signing to Strange Music, his dexterity alone wasn’t enough to garner artist-to-watch status. It pushes him to tick off dumb reasons–pale skin, red frizz–as if irritated to repeat himself and inhale deeply before he lists harsher ones, how his peers have cars and credit cards and he doesn’t. It also adds heft to confessions of how rejection made him restless, showing that despite his self-deprecating streak, he’s now refusing no for an answer.

What We Said Then:

“While Rittz hasn’t yet reached his recording pinnacle, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant provides a thorough impression of his abilities as well as what he can strive for in the coming years. Going on nearly two decades since he first grasped the notion of becoming an emcee, it may have taken longer than expected, but Rittz is finally seeing the fruits of his labor flourish.”

Indicud by KiD CuDi

Released: May 7, 2013
Label: Universal Republic
Highest Charting Position: #2
Producers: Kid Cudi, Hit-Boy
Guests: King Chip, Father John Misty, Kendrick Lamar, Too Short, Haim, RZA, A$AP Rocky, Michael Bolton           

In a manner akin to Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil to become a magician of a bluesman, Kid Cudi also clearly sold his soul to the demons that once claimed it in order to craft this album. There’s no singles here, just an intense and very listenable journey. It’s entirely arguable that a radio station or mass marketer hasn’t cared about Kid.Cudi since Italian electro duo Crookers remixed “Day N Nite.” Indicud is Cudi finally having the social capital and creative freedom to give a middle finger salute to them, the labels, and his many naysayers.

What We Said Then:

“Sustaining an imaginative disposition, it’s fitting that the first words uttered on the album are, ‘Once you realize you can do anything, you’re free.’ Indicud is an ambitious project that KiD CuDi took a blind shot at, and while by no means does he completely exemplify his immortal identity, he certainly makes a compelling case nonetheless.”

Kool Herc Fertile Crescent by Homeboy Sandman

Released: May 14, 2013
Label: Stones Throw
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: El RTNC (aka Rthentic)
Guests: N/A

Homeboy Sandman is such a consistently technically precise emcee, that it’s easy to take for granted the difficulty involved in making his sound palatable. Rappers with no aspirations of making retail albums get free reign to experiment with various cadences and flows, but the age of replaying parts of a song to clearly digest what a rapper said is by and large done. Sandman married style with substance, integrating the type of “what did he say?” bars into structured songs about real issues like our own prejudices—all over disco and funk inspired loops.

What We Said Then:

“With previous releases characterized by a diverse but sometimes scatterbrained aesthetic, Kool Herc Fertile Crescent benefits from a solitary producer throughout. The relatively unknown beatsmith Rthentic RTNC—who has pulled a production credit on all but one of the rapper’s recent releases—provides a backdrop of simple but deftly chopped loops and breaks that feel pleasantly bareboned without being stripped down.”

Saaab Stories by Action Bronson & Harry Fraud

Released: June 11, 2013
Label: Vice/Atlantic
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Harry Fraud
Guests: Big Body Bes, Wiz Khalifa, Prodigy, Raekwon

Classic Rap aficionados should stop trying to get their early adopting homeboys to believe that Action Bronson sounds like Ghostface. Instead, just accept that what Bronson and Fraud are doing is trying to make the classic Rap aesthetic into a timeless notion. In excelling at that gambit, “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” sounds like it should only be played by Red Alert at the Tunnel or when hollering at shawties at the Albee Square Mall. Saaab Stories is a prayer from the streets being answered—a real Rap album in real Rap’s most dire of times.  

What We Said Then:

“Overall, Saaab Stories is the meeting of two artists who push the old Hip Hop formulas to new places unlike other ‘90s era revivalist types who would rather cling on. The last entry in the EP, ‘Seven Series Triplets’ is evidence of that as Harry Fraud provides that darkness while Action raps nonchalant among two New York legends.”

The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me by The White Mandingos

Released: June 11, 2013
Label: Fat Beats
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Daryl Jenifer, Sacha Jenkins SHR, Noah Rubin
Guests: Josh Eppard, Nick Overhauser

The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me succeeded where other Rock/Rap hybrids fail because few vocalists embody the punk aesthetic as well as Murs. The proverbial elephant in the room is immediately pumped full of tranquilizers as Murs dispels any notions of three black men performing in a largely white genre by making race relations and socioeconomic issues the project’s dominant theme. Daryl Jenifer oversaw the proceedings, and while the project bears Bad Brains’ signatures sound, it’s also evident Murs and Sacha Jenkins had plenty of room for cross-genre experimentation. What’s more Hip Hop (or punk) that that?

What We Said Then:

“The Punk Rock backdrop allows the trio to break convention, while being independent theoretically shields them from having to kowtow to a label in hopes of reaching the coveted 18-24 demographic. Ultimately it’s an educating, challenging and informative listen that provides addional hope for the likes of ¡Mayday! BlackRoc and others in Hip Hop with Rock sensibilities.”


Albert Einstein by Prodigy & Alchemist

Released: June 11, 2013
Label: Infamous Records
Highest Charting Position: #175
Producers: Alchemist, Adrian Younge
Guests: Roc Marciano, Domo Genesis, Havoc, Raekwon, Action Bronson

With a bravado greater than his below average height, Albert Einstein found Prodigy razor sharp on the cusp of entering his third professional decade. Giving credence to the on and off rumors of Mobb Deep’s dissolution, the project was completely produced by Alchemist who is generally considered a replacement for Havoc’s role behind the boards at this point. Enlisting the help of Domo Genesis and Action Bronson, Prodigy uses Al’s frequent collaborators as good foils to comfortably fit in with today’s scene. While he doesn’t break new ground with his trademark servings of gun talk and rapping prowess.

What We Said Then:

“Sharing his first name with the famed genius, Prodigy breaks his advanced expertise down to a science on Albert Einstein. Mediocre moments occur far and few in between quality tracks, as ‘Dough Pildin’ is outweighed by the strong composure and focus contained within ‘Breeze’ and ‘Say My Name.’ Though his synergy with Alchemist hasn’t quite matched that of his former duo, and the album is repetitive in nature (a sure complaint for anyone highly critical of his solo work), Prodigy continues his largely consistent reign as a still thriving pioneer of New York’s once thugged-out era.”

Yeezus by Kanye West

Released: June 18, 2013
Label: Def Jam
Highest Charting Position: #1
Producers: Daft Punk, Kanye West, Mike Dean, Hudson Mohawke, Kanye West, Lunice, 88-Keys, Arca, S1, Ackee Juice Rockers, Travi$ Scott, Eric Danchick, No ID, Noah Goldstein
Guests: Chief Keef, Justin Vernon, Assassin, King Louie, Charlie Wilson

Love him or hate him, Kanye West came out on top in 2013, capturing nearly as much attention as his fiancée Kim Kardashian thanks to the release of a new album (Yeezus), more than a few rants (“You ain’t got the answers, Sway!”) and some questionable fashion decisions. And much like the rest of his year, Yeezus saw the continued transformation of ‘Ye, providing us with some much-needed insight into his thoughts on race, high fashion and classism via an album that is as dark, moody as it is electrifying and polarizing. It may not be the easy listening Kanye of old, but tracks like “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” prove that West is still the preeminent producer of our era, while his lyrics prove that there’s still more to this Chicago rapper than girls, cars and clothes.

What We Said Then:

“At 40 minutes and six seconds, Yeezus is by far his shortest LP (Graduation follows at 51:12 minutes). Gone are the scenic bridges and angelic choirs littered lushly throughout his previous work. This one’s an exercise in minimalism—right down to the minute. That’s fortunate. Anger overkill rarely equals replay value. Precisely when the rage is about to spill into repellent, quintessential Kanye returns.”

Born Sinner by J. Cole

Released: June 18, 2013
Label: Roc Nation / Columbia
Highest Charting Position: #1
Producers: J. Cole, Ron Gilmore, Jake One, Ken Lewis, Elite, DJ Dummy, Nate Jones
Guests: Miguel, Amber Coffman, Kendrick Lamar, TLC, James Fauntleroy

From “letting Nas down” to baring his soul about his “Crooked Smile (while TLC back him up so he won’t feel similar to being “so damn ‘Unpretty’ too),” J. Cole’s sophomore studio album found the North Carolina emcee growing into his unique creative voice. Miguel duet “Power Trip” may actually be one of the best radio-friendly Rap songs of the last five years, goes far in discovering where he excels as an artist and deserves multiple spins. Not quite still on his mixtape swag but yet still not entirely mainstream, the album’s true victory is in Cole beginning to discover his lane.

What We Said Then:

“Despite the layered production and varied rhyme cadences employed at times, it’s not a particularly dynamic listen. Cole’s repertoire now includes commentary about how race, power and wealth are all connected—particularly for those in his chosen field. It’s an improvement from earlier efforts (see his reference to the Three-Fifths Compromise of 1787 on ‘Runaway’), which adds up to an improved, but not quite superior album.”

Watching Movies with the Sound Off by Mac Miller

Released: June 18, 2013
Label: Rostrum Records
Highest Charting Position: #3
Producers: Mac Miller (as Larry Fisherman), Earl Sweatshirt, randomblackdude, Flying Lotus, Clams Casino, ID Labs, AdoTheGod, Pharrell, Alchemist, Chuck Inglish, Sap, J. Hill, Diplo, Tyler, The Creator
Guests: Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Loaded Lux, Schoolboy Q, Tyler, The Creator, Vinny Radio

If you genuinely assumed Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park would be followed by a weirdly enjoyable album featuring Flying Lotus, Pharrell, Diplo and production by Mac himself, give yourself a hand. You’re obviously capable of predicting the future. Or lying. Mac Miller went far left for his 2013 effort. He credits a lot of the sonics to his own personal tastes, growth and a lot of time with Odd Future offshoots, The Internet. He mixed the same early bravado and experimentation from his debut into an album that didn’t so much push the envelope as rip up the envelope and throw all of his influences in a blender.

What We Said Then:

“Whatever adolescent deficiencies Mac Miller dealt with throughout his prodigious rise as Rostrum’s second brain child, Watching Movies with the Sound Off genuinely keeps him grounded for a calculated performance that will earn him the respect he’s craved since his Easy Mac days. Miller doesn’t pander for a clear cut radio single, nor does he let the fear of Internet backlash obstruct his experimental approach.”

Run The Jewels by Run The Jewels (Killer Mike & El-P)

Released: June 26, 2013
Label: Fools Gold
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: El-P, Little Shalimar, Wilder Zoby
Guests: Big Boi, Prince Paul (as Chest Rockwell), Until The Mirror Breaks

Rap veterans El-P and Killer Mike recording music together is the Rap equivalent of NBA Live ‘98s “Roster Player” and Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson combining talents in the ultimate gaming experience. “Banana Clipper” is the kind of single that you give young people to make them aspire to be legendary emcees and producers. As a whole, the project creates such a level of euphoria in the listener that the album feels like it’s over before you’ve settled in to enjoy it. Clocking in at roughly 40 minutes in length, It’s entirely possible to listen to this album a tidy 25 times in one day. 

What We Said Then:

“If there’s a knock on Run The Jewels, it’s that it won’t be particularly accessible to those who have been desensitized by hours of dumbed-down radio and television programming. This is especially true during the summer months when most singles feature heavy doses of molly, Ciroc and bullshit lyrics. If anything, Killer Mike and El-P may have raised standards (and expectations) incredibly high last time around. Either way, one has to think the pair will once again find themselves on more than a few Album of the Year lists with Run The Jewels.”

3ChordFold by Terrace Martin

Released: August 13, 2013
Label: Empire Distribution
Highest Charting Position: #43
Producers: Terrace Martin, 9th Wonder, Craig Brockman, Focus…, Robert Glasper
Guests: Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Neka Brown, Problem, Musiq Soulchild, James Fauntleroy, Robert Glasper, Focus…, JaVonte, Neka Brown, Brevi, Wiz Khalifa, Tone Trezure, Ty Dolla $ign, Lalah Hathaway, Snoop Dogg, Punch, Tiffany Gouche

Known for letting music capture his plight in the search for true love, producer and saxophonist Terrace Martin set the pace for adult contemporary Hip Hop with 3ChordFold. Using an all-star cast of friends including Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg (both of whom sung hooks and let Terrace handle emceeing) along with more niche artists such as Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway, Terrace staked his claim as one of the West Coast’s secret weapons. Paying proper homage to the ensemble album style of his mentor Quincy Jones, Terrace Martin has proven he can one day graduate to a star in his own right outside of his strong affiliations.

What We Said Then:

3ChordFold is surprisingly Martin’s proper debut despite a slew of shorter, original projects already under his belt. Within today’s more relaxed acceptance of the term, the record might be considered a “concept album” in its adherence to a single topic and idea all the way through. To be a little less congratulatory, 3ChordFold is a relationship album with a little added nuance. Martin’s main idea, and the source of the project’s narrative and sequencing, is that a significant other can be neatly packaged into one of three identities: a freeloader, renter or buyer.”

Doris by Earl Sweatshirt

Released: August 20, 2013
Label: Tan Cressida / Columbia
Highest Charting Position: #5
Producers:  randomblackdude, BadBadNotGood, Christian Rich, Frank Ocean, Matt Martians, Michael “Uzi” Uzowuru, The Neptunes, RZA, Samiyam, The Alchemist, Tyler, The Creator
Guests: SK La’ Flare, Vince Staples, Domo Genesis, Frank Ocean, Casey Veggies, Tyler, The Creator, Mac Miller, RZA

It would have been incredibly easy (and profitable) for Earl Sweatshirt to craft a shocking retail debut that catered to his adolescent raps about rape and being a misfit. Given the events that led up to the release of Doris, he had no shortage of subject matter. Yet Earl chose to create a project that was left of field even for an Odd Future member. Doris is largely lo-fi and filled with dissonance. And Earl vacillates between spilling his feelings, focusing his dark aggression and playing the background so Vince Staples can shine.

What We Said Then:

“Where obsessing on the strength of each creative decision could spiral into insanity, Doris contains little calculation and false pretense on the part of Earl Sweatshirt. Having rid himself of the once unbridled psychosis and violent fantasies that paid homage to Eminem’s most deranged moments, Earl invites listeners to accept an honest and vulnerable epiphany: his current instinct isn’t to be a fabled Hip Hop savior or to even necessarily make good on his prior potential.”

Stay Trippy by Juicy J

Released: August 23, 13
Label: Kemosabe/Colubmia
Highest Charting Position: #4
Producers: Juicy J, Marz, Crazy Mike, Young Chop, Lex Luger, Baby-E, Cirkut, Dr. Luke, Mike WiLL Made-It, J-Bo, Timbaland, ID Labs, Ritz Reynolds, SAP
Guests: Pimp C, Project Pat, Trey Songz, Wale, Yelawolf, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Jeezy, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky

Recently the subject of Wale’s angry comparison, Juicy J’s Stay Trippy marked a formal return to the spotlight following the success of his major smash hit, “Bandz A Make Her Dance.” No stranger to debauchery, the Memphis legend stuck to his guns with catchy, repetitive hooks about sex, drugs and violence, rendering him nearly iconic to today’s turned-up generation. Any thought of his older age working against him was disqualified as the likes of Big Sean, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown and A$AP Rocky helped him smoothly make the transition from Three 6 Mafia’s reign to a modern solo cult figure. Though Juicy J is no lyrical genius, his affiliation with Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang extends the shelf life of his indulgent escapism. 

What We Said Then:

“From the outset, Juicy J makes a few things clear. He’s making money, fornicating with women, and can’t be bothered with haters because they don’t affect his ability to achieve the first two things. If you’re not into it, it’s probably best to listen to the title of the first cut and ‘Stop It’ right there. The subject matter doesn’t stray much throughout the 16-track album. But that can be a plus if you enjoy rhymes about backstage rituals that include fellatio and moving weight like Jenny Craig. It’s really a preference thing.”

Age Against the Machine by Goodie Mob

Released: August 27, 13
Label: Right Records
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Zeferiah Gonzalez, Cee-Lo, The Grey Area, Jack Splash, Get Cool, QRock, YoungFyre,  Kawan Prather, Malay, Big Fraze, Floyd The Locsmif, Caviar, OZ
Guests: Big Rube, T.I., Janelle Monáe, Big Fraze, V

Goodie Mob terrified fans when it stormed “The Voice” in gold armor and glowing teeth, but then they surprised them with a seismic comeback effort. Fueled by brute force and personal vengeance, the group barks orders at the Dirty South to shape back up, while it refuses to steer anywhere near the gospel overtones and Old Testament-informed grit of its 1995 debut Soul Food. Well, mostly. In “Pinstripes,” T.I. growls slightly through a nod to “Cell Therapy”—“Don't fuck with me ‘cause I’m mental / Like, ‘Who is that at my window?’”—proving that whether pictured in sweats or armor, Goodie Mob are heroes.

What We Said Then:

“When Cee Lo rhymes, ‘I’d rather die than to not be distinguished,’ on ‘Special Education,’ it essentially serves as a mantra for the album. Despite all the futuristic synths and dissonance, the message remains the same. Race, sex, the group’s overall take on the music industry (‘State Of The Art’) and especially how Goodie Mob view themselves in relation to these elements (‘Pinstripes’) are all addressed in a frank but stylish manner. Most listeners will quickly forget Cee Lo was on a network television stroking a white cat named Purrfect by the time ‘Nexperience’ rolls around.”

Highway Robbery by Guilty Simpson & Small Professor

Released: September 23, 2013
Label: Goliath/Coalmine
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Small Professor
Guests: Boldy James, Statik Selektah, AG, DJ Revolution, Euclid & Castle

Highway Robbery plays out just like its title—brief, expertly executed and violent when necessary. Guilty Simpson is as brutal as ever, with the pedigree, discography and raw skills to back up the tough talk he displays across 10 tracks. Small professor peppers in just the right amount of melodies and brolic basslines. There’s no wasted effort as he re-imagines the pair’s own “Get That Pay” and keeps the guests to a minimum.

What We Said Then:

“Together, the two meet on this highway as outcasts within their own genre; once hometown heroes now turned local criminals. Simpson’s lyrics, voice and persona fuse with Professor’s instrumentals perfectly, resulting in a natural product that is not afraid to be what it is.”

Old by Danny Brown

Released: October 8, 2013
Label: Fools Gold
Highest Charting Position: #18
Producers: Paul White, Corin Roddick, Oh No, SKYWLKR, Rustie, A-Trak, JMIKE, Darq E Freaker, Badbadnotgood, Frank Dukes
Guests: Freddie Gibbs, Purity Ring, Schoolboy Q, Scrufizzer, Ab-Soul, A$AP Rocky, Zelooperz, Charli XCX

Detroit has produced its fair share of oddball emcees, but its most recent rising star, Danny Brown, has got to be the weirdest of all. Sporting a gap tooth and a hair style that is as creative as the mind it sits atop, Danny Brown is a character worth paying attention to, if not for his on/off stage antics, than simply for his lyrics, which are often overlooked due to his seemingly out of control personality. But make no mistake, Brown can rap, and the Hip Hop world has finally taken notice thanks to Old. Few can push creative boundaries quite like Brown, who raps about topics ranging from the sub-cultures of hipsters and drugs to his own mind-bending experiences, which often touch on his impoverished youth. Old may not be for everyone, but thanks to a successful 2013, the world will be hearing more Danny Brown in 2014.

What We Said Then:

“The double-edged sword of fame has brought Danny Brown into a world of inescapable demands and a ‘turned up’ lifestyle that ultimately risks being detrimental despite boosting his creativity. As true fans have come to revere his transparent penchant for getting wasted, he is rarely concerned with judgmental naysayers easily made to feel discomforted by his antics. Blending the newer wave of EDM with Hip Hop, he channels the delivery of Triple 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul on the intense ‘Smokin’ And Drinkin’,’ also paying homage to one-hit wonder Freaknasty’s memorable dance hook on the molly anthem ‘Dip.’ Proving himself one of today’s most flexible emcees, Old’s back end is Brown’s furthest departure from straightforward Rap to date, with him successfully adapting to faster 4/4 tempos reflective of the more erratic subject matter.”

No Poison No Paradise by Black Milk

Released: October 15, 2013
Label: Fat Beats
Highest Charting Position: N/A
Producers: Black Milk
Guests: Melanie “Mel” Rutherford, Black Thought, Quelle Chris, Dwele, Robert Glasper, AB, Tone Treasure

How does producer-emcee Black Milk follow up an effort titled Album of the Year? He releases the album of his career. Through an everyman voice, he tells a loss of innocence story inspired by his own Detroit childhood, stressed by his back-stitch approach to wordplay, and R&B and soul-jazz grooves that warp, erode and cave under the stakes. A vintage gospel sample prompts him to trace through his growing cynicism toward Sunday sermons, an event he punctuates with gunfire and foreshadows two songs prior: “Looking for that light ahead, days got dimmer, staring down that dark tunnel hoping that you see a glimmer.” In reality, he shines.

What We Said Then:

“With No Poison No Paradise, these aren’t beats per sé; instead, these feel like carefully crafted compositions that unfold under a cinematic veil of electronic vapor. Milk stays in full control by scaling back the rhymes. He isn’t so eager to rap; rather, he withdraws occasionally to let the music breathe. These visual arrangements set a scene for the words to follow.”

My Name Is My Name by Pusha T

Released: October 28, 2013
Label: G.O.O.D. / Def Jam
Highest Charting Position: #4
Producers: Kanye West, Sebastian Sartor, Don Cannon, Swizz Beatz, Hudson Mohawke, Pharrell Williams, The-Dream, Rico Beats, Glass John, Mano, Twilite Tone, Bobby “Beewirks” Yewah,  No I.D.
Guests: Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Ab-Liva, The-Dream, Kevin Cossom, Jeezy, Kelly Rowland, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Future

The prime of the Thornton brothers’ successful collaboration may be behind them, but for Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton, a rebirth is in the making. Two years after releasing his first solo album, Fear of God II: Let Us Pray, in 2011, the G.O.O.D. Music signee dropped My Name Is My Name, the much-hyped album produced by Kanye West, 88-Keys, Don Cannon, No I.D., Swizz Beatz and Pharrell. Unfortunately, even though Pusha T played his part—putting forth an impressive set of verses—the album’s production team failed to push My Name Is My Name into the public’s consciousness, forcing fans to rely on Pusha T’s contributions to the album (think “Nosetalgia”) rather than the album’s tracks as a whole.

What We Said Then:

“The thin line that separates glorifying a life of crime from reflecting on it has usually been decided by Pusha’s ability to talk about the mind state that goes into consciously choosing the street life. At his best, he’s done this, articulated how vapid the spoils can be or had Malice to balance him out. This time around, Pusha reflects on his escape from the drug game and its often-inevitable imprisonment on the Kanye and Hudson Mohawke produced ‘Hold On.’”

The Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem

Released: November 5, 2013
Label: Shady/Aftermath/Interscope
Highest Charting Position: #1
Producers: S1, M-Phazes, StreetRunner, Vinny Venditto, Eminem, Rick Rubin, Luis Resto, DJ Khalil, Emile, Alex da Kid, DVLP, Filthy, Frequency, Alias, Jeff Bhasker, Sid Roams
Guests: Skylar Grey, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Nate Ruess

Eminem was once a national threat who alarmed the FCC. In his eighth album, he’s his own biggest threat. No one in Rap spits like him still, from a notepad that maps out every bit of assonance in each packed punchline. And no one dared to be as self-destructive either, as the “Rap God” rewrote skits, lines, and verses to shrug off some past targets (Christina Aguilera), tearfully apologize to others (his mother, Debbie Mathers) and wryly confess that some next-generation Slim Shady spat on his onion rings. He eats his words from a revered and career-defining album, and it's impossible to look away.

What We Said Then:

“It’s almost as if Shady is trying to be preemptively self-aware of the fact that calling this album MMLP2 may scream moneygrab—and he’s absolutely right. A few lyrical references to previous songs, an extension of an old skit and a few played Insane Clown Posse references do not a sequel make. In all honesty, MMLP2 suffers as a project when Eminem asks it to be compared to his best release. Sure, it may be one of the better LPs you hear in 2013, but make no mistake: The Marshall Mathers LP2 only serves to tarnish the original’s legacy, whereas titling it something else could’ve just meant another passable addition to Eminem’s night-and-day catalogue.”

7 Days of Funk by 7 Days of Funk (Snoop Dogg & Dam Funk)

Released: December 9, 2013
Label: Stones Throw
Highest Charting Position: TBD
Producers: Dam Funk
Guests: Bootsy Collins, Steve Arrington, Kurupt, Tha Dogg Pound

Since the early ‘90s, Snoop Dogg has (sometimes simultaneously) worn the hats of a gangbanger, pimp, family man and a Rastafarian. His latest phase is 7 Days Of Funk, as he’s come together with California throwback producer extraordinaire Dam-Funk to honor George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic movement and other heroes cut from a similar cloth. “Let It Go” places a current spin on Patrice Rushen’s classic “Feels So Real,” sure to go appreciated by the audience who has grown with Snoop over time. A large proponent of bringing outdated sounds back to prominence, Dam-Funk is a relatively less heralded but no less talented enigma who took elements from Auto-tune, Tha Dogg Pound and Slave’s Steve Arrington to pull off another critical win here for Stones Throw.

What We Said Then:

“In fact, 7 Days Of Funk is oddly romantic—much more so than one would expect from an ordinary Snoop project. But this isn’t an ordinary Snoop project, largely due to Dam’s stellar production and song arrangement. Their musical chemistry is exceptional, with their mutual love of ‘the funk’ being the bond.”

RELATED: HipHopDX's Top 25 Albums Of 2012, HipHopDX's Top 25 Albums Of 2011, HipHopDX's Top 25 Albums Of 2010



  • Matt

    I don't really think A$AP, Juicy J, Kanye, or Eminem deserve to be on this list but that's just my opinion. I really think Ugly Heroes, Legends Never Die, Believers, and The War Within deserve to be on this list.

  • RC

    I'm really surprised Demigodz 'Killmatic' didn't make this list, DX gave it alotta praise.

  • Anonymous

    This sight NEVER mentioned Killah Priest all year. DX must be hating on Priest. Not only no word on PWOWR, but no word on all the lose joint Priest put out too.

  • Versace Stefano

    Get the Security ready

  • Anonymous

    im pissed that these guys that made the list didnt include Something Else and Knock Madness

  • genius

    Knock Madness (Hopsin) and We All Fall Down (Prozak) should be on the list.

  • F-O

    ............. where's R.A. the Rugged Man???

  • Anonymous drake Hov?

  • Anonymous

    replace stay trippy with Tech n9ne's something else and this is a pretty good list

  • Anonymous

    they also failed to mention that 'bad guy' was a continuation to 'stan'. even after they posted the article where eminem stated that it was a continuation

  • Anonymous

    you gave the most disappointing album of the year to eminem, and then put him on the top 25? whaaat

  • Anonymous

    No Deltron 3030, First Light - Fallacy Fantasy, or Hiero - The Kitchen? SMH

  • Anonymous

    Watch out HiphopDX. Wale is going to call your office with a threat... Or start crying like a little girl

  • Finz

    Am I the only one wondering where the fuck GoodKid M.A.A.D City is on here??

  • Anonymous

    Jay Z? Drake? nope list fail ....worst

  • Shirley Larson

    upto I looked at the receipt for $4288, I didn't believe father in law could truley taking home money part-time on there computar.. there aunt haz done this for under 16 months and resently cleard the depts on there cottage and bought themselves a Chevrolet Corvette. go to the website... you cant talk about being retarded cause special people and fams will take offense....fuck that.

  • cruelz

    the fact stay trippy is mentioned makes this list irrelevant

  • Anonymous

    other albums i would consider in the top 25... especially the ugly heroes album... how did that not make this list?? .... and oddisse's tangible dream another great album for 2013

  • Anonymous

    And let me just say this now before the dumbfucks get revved up..I'm a kanye and Jay Stan. And their albums both suck ass. I honestly think it was a planned marketing push to ensure Kendrick snatches that hip hop Grammy

    • YouSerious?

      Are you actually suggesting that Kanye made Yeezus because he was in on a plan to get Kendrick "Best Hip-Hop Album"? C'mon, you gotta realize how stupid that sounds.

  • Anonymous

    Let's get some things straight. Yeezus was followable at best, MCHG was traaaaash. Its criminal to leave Gambino, and sure your little sister likes him, and he don't rap nearly as good or enough as he could, but Drake's new shit was fire. And it was everywhere. I'm mad at no asap ferg and tech 9


    where Freddie Gibbs at? ESGN!!!

    • Anonymous

      It's not good enough. I personally enjoyed the album, but I know there are easily 25 better albums out this year. Can't for ESGN 2 though!

  • Matt

    "The DX Staff tries to give everyone a fair chance to shine. That is why we left that Canadian crybaby off of our list because he's so fucking overrated and can't hold a note let alone his liquor." Did you guys seriously say that? Still wondering how come NWTS wasn't on the list. smh.

  • Anonymous

    I think it's a good list i bought 15 albums of the list.

  • AR

    All you butt hurt Drake fans. Do yourselves a favor and get off this site if your gonna keep crying about Drake's wack album not making it.

  • Tj

    No gambino!!!! Because the Internet came out December 10th

  • gingabreadman

    thank you for not making me click thruogh a million pages like complex does

  • Kizman


  • ButteryNugs

    I'm not overly concerned with DX's list; it is what it is. However, I think they missed the mark by not including Ka's The Nights Gambit and Oddisee's Tangible Dream. Both those albums were amazing, imo. Glad to at least Oddisee made "The Top Projects We Missed in 2013" list. Seeing Castle's Gasface made me smile, too.

  • Cleveland steamer

    YO 3 things my brothas: 1. COP dat new NENE Leakes, that big girl can rap, plus she 6'3 and fat, so all ya'll wanna beat. 2. Both Chingy and Chamillionaire seriously deserve to be in the conversation for G.O.A.T., whole catalogs of fire. 3. Eminem needs to drop that mean puss face, cheer the fuck up, no one buys that hard BS

  • rbgwarrior

    yc the cynic- gnk???

  • Glen J

    Jay Z? Drake? List is wack.

  • night walker

    deltron 3030????? drake????? good list but lists suck

  • RICKY!!

    Mac Miller's album SUCKED! So did his first one. Average production throughout both albums. Shit is all over the place. It blows me away how many albums he sells, doesn't make sense to me.

  • RICKY!!

    Where is Deltron 3030, you DUMB FUCKHEADS?!!

  • OVO

    Also Uptown XO, Deltron 3030 and Blueprint & Illogic are more deserving than Juicy J. Morons!

  • OVO

    Where is Drake?! His album is on every other publication/sites' end of the year list and his album has widespread acclaim. You guys rated his album better than some of the albums on your end of the year list. His throwaway songs are better than some of the best songs on a few of the albums listed above. See Trophies, 5AM in Toronto, The Motion, Club Paradise. This website has become a fucking joke! DX is the only publication with Goodie Mob and Juicy J ranked ahead of Drake.

    • Anonymous

      "His album is on every other publication/sites' end of the year list and his album has widespread acclaim." so what nicca. if every other website said sucking dick was cool would you start doing that too?

  • Bighempin

    This is list is trash Where's Terminology and Lil Fame Fizzology? No Killah Priest - The Psychic World Of Walter Reed who made this list some nerd who doesn't't know hip hop from a cat's pussy!

  • Anonymous

    list lost all credibility by mentioning mmlp 2

    • jkfladjkl

      Eminem is lyrically superior to ANY OTHER EMCEE right now. Apparently, YOU are the moron who knows NOTHING about hip hop. Eminem is still killin it on the mic right now!

  • FLiPDaPs

    Too bad it missed the cut list, I'm puzzled quite frankly list: Qwell & Maker - Beautiful Raw 5stars/Top 5 With tracks like Abracadabra and En Guard along with an entire list of bangers from start to finish. This LP flew directly under most peoples radar. I guess Kyne cast a certain glow over the Windy for this devastingly dope duo went unnoticed. It just don't so right with me. Peep it people. Um in a year of experimental approaches how about Deltron? The long awaited follow up to Deltron 3030, Event II dropped late this year and is every bit as good if not better than it's predecessor. 4.5 Stars My Top 5+1: 1.Czarface 2.Yeezus 3.Mac Miller 4.A$AP Rocky 5.Qwell & Maker flys into 5 undetected and shares the honor with Adrian Young Presents:Ghost Face 12 reasons That's that...remember, art is subjective \m/

  • Frances D. Barnett

    upto I looked at the check for $5235, I accept mom in-law had been realy earning money in their spare time from their laptop.. there sisters roommate had bean doing this for only about seventeen months and by now repaid the depts on there appartment and bought a top of the range Lancia. read this article... wwww.Tec80.Com Other notable albums I enjoyed were Jay-z's MCHG and Talib Kweli's Prisoner of Conscious. BONG BONG AND PEACE TO ALL.

  • Fige1977

    my friend's aunt makes $88 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her pay was $13254 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Anonymous

    Wale, Jay Z, Drake? Are u drunk? All of them were better than Eminems fuck album.

  • Anonymous

    someone tweet this list to Whale

  • DX

    To the negative comments, we at apologize if we've made you angry. Then again, this is our forum and we really couldn't give a fuck if you feel some type of way, so go and fuck yourselves. To the positive comments, as always, thanks for reading.

    • bizzalls

      Wait, you said you "couldn't" give a fuck. So does that mean that you do give a fuck? What you should have said was, "we could give a fuck"... don't be stupid. This isn't DX posting.

  • JG

    Wolf is the best album of the year in my opinion. It dropped early so people forget about it. Not to mention how big of an accomplishment it is for Tyler to produce the entire set by himself... That said, how is the Drake album not on here??

    • Anonymous

      Because DX finally got something right. Drakes album was not very good at all, just a lot of women & homosexuals bought it & idiots think that sales mean something is good. I applaud them for finally removing his weiner from their grasps.

  • Anonymous

    Drake should have been the only one on this list

  • YouSerious?

    With all due respect to people who enjoy escaping reality through forms of media/entertainment (in this particular case, music): Juicy J's album should not be on a "best of" list. Its bad for Hip-Hop, and if people are going to say that Hip-Hop needs to get away from the strutting, the de-humanizing of women, and other bad tropes....then they should not support an album with a song like "Bandz A Make Her Dance". You can't defend that shit when people criticize Hip-Hop.

  • JG

    In all seriousness, what's with the comments viciously insulting those who made the list? Does it really make you that angry? I'm sure you can search around a bit until you find a list that has your personal favorite album on it - this is little different than a friend at school writing up a list and sharing it with others. You're really gonna say "fuck you you fucking idiot, X isn't on the list"? It's crazy and sad.

  • JG

    Hey my dudes - thank you so much for this list. You reminded me of one album I've been meaning to get, but keep forgetting about - The White Mandingos. And I had no idea that Guilty Simpson/Small Professor album existed. Guilty is one of my absolute favorite MC's - one of the few who I will pretty much purchase his albums without previewing them first, as I think he deserves it. Thanks again.

  • Starmani

    U know what HHDX? I like this list!!!! GOOD PICCKS. Eminem, Run the Jewels, J.Cole, Tyler, Mac Miller, Kanye omg....where's Jigga? lol

  • Anonymous

    DAZ & WC West Coast Gangsta Sh*t ??????????????????

  • Cool V

    Shout to Quelle Chris and Ghostface

  • FactsMachine

    MagnaCarta Holy Grail was TRASH and I'm a Jay-Z stan. FuckwitmeyouknowIgotit is the most overrated song this side of Drake's homosexually tender flow. I WILL NOT BE MOVED.

    • Anonymous

      thanks for keeping it real, there's no a legeng like jay should get a pass after droping an album like magna carta holy fail

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry but the Ghostface album was at best decent & the Goodie album was quite possibly the worst of the year.

  • Anonymous

    What about M.I.A album? I kinda that album..........

  • Anonymous

    No MCHG?? Yall niggas is sick

    • Jerome

      MCHG was garbage. Get Jay-Zs cock out your ass. Nigga gets way too many passes because of his status in hiphop, wealth and who hes married to...

  • ol

    awesome thats rittz is on this shit!!

  • Anonymous

    this list was fairly accurate

  • Anonymous

    at the end of the day its an opinion errybody chill out

  • fuccya

    WISH I WAS DEAF. At least for the 2013. Albert Einstein, Highway Robbery & Run The Jewels rock, rest here aint worth mentioning.

    • fuccya

      By the way, you gotta be some kind of gay fascist if you hate on people who dont listen to mainstream, it aint what makes someone a hipster, just so you know.

    • fuccya

      Hahahahahhahah Few have heard of Prodigy and Killer Mike? You trippin? Did hipsters rape ya, why so much hate?

    • Fish

      This isn't my list so I DON'T have those albums at the top. However I also don't just list independent albums that few people have heard of and dismiss anything produced by a major label. That makes you the hipster you fucking jizz rag.

    • fuccya

      Talkin to yourself? You gays got A$ap and Indicud on the "top" list. Hipster fuck, lmao.

    • Fish

      Hipster fuck, choke on a dick.

  • Anonymous

    no "Hop Madness" or "Something Else" these niggas dont know shit

  • Zap Sacever

    No Night's Gambit? This is absurd! I can understand people sleeping on Marci this year, but Ka made one of the best lyrical and atmospheric albums in the decade. This site really gets worse by the day. And what the f*ck do you have with this MMLP2? It's on every goddamn list you make, either it's best or most disappointing albums, Em is there.

  • Anonymous

    Mac Miller is whackest wannabe I've ever heard. Monotone, one-syllable stoner music for upper class white kids who spend their lives playing tennis and rollerblading.

  • DJJ

    Mac Miller's watching movies with the sound off and Eminem's MMLP2 are my two favorites of the year. Other notable albums I enjoyed were Jay-z's MCHG and Talib Kweli's Prisoner of Conscious. BONG BONG AND PEACE TO ALL.

  • A Person

    I liked more than half the albums on here a lot. There are a few that were missing, and a few I disliked a bit, but overall, I did like a significant amount of these.

  • prompt

    Fuck your list bitches, peep this sampler for some sick rappers, then we will see your list next year.

  • 206

    If these are the best albums 2013 gave us, then 2013 sucked.

  • John Illz



    DX, WHERE THE FUCK IS J-ZONE'S ALBUM??? PETER PAN SYNDROME?! Are y'all muthafuckas outta your damn mind??? Idiotic muthafuckas! PLEASE explain to me how you could not put that on your list. WTF!

  • Kush

    How on earth did Drakes Nothing Was The Same not make this list?????????/

  • TheRealCXB

    Where the hell is Nothing Was The Same?!?!?!?!?! This list is crap, how Wolf gon make it and not NWTS??? So disappointing -_-

    • DX

      The DX Staff tries to give everyone a fair chance to shine. That is why we left that Canadian crybaby off of our list because he's so fucking overrated and can't hold a note let alone his liquor.

    • hoho

      Why are you faggots complaining about Drake's wack bitch ass not making the list??? Shut the fuck up!

  • AR

    The real top 10. 1- Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric- Czarface 2- Kool G Rap and Necro (Godfathers)- Once Upon a Crime 3- Ghostface Killah- 12 Reasons to Die 4- Clear Soul Forces- Gold PP7s 5- Nametag & Nameless- For Namesake 6- RA The Rugged Man- Legends Never Die 7- Pusha T- My Name Is My Name 8- Ugly Heroes- Ugly Heroes 9- Sadistik- Flowers For My Father 10- Killer Mike and El-P- Run The Jewels.

    • Anonymous

      'Czarface' is nowhere near being the best, but it's in.. Top 20, I think. 'Once Upon A Crime' doesn't belong in top 50, because it has mostly horrible production IN MY OPINION. 'For Namesake' was a huge disappointment - I haven't heard of them before and I think it was a HHDX review which made me to check it out.. Terrible album. Hopsin's album would be in top 10, but it has some weaker beats and hooks. Eminem actually surprised me with his album, it's in top 10 easily. Not in top 5 though. Twisted Insane's 'The Insane Asylum' is also a very good album, in my top 20. Wrekonize's 'The War Within' is a good one too. The best album out this year is '12 Reasons To Die'. A true masterpiece. It has brilliant production and almost flawless verses. 'Legends Never Die' is the 2nd best on my list. 'Run The Jewels' is the 3rd one. I don't have the time to list my whole top 25 list, but there isn't Kanye, J. Cole or Madchild.

    • hHhHAAHAHA

      Nametag and Nameless??? That album was fucking horrible!!! Are you deaf????

    • Jesse Cormier

      Uhhhh Gambino's 'Because The Internet' is better than everything on this list. Especially MMLP2. Ew.

    • Anonymous

      your list sucks worse then the sites

    • DJboutit

      Any top 13 list without DAZ & WC West Coast Gangsta Sh*t as #1 is a crappy list

  • A Trillionaire

    What's the point of this list? Just a random number of albums that happened to be released within the last 365 days in no particular order? DX needs to grow a pair and rank these albums. Your job is to critique music. No one is looking for a short list of albums that came out this year. Idiots. Assholes. Morons. Dip shits.

    • JG

      DX - don't listen to this guy. Just someone looking for a reason to walk around and hate. Such a large percentage of music sites rank their year-end albums - it's nice to have a break from that, and just have a collection of what you guys really enjoyed. He probably wanted a reason to bitch and complain about "this one being number 7 instead of number 5," etc. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by this list as it reminded me of some great shit I forgot to pick up at the time.

    • Fish

      LOL @ Justin's response. You got owned Trillionaire.

    • Justin Hunte

      We provided our Album of the Year and Runner Ups as part of our 2013 Year End Awards. There's a link right below the article. We didn't rank 25, but we appreciate the interest. Definitely something for us to think about. Thanks for the comment.

  • FAP 93

    No Oakland love? Hiero The kitchen and First Light were both top 10 in my opinion that no one gives a fuck about

    • Justin Hunte

      Unfortunately Knock Madness dropped right after the cutoff point for our year end voting. But your question raises a great point. There's definitely room for us to provide more detail around the process in the coming years. We should do that. Thank you for the comment.

    • bizzalls

      Sorry dog, but First Light album was trash. Like, really bad! BTW, where the FUCK was Hopsin's album?? You gonna go and put Earl Sweatshirt's album, with that weak ass/wack ass production on there on the list?? But NOT Hopsin's album?? Fuck you idiot fuckheads.

  • JMarrs

    This list is sketchy af.


    crooked i apex predator???!! hopsin knock madness?????! piss of dx

  • Da Crip from da WC

    White women are the most overrated on the planet but the System of Racism white supremacy continues to prop them up on a false pedestal. White men will have the advantage with white and non white women as long as the system of racism white supremacy exists to DEVALUE anything that is not white. It is in white peoples interest to keep the system going because they need to control all areas of people activity including SEX. Do black men have the advantage? Surely, they are genetically DOMINANT which means no more white race if the the playing field were level. That is why white people created the system of racism white supremacy, to keep their dying gene pool alive. Less than 10 of the global population and shrinking as we speak. Racism whitesupremacy is a defense mechanism. If white dudes had to compete on level ground they would be assed out of the dating game.

  • david

    am i the only one who thought kanye west album was trash???......i guess so

    • It's Dark, and It's Probably Because that Fucking Mouse got in My Wire Feed Again

      ever heard of main stream rap music?? notice how the majority of them suck to people that actually know music? lol kanye is clearly untalented but he makes so much much money because all of his fans are retarded and brainwashed by the mainstream media...he doesnt give a fuk about his fans lol... all the fans are doing is supplying his pocket with cash that he always raps and yaps about... dmx on the other hand he never changed he was hungry when he sold over 30 mill (with no pop songs) and still is!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    What the fuck???!!! HHDX was on the mark with Juicy J Stay Trippy, but where the fuck is 2 Chainz BOATS 2 and Drake NWTS??? Honorable mention also goes to Devin-One for the Road...

  • Sham

    SOO happy that Drake and Big Sean were not on this list. i like There old mixtapes but there last two albums were very lackluster espeacially Drakes. like the Production was so boring and everysong had the same sound. drake barely rapped on the album so its hard to make the hip hop albums list, and his new "Versace" flo gets so annoying so fast. Drake can spit it, but really didnt put a good project out. and i can totally see how people find it enjoyable because it does sound good, but not on a hip-hop level more on a rnb and pop level. now A$AP Fergs album really should of made it though. like how does strictly my jeeps make it and not Trap Lord? but ferg would of only been like 24-25 so not a big deal.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    All this list shows is that this was another bad year for hip hop.

  • Anonymous

    "Born Sinner is better than NWTS" It should have been, but wasn't. Cole needed to hit a home run the second time out, but only doubled. Drake hit a home run off probably his weakest effort.

  • Anonymous

    Drake outsold all these lames.

  • Anonymous

    no Tech N9ne, no Brotha Lynch, and no Brother Ali, very shocking list but hey not everyone will have the same list

  • NinjaBz

    overall not a bad list... main ones that I think should have been on here that weren't are; Wale - The Gifted, and yes, Drake.. don't care what neone says, there's too many cuts on there to not be on this list. and honorable mention goes to; Havoc - 13 But I respect the fact that they didn't just throw on a bunch of popular artists just cuz their popular...

  • ROFL

    Only @Hiphopdx can have MMLP2 as one of the most disappointing moments of the year and one of the best albums of the year. ONLY HHDX! I love it.

  • d3

    damn, left off jay z, drake, wale, MMG, chance the rapper, big sean, lil wayne, ace hood, talib kweli, statik selektah, french montana, tech n9ne, asap ferg, 2 chainz, dj khaled, and joey badass. not mad at it at all tho

  • Sean

    Where the fuck is Gambino

  • TECH?!


  • t

    So Wale's The Gifted wasn't a top hiphop album of 2013? I respectfully disagree

    • Anonymous

      Yes according to every top albums list for 2013 I have seen Wale has been neglected so maybe you have shitty taste!!

  • Anonymous

    Where's Wale & Jay-z

  • Anonymous

    its so funny to me how people get upset over someone else's top albums list. everyones list is gonna be different. they cant put every album on here so if your favorite rapper isn't on here don't take it so personal....

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    who made this fuckin list. what bout tech nine, hopsin, magna carta, wale, joe budden big sean, ace hood asap ferg. ya fuck drake and fuck kanye

  • azr

    Where the fuck is Denmark Vessey???

  • the saint

    definitely need to check out some of those albums. Missed a lot of shit this year cause I was most of the year in a place where I couldn't get on the internet regularly. I'm gonna check out Tyler, Black Milk and maybe something else

  • DJboutit

    Hands down the best album of the yr DAZ & WC West Coast Gangsta Sh*t why was it left off the the list?? HHDX is now only for the wack azz sawg bubble gum radio rap sad

  • Anonymous

    MMLP2. Simply put: You're wrong.

  • Trollhunter


  • Champagne Papi Life

    Fuck DX! You just lost all credibility by leaving off a certain album.

  • Be real

    If they gon do a best verse list top 2 gotta be Jadakiss - Never Surrender verse and Kendrick - Control one

  • Bizzalls

    Saaab Stories??? GTFOH, with that bullshit!! Shit sucked. Black Milk's album?? HORRible!!! No Demigodz album?? It was a little disappointing, but c'mon man! ILL BILL? Machete Mode should have been on here.

  • just sayin...

    26 albums. also, thanks for not making Drake one of them, his album is not listenable and does not resemble hip-hop in any way.


    HAHAHAHA.NO R.A THE RUGGED MAN. Honestly, I don't even care. Because the production on that album was seriously not that good. It just wasn't. Fuck that dude anyways, he's a bitch.

  • Anonymous

    good to see a list that finally included a$ap rocky and kid cudi. best and most versatile albums of the year in my opinion.


    Drake made a great album HHDX. Keep it real.

  • Anonymous

    lol refusing to put Drake on there.

  • Anonymous

    That 80% pop album MMLP2 is on here but no MCHG or NWTS. FOH.

    • bizzalls

      Whether it's Poppy sounding or not, that has NOTHING to do with Eminem's skill as a rapper. He's INSANE, STILL, on the mic. NOBODY is fucking with him. Dumb muthafucka!

    • anonymous

      lol only track on mmlp2 that's mainstream is monster u dumb little faggot bitch. go fuck ya mama and listen to that jt and jay-z pop shit apologize

    • what

      MMLP2 is practically unlistenable its so lyrical... how could it be pop music, it sounds like hes not even paying attention to the beat half the time

    • Anonymous

      You're joking, right? MMLP2 is more hip-hop than those two disappointments NWTS and MCHG.

  • Anonymous

    This should be retitled as A PERSON THAT WORKS AT HHDX's favorite albums. Hating on mainstream artists doesn't mean you know good music. No Wale, No Drake, No Hov, etc. Some of the cats you're trying to big up can rap, sure, but great albums???? Miss me.

    • Anonymous

      "This should be retitled as A PERSON THAT WORKS AT HHDX's favorite albums." That's already implied and shouldn't need to be stated unless you're a fucking moron. And I'm sure it's multiple people from HHDX that chose these albums. Eminem, Kanye, Pusha T, J Cole all made the list so you can't say they're hating on mainstream artists just cause someone got left off. P.S. Wale's album sucked and theres a reason he got left off every list this year

  • Anonymous

    Wale is going kill himself now

  • Malik

    I also think The Gifted was better than half the albums on this list. Again I'm a fan of this website but you guys are slowly losing credibility.

  • Malik

    I really love hip hop dx and I visit this site every day. But the fact that NWTS is not on this list really disappoints me. You guys lost a lot of credibility with me and I feel like this website is really anti-Drake. I understand that you don't necessarily like his brand of music but you have to respect it.

    • Anonymous

      turn off your caps lock if you want anyone to read your shit

    • J. Cole A Born Winner


    • Anonymous

      i dont even like drake and i agree

    • Anonymous

      Drake has received enough coverage and attention on this website. let HHDX give some other artists a little bit on shine.

  • Drake Til Infinity

    How in the hell is Nothing Was The Same not on this list? It's on every major list for being one of the best albums of the year (regardless of genre)! Y'all should be ashamed of yourselves! The only albums that are possibly better than Drake's are Danny Brown's, Czarface, El-P & Killer Mike, Black Milk, Prodigy and Alchemist, Mac Miller, Illogic & Blockhead and maybe Kanye's. JUICY J?! Really?

    • Cadda

      ''Do you really like Drake that much. Its weird dude, you like an artist that mostly teenage and college girls like. You need to straighten yourself out because your better than that.'' Yeah man, you weren't thinking you can listen to what you want now were you?

    • Anonymous

      rocky and cudi were also easily better than drake

    • Anonymous

      Do you really like Drake that much. Its weird dude, you like an artist that mostly teenage and college girls like. You need to straighten yourself out because your better than that.

  • Anonymous

    I was sure Tech n9ne was going to be on the list when I saw Rittz. but no other strange music artist was on there??? Rittz was good but, brotha lynch hung, tech n9ne, and mayday all had better albums.

    • ky

      rittz to me had the best strange release. Ces shouldve been on the list tho. but whatever it's a hhdx list not some award shit

  • Jeffmau5

    I'm seeing some BIG albums missing, most notably "Legends Never Die" from R.A. The Rugged man, and Tech N9ne's "Something Else."

  • Anonymous

    Where the fuck Nipsey and Dom Kennedy?

  • Anonymous

    No drake...unreal. Hiphopdx you are lost. J cole - but no drake. What a joke

  • Anonymous

    For once, DX made an accurate list. Happy for y'all.

  • Anonymous

    Surprised not to see Drake on this list... Especially considering that Yeezus is up there. MMLP2 was a good album just not as good as the first one. Some of the hooks were a little too poppy.

  • doggfather

    here is my top 10: 10. Slaine: The Boston Project 9. U-God: The Keynote Speaker 8. Papoose: The Nacirema Dream 7. Tash & Black Silver: Blood, Sweat & Beers 6. Brotha Lync Hung: Mannibalector 5. Fredro Starr: Made In The Streets 4. Daz & WC: West Coast Gangsta Shit 3. Pusha T: My Name Is My Name 2-1. Ghostface Killah: Twelve Reasons to Die and Terrace Martin: 3ChordFold

  • Anonymous

    They always go back and forth on Eminem LOL. most dissapointing then best of 2013... MMLP2 is a masterpiece Though.

  • Ill Mind

    Great great great list!! Happy to NOT see Jay & Drake in this... they got enough promotion for their wack music during this year big up hiphopdx for coming with real opinions about music, not about the money spent behind these projects

    • Anonymous

      macs album was superior except for not having club music. i enjoyed mchg more than yeezus but yeezus jst broke so much ground. mchg changed nothing

    • Huffy

      so you really think Mac Miller and Kanye dropped better albums than Magna Carta?? ok, cool story bro

  • mando

    Missing BetterOFFDead,Acid Rap,Because the Internet and Life Changes on this list.

  • Wall Lay


  • 901DATSME

    Czarface n Run The Jews Albums wuz a classic this year.

  • Andoura

    Cool but jay-z magna carts album is missimg a spot on that list.

  • Anonymous

    MMLP2 is Eminem's 3rd best album. 1.MMLP 2.Relapse 3.MMLP2

  • Anonymous

    No Drake or Jay-z, interesting. And Coles highest chart position was #1, not 2.

  • Anonymous

    MMLP2 = #1 album of the year. It ranks as one of Eminem's best albums. It's my favorite behind Relapse and MMLP.

  • tut tut

    No Styles P - Float or Boldy James - My 1st Chemistry Set Or R.A The Rugged Man - Legends Never Die

  • cinavenom

    Oh yeah and also Legends Never Die by R.A. the Rugged Man.


    I illegally downloaded 8 or 9 of these albums I tried to buy that 12 Reason to Die from Soul Temple Music back in April but they stole my money and never sent me a thing and won't respond to emails! So much for trying to support hip-hop.

  • Anonymous

    No Tech N9ne's Something Else? Take Goodie Mobb's bullshit album off of the list and replace it with 'Something Else'. 'Wolf' and ASAP both sucked, Wolf had horrible beats and ASAP's flow made me fall in sleep while listening to it.

  • cinavenom

    12 Reasons to Die was the best album of the year, followed by Saaab Stories and Yeezus.

  • Anonymous

    Wale lost so fucking hard this year LMAO

  • lukeytunes

    Shocked to see you leave out both R.A The rugged man and Tech N9nes masterpieces!