The end-of-the-year lists are rolling in, and NPR Music has released its 50 Favorite Albums of 2013.
The list includes several Hip Hop and R&B acts, including newcomer Chance the Rapper. “Chance the Rapper, a virtual unknown from Chicago, created a major buzz this year with his critically acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap,” writes NPR Music’s Cedric Shine. “On first listen, the psychedelic beats fused with elements of soul and Chance’s unpredictable flow can be overwhelming, but what emerges is a thoughtful poet who laments violence, instability and the hopelessness his generation feels (‘Paranoia’ and ‘Acid Rain’). Chance’s sound and content provide a different perspective than some of his better known, less wordy hometown contemporaries, like Chief Keef and Lil Durk. But he isn’t always buttoned up; this project is as energetic and fun as it is restless.”
Acid Rap has received acclaim since its release, with Rapsody recently telling HipHopDX that she feels Acid Rap is the “Album of the Year. “That’s easy…” she said. “Without a doubt. I won’t even blink.”
The list also profiled Killer Mike & El-P’s collaborative project, Run the Jewels. “Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and New York producer and rapper El-P, veterans both, each released albums last year that sounded like potential realized,” writes NPR Music’s Frannie Kelley. “El-P produced all of Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music, Killer Mike appeared on El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure and they were reinvigorated, hitting the road together and putting on shows that were ebullient, very sweaty and seethingly critical of the bad guys. And then, as a thank-you to their fans, they say, they made a collaborative album called Run The Jewels. They gave it away for free this summer, and it reminded me of a word I thought I forgot: brolic. Killer Mike calls his words ‘surgical, painful, purposeful,’ but the songs are stomping all over the place. They’re comedic, pressured, wry. It’s like ‘I Ain’t Havin’ That’ and ‘Time 4 Sum Aksion,’ had ten ’90s babies. Now we owe them.”
Recently, Killer Mike confirmed to HipHopDX that he and El-P would be releasing a Run the Jewels album in 2014.
Other albums to make the list include Kanye West’s Yeezus, Pusha T’s My Name Is My Name, James Blake’s Overgrown, and John Legend’s Love in the Future.