A Look Back At 2013 : The Best Hip Hop And R&B Albums Of The Year
Drake proved in 2013 that Nothing Was The Same. In spite of all the critics, Drizzy album was one the fastest-selling rap albums of the year. So, as the haters threw shade, Drake laughed all the way to the bank.
J. Cole dropped about the same time as Kanye’s ‘Yeezus’ and eventually took the No. 1 spot. With singles like, “Power Trip” featuring Miguel, and “Crooked Smile” featuring TLC J. got some major shine and crossed over to a broader audience, both on the radio and the spotlight. While keeping his core fans happy with “Forbidden Fruit” featuring Kendrick Lamar and “She Knows”.
Wale earned him his first debut at No. 1 this year. With the ‘The Gifted’, Wale had a diverse group of artist who lent their voices to the project like, Cee-Lo, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Sam Dew, Tiara Thomas, and even Jerry Seinfeld. This year was a good one for the poetic lyricists.
Kanye West went against the grain with ‘Yeezus’ and unloaded all his frustration with only 10-tracks. Ye as always has stayed true to him M.O. by being as controversial as ever, especially after selling rebel flag memorabilia on his ‘Yeezus’ tour. Speaking of which he dropped a lot of jaws when he had a Jesus impersonator come out during his show. If that’s not enough, Kanye was very vocal for getting low balled in Grammy nominations. At any rate the new daddy has a lot to celebrate as this year winds down with a new baby and fiance’.
Robin Thicke blew the socks off of R&B with his new album “Blurred Lines.” Thicke’s new album was also a massive seller this year. Like Kanye, Robin had and still does have drama concerning the tittle track as Marvin Gaye family has filed a copywrite suit againt singer.
Janelle Monae is a beast. Don’t let her tiny frame fool you. This year, girlfriend really made her presence known and finally got her props from the mainstream. With the release of Electric Lady, she silenced her critics as she pushed out bangin single like, “Q.U.E.E.N.” featuring Erykah Badu and “Prime Time” Featuring Miguel. Prince is even featured on the LP on the track “Give Em What They Love.”
John Legend keeps getting better with time and continues to excite his fans. With tracks “Who Do We Think We Are” featuring Rick Ross to the beautiful ballad “All of Me,” the brotha continues to remind us how truly gifted he is. He also made some life changing decisions this year and married his longtime boo model Chrissy Teigen.
Pusha T finally made his official debut as a solo artist. Although he stays true to his Clipse roots, Pusha adds a little R&B in the mix by collaborating with the likes of The Dream, Kelly Rowland and Chris Brown.
Justin Timberlake was busy this year and dropped two albums back to back with The 20/20 Experience Parts 1 and 2. Part 1 was a monster while Part 2 was little less exiting. All in all, Justin exploded back on the scene after a brief hiatus with the breakout single, “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay Z and then returned the favor on Jay’s “Holy Grail”. They were so good together, they even went on tour performing to sold out crowds around the world.
Tamar Braxton is this year’s prime example that great things come to those who wait and get a hit reailty TV series with their sisters and marry Vincent Herbert. Girlfriend proved she doesn’t need Toni or anybody else to have the number 1 album in the country…..SHE did it by herself. For her hard work, Tay Tay picked up three Grammy nods, including a nomination for Best R&B single for the title track.
Eminem brought back Marshall Mathers with a hip-rock track called “Berzerk,” produced by one of the production gods, Rick Rubin. By the time his single “Rap God” hit, with its unabashed language and unadulterated flow, the fate was sealed.
ASAP Rocky made a statement for Harlem with his major label debut Long.Love.ASAP. He reinvigorated New York rap with with a laid-back joint, “Goldie;” “F—in’ Problems';” and “Fashion Killa.”
Earl Sweatshirt finally put out his debut LP, Doris, a continuum of mid ’90s backpack rap. While Earl pushed the the labyrinth flows of Odd Future cohorts with cuts like “Whoa” (featuring Tyler, the Creator) and “Centurion,” (featuring Vince Staples), he hit a personal note with the cut “Chum.”
Tech N9ne debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts — his highest debut ever — with his thirteenth studio album, Something Else, and brought along a slew of features including Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., B.o.B, The Doors, T-Pain, Trae the Truth and Cee-Lo Green.
Nobody can beat Mrs. Carter’s big year end surprise. After a year of touring, Beyoncé capped off 2013 with her 5th studio, a self-titled album and released it exclusively on iTunes without a drop of advance or notice. Target was so upset about ‘Beyonce’ going to iTunes, they said they would refuse to sell it when it comes out in hard copy. Bey’s new LP includes 14-tracks accompanied by 17 music videos (one for each track, plus three extras). Don’t think Beyonce will need Target one bit, being she’s already sold over a million copies with the digital version alone. The album went platinum in one week, smashing iTunes, Billboard and her own personal best records. Talk about ending the year with a bang!