This week was an important one for hip-hop. On Tuesday, four mainstream albums (and a litany of mixtapes, singles and album announcements) dropped, marking June 18 as 2013's first major release date. So, whether you spent the last five days arguing about J. Cole vs. Kanye vs. Mac or incessantly posting Facebook statuses about your opinions, the best part about this week is that it got people talking. And now that the dust has settled, we can just listen (really listen) to all the new music that was released without having to defend its greatness. That's really the best way to enjoy this rap stuff, anyway.

On the news front, Amanda Bynes killed the Internet after rumors swirled that she's working on a rap album with both Waka Flocka and Wyclef Jean; Meek Mill affiliate Lil Snupe met his unfortunate end earlier this week in Louisiana (we talked to fellow Louisiana legend Turk about Snupe's untimely demise); Diddy announced a partnership between his Revolt TV and Time Warner; and 2 Chainz teased his upcoming sophomore LP, due out this fall.

In our weekly column called In The Cut, the diversely opinionated XXL staff celebrates another lively week in hip-hop and picks some of their favorite releases from the past week. Until next week—keep it funky, rap fans.