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The 25 Best Albums Of 2013

Childish Gambino, Because The Internet

Label: Glassnote

One of the most creative albums of the year, actor/rapper Chidish Gambino meshes both his talents together for a very innovate and impressive album. He ditches the goofy-comedic rap lyrics with introspective bars that tell a story about a boy who is trying to find himself in life. Accompanying the album was a 25-minute Clapping For The Wrong Reasons short-film and the digital 76-page script that works in perfect unison with his music. The music itself is really polished and well-produced, showcasing his growth lyrically and musically as he frequently sings on records. Because The Internet is a brave album from a young man who wants to be respected as a top notch MC.–ECM

Mac Miller, Watching Movies With The Sound Off

Label: Rostrum Records, Universal

Mac Miller swayed away from his cheesy raps with a much mature experimental sound with his sophomore LP Watching Movies With The Sound Off. Along with several guest appearances from Ab-Soul to Earl Sweatshirt and Action Bronson, Miller improved lyrically as he bridged the gap between hip-hop and party anthems with records such as “Gees” and “The Star Room,” which displayed a much more strikingly viewpoint of an independent hip-hop artist.—AA

Juicy J, Stay Trippy

Label: Taylor Gang, Kemosabe, Columbia

Juicy J plays to his strengths: strippers and drugs on Stay Trippy. Juicy does not disappoint by constructing an album that sheds the underground sound of Three 6 Mafia and uses plush strip club friendly production. He proves his mega hit “Bandz A Make Her Dance” was not a fluke. He also provides chant-worthy, party starters like “Bounce It,” “Smokin,’” and “Wax.” Lyrics were never Juicy J’s specialty, but with his impressive resume on knowing how to turn up, Stay Trippy is second to none.–ECM

Dom Kennedy, Get Home Safely

Label: The Other Peoples Money Company

Released in October 2013, Dom Kennedy’s Get Home Safely continued to solidify his place in the rap game with feel-good anthems that transport you to the sunny streets of L.A. Entailing features from Ty Dolla $ign and Nipsey Hu$$le, the sophomore album made waves in the hip-hop community, even cracking the top 30 by selling more than 10,000 units. —MJ

Run The Jewels, Run The Jewels

Label: Fool’s Gold Records

Sleek, intense and compelling, El-P and Killer Mike took the classic tag-team approach similar to wrestling WWE style for their collaborative EP Run The Jewels. Conjuring up a mixture of eclectic sounds ranging from early hip-hop nostalgic “Banana Clipper” to the rock-heavy “Job Well Done,” Run The Jewels did more than shock—but shed light to a winning formula that could translate into a new highly anticipated full-length album. —AA

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