Contact Us

The 25 Best Albums Of 2013

A$AP Rocky, Long.Live.A$AP

Label: ASAP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA

It’s the album that refused to be ignored. Despite coming out in January, it seemed like Long.Live.A$AP kept cropping up over and over again, with “Fuckin’ Problems” becoming one of the biggest singles of the year and “1 Train” offering the best posse cut of up and comers in recent memory. Rocky pulled Skrillex for this album, and crafted a song with him that was not only excellent, but made the word “Skrillex” palatable again. His Clams-Casino-meets-DJ-Screw aesthetic made for an album that was as catchy as it was unique, a description that fits its creator to a T.—DR

Pusha T, My Name Is My Name

Label:Def Jam Recordings, GOOD Music

Song for song, it’s tough to put any album in the same category as Pusha’s proper solo debut. In the space of a trim 46 minutes, Push coaxed the best verse of Rick Ross’ year on “Hold On,” made Kendrick Lamar get dark and grim on “Nosetalgia” and even rapped over a beat that seemed impossible to make into a hip-hop track on “King Push,” all while keeping his lyricism at the absolute highest level. The worst song on this album could find its way onto a top ten list. If this is what a post-Yeezus world sounds like, sign us up immediately.—DR

Kanye West, Yeezus

Label:Def Jam Recordings, GOOD Music

Simply put, Yeezus changed the way music sounds. Like 808s & Heartbreak a half-decade ago, Kanye’s musical vision expanded the parameters of what mainstream hip-hop could be, and very well could wind up shifting everything about the next half-decade of music in the process. Whether you’re talking about the sonic force that is “New Slaves,” the braggadocio of “I Am A God,” the raw emotion of “Hold My Liquor” and “Blood On The Leaves,” or the honesty and introspection of “Bound 2,” Kanye captured it all in an album that sounds like nothing else this year. It’s album of the year material. More importantly, it’s Kanye doing what Kanye does best: throwing the rules out the window and redefining what is possible.—DR

Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Label: Aftermath, Shady, Interscope

The return of the platinum blonde hair meant Eminem was back. Three years after his widely praised album Recovery, Em tapped into his former self for Marshall Mathers LP 2. Slim Shady, along with the characters and stories from the first installment, are peppered throughout his latest effort. The Rap God also displays his lyrical prowess on songs like “Love Game” with Kendrick Lamar, the tribute to his mother in “Headlights”, and the old school rap-rock ode “Berzerk.” Em also supplies the world with another Rihanna collaboration that ups the expectations for fans every time their name is paired together. Overall, Eminem proves once again that his second wind is just as good as his glory days.–ED

Drake, Nothing Was The Same

Label: OVO Sound, Young Money, Cash Money, Republic

2013 is Drizzy season. While plenty of hip-hop heavyweights released their albums, Nothing Was The Same impacted the culture in many ways. Drake probably didn’t know his entire album dominated the Internet, with constant lyrical reminders on social networks that “mothafuckas never loved us” or other musings. The OVO general is at his highest point of his career, perfecting his formula of singing and rapping that truly carries the album from start to finish. With 40 in his corner, the pair executed tighter levels of their dark, lush sound that became easily identifiable. The compelling cuts—“From Time,” “Too Much,” “Hold On, We’re Going Home”—as well as obvious anthems like “Started From The Bottom and “Worst Behaviour” display leaps of growth. At this point, Drake knows what he represents and is going full force to stand above his competition. Started from the bottom and now he’s here to take the throne.–ED

Previous Page

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!