The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013


Just as there were plenty of albums to choose from, there were a lot of mixtapes that dominated our playlists in 2013. For one reason or another, this year marked an influx of new and hungry MCs who all wanted to make a statement with their projects. Some of them—like Chance The Rapper—created entire movements and became full-blown rap stars over twelve months. Others got listeners checking into their regional buzzes, while a number of hip-hop heavyweights fed their loyal fanbases with classics.

In continuing our review of 2013, we’ve sifted through hundreds of mixtapes and narrowed it down to our favorites. These tapes aren’t in any order—we just wanted to share what we’ve been listening to. Looking back this year, MCs like Action Bronson, Nipsey Hu$$le and Vic Mensa reminded us that a great tape is vital to winning over fans. And unlike an album’s pressure to perform at a certain caliber, mixtapes are often unrefined and experimental, which make them perfection additions in an artist’s catalog. So, from Acid Rap to Signed To The Streets, here are The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013.—Written By Eric Diep, Andrew Asare, Miranda Johnson, Emmanuel C.M. & Dan Rys

Previously: The 25 Best Albums Of 2013
Previously: Craziest Moments Of The Year (That Didn’t Involve Kanye West)
Previously: Jay Z’s Top Moments In 2013

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Best of XXL


    Vinny Cha$e King’s Landing – CHEER$

  • BrianRaider

    OMG-This Years Mixtape Releases Fucks Over The Official LP’s By Far. Can I Say That? Fuck That!!! Wow!!! Great Job Guys!!! Wow!!! Favorite Tape Of The Year-Owl Pharaoh! Favorite Trav Song-Qunitana Or Drive!!! Honorable Mention-Troy Ave!!! Where Is That Here? O Well Y’all Did Great Anyways!!!! Really Enjoyed The Cam & Acid Rap Won Me Over Also!!! “Y’all Taught Me How To Go Hunting… BLAM!!!” Vic Mensa Has The Best Feature On CBK Off Acid Rap!!! Shoutz Out To Cam For Coming Back!!! This Shit Is Ill Man!!!

  • Kaden

    Really xxl? Logic’s Tape “Welcome to Forever” didn’t make this list, but young scooter, and waka flocka did? WTF?!

  • Bob Saget

    seriously no Welcome to Forever tho??? how yall place half this trash above Logic

  • New Jack Stacks

    No Curren$y and Young Roddy – BALES ?

  • Func

    Hell man even Starlito’s new insomnia addict tape should have topped some of these… kinda looks like xxl is selling the slots on these lists eh?

  • Devin Thompson

    Where the hell is Welcome to Forever? how is Waka on this but not Logic? Im dissapointed XXL

    • HooverDaaayum

      Thank you ^^

  • jetlife

    pretty good list..missing VICES, Stolen Youth, Ketchup, Delusional thomas & a few others..but D5? gtfo

  • Mr. Propane

    No Welcome to Forever? WTF? What about New Jet City? Smh yall slippin’

    • HooverDaaayum

      I know right

  • Ardinho

    Stolen Youth – Vince Staples & Larry Fisherman

  • Ya Missed One… Or Two

    Serial Killers’ “Serial Killers Volume 1″ should have made it to the top of this list. The gritty beats; quality features from both Hopsin and John Connor; and the chemistry between Xzibit, B-Real, and Demrick make this mixtape a must listen. I also agree that Welcome to Forever should have beat out a few of these mixtapes

  • Mike

    So New Jet City not on here but Migos, Young Scooter & some other bullshit is acceptable.

  • ks

    Drake isn’t all Toronto”s got, there’s plenty more of that….

  • GOATmaybe

    You Guys realize Welcome to forever got downloaded more times than all but four of these mixtapes. Juelz, Puha T, Meek Mill, and Wayne’s tapes got downloaded more. Not sure about Joey. Still though. I’m not saying it’s the best but it should be mentioned.

    • HooverDaaayum

      exactly, Welcome to Forever was raw AF how could you guys miss that…


    No conflicts of my soul??? No new jet city??? Ahhh!

  • jayden denasse

    how is lloyd banks not on this list?

  • MC Crae

    XXL just want their freshman on the list to say “see? These guys had great years!”

    • StatusQ

      Logic is an XXL Freshman this year, though, and he wasn’t mentioned. He had by far one of the most stand out mixtapes of this year. It almost isn’t even comparable to a lot of these.

    • HooverDaaayum

      @StatusQ totally agree with you, his mixtape was basically an album in my book…after all Logic is my favorite artist

  • Andy

    Welcome To Forever and Machine Gun Kelly’s Black Flag really need to be on this list.

  • Neezy

    LOL at Lil Wayne, Future and Waka Flocka being added. What a joke.

    • HooverDaaayum

      Lil Wayne just sucks, i dont know how he gets so much praise and attention

    • vvcx

      lol at you, Y.R.N top five mixtape of 2013

  • Ramon Rojo

    Travis Scott is the most overrated trash i ever heard anything that Kanye or Jigga cosign is overhyped like crazy this list is trash except Joey KRIT Zombies and a couple of others

  • HooverDaaayum

    How isnt Welcome to Forever on here…by far the best mixtape that came out this year

  • TheBlanton

    Dizzy Wright – The Golden Age, The Underachievers – Indigoism, Wyclef Jean – April Showers, Kevin Gates – Stranger Than Fiction (free album technically not a mixtape but I think it counts). You missed 4 of the top 5 mixtapes of the year (with Chance the Rapper being the obvious #1).

  • Listen to it

    Maine Skrapp: I Got The Juice Now…I promise u won’t be disappointed

  • Coby

    Cj Fly was slept on

  • CRB

    Love the top 5 except for Lil Durk

  • Rick DeHonney

    I’m a logic fan but “welcome to forever” was not that dope. Young Sinatra is the last tape he made that was really good everything since then has been average at best

    • ron301

      you have no idea what you’re talkng about hes improved with each mixtape in every facet

  • JMMP

    no logic “welcome to forever” and no dizzy wright’s “the golden age”???
    tell me this is a joke

  • ujuju

    Logic, Curren$y & especially Stalley’s tapes were missing.


    Where is the hustle gang’s tape ? I love that mix, it deserve a place in this list..

  • ron301

    welcome to forever was hands down the best mixtape of the year..this list is brutal

  • JusCallMeBag

    Some of these mixtapes were questionable at best… But good looks 100x for that CV Life Changes nod. That tape was gold…

  • trakstarz

    You guys haven’t wait on FABOLOUS SOUL TAPE 3. That’s the mixtape of the year

  • Kysuan Lewis

    Starlito not on here doe???

  • Miike

    Where is Troy Ave “New York City”?