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The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013

Yelawolf, Trunk Muzik Returns

Yelawolf has kept a low profile in terms of putting out a follow-up to Radioactive. To hold his fans down, the Alabama rapper went back to the mixtape circuit. Re-exploring the sound that made him a household name, Trunk Muzik Returns find him doing lyrical acrobatics over superb production by Will Power of SupaHotBeats. He holds his own with renowned spitters such as Raekwon and Killer Mike, while giving us a taste of his country roots in songs like “Tennessee Love.” Technically, Yela kills it in both flow and rhyme schemes, indicating that his next LP should be worth the wait.—ED

Lil Bibby, Free Crack

Chicago’s young talents are quickly on the rise. At the end of November, Lil Bibby—who hails from Chi-Town’s East Side—released a promising effort titled Free Crack. Before the industry caught on to the 19-year-old, he made a name for himself alongside his frequent collaborator Lil Herb. Two tracks—“Kill Shit” and “My Hood”—displayed their blunt deliveries and hard-edged street raps that was unlike their contemparies. That similar energy was shown in Bibby’s solo tape, where it impressed early adopters for his thought-out lyrics and polished production. Songs like “Water,” “Bibby Story,” and “Whole Crew” are a good indication that he’s already establishing his own sound. Bibby’s setting up 2014 quite nicely.—ED

Waka Flocka Flame, DuFlocka Rant 2

While Waka might want to tread lightly when it comes to his views about the southern rap and its dominance of hip-hop, you can count on Atlanta’s MC to keep your day turnt with Du Flocka Rant 2. With tracks such as “Hood Rich,” “Brother’s Keeper,” and “Real Recognize Real,” Flocka’s smooth but sharp delivery on the follow up to DuFlocka Rant: Halftime Show is loud, brash, and worthy of a listen.—AA

Rapsody, She Got Game

Rapsody held the ball in the court of promising female MCs when she released She Got Game mixtape earlier this year. Not only did she provide sleek production with the help of 9th Wonder and friends, but her lush soul raps ranging from “Special Way,” to “Complacent” and “Dark Nights” are proof that she can grab the title of the auspicious female rapper of 2014.—AA

Casey Veggies, Life Changes

Casey Veggies has steadily built his momentum and fanbase over the years. His ever-growing catalogue now includes Life Changes—a mixtape that placed him at the top of the underground food chain. In Veggies’ latest opportunity to the shine, he blazes through the similar aesthetic of his Los Angeles contemporaries with a bit more flare. Highlights like “Whip It,” “Life$tyle” and “She In My Car” are fun songs that show his cool and calm manner on records is what makes him likable. Continually making strides as an artist, Young C.V.’s career is finally hitting its sweet spot.—ED

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