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The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013

Meek Mill, Dreamchasers 3

2013 saw the third installment of Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers series. With appearances from Rick Ross, Travi$ Scott, Birdman, Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Yo Gotti, Fabolous and more, Meek wasn’t playing games with the release of his eighth mixtape. The MMG rapper also shed light on the untimely passing of his Dream Chasers Records signee Lil Snupe on the project, pouring out his feeling on a track entitled “Lil Nigga Snupe.”—MJ

Joey Bada$$, Summer Knights

Quietly this year, Joey Bada$$ puts out a very quality record with Summer Knights. One thing is clear when you listen to the tape, he’s not kidding around, as he unleashes some bone-shattering bars with a calm cold assassin-like demeanor. 1999 was more of a coming-of-age tale from Joey while Summer Knights provides as a worthy follow-up illustrating his maturity and growth. Pro-Era’s boom-bap ’90s chill-vibe is still prominent in the album, however with an extra kick making it sound very refreshing. —ECM

Future & FreeBand Gang, Future Presents F.B.G: The Movie

When Future’s 2013 hit “Chosen One” appeared on F.B.G.: The Movie, Mr. Freebandz started the year off the right way with this effort. With the project debuting in January, the mixtape helped launch Future’s action-packed year. As he is currently in the midst of the Would You Like A Tour with Drake and is prepping for the release of his second studio album Honest, F.B.G.: The Movie was indeed the right teaser to exhibit what Future has in store.—MJ

Flatbush Zombies, BetterOffDEAD

It was exactly what you’d want out of a group’s second project: concrete, solid steps forward. Produced entirely by Erick Arc Elliott—who crafted a sonic landscape that left most of the synths behind this time—the three horsemen of apocalyptic drug rap pushed everything further than their first project D.R.U.G.S., upping the nihilism and getting deeper into the acid dreams.—DR

Lil Wayne, Dedication V

Weezy has been focused so much on skating lately that you can tell rapping has taken a backseat. Dedication V lacked consistency at times and didn’t carry the same vigor as Wayne from his previous versions. Still, Wayne can bring it when he wants to, especially on standouts “You Song” featuring Chance The Rapper, his freestyle on The Wu’s “C.R.E.A.M.,” and going in on Meek Mill’s “Levels.” Hopefully, 2014 we’ll see the Best Rapper Alive in top form.—AA

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