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The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013

Cam’ron, Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1

Cam’ron Giles might have ventured towards the entrepreneurial route in 2013, but Harlem’s Diplomat maintained that sharp and humorous gift of gab with his release of Ghetto Heaven, Vol 1. With a mixture of the classic Dipset sound and pieces of ‘90s anthems sprinkled through tracks such as “Come and Talk to Me” and “My Life,” Cam delivers a body of work that might have been as murderous as the album artwork featuring Ronald McDonald.—AA

Young Scooter, Street Lottery

Young Scooter was at the height of his popularity when Street Lottery came out. The Atlanta native called it a classic. Street Lottery featured tracks with guest appearances from Future, Bun B, Gucci Mane, Ca$h Out, and Chief Keef. But the standout was undoubtedly “Colombia,” the street record that took his buzz to another level. It’s the perfect blend between a man’s tale of trying to make it big and what he describes as count music; a tutorial to help people get money.—ECM

August Alsina, The Product 2

With singles “I Luv This Shit” and “Downtown,” The Product 2 certainly built August Alsina’s name all round the hip-hop community. May’s DJ Drama-hosted tape contained guest appearances by Juelz Santana, Curren$y, The-Dream, Roscoe Dash, Kidd Kidd, Trinidad Jame$ and Jazze Pha. As August was already signed to Def Jam at the time of the project’s release, this effort was followed by his major label debut EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun. Backed by a significant buzz, his full-length album will be an important release, slated for early 2014. —MJ

Migos, Y.R.N.

The act of repetition is usually frowned upon in an ever-changing industry, but for trap-rap trio Migos, the formula of recurrence turned into quick cash and major recognition. Their mixtape Y.R.N. blurred the lines between pop culture, fashion, and hip-hop with super-addictive hits such as “Hannah Montana,” “Bando,” and Zaytoven-produced “Versace”—which spawned a myriad of remixes from Drake to even an instrumental-free version from Frank Ocean.—AA

Ty Dolla $ign, Beach House 2

The follow-up to Ty Dolla $ign’s Beach House project, Beach House 2 helped craft up a soundtrack for the summer. Hosted by DJ Drama, the project features Kevin Gates, Iamsu!, Wiz Khalifa, Chevy Woods, Trey Songz, Kirko Bangz, Juicy J, YG, Kid Ink, B.o.B, Chris Brown, Jay Rock, Game and others. This project also helped Ty Dolla $ign ink a deal with Atlantic Records on which the rapper recently released his first EP. —MJ

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