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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  • 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”?