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The 25 Best Songs Of 2013

Sage The Gemini, “Red Rose”

Who knew a song about an American pitbull could have had such an impact on the hip-hop community in 2013. Crafted up by HBK Gang’s Sage The Gemini, “Red Nose” had everyone shaking it since debuting on the rapper’s EP back in March. Not to mention the track’s seductive sway, which birthed a dance craze hitting everywhere from the Bay Native rapper’s home turf to the empire state. “And she gon shake it like a red nose.” Press play!—MJ

Kanye West, “Blood On The Leaves”

Mixing personal memories of a menacing relationship with the horrors of lynching for a record is often looked at as a blasphemous feat at first—but Kanye West made the combination work. Sampling Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit,” West’s “Blood on the Leaves” from his sixth studio LP Yeezus was a gorgeous metaphor of a failed relationship touted with bass, towering horns, and auto-tune effect reminiscent of 808s & Heartbreak.—AA

2 Chainz featuring Pharrell, “Feds Watching”

Chainz’s sophomore solo set may not have lived up to the lofty heights that his first hit, but this song wasn’t the problem; in a year in which Pharrell completely dominated all genres of music, this was an early entry for song of the summer that carried through under the radar. After debuting the track at Summer Jam, Chainz’s ode to his snakeskin pants was everywhere for a couple months. Then there’s the video, which somehow saw Chainz’s wardrobe top itself three separate times as the greatest outfit of all time. Infectious and hilarious.—DR

YG featuring Jeezy And Rich Homie Quan, “My Hitta”

The lead single off YG’s debut studio album My Krazy Life, “My Hitta” helped burst YG back onto the rap scene. With the rapper now prepping to release the LP in March, YG continues his string of strong singles with “Left Right.”—MJ

DJ Khaled featuring Lil Wayne, Rick Ross And Drake, “No New Friends”

Appearing on DJ Khaled’s seventh collaborative LP Suffering From Success, “No New Friends” helped bring in the summer. The track, which was originally supposed to be the remix to Drake’s “Started From The Bottom,” evolved into a whole new song and a hashtag that no one could avoid.—MJ

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