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This has been a great year for hip hop thus far with almost everyone dropping either a mixtape, an album or dope verses. Even though there are two months left, there were a lot of quality projects released that are worthy enough to make this list. Even for people who don’t listen to hip hop as much, a good amount of artists were able to successfully crossover into pop radio such as Drake, Big Sean, J. Cole, Wale, and of course Jay-Z.
Drake has worked with fellow Canadian, Justin Bieber and has been able to garner a huge following outside of the general hip hop fan base in the last 4 years. Big Sean worked with Ariana Grande on her new album and has made hits that have found their way into popular radio. J. Cole got some help from Miguel and even TLC for his smash singles “Power Trip” and “Crooked Smile.”
For everyone reading this list, there should be no major explanation for Jay-Z, who is a veteran in this game. This year, he and Justin Timberlake put out smash singles “Suit & Tie” and “Holy Grail; hence both albums have since gone platinum.
10: Audio Push- Come As You Are- September 9, 2013
Audio Push signed with Hit Boys’ ‘Hits Since 87’ label and dropped a mixtape with some really soulful, jazzy beats, which are pleasing to the ears.
9: Jay-Z- Magna Carta Holy Grail- July 9, 2013
Jay-Z continues to make music after the birth of his daughter Blue Ivy.
8: Pusha T- My Name Is My Name- October 8, 2013
G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T finally releases his debut album as a solo artist.
7: Chance the Rapper- Acid Rap- April 30, 2013
Chance the Rapper seemed like he got on everybody’s radar overnight with his new mixtape.
6: Dizzy Wright- The Golden Age- August 19, 2013
Funk Volume’s Dizzy Wright drops a quality mixtape and is on pace to drop a music video for every song on the tape.
5: Joey Bada$$- Summer Knights- July 1, 2013
Pro Era rapper Joey Bada$$ impresses his fans with his sophomore mixtape.
4: Big Sean- Hall of Fame- August 27, 2013
Big Sean, who recently got engaged to his Glee star girlfriend Naya Rivera, solidifies his place in the game with his sophomore album.
3: Wale- The Gifted- June 25, 2013
Interscope records may be regretting releasing Wale, as he has been successful since joining Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. His single “Bad” went platinum, he even got some help from Rihanna for the remix that may be arguably a better version, and also went number one for the first time in his career.
2: J. Cole- Born Sinner- June 18, 2013
J. Cole, who was the first to be mentioned by Kendrick Lamar on “Control,” releases another solid solo effort.
1: Drake- Nothing Was The Same Sep 24, 2013
Drake, who is on top of game, is quickly on his way to going platinum.