Top 50 Songs (2013)

Disclaimer:  It is hard and challenging to pick 50 tracks from the thousands upon thousands that dropped this year.  It is merely an attempt to list my favorite cuts of 2012.  Click the links to listen to the song!  I think it’s a great list.  There were a lot of great songs crafted this year and I know I left off some good ones.  I listened to 5,000+ tracks from 2012 alone this year, so as an artist, if you made this list you know you are on the forefront of my iTunes!

1. Said BeforeGoldini Bagwell

2. Rhyme Of The YearNino Bless

3. BelieversMayday

4. Outlive, Outshine Theo3

5.  WarStryfe and Marc Byrd

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Artist Of The Year: Nutso (2013)

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It is an honor and a privilege to present to you the Hip Hop Dependency Artist Of The Year for 2013: Nutso (Twitter, Facebook, Website, YouTube).   I have been a huge fan of Nutso for a long time but this was a banner year for him. He really went above and beyond what the rest of the pack is doing.  There are A LOT of talented artists, but very few have the work ethic and the drive that Nutso does.  In 2013, he released dope project after dope project and he has no intentions of stopping that pace in 2014.

It’s one thing to be dope.  It’s entirely another thing to be relentless.  Nutso is both.   He is constantly creating with a slew of different producers and finding new avenues to push the envelope of his music.  All the while he builds on the foundation that is New York Boom-Bap.

So without further ado, I bring you words from the man himself, as he graciously agreed to answer a few questions from HHD.  Be sure to check his older projects along with his current ones, and prepare for the future!:

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Producer Of The Year: Alterbeats (2013)

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HHD has never done  a Producer Of The Year accolade in our previous two years of existence but this award is warranted in 2013.  No one is responsible for more ill beats in my iTunes collection from this past year than producer extraordinaire, Alterbeats (Twitter, Website, Facebook, YouTube).  He has made bangers for some of my favorite artists along with crafting his album, Class Struggle.   He is one of the hardest working producers in the game, and emcees know that if they need some heat, they can check in with this Parisian Producer.   Be sure to check out Alterbeats’ projects and song credits.  You can check many of them by checking this LINK.  So please congratulate Alterbeats on this inaugural award on any of his social networks and be sure to check some of his favorite hand picked tracks below:

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Top 10 Albums (2013)

More than any year previous, I have toiled and contemplated this list.  In particular, deciding on a pecking order proved to be most difficult but this is what I have come up with.  Feel free to disagree.  The list was assembled based upon the usual criteria of production, lyricism, flow, song arrangement, and the ever popular, but lost ingredient…CREATIVITY.

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1. Tenacity x Fratello BeatzABnormal Deciding on the number one album of the year was really difficult but ABnormal kept on coming up in the discussion and I could not diminish it’s value.  This album oozes creativity and is loaded with great tracks.  Tenacity’s lyricism and songwriting ability prove to be impeccable, while Fratello Beatz creates the perfect soundscape. Review.

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2. Stryfe x Marc ByrdThe Last Resorts Producer Marc Byrd really outdid himself on this album.  The rock infused production made this album knock.  Stryfe continues to make a name for himself with his sharp lyricism and witty wordplay.   There are a grip of tracks that absolutely bang.  The fact that I didn’t give this a full review was a big mistake.  Awesome album.

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3. Jermiside x Danny DiggsQuiet As Kept Jermiside and Diggs personify smooth introspection with this release.  It is simultaneously laid back and engaging.  Review.

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4. The AztextFour The Aztext keep a record of making great music and they consistently make these end of the year lists.  Four is a remarkable album for it’s creative concepts and flavor.  These guys just get it.  And if you give this album a listen, you too may here it. Review.

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5. DemigodzKiLLmatic  This is the one album on the list that made it for it’s pure ‘knockability’.   When I first heard this album, I was blown away with Apathy’s production.  I think it’s one of the best produced albums of the year.  There are too many dope tracks on this album to ignore. Review.

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6. One DaeDaes & Times This was just released last month  but I have given it enough listens to consider it one of this year’s best releases. One Dae has a lost of microphone charisma and the production on the album is vastly superior to a far number of albums released this year. Review.

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7. MaydayBelievers Many people have a hard time categorizing (or pigeon holing) Mayday.  Sometimes they wear that ominous tag of ‘alternative hip hop’.  Bull shit.   This album is hip hop heavy that is layered in soul and funk elements with a dash of rock.  But it’s still hip hop to me and really good hip hop.  I wore out the front half of this album it was so good (not to detract from the latter half).

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8.  NattiStill Motion Here’s another album that I never gave it’s due.  Natti’s Still Motion is comprised of some really good music.  It is heavily produced by Deacon The Villain and KNO of Cunninlynguists and those guys know how to make albums.   After I heard track #2, Another Galaxy, I was sold.  Great album!

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9. Swollen MembersBeautiful Death Machine Go ahead and remain incredulous, but this is the best Swollen Members’ album since Balance.   And nobody can turn a phrase like Previal and Madchild.  They are on their own shit.   The production is on point and unlike many of their previous albums, there is a certain level of focus in the tracks and arrangement.  There was no deviation.  I appreciated that. Review.

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10. Jus Daze – Walk Twice As Hard Jus Daze is the most introspective artist on the list.  Walk Twice As Hard is a not only a musical journey, but also an extremely personal one.  You can really appreciate the care that Daze took in creating the album.  Review.

Top 5 EPs (2013)

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1) Theo 3Enticement I always agonize over the best EPs, because I think the shorter releases are always going to be more tightly construed then longer releases.   Thusly there are doper, more potent releases, in this format.  But there are was not a doper five songs put together for an EP than Enticement.  It features production from Psycho Les and The Audible Doctor, and some really great lyricism.

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2) SupastitionThe Blackboard Don’t call it a comeback!  When Supastition decided to re-enter the realm of making music, I felt uplifted.  He’s simply one of my favorite emcees.  With The Blackboard,  he came back in rare form with some great production, lyricism, and concepts.  The release it the total package and a forbearance of what’s to come.

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3) Grey Sky AppealOccam’s Razor  Grey Sky Appeal have such a unique and clever sound and although this EP was crafted on a tour back in 2011, it didn’t see the light of day until 2013.  You can check out our full review of the project HERE.

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4) SkeezoFace Value In terms of sheer knockability (yes, that’s a word), no EP hit harder than this one.  This is EP is chocked full of bangers with superlative production on raw rhymes.  There’s also a lot of replayability in this short project.  Skeezo is one of those names that should be at the forefront when it comes to emcees to watch for 2014.

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5) Nutso x 5th SealI Plead The 5th – In the end, this EP was impossible to leave off the list even with the stiff competition.   It has one of the best tracks of the year in PAIN and also contains the certified bangers, Blood & Bones and Planet Of the Apes.  5th Seal and Nutso prove to be one of the best producer/emcee collaborations in 2013.