Out of all categories, this might have been the toughest one for us to do since we had so many hot beats in 2013 but we wanted to keep it to just the top 5. Our picks might surprise a few people but this is our honest opinion. All of these 6 (including an honorable mention) were picked for different reasons.
Sidebar: there were a few DJ Mustard beats to choose from but we could only pick one.
1. These lists are in no specific order from 1 to 5 and are based on personal preferences of the HHNM staff which includes Navjosh, Joe Money, Jay Holz, AK and Maher.
2. The main criteria for these picks were: how often we pressed play on a particular song, video or album and how much it impacted our ears. They are not based on the amount of spins on the radio, how many copies it sold or the critical and fan acclaim it received.
3. These picks have been delivered to you unfiltered, without any bias or pre-determined notions and result of days of discussion.
4. Whether you agree or disagree, we appreciate you taking out the time to read this!
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Drake – ‘Started From The Bottom’ (Produced by Mike Zombie & Noah “40” Shebib)
It’d be a crime to not include this beat for the best of 2013. ‘Started From The Bottom’ had the entire world bouncing to it for over half the year. Drake’s return in 2013 couldn’t have been over better production. Young producer/rapper out of New Jersey, Mike Zombie, laced Drizzy with a smooth melody and an energetic drum pattern. Combine that with 40’s fine tuning, this literally became an anthem and an easy pick for other artists to freestyle on.
Kid Ink – ‘Show Me’ (Feat. Chris Brown) (Produced by DJ Mustard)
Let’s be real: DJ Mustard’s style may be monotonous but he gave us unlimited bangers in 2013. It was Kid Ink and Chris Brown’s ‘Show Me’ that really caught our ears the most out of all the hits he produced. Talk about flipping a sample. DJ Mustard took parts of Robin S’ 1993 hit of the same name and made it into a certified hit, 20 years later. No wonder this is a top 3 record on the radio at the moment as the song is just too infectious to ignore.
Jay Z – ‘Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit’ (Feat. Rick Ross) (Produced by Boi-1da, Vinylz, Timbaland & JRoc)
Jay Z had quite an eventful year with the unique release of his Magna Carta Holy Grail album and the best part about it was the top quality production. It was his bossy Rick Ross-featured tune ‘Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit’ that had the audience rocking in the second half of 2013. Four incredible producers, Boi-1da, Vinylz, Timbaland & JRoc came together and made magic on this this synth and bass driven instrumental.
N.O.R.E. – ‘Built Pyramids’ (Produced by Large Professor)
Surprised to see this here? N.O.R.E. And legendary producer Large Professor joined forces for the first time ever on their collaboration ‘Built Pyramids’ from the former’s latest album Student Of The Game. The beat was old school enough for you to reminiscence the 90s but also fresh enough at the same time to sound relevant in 2013. Make sure you hear this in some good quality headphones to appreciate all the layers.
2 Chainz – ‘Used 2′ (Produced by Mannie Fresh)
Aren’t you glad we heard some new mainstream Mannie Fresh in 2013? The beat on 2 Chainz’ ‘Used 2′ made us feel like we were back in the late 90s / early 2000s when Cash Money crew was dominating the industry with their trademark sound. ‘Used 2′ just has a really powerful energy which also makes the perfect soundtrack for ladies to shake their behinds. This was definitely one of the more underrated tracks last year.
Wale – ’88’ (Produced by Just Blaze)
One of the best to ever do it, Just Blaze continues to bring us heat year in and year out. Although he wasn’t all over the production credits of the major releases last year, he “gifted” Wale with a monster. ’88’ has that vintage Just Blaze live and real instrument feel that we all have loved so much over the years. The Gifted may be a love or hate album to some, but ’88’ was dope enough to make the cut as an honorable mention here.