Here is the big one. After counting down the best/worst songs, mixtapes, beats and videos in the last few days, we’re here with our albums list today, the final post in the year-end list segment. Take a look and tell us your thoughts on our picks.
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!
Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Frankly speaking, it’s hard to find anything wrong with Drake’s 3rd studio album Nothing Was The Same. Aubrey was able to keep your ears glued to the front till back of the disc. ‘Tuscan Leather’ was arguably the best intro to any project in recent memory, ‘Started From The Bottom’ and ‘Hold On We’re Going Home’ were big crossover hits and ‘Pound Cake’ shook the e-streets immensely. The production was phenomenal and the content relatable, making Nothing Was The Same a top album of 2013.
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2
Going by the title, we were all hoping The Marshall Mathers LP 2 to be the perfect sequel to the classic 2000 album but come on folks, this is 13 years later and Eminem is a much different person — we were reaching with those expectations. Focusing on the important parts of judging an album, from top to bottom, Marshall was spitting some excellent bars over the unique production overseen by Rick Rubin. We all missed Dr. Dre’s touch on the project but regardless, Eminem proved yet again why he can still call himself the ‘Rap God’.
J. Cole – Born Sinner
J. Cole moved his release up a week early so his Sophomore effort Born Sinner could compete with Kanye’s album Yeezus. Bold move to say the least and it paid off. The TLC-assisted ‘Crooked Smile’ was a powerful and important song for today’s society and the issues surrounding it, ‘Power Trip’ received a well-deserved Grammy nomination this year, the intro Villuminati’ showed us Cole’s passion and vulnerability from the gate. Born Sinner was the first project from J. Cole where he truly opened up to his listeners. It was a well put together album and had it not been for a few skippable tracks, we could have put this album in the “great” category.
Jay Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
Next up is Magna Carta Holy Grail, the album Jay Z considers his fourth best in his discography and the one which received the most unique release. It was a great decision to hand over Timbaland most of the production, and thank heavens he did. ‘Holy Grail’ saw Jay and JT teaming up for another massive hit and ‘F*ckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt’ was one of the best songs of the year, without question. Although some of the bars from Hov showed laziness, the production on the album was incredible. When people began to wonder if Jay still had it in him, he gave us a cohesive, memorable album with Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Wale – The Gifted
Say what you want about Wale’s behavior off the mic, but his second studio album under the MMG imprint The Gifted was a solid piece of work. Wale has a knack for giving us at least one hit record from each of his projects and for The Gifted, we can award it to the seductive tune ‘Bad’. Other notable songs include the Just Blaze-produced ’88’, his club banger ‘Clappers’ featuring Juicy J and Nicki Minaj, and the jazzy single ‘LoveHate Thing’. Wale shouldn’t have blown up on Complex the way he did, but based on the quality of The Gifted, we understand his emotion.
Go to page 2 for “worst albums” list..