Flash’s Top Ten Albums of 2013

It was certainly an interesting year for hip-hop. Mediocre materialistic music continued to dominate the mainstream marketplace, yet quiet as kept some of the most innovative and creative rap music the world has ever seen was released. This year epitomized the rap phrase “the jam that’cha love that don’t be gettin no airplay,” because you’d be hardpressed to hear any of this top 10 on FM aside from #9 or #10. The gap between the creative end and the commercial end of hip-hop, much like the income gap between the poor and the rich, has never felt wider or seemed more difficult to overcome.

It’s helpful to remember a few things though: Shawn Carter was once as underground as Illogic 20 years ago, El-P and Killer Mike purposefully released “Run the Jewels” for free to reach the widest audience, and Wale was once the king of free DatPiff mixtapes. It’s also a sign of hope that artists with as much mainstream recognition as Ghostface can create something artistically creative enough to crack this list. Honorable mentions follow at the end of this list.

#1: Illogic & Blockhead
Capture the Sun

#2: Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels

#3: Asheru
Sleepless in Soweto

#4: Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge
Twelve Reasons to Die

#5: Qwel & Maker
Beautiful Raw

#6: Tyler, the Creator

#7: Demigodz

#8: J. Cole
Born Sinner

#9: Jay Z
Magna Carta… Holy Grail

#10: Wale
Wale: The Gifted

Flash’s 15 Honorable Mentions:

* Action Bronson: Blue Chips 2
* Big K.R.I.T.: King Remembered In Time
* Deltron 3030: Event II
* Drake: Nothing Was the Same
* Earl Sweatshirt: Doris
* Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
* Gene the Southern Child & Parallel Thought: Artillery Splurgin’
* L’Orange & Stik Figa: The City Under The City
* Pusha T: My Name Is My Name
* Mac Miller: Watching Movies with the Sound Off
* Talib Kweli: Prisoner of Conscious
* Tanya Morgan: Rubber Souls
* Ugly Heroes: Ugly Heroes
* Von Pea & Aeon: Duly Noted.
* Kanye West: Yeezus