The 2013 Finale: 100 Unforgettable Songs That We Loved

12.30.13 4 years ago 66 Comments

finale 100 best songs 2013

So this is it. This is our year-end Finale for 2013. Spare us the “can you believe it’s already 2014,” because trust us, we totally can. In fact, we’re so over 2013. It got old after a while, what with all the twerking (oh God, THAT), Pharrell cameos and government shutdown nonsense.

We’re not sad to see it go. However, when, say, in 2035 we yearn to remember 2013 or some archival footage of Aaron Hernandez appears on our 4-D plasma projector objects, these are the songs we hope come back to us.

Unlike 2013, we’re so not over these tunes. This is definitely not it for these 100 songs that we unequivocally loved.

Related: The 2013 Intermission: 100 Songs We’ve Enjoyed So Far

GIFs: Rap GIFs

jay z beyonce

1. Beyonce Ft. Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” sounds like a Rihanna throwaway record but by god does it work. And though ratchet in some of her previous bangers, it’s not every day (if at all) do we get to hear the notoriously robotic Perfect Patty get raunchy with it. #Surfboardt. (Listen)

2. Lil Durk – “Who Is This”

Venturing out of Chiraq to the A, Lil Durk unites with Zaytoven on “Who Is This.” The Feds might have Durk on camera with the rest of his crew, but the angst of the unknown contributes to one amazing song. (Listen)

3. Drake Ft. Majid Jordan – “Hold On We’re Going Home”

Even though it’s little more than a chorus over and over, “Hold On We’re Going Home” is Drake trying to entice what will hopefully be his latest conquest, to whom he’ll then be able to dedicate a somewhat uncomfortable, highly emotional song when it doesn’t work out. Hey, it’s catchy, and with the assistance of Majid Jordan, we can’t help but sing along. (Listen)

4. Spark Master Tape – “Half Of Nepal”

Spark Master Tape remains an enigma, and so does “Half of Nepal” for that matter. The thumping, eerie beat by Paper Platoon only adds to the mystery surrounding The Swoup Serengeti. (Listen)

5. Kevin Gates Ft. Juicy J – “Thinking With My Dick”

Kevin Gates and Juicy J are a winning combination, and so is “Thinking With My Dick.” The simple beat is begging for some EDM remix, but until then, this gets the job done and hits crazy in clubs. (Listen)

6. Ty Dolla Sign Ft. Wiz Khalifa – “Irie”

Ty Dolla Sign has a tough life: making Ratchety&B, hanging in a cabana full of hoes and smoking plenty of weed with the Taylor Gang. Who wouldn’t want to be “Irie” like Ty? With Wiz repping the east and DJ Spinz on the beat, “Irie” is a banger fit to start any weekend off right. (Listen)

7. Audio Push Ft. K. Roosevelt – “Brown Bag”

Arguably the hottest track on the Come as You Are album. Audio Push really carve a solid niche outside of their dance roots with this hidden gem. The introspective verses are bridged perfectly together by Rap/Singer K. Roosevelt, who delivers his best hook to date. (Listen)

8. Panic! at The Disco – “Miss Jackson”

Originally themed around a Fiona Apple sample that went sour, this high-energy Harlot anthem was born. After a bit of retooling, PATD gave life to an undeniable rock jam has been kept me awoke all year long. (Listen)

9. Paul Oakenfold Ft. Azealia Banks – “Venus”

Not sure where I was in NYC when I heard this international jam, but I can recall not believing my ears when I was told who the vocals were handled by. Ms. Banks has a lot working against her these days but she has an undeniable versatility that is very key in the current musical climate. (Listen)

10. ESTA. x Disclosure – “.ycarT (Latch)”

Cali-based Producer ESTA. gives us his interpretation of Disclosure’s mega hit “Latch.” I had the pleasure of discovering this version first, so the original is sort of a remix in my mind. (Listen)

action bronson

11. Action Bronson – “It’s Me”

Yeah, we know: this track came out in, like, January, but its inclusion on Action and Party Supplies’ Blue Chips 2 totally makes it worthy of this list. And why not: it’s a minute and a half of cartoonish horns and drinking suggestions for Hudson County PATH riders. (Listen)

12. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Deeper”

If this didn’t increase the anticipation for Piñata to DEFCON-1 levels, nothing would’ve. (Listen)

13. Drake Ft. Jhene Aiko – “From Time”

When news broke that Drake hooked up with Jhene Aiko in the studio while recording Nothing Was The Same, it instantly became one of the album’s more anticipated cuts, and the result wasn’t disappointing. Jhene’s airy vocals married with Drizzy’s introspective lyrics became an instant winner and should remain in playlists well into the new year. (Listen)

14. Darkside – “Paper Trails”

Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington’s Darkside collaboration, Psychic, had Pitchfork reviewers salivating all over themselves, and with good reason. “Metatron” is a close favorite but “Paper Trails” is perfect from start to finish. (Listen)

15. Steddy P & DJ Mahf – “Sophisticated Ignorance”

The best track off their Gonzo album released this fall, I haven’t stopped listening to this one yet. Steddy P’s unique sound and style continues to challenge the Midwest stereotype. (Listen)

16. M.I.A. – “Warriors”

M.I.A. fans waited a long time for Matangi. Although it leaked long prior to its official Nov. 5 release date, some of the tracks––like standout cut “Warriors”––sound very fresh. Long delays, fights with her record label and lots of rumors surrounded the making of this album, and while it is in many ways a relative disappointment––tracks featuring The Weeknd, especially, sound forced and derivative––Maya is still better than most in the game. (Listen)

17. Truth Universal – “Motivated”

This Trinidad-born New Orleans emcee keeps progressing with time, and “Motivated,” featuring fellow New Orleanian Sybil Shanel, is one of our favorites from this artist to date. Definitely one of the stand-out tracks from his Invent the Future album that dropped this fall. (Listen)

18. SZA – “Teen Spirit”

TDE is slowly but surely building a stable team of talented youngsters for the next generation of the culture, and SZA is a prime example of that. Her single “Teen Spirit” perfectly merges the haunting sounds of Wondagurl’s production with SZA’s somber but crystal clean vocals for an alt-R&B smash. (Listen)

19. Rapsody Ft. Phonte and Jay Electronica – “Jedi Code”

Rapsody dropped one of the sleeper hits of the year and this single is one of the best offerings on the project. This isn’t up for debate. But what is definitely up for debate is whether Phonte deserves to take the “You Got Renegade’d” award from Kendrick Lamar. (Listen)

20. Drake Ft. Sampha – “Too Much”

It’s always that one track on a Drake project that, in spite of his sometime saccharine sincerity, speaks to me on a fundamental level as a man. And this is that track on Nothing Was The Same. It might not blow out your speakers, but the toned-down production syncs up perfectly with Drake’s candid lyrics and Sampha’s soulful outpouring. (Listen)

pusha t

21. Pusha T – “King Push”

With the monstrous, verse-crushing “King Push,” Brother Terrence has brought crack rap to its logical end. Gentlemen, hang up your mics. You can go home now. Pusha has won the trap. (Listen)

22. Keep Shelly in Athens – “Room 14 (I’m Fine)”

Honestly, any song from the Greek duo’s At Home album could have made the cut, but there is something especially warm and inviting about this track. Maybe it’s my love of all things alt-pop, but Sara P’s vocals put me all the way in my feelings. And the production on the track is upbeat enough just to keep me from getting too Drake-y. (Listen)

23. Future – “Sh!t” (Megamix) — Mike Made Made It wrangled up a whole bunch of rappers for Future’s diabolically slow and threatening “Sh!t.” The “tear the club up” and “ATL hoe” warm our hearts, and add to the sheer magnificence of this song. (Listen)

24. Washed Out – “It All Feels Right”

No more “chillwave” for Washed Out’s Ernest Greene, but this airy piece of pop from the man who started chillwave makes all those fans of the sub-genre forget that it ever existed. (Listen)

25. Danny Brown Ft. Freddie Gibbs – “The Return”

Danny and Gangsta Gibbs flip Outkast’s “Return of the G” into something malevolently smooth for the second track off Brown’s Old. This is riding music for those whose faces are dripping off their skull from all that molly. (Listen)

26. 2 Chainz Ft. Fergie – “Netflix”

Fergie’s return to the ratchet was perfectly timed to show these foam finger-toting tramps how to channel their inner Lil Kim with dignity. Chainz and Ferg may be in their late-30s but they are still on the cutting edge of stylistic ignorance. “I hope you have the time of your life.” (Listen)

27. Ghost Wave – “I Don’t Mind”

Australia and psych rock go hand in hand (see: Tame Impala), as this Down Under band runs through an insanely catchy piece of it on “I Don’t Mind.” (Listen)

28. The Internet – “Dontcha”

If there were three more songs smoother than this in 2013, point ‘em out. (Listen)

29. Janelle Monae Ft. Miguel – “Primetime”

A new-age wedding reception, first-dance classic that should be the soundtrack for such occasions for years and years to come. (Listen)

30. Mayer Hawthorne – “Back Seat Lover”

Seriously, grab the lady by her hips and dance the night away. Just like you did when you both first got together. (Listen)

2 chainz

31. 2 Chainz – “Used 2”

Produced by Mannie Fresh, “Used 2” isn’t the best 2 Chainz song you’ve ever heard, but it makes it onto this list because it got the Hot Boys back together… okay just for one day, but still. The video is amazing, and after you’ve heard the song 100 times, you start to think that it could actually be the best thing ever. (Listen)

32. Adam Reverie – “Testify”

The Detroit-based rapper left his mark on 2013. His debut mixtape, Father, Son, Brother, Friend is brimming with equal parts charm and talent, highlighted by “Testify,” one of those brutally honest tracks that makes you go back and inspect every bar with a fine-toothed comb. (Listen)

33. Alchemist Ft. Domo Genesis, Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren, Roc Marci and Despot – “1010 Wins”

Alchemist has quietly dominated the underground rap scene over the last few years. He’s done full projects with classy gentlemen from Prodigy to Curren$y, given folks like Mac Miller the best beats on their albums, and put out the occasional monstrous posse cuts like this one, featuring a talented crew of lyrical heavyweights. Quotables abound, but Despot’s “the credit card got a tank on it, No Limit” may have taken the rap cake. (Listen)

34. Drake – “Tuscan Leather”

Talk about an intro. Drizzy sets the tone for Nothing Was The Same in perfect form, bragging about successes while lamenting the peripheral effects that insane amounts of success can have on a man. (Listen)

35. Vic Mensa Ft. Chance The Rapper – “Tweakin’”

What a year for Chicago’s burgeoning Hip-Hop scene. Starting off with Acid Rap (which you’ll be hearing a lot of as the calendar turns) and ending with Innanetape, we’re definitely getting spoiled. “Tweakin’” is indicative of the youth movement on display, spitting far-out pro-drug lyrics between a sample from “Da Rockwilder.” A lot going on, a whole lot to love. (Listen)

36. Kaby – “Eatin’ Good”

Every adjective that writers love to toss around about southern rap fits here. Soulful, twangy. Elastic. Hell, Creedence Clearwater Revival-esque. And with some dee-lightful lyricism coming from the emcee, “Eatin’ Good” absolutely deserves to be placed on the same year-end pedestal as the Drakes and Danny Browns of the world. (Listen)

37. Fabolous – “Sacrifices” — ‘Loso was largely absent in 2013 until the release of December’s The S.O.U.L. Tape 3. Perhaps the tape’s finest moment was the Mark Henry-produced “Sacrifices.” Known for his penchant of punchlines and witty metaphors, Fabolous’ introspection painfully sheds light on issues far too common in households across America. (Listen)

38. Locksmith Ft. Jarell Perry – “Broken”

Lock took Rihanna’s “Stay” and made it better than the original. “Broken” will make you feel a certain kind of way. (Listen)

39. Chvrches – “Gun”

This is the hardest synth-pop song on earth. It’s an oxymoron but it’s also the truth. (Listen)

40. Disclosure – “When A Fire Starts To Burn”

Some part of your body has to move when this gets spins. (Listen)


41. Wale – “Black Heroes”

Wale gets a lot of flak for reasons not always related to his music. The truth is, the DMV native is an extremely talented emcee, and he shows it on this standout from The Gifted. Thoughtful commentary combines with precise wordplay for a track that should satisfy his hordes of naysayers and fans. (Listen)

42. Kaytranada – “At All”

Is it house? Is it Hip-Hop? Is it electronic? Who cares. This joint knocks from the clubs to your headphones. (Listen)

43. The Weeknd – “Pretty”

A standout from his somewhat coolly received debut album, Kiss Land, this noir R&B epic has been a killer on the late-night circuit. (Listen)

44. Chvrches – “The Mother We Share”

Every year, there seem to be at least a handful of indie-pop tracks that rival the best of Billboard for pure catchiness, and Chvrches’ brightly flashing single certainly fits that bill in 2013. (Listen)

45. Vic Mensa – “Hollywood LA”

Vic sidesteps the Chance comparisons with the kind of laid-back cool that could make him an easier crossover star than his presently higher-profile crewmate. (Listen)

46. Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”

This list is anonymous, right? Seriously though, StarGate earned their keep as premo hitmakers with this Banghra-influenced dancepop smash, and the Anthony Mandler-directed video isn’t exactly hard on the eyes either. (Listen)

47. Danny Brown – “Dip”

Only Danny Brown can take Freak Nasty’s only hit, mix it with a song full of molly references and still make it sound fresh. (Listen)

48. Tech N9ne Ft. Serj Tankian – “Straight Out The Gate”

When Tech reached out to the lead singer from System Of A Down for a hook, Serj Tankian had never heard of Tech N9ne. By the time the two had completed this chest-pumping single, Serj appropriately said of Tech’s music, “Originality in Hip-Hop and rock are hard to come by.” (Listen)

49. Young Dro – “F.D.B.”

Did Young Dro drop the biggest song from the Grand Hustle camp in 2013? Young Dro dropped the biggest song from the Grand Hustle camp in 2013. (Listen)

50. Nipsey Hussle Ft. J Stone – “All Get Right”

After hearing Neighborhood Nip and producer Bigg Bizz Sarah J-flip the O’Jays’ “Who Am I” properly on this rider anthem, Crenshaw really did seem like the sh*t we were waiting for our whole f*cking lives. (Listen)

asap ferg shabba

51. A$AP Ferg Ft. A$AP Rocky – “Shabba”

It wouldn’t be a year-end list without our favorite A$AP Mob cut of the year, the trillest, most ratchet Uptown anthem to grace our speakers in Lord knows how long. Also, shouts out to the song for turning on a new generation of fans to Mr. Loverman. (Listen)

52. Drake Ft. Sampha – “The Motion”

Between the ice-cold bassline, Drizzy’s simplistic eight-bar verses and the ease of initiation into his lamenting hook, there’s no worthwhile reason this unreleased smash didn’t make the final cut of Drake’s Nothing Was The Same. (Listen)

53. Jay Z Ft. Rick Ross – “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt”

Around the mid-year mark, Hov made a power move via commercial during the NBA Finals that his latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, would be released within the month. But after ruling the summer with the initial singles from the project, this collabo with Rick Ross has proved to be a sleeper of a hit and has been powering along on the radio/club circuit going into the fourth quarter of the year. (Listen)

54. Mack Wilds – “Remember The Time”

It’s already sacrilege to cover a Michael Jackson song, but to employ a Mobb Deep-esque boom bap beat? WTF?! Yeah, that’s what a ballsy Mack Wilds did for his cover of “Remember The Time” and the results are phenomenal. (Listen)

55. Big Sean Ft. Kendrick Lamar And Jay Electronica – “Control” — No disrespect to Sean and Jay, but after listening to it, this track could’ve been titled “Kendrick Ft. Blah Blah Blah – Control” and most of us wouldn’t have thought any different. In one verse, Kendrick put the rap game on notice with a scathing verse in which he placed himself among the all-time greats, left New York scrambling for answers and threw a lyrical middle finger to his musical peers. (Listen)

56. Meek Mill – “Ooh, Kill ‘Em”

It felt like every rapper in the world (that could find studio time, that is) blasted out a response to the gauntlet K. Dot had thrown down with his much-talked-about “Control” verse. Some were dope, others not so much, but one that stood out was MMG rep Meek Mill’s answer in the Terio-inspired “Ooh, Kill ‘Em.” Meek makes no secret whom his darts are aimed at. While we haven’t heard much of a response from Kendrick yet, maybe this exchange could lead to a verbal spar and some great music going into the new year. (Listen)

57. Drake – “Furthest Thing”

Although you can never go wrong with a Drake track nowadays, this song displays everything we love about Drake. In the first half of the track, Drizzy displays his knack for melodies and addictive songwriting. The second half is Drizzy in all of his lyrical splendor, dropping one-liners galore over a beat we wanted more of the second we heard it. And if he happens to be reading this, a Pt. 2 over it on his next album would be greatly appreciated. (Listen)

58. Nick Menn Ft. Tef Poe & Rockwell Knuckles – “Line Em Up”

A relative newcomer from The Force crew teams with two tenured members to create an energetic banger with an indelible chorus. (Listen)

59. Nelly Ft. 2 Chainz – “100K”

Alright, maybe Nelly’s M.O. album didn’t break any sales records this year, but it’s still a solid showing from a talented dude. Guaranteed you’ve danced to this one at the club, whether you want to admit it or not. (Listen)

60. Pusha T – “Numbers on the Boards”

If you hear this beat and don’t make that face, you are not a rap fan. (Listen)

danny brown

61. Danny Brown – “Lonely”

The track title is a bit misleading; listen to the lucid beat and Danny’s hook, and being lonely isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you have an appetite for herb and a willingness to face some serious demons. (Listen)

62. Meek Mill -“Lil’ Nigga Snupe”

Meek turns the trope of the dead homie’s ode on its ear by focusing on the second stage of grief: anger. Meek’s tribute to his fallen protégé Snupe isn’t somber or morose. It’s the sound of tires screeching in inner city streets, as a weapon filled vehicle navigates towards justice, revenge or anything to fill the immeasurable emptiness. (Listen)

63. John Legend – “Made to Love”

John Legend’s voice carries a certain heft, so you wouldn’t think more grandiosity would be a recipe for success. But that’s exactly what made the opulent, richly layered first single from Love in the Future such a highlight. (Listen)

64. Pusha T Ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Nosestalgia”

Picture calloused thumbs guiding gemstar razorblades to fashion stem-sized portions of death. Envision toothless zombies ambling around corners, only emerging under street lights long enough to feed then retreat back to the shadows. Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar painted that vivid picture on their spooky Nottz-produced collaboration. (Listen)

65. Dom Kennedy – “South Central Love”

Dom proved that his music was not tied to any particular season, but to human emotion on Get Home Safely. “South Central Love” shows that no one in hip-hop is better equipped than Dom Kennedy to make outsiders understand his world. (Listen)

66. Run The Jewels – “Sea Legs”

Because fuck you. That’s why. On “Sea Legs” El and Mike erect a Washington Monument sized middle finger, wave it at everyone in hip-hop, and dares them to do something about it. (Listen)

67. 2 Chainz – “U Da Realest”

Tity Boi might have thrown a few folks off when rhyming “Rest in peace to all the soldiers that died in the service” and “I died in her cervix/Chickens, no Churches,” but that didn’t stop anyone from belting out the lively hook. (Listen)

68. Crooked I – “A Lady Fell In Love”

The Slaughterhouse member weighs the pros and cons of staying faithful to his lady on this standout cut from his Apex Predator LP. (Listen)

69. Freddie Gibbs – “The Real G Money”

Want to start an album out on the right foot? Put the hardest song on the whole tape up front and set the tone proper, like Gibbs did with this damn near intimidating opening to his E.S.G.N. project. (Listen)

70. ScHoolboy Q “Banger (MOSHPIT)”

This song is very, very loud, maybe the loudest that an artist who’s known to abuse eardrums has made. We can’t thank him enough for this piece of brain-rattling titanium, and may we ask for the millionth time: when’s Oxymoron coming out? (Listen)


71. Starlito – “Reasonable Emotion”

Lito for a Grammy. Lito for an Oscar. Lito for a Steve Harvey Hoodie. Lito for a BET Hip-Hop Award. Lito for a Source Award. Lito for a VMA. Lito…for…some sort of recognition behind a 2013 cinematic gem that’s probably going to Tennessee two-step over most heads. Don’t sit here and claim rap’s gone soft or lost its edge if there’s no Starlito on your iTunes. (Listen)

72. Francis & The Lights – “Like A Dream”

I’m not sure which one I enjoy more – the song itself or the video that goes with it – but I know I love them both equally. (Listen)

73. Oddissee – “In My Day”

Oddissee should be one of your favorite artists. This Sudanese-American Mello Music Group-affiliated artist only seems to get more creative over time, with songwriting that continues to grow both more concise and more profound. Most any track on The Beauty in All could be on this list, we like “In My Day” for its laid-back, ‘70s-lush sound. (Listen)

74. Mary Gold Ft. Curren$y – “Prayer”

While this New Orleans artist and new Curren$y signee has not yet concretized her sound into something that works for an entire album, she shines on her signature track, “Prayer.” Her singy/sex-talky/rappy delivery, produced on this song by Lachase & DVN (and featuring Curren$y), is something you won’t be able to get out of your head. (Listen)

75. Action Bronson Ft. Big Body Bes & Mac Miller – “Twin Peugots”

“I had your moms on the motherfucking boogie board, doing all types of stunts” might be one of the funniest things said by anyone this year. (Listen)

76. Thee Oh Sees – “Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster”

Sounds sort of like getting burned off ‘Ludes and cutting pentagrams into your arm, which now sounds kind of appealing. (Listen)

77. Childish Gambino – “Telegraph Ave. (‘Oakland’ by Lloyd)”

It’s not entirely clear whose song this is, as its placement on Childish Gambino’s Because The Internet makes it initially seem like its Lloyd’s song… Only for Gambino to come in and steal the show. The atmospheric R&B jam details the ambivalence everyone feels in starting relationships online, and whether they’re built to last. Who knows the success rate, but at least this song makes it worth pondering. (Listen)

78. Dom Kennedy Ft. Nipsey Hussle – “Pleeze” — With Dom’s Best Buy deal and Nipsey’s $100 mixtape, 2013 represented huge steps in the careers of these two artists. Thankfully, the music didn’t as a result. On “Pleeze” from Dom’s underrated Get Home Safely, the duo share their authentic brand of West Coast hip-hop that captures two very different, but very real perspectives, over bouncy and infectious production. (Listen)

79. Busta Rhymes Ft. Q-Tip, Kanye West, & Lil Wayne “Thank You” — When Busta joined YMCMB, many wondered how his sound would change. Who knew the ever evolving emcee would return to his roots, and create one of the feel good tunes of the year? (Listen)

80. ScHoolboy Q Ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Collard Greens” — While it was disappointing to not have a Schoolboy Q album in 2013, the TDE spitter didn’t exactly leave us high and dry. This high-energy, party starter is unique for it off-kilter beat, driven by a whimsical bassline and clicking percussion, and the fact that it’s the only song of 2013 where Kendrick Lamar featured and didn’t destroy the artist to whom the track belonged. (Listen)

Big Sean

81. Big Sean Ft. Jeezy & Payroll – “It’s Time”

The best song on Big Sean’s latest is a chest-thumping, look-what-I-did anthem? Featuring Jeezy? Go figure! (Listen)

82. Sampha – “Happens” — Music to lose yourself in. (Listen)

83. J. Cole Ft. James Fauntleroy – “Born Sinner” — Depending who’s asked, Light Skin Jermaine’s sophomore set was either vastly underrated or a fly-by-night weed plate. The LP’s closing moment encapsulated the direction and spirituality Born Sinner intended to project to the masses equipped with transparent lyrics, a soulful hook and a haunting choir. The song’s true lesson? Appreciate your flaws while striving to remedy them everyday. It may not be the “meaning of life,” but it’s for damn sure one of its most prominent principles. (Listen)

84. Childish Gambino Ft. Chance The Rapper – “The Worst Guys” — The only complaint that can really be made about this song is Chance’s minimalistic role on the hook. Everything else is peaches: the jazzy beat, the crescendo of Gambino’s bars. Hell, even that same chorus that we were just lamenting about. It just gets trapped in your head, refusing to give up residency. (Listen)

85. Lady Gaga Ft. R. Kelly — “Do What U Want” Mother Monster and Robert’s harmonizing is like audio crack to be listened to on repeat. Everything about this song is a little too real given the fact that R. Kelly is a creepy old man, so if you can ignore that, kudos. (Listen)

86. Young Thug – “Some More” — Young Thug is an acquired taste. Given that this song is called “Some More,” and that’s what he wants, we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in 2014, as well as Metro Boomin, TM88, and Sonny Digital, the crafters of this beat. (Listen)

87. Pusha T Ft. The Dream – “40 Acres”

King Push cooked up a few bangers in 2013, but there’s something beautifully sinister about his words on this The-Dream- assisted and -produced track. I don’t know if it’s the raw candor his lyrics hit with or just how smooth the beat is. But this track has been on repeat since the album dropped. (Listen)

88. SL Jones – “Thas My Word”

Metro Boomin provides some dramatic horns that help SL Jones to underscore that his word is bond on “Thas My Word.” From their EP together, “Thas My Word” gets the endorphins flowing immediately. (Listen)

89. Toni Braxton & Babyface – “Hurt You”

Toni Braxton? Babyface? What is this? 1991? Nope. The two linked back up again to give us “Hurt You,” a grown folks hit record blazing urban adult contemporary stations everywhere. (Listen)

90. YG Ft. Rich Homie Quan, Jeezy – “My Nigga”

Catchy as it is controversial and just plain ol’ ignant, there was no denying YG’s “My Nigga” this year. And the rapper owes it all to social media and Vines. (Listen)


91. Drake Ft. 2 Chainz & Big Sean – “All Me”

In addition to a few of the catchiest melodies of the year according to many sets of ears, this radio smash features an entertaining–as always–verse from Chainz and murderous stunting from young Aubrey (even if he did basically let Big Sean cut him off and call him a ho). (Listen)

92. Tamar Braxton – “All The Way Home”

The littlest Braxton had a banner year that saw the release of her 13-years-in-the-making sophomore album “Love and War.” The standout track “All The Way Home” reminds everyone that she isn’t just the obnoxiously loud woman we see on TV every Thursday night. (Listen)

93. Ashanti Ft. Rick Ross – “I Got It”

Ashanti’s been planning her comeback since Beyonce dropped “Dangerously In Love.” Though she’ll probably never achieve the level of success she achieved pre-Bey again, the Rick Ross-assisted turn-up track “I Got It” is a great start. (Listen)

94. Black Hippy – “U.O.E.N.O” (Remix)

Top Dawg and Co. utterly murked Rockos’s joint in the face of all of its controversy. One thing was for sure: after this dropped, there wasn’t any debate as to whose remix was the best. (Listen)

95. Lupe Fiasco – “SLR 2”

Lupe took a lot of criticism this year, but made sure that everyone knew he could still rappity rap when it mattered most. (Listen)

96. Dee-1 – “3’s Up”

The young spitter out of N’awlins did what he does best, drop real-life knowledge at no expense to his lyricism and song-crafting ability. (Listen)

97. Isaiah Rashad Ft. SZA – “Ronnie Drake”

Isaiah Rashad made his rounds with “Shot You Down,” but the SZA-assisted “Ronnie Drake” was a more rounded effort, and a complete record from start to finish. (Listen)

98. Ill Camille – “Slip Away”

Camille had an unheralded, yet great 2013 with no record better than than this one, that featured her rapping as several characters and narrating an intricate tale about the end of a relationship. (Listen)

99. Gee Watts Ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Watts R.I.O.T.”

The breakout song from his breakout mixtape, “Watts R.I.O.T.” showed the underground why Gee Watts is the next big thing out of KC. His verses are detailed, and have the kind of replay value that peels back new layers with each listen. (Listen)

100. Chance The Rapper – “Acid Rain”

The best song from the best project of the year. Point blank, period. (Listen)

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