Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs of 2013 (At The Halfway Point) – by Alloyius Mcilwaine

Every December, I do a “Hip-Hop Year in Review” article showcasing the Top 100 Hip-Hop songs of the year.
Every December, I do a “Hip-Hop Year in Review” article showcasing the Top 100 songs of the year.  June 15th (my birthday 8) ) has come and gone, marking the halfway point in the year…so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to look at what Hip-Hop had to offer so far.  I decided to create a “Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Year” list to showcase the best singles created in the first half of the 2013.  Truth be told, this has not been a great year for Hip-Hop up to this point.  Things may pick up as the year progresses, but as of June 2013, there are only a few albums that have stood out to me (including “Beautiful Raw” by Qwel & Maker…my current front-runner for “Hip-Hop Album of the Year”).   However, after doing some digging, I have come up with enough songs to create a legitimately solid Top 50 list…featuring artists ranging from Big Daddy Kane & Rakim to Joey BadA$$.


Before I present this list to you, I have to do a bit of a disclaimer.  Some of you might come across a list like this and get upset because you don’t see songs from some of your favorite commercial rap artists like A$AP Rocky, Drake, and Kanye West.  I have friends that legitimately hate all artists that get radio airplay and won’t even give their music a chance (because the majority of commercial rap is terrible).   I’m not that kind of person.  I DO think that the majority of commercial rap is terrible, but I try to judge everything on a song by song basis so that I can develop a more informed opinion.  Case in point, a song featuring Rick Ross made it onto this list, and I usually cannot stand Rick Ross.  However, after listening to the “Poor Decisions” track (that he did with Lupe Fiasco & Wale), I thought that he actually had something relevant to say.  I try to create these lists without any bias.  My only real requirement for making my “Best Of” lists is that you impress me.  I love creative, soulful, thoughtful Hip-Hop with solid production & great lyricism.  The songs that made the list are the songs that exemplified this and impressed me the most up to this point in the year. So, without further adieu:

At The Halfway Point – Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs of 2013 (In No Particular Order)

1) “Long Walkers” – Qwel & Maker:

2) “Nite & Day” – Marco Polo ft. Big Daddy Kane:
3) “What You Need” – Moe Pope & Rain:
4) “Love Is Blind” – Co$$:
5) “Push Thru (Marco Polo Remix)” – Talib Kweli ft. Curren$y & Kendrick Lamar:
6) “Charlie Brown” – ScienZe ft. Blu:
7) “Sun Shine” – Doppelgangaz:
8 ) “Built Pyramids” – NORE aka PAPI feat. Large Professor:
9 ) “Savagely Attack” – Czarface (7L & Esoteric and Inspectah Deck) ft. Ghostface: 
10) “Life Is A Gamble” – Big K.R.I.T. ft. B.J. the Chicago Kid:
11) “Congratulations” – Common ft Cocaine 80’s:
12) “Acid Rain” – Chance The Rapper:
13) “LIFE” – Thomas Prime & Tiff The Gift ft Akin Yai (CYNE), Awon & Dicap:
14) “Good Things Die” – Ugly Heroes (Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, Red Pill):
15) “Summer Breeze” – Slum Village: 

16) “Dag, Philly Too” – Homeboy Sandman w/ El RTNC (formerly Rthentic RTNC):
17) “Without You” – 7 G.E.M.S. (Tragic Allies & Tragedy Khadafi):
18) “Learn Truth” – R.A. the Rugged Man ft. Talib Kweli:
19) “Unorthodox” – Joey Bada$$:
20) “Rise of the Black Suits” – Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge:
21) “Divine People” – Shing Shing Regime:
22) “Masterful” – John Robinson & Kyo Itachi:
23) “Holy Visions” – Zion I ft. Fashawn:
24) “Nina” – ANTHM:
25) “Be Yourself” – Shuko ft. Blu: 

26) “Spraying My Pen” – K-Os ft. Saukrates & Shad:
27) “Poor Decisions” – Wale ft. Lupe Fiasco & Rick Ross:
28) “Mandingo Rally” – The White Mandingos:
29) “Open Letter Pt II” – Jay-Z ft. Common:
30) “Lake Effect” – Qwel & Maker:
31) “Barbituates” – Doppelgangaz:
32) “Love Again” – Co$$:
33) “Long Drive Home” – Ugly Heroes (Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, Red Pill):
34) “Loud Enough” – Moe Pope & Rain ft. John Robinson:
35) “Bird’s Eye View” – Statik Selektah ft. Raekwon, Joey Badass & Black Thought:
36) “Banana Clip Theory” – Big K.R.I.T.:
37) “If I Could Sing” – Qwel & Maker:
38) “Come Here” – Talib Kweli ft. Miguel:
39) “What’s Wrong” – Rakim:
40) “Space Mountain” – Koncept ft. Tanya Morgan:
41) “Visionz” – Killah Priest:
42) “Expectations” – Supastition ft. Shylow:
43) “Ring The Alarm” – Divine ScinZe ft. Blu:
44) “Make Up Sex” – Substantial ft. Deacon the Villain:
45) “Animal Pharm” – Lupe Fiasco ft. Thom Yorke:
46) “Day In The Life” – Joey Bada$$:
47)  “When It Rains” – Dag Savage ft. Aloe Blacc:
48) “Men Of Honor” – 7 G.E.M.S. (Tragic Allies + Tragedy Khadafi) feat. Relentless:
49) “Hip-Hop” – Wyclef:
50) “Art Imitates Life” – Talib Kweli ft. Black Thought & Rah Digga:


Honorable Mention

“Canarsie High” – Ill Bill
“360 Waves” – Durag Dynasty
“The Maven” – K-Rino
“BBQ (Family Reunion Remix)” – Substantial
“Best Worst Day” – Supastition
“New School, Old School” – Classified
“My First White Girl” – The White Mandingos
“Give Em Eff” – Julian Malone
“We Movin” – AZ