Mixtape Monday, Holiday Edition: The 13 Best Mixtapes Of 2013
In a special holiday/year's end edition of our Mixtape Monday column, Okayplayer has gathered together the 13 Best Mixtapes of 2013 for your listening pleasure. These are not, however, mixtapes of the scritchy-scratchy variety that we usually feature on Mixtape Mondays. You know; blend tapes, mixshows, party mixes whatever you want to call them, those seamless rivers of other people's music where the DJ is the captain of the ship. No these are the 13 best example of that other kind of mixtape; the unofficial and/or experimental album; given away for free, possibly using uncleared samples and generally free from the restrictions that commerce, calendars and other aspects of real life can impose on sonic skill and creativity. This is an important distinction because the main reason we are honoring this as a separate category in 2013 is that there's too many great releases we couldn't include on our Top 13 Albums of 2013 because to one degree or another they were not official album releases, and in some ways, not the same kind of considered artistic statement either. But they're still too dope not to get a mention--and, increasingly, in the age of the freEP, they are emerging as the engine and the signifying unit of music. So without further ado, find 13 hours or so of the official-unofficial best non-iTunes joints of the year--that's a whole heap of music so we skipped the breakdowns and jumped straight into the streams. Play on:
1. Q-tip x Busta Rhymes - The Abstract & The Dragon
2. Kelela - Cut 4 Me (Fade To Mind)
3. Joey Bada$$ - SummerKnights
4. The Child of Lov - Crying Thunder
Rest In Peace, Child of Lov. (The original soundcloud stream of TCOL's Crying Thunder mixtape has been taken down, hear 5 key tracks and a BBC 1 tribute mix below):
5. Underachievers - Indigoism
6. Kool AD - 63 + 19
Our homie Victor AKA Kool A.D. kicked off the year with a double barrel mixtape blast called 63 & 19, respectively, powered by unreleased AD Rock beats among other goodies. That apparently wasn't enough for him though because this weekend he decide to Beyoncé the game and drop another unannounced project called 'Not O.k.' Get all 3 mixtape of the year contenders below:
7. Flying Lotus - Ideas + Drafts + Loops
Ok, it's more of a 'folder' or a 'bundle' than a mixtape but whatever. Free dope mindblowing music from FlyLo is worth a spot on this list and the remixes and experiments here definitely count as a mixtape in spirit. Peep the Yeezy refix and download below:
8. Action Bronson x Party Supplies - Blue Chips 2
9. Vic Mensa - INNANETAPE
>>>Download (via illroots)
10. Le1f - Fly Zone
Tree House was pretty dope, too. Stream or download below:
>>>Download Le1f - Fly Zone (via Mediafire)
11. Big K.R.I.T. - King Remembered In Time
All you really need to know about this is: Big K.R.I.T. rapping on James Blake tracks, chopped but not slopped. 9th Wonder ain't no slouch, either.
12. Jai Paul - Untitled
This was less of a freEP or mixtape and more just like an accidental album. Still, see the FlyLo clause for raw, dope music overruling all format distinctions. No audio available, >>>read why over here..
13. Elbee Thrie [Phony PPL] - 53,000 Mixtape
Honorable Mixtapes: Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap (disqualified only because it made our Top 13 of 'real' albums); Soul Rebels - Drop The Power; Overdoz - Boom; Chris Dave x The Drumhedz; Roc Marciano - The Pimpire Strikes Back.