Exclaim!'s Best of 2013:

Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums

> Dec 04 2013



8. Earl Sweatshirt
Doris
(Columbia)

Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt faced incredible expectations on his retail debut Doris, and he did not deliver on them.

This was no error. Rather than an attempt to appease the masses or meet expectations, Doris is the sound of a talented, acclaimed young scribe making sense of success and his youthful delinquency the way most teenagers do: drugs, music and lots of writing. You can see the hundreds of crumpled sheets that went into crafting the complex internal rhymes of songs like "Whoa" or "Hive."

Sweatshirt ignites when driven by his peers, from Vince Staples ("Centurion" and "Hive") to Domo Genesis ("20 Wave Caps" and "Knight"). He has a knack for writing lines that lodge themselves in your cranium with sheer ingenuity. He's rawer than the skinned knee cap on the blacktop. "Chum" compresses 19 years into four minutes, chronicling Sweatshirt's passage "from honor roll to cracking locks up off them bicycle racks."

Shedding the murderous misanthropy and misogyny of his Eminem-inflected debut, Sweatshirt found inspiration in Madvillain's Madvillainy. It's all there: the gauzy, blunted beats, largely created by Sweatshirt himself; the sardonic humour, the wry, dense verbiage. Yet Doris is also its own beast, a slow grower that requires attentive listening to tease out the knotty tangles of Sweatshirt's writing. And it's well worth the time. (Aaron Matthews)
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So brave.
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Wow no Grand Analog, really shows that ya'll know a thing or two about hip-hop.
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it's because Grand Analog are terrible. It's BEST, not so-so Hip-Hop albums of the year.
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A lot of good albums on that list. I had Oddisee "Tangible Dream" on mine and Ugly Heroes too.
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The second half of LongLiveAsap is awful. How the fuck does it make it to an "album of the year" list. This is more like - rappers we follow that came out with albums this year.
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no j cole? this list is awful lol
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Ferg's album > Rocky's album, IMO
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Yeezus has ya'll fooled with hype. Danny Brown should be #1 IMO. Missing from this list is Grand Analog and Oddisee no doubt.
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The shad album should be number one. The rest of that list should be burned. Drake? asap rocky? That's not even music, let alone hiphop.
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Yeezus is all hype
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pretty good list but acid rap should be further up imo
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I like how Shad is the 4th pick (which is wrong anyway) and isn't even included in the artwork. Typical hype and popularity over substance.
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yesss @ those first two. They both blew my mind.
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Where is R.A The rugged man
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The only album that doesn't belong here is A$AP. Pretty accurate otherwise.
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What about Blu, Black Milk, Oddisee...?
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Rich Kidd In My Opinion!
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this list is wack
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When did exclaim get bought out by pitchfork?
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A lot of ppl making statements about what "real hip hop" is on this thread that dont know wtf theyre talking about. Stay in your lane.
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The only Canadian albums are Shad and Drake? My problem with Shad is that dude is way to safe. He's just boring. Don't get me wrong, he can rap, he can string words together and make them rhyme well....but dude is boring as fuck. He's made the same album over and over again. The fact that Rich Kidd, or Freedom Writers, or NBS or the new D-sisive record didn't make it on here is a joke.
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Shad should have been #1...also very disappointed that Lizzo didn't make the list. If she can get noticed by a publication like Exclaim...then I'm not sure anyone else will take the time to realize she might be the strongest female voice in Hip Hop today.

Sad...and cliched list.
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Kanye West's Yeezus is the worst album of 2013.
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