Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Rap Mixtapes

Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Rap Mixtapes
While our official Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums list is still a week or so away, our hip-hop writers took a moment to consider which mixtapes turned heads this year. Whether a production showcase, a mission statement or just a collection of ideas too out-there to make an official LP tracklist, these were the mixtapes that got ample playtime from us in 2013.

Top 10 Rap Mixtapes of 2013:

10. Pusha T
Wrath of Caine

While Wrath of Caine is certainly no My Name is My Name, Pusha T's latest mixtape effort serves as a solid prelude to his debut solo album. Singles like "Blocka" and "Only You Can Tell It" offered a dose of the A-1 quality we've come to expect from Pusha Ton. (Jabbari Weekes)

9. Rapsody
She Got Game

She Got Game is an unapologetic account of being a rapper's rapper, and nothing else. Throughout the tape, the nostalgic and soulful production complements Rapsody's aggressive deliveries, re-contextualizing and emphasizing every word. Whether establishing her place in rap with "My Song" or displaying a raw grittiness on "Jedi Code" or "Batman," Rapsody proves once again that she's here to stay. (Erin Lowers)

8. Roc Marciano
The Pimpire Strikes Back

Madlib, Lord Finesse, Alchemist, Evidence — sounds like the calibre of producers you'd recruit for a freebie mixtape, no? New York's lackadaisical dirt-talker sticks to the script on the beautifully named Pimpire Strikes Back, thrusting his loyal following back into a cold world of Remy, revolvers and rasp. Trusty headphone anthems build for winter subway rides. (Luke Fox)

7. Harry Fraud

Harry Fraud established himself as one of the hottest underground producers in New York City this year. After dropping collaborative projects with Curren$y, Smoke DZA, Action Bronson and Coke Boys, among others, his outtakes mixtape, Adrift, showcased the wavy-haired beatsmith's signature sound: elegant, hazy beats that sparkle without outshining his rhyme clients. (Peter Marrack)

6. The Underachievers
Lords of Flatbush/Indigoism

At the forefront of NYC's "Beast Coast" are psychedelic rappers the Underachievers, whose first mixtape was met with critical acclaim and for good reason: the duo's weird concoction of spirituality, substance abuse and rapid-fire wordplay made Indigoism a treat for golden-era hip hop heads and music lovers. Their follow up, Lords of Flatbush, shied away from the third eye allusions, allowing them to flex their lyrical versatility over Lex Luger-produced bangers, proving they are ones to watch for next year. (Jabbari Weekes)