The 10 Best New York City Rap Albums of 2013

Categories: Best of NYC

A$AP Ferg
The mainstream end of New York City's 2013 rap output might have seen uptown upstarts A$AP Rocky and French Montana putting numbers on the board, but the city's most fertile and invigorating offerings came from less glitzy-reaching enclaves. Consider this round-up a salute to the rap albums that best defined New York this year.

(Obligatory honorable mentions disclaimer: Steel Tipped Dove's double volume smorgasbord of emcees ...And A Whole Bunch Of Motherfuckers Parts 1 & 2, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's canny Kismet, World's Fair raucous Bastards Of The Party, and EL-P and Killer Mike's magnificent Run The Jewels jaunt which missed out on inclusion by virtue of the ATLien's hefty contribution.)

See also: The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012

10. Armand Hammer
Race Music
The Armand Hammer duo of Billy Woods and Elucid are a gift from the underground. Race Music, which was preceded by the freebie mixtape Half Measures, wins with its full-on dirt appeal; imagine the heavy mental thoughts and space-thud production of EL-P's "Nightwork" tryst with the lesser-spotted Sir Menelik and you're in the subterranean ballpark. For greasy kicks, lead single "Shark Fin Soup" also shouts out Mott Street food spots.

9. A$AP Ferg
Trap Lord
Couldn't get beyond the department store muzak moment of "Fashion Killa" on A$AP Rocky's Long.Live.A$AP? Try the long-playing debut from the Mob's second-in-line instead, which casts Ferg as the continuation of New York's mid-'90s street-centric swagger. With the "Work" remix the Fergster also crafted a 2013 anthem--although hometown hounds might want to try and replace the now unwelcome Trinidad James's guest spot with some vocals from Zhiggie.

8. Jean Grae
Gotham Down
A novel in the form of a trilogy of EPs? Or just more advanced-level, back catalogue-referential rap hi-jinks from Jean Grae that will all be fathomed out in years to come? Start forming your own take on the Gotham Down experience by delving into the gifted-child rap acrobatics of "Kill Screen (Steve Wiebe)."

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Decent choices, though a wider net might have caught some other notables.. In the end, these lists, like album reviews, really don't matter much anymore anyway... topcommenter

Does that photo represent the best of NYC rap in 2013?  

Maybe that guy's brilliant.  A huge makeover would help. 

Steve Kalan
Steve Kalan

Florida Georgia line with Nelly sold over 6 million digital downloads in 2013


Ka: Arm in drawer, palm n four. My diet is veggie but dezzie is a carnivore.

Lol I cartwheeled!


12 Reasons to Die by GFK should be on there and at #1

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault