The Perfect Fan Experience
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and had a productive 2013. 2013 was a great year for music, especially Hip-Hop. Rap in the new millennium has been like the economy, very depressing. Since 2000s its been an expansion of bubble gum and ringtone rap with no balance of good lyrical content. In the past 5 years I can say we have been blessed with a number of good MCs that can make a song and also give you some lyrical fire, such as J.Cole,Kendrick Lamar, and Meek Mill, just to name a couple. Is the rap game back where it was in the 90s where all you heard was hot fire? No, but its getting back to that slowly but surely. I can’t think of another year I was more confident in other than 2013, so much quality music came out of this year, plus this year was the birth of the #GladiatorEra and we all know who sparked that off. So to remind people of the quality 2013 bought, we are going to go through the best albums, mixtapes, songs, and artist of the year.
Album of the Year: Born Sinner by J.Cole
Cole first album was pretty decent but it wasn’t what his fans, including me, was expecting for his debut album. Not to say it was a bad album but it didn’t compare to “The Warm Up” or “Friday Night Lights” and I think Cole knew that. This album was much better though, like he said on the intro, “its way darker this time”. The best part of the album for me was the promotion, mainly the $1 concert. I went to the $1 concert he had in Baltimore and it was mainly for his day 1 fans. It wasn’t no more than 150 people in the venue and he only did songs that his core fans would know and I can say that was one of the best concerts I ever been too. I had no problem buying his album after that because at the end of the day, he blessed me with a $1 concert. The Album was well worth the money though, from beginning to end you can play it straight through without skipping. He changed his rhyme patterns, his sound, but went back to rapping about his life and putting it into a song form. He touch on areas such as breaking up with his girlfriend, getiting his first chain, insecurities, and just being a born sinner. Definitely the most complete album of the year.
My Name Is My Name by Pusha T
Magna Carta Holy Grail by Jay-Z
The Gifted by Wale
Artist of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick had one of the biggest years in recent memory, similar to what Drake did in 2011. K.Dot gradually made his name known with his mixtape “Overly Dedicated” and album “Section .80”, both were ahead of their time and spoke about a lost generation. Initially people didn’t catch onto how good those two pieces were but his wave grew larger the closer he got to releasing “Good Kid m.A.A.d City”. After releasing the best album of 2012, K.Dot let everybody know who was the BEST RAPPER ALIVE in 2013. He didn’t have many features like Drake or Wayne but when you heard his voice he didn’t waste his breath or his time on the mic. He belittled his competition every chance he got and did it at the most opportune time. What makes this even more pivotal is because he is pretty much mainstream still delivering underground caliber bars. He is one of the few that has mastered that balance, Clap 4 Him.
Spitta never disappoints. Whenever Curren$y puts out a project, whether it be a mixtape or album, you can always count on it to be something smooth and special. Just like with “Born Sinner”, “New Jet City” is something you can play straight through without touching the skip button. This could have definitely been an album in itself and the New Jack City theme just really makes it a great mixtape. Curren$y didn’t just put some songs together and said here, no he give you a story, which every artist should do with their projects. If you haven’t already heard this one, I suggest you download it ASAP.
Summer Knights by Joey BadA$$
Kings Remembered In Time by BIG KRIT
Rookie of the Year
Joey Bad popped up on the Fan-I scene last year after hearing his “1999” mixtape(first mixtape of the week on Fan-I.com) and after hearing the first 3 songs we knew this kid was going to be a problem. Only 18 years of age, Joey is way ahead of his time and reminds us of the past at the same time. Joey isn’t mainstream yet but that is ok because he still doing tours across the globe with his Pro Era crew. For him to be so young, their is no limit for this kid, there is no ceiling for him. Joey will only continue to grow not only as a man but also as an artist, time will tell how great this Brooklyn kid will be.
We choose our winners using the Gladiator criteria. We didn’t choose it by who was on the radio the most or whoever is the most popular, its all about the bars here. If you don’t provide hard lines that make people scrunch their face up, more than likely you can’t be included in the Gladiator Era. ONLY THE STRONGEST WILL SURVIVE.