Favorite Tracks of 2013:
1. Grizzly Bear -- "Will Calls (Marfa Demo)"
2. Shlohmo -- "Later"
3. Kevin Gates -- "4:30AM"
4. Duke Dumont -- "Need U (100%)"
5. Juicy J -- "Bounce It"
6. SchoolBoy Q -- "Collard Greens" [feat. Kendrick Lamar]
7. DJ Rashad -- "Let It Go"
8. Logos -- "Wut It Do (Album Mix)" [feat. Mumdance]
9. Classixx -- "Holding On"
10. A$AP Ferg -- "Shabba/Shabba Remix"
Favorite Albums of 2013:
1. Forest Swords -- Engravings
2. DJ Rashad -- Double Cup
3. Danny Brown -- Old
4. Thundercat -- Apocalypse
5. Chance The Rapper-- Acid Rap
6. Ka -- The Night's Gambit
7. Darkside -- Psychic
8. Juicy J -- Stay Trippy
9. Shlohmo -- Laid Out
10. Julia Holter -- Loud City Song
Most Played Song of 2013: Duke Dumont, "Need U (100%)."
Confession: I'm not a druggie, and have never attended a rave. The closest I came to trying LSD was watching The Magic School Bus as a child, and the only time I've popped Molly was when my homecoming date invited me upstairs at her sorority house. But when I look outside my apartment window and see Los Angeles's neon lights and cotton candy skies, Duke Dumont reminds me that life is too short and sweet to not dance.
An Old Album I Discovered/Rediscovered This Year: 5 O'Clock Shadowboxers -- The Slow Twilight.
MC Zilla Rocca and producer Douglas Martin (AKA Blurry Drones) created a masterwork of great taste with a low-budget aesthetic, as if they put together a million dollar outfit with thrift store clothes. Zilla spat rhymes like a corrupt noir screenwriter with game-time urgency. Picture him racing out of a smoke-filled condo with the speed of a bloodhound, gasping for air as the night falls, clutching his collection of crime novels with both hands as his residence singes to the pavement. Douglas Martin's production skills lay in his ability to conflate hip-hop with indie rock: Boom-bap beats impassioned with the crate-digging spirit of the best-of song lists that defined the music-obsessive protagonist in Nick Hornby's book, High Fidelity.
Musical Highlights: The articles on Passion of the Weiss were my scripture for great hip-hop, grime, dance and more. I'd like to think I'm an original when it comes to my taste, but in all honestly, Passion has helped me grow tremendously as a listener. Their staff turned me on to nearly all of my favorite songs this year, and I remain tremendously grateful to have written a few articles for the site.
Seeing Run the Jewels live at the Echo was something else. Killer Mike and El-P sounded like a machine gun-wielding villainous duo straight out of a buddy-buddy cop film. I left the venue with veins bulging out of my arms; then I immediately head-butted a police officer and robbed an armored truck. Kidding.
Musical Lowlights: A$AP Rocky's Long.Live.A$AP was a disappointing follow-up to a promising debut. The album was so depressing to me that it served as a requiem for the word "swag" in my vocabulary. Drake's record was too soft and wimpy. Listening to his album reminded me of the time I was hired to watch over my two-year-old cousin, except the Toronto musician probably requires more lavender-scented baby wipes.