It was a big, blockbuster year for hip-hop. 2013 gave rap fans brand new albums from some of the biggest names in music: Kanye West, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Drake, and Eminem. Macklemore became one of the year's biggest rookie success stories. J. Cole went up against Kanye and came away with substantial sales.
But once you move past the top tier, things looked a bit more dire. 2 Chainz new album—despite being an unexpectedly creative, accomplished record—was initially a commercial disappointment. Although Big Sean's record wasn't quite the flop the rumors would have you believe, the rapper's sales did drop slightly from his debut. And even Mac Miller, arguably one of the year's most-improved artists from a creative standpoint, witnessed a not-insubstantial sales drop compared to his last album.
There is a hollowing-out of the industry: top tier artists can afford to blanket the airwaves. And a few artists—like Rich Homie Quan ("Type of Way") and Ace Hood ("Bugatti") can use the clubs as a lever to get more attention, vaulting themselves onto the charts. (Sage the Gemini, meanwhile, pivoted from Vine to iTunes sales.) But even with all the momentum rap music has gained in 2013, there are a few tracks that didn't end up with the following they deserved.
Until the industry figures out how to get this kind of stuff on your local radio station, this list will have to do. From names as popular as 2 Chainz and those on the come up like Grip Plyaz, here are Rap Songs That Should Have Blown Up in 2013.
Written by Justin Davis (@OGJOHNNY5), David Drake (@somanyshrimp), Dharmic X (@dharmicx), Claire Lobenfeld (@clairevlo), and Jordan Sargent (@jordansarge).