As someone who has worked for a brand for a while now, I—Insanul Ahmed—often have to point out to my friends, family, and annoying people I meet at parties that just because I work for a brand, that doesn't mean I am the brand. And that really, while everyone who works for a brand is in some ways a representative of the brand, the brand is kind of like it's own person. (I mean this differently than "corporations are people." Fuck that and screw Mitt Romney.) This is a very important distinction to make. People think just because say, Complex says Kanye West's Yeezus is the album of the year, then I must think Kanye West's Yeezus is the album of the year—which couldn't be further from the truth.
The reality is, Complex lists are made by a collection of editors who sit down and debate lists for hours on end (Seriously, no one appreciates how much we debate these lists down to the tiniest detail). The lists are created through a series of agreements ("Yeah, that has to be on here..."), compromises ("I don't like it, but if you guys are riding for it..."), and arguments ("That shit sounds like outtakes from the Footloose soundtrack!") In the end, what you have is a product of hive-mind, guided by the executive hand of our Chief Content Officer, Noah Callahan-Bever. That being said, we thought readers might be interested in what the staffers and contributors that help make the Best Albums and Best Songs lists would choose on their own. So everyone made personal Best of 2013 lists. Have a look.