Album: None

Chicago's West Side bop scene was one of the more underappreciated movements in hip-hop this year. While the city's bigger new stars, like Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper, charmed the wider world, a dance-oriented phenomenon was gripping the city, as captured in this extensive article by Chicago scribe Leor Galil. The scene is singles-oriented—or to be more specific, YouTube-oriented. It's also developed in some real-world social spaces, and is not solely delimited by the internet. Its parties ("fiestas" or "fe fes") are driven by uptempo, melodic sounds, like Atlanta's swag rap mutated to a higher frequency.

The biggest songs on this scene in 2013 were...well, they were pretty damn unique. The most widely recognized anthem was probably Sicko Mobb's "Fiesta," with its delirious, disorienting sing-song melody. One of the scene's most distinctive songs was "Flee," by The Guys, which split the difference between rap and house, likely the best single to rock kettle drums since "Crank Dat."

In contrast to those songs, "Fe Fe On the Block" is more traditional, and wouldn't sound out of place if it'd come from Atlanta—at least, were it not for the heavy use of Chicago slang. But the song's got a sentimental wistfulness that can't be denied, as it captures a truly organic cultural movement in full bloom while reminding us of its temporal nature all at once. —David Drake