40. Lady Gaga – Artpop
Gaga’s ‘Artflop’ failed to impress me like her other albums, but there were a few standouts. Songs like ‘G.U.Y.’ and ‘Venus’ should’ve came before ‘Applause’, and the album’s collaborations (R. Kelly, T.I., Twista, and Too Short) could’ve been left on the cutting floor.
39. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
The former Clipse bandmate has been bubbling under the radar with his guest verses, but his debut solo album really silenced his haters. My only issue with his debut is that ten of the set’s twelve songs feature other artists.
38. Ke$ha – Warrior
Ke$ha’s second album showed more maturity and growth than most pop stars have done in five albums. Her material remained a bit trashy, but it also become way more refined thanks to productions from Dr. Luke and Greg Kurstin.
37. Lil’ Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being II
Weezy’s second installment in his ‘I Am Not A Human Being’ series continues his trend of cleverly mixing hip-hop and rock elements and features production from Detail, Soulja Boy, and Juicy J. The album cut ‘Wowzers’ became an unexpected success, charting in the top 10 of the R&B/Hip-Hop charts in June 2013.
36. Mykki Blanco – Betty Rubble The Initiation
Transgender rapper Mykki Blanco wowed most of the top critics with his debut EP, which followed his highly recommended ‘Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Princess’ mixtape. Mykki’s lyrics are stronger and more relevant than ever, leaving fans anxiously awaiting his ‘Snow White’ album in early 2014.
35. ASAP Rocky – Long Live ASAP
A$AP Rocky is the first in his A$AP Mob crew to earn a Grammy nomination off the international success from his debut album. ‘Long Live A$AP’ spawned three hit singles after debuting at #1 in January 2013.
34. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Although I don’t quite understand why Drake is so successful, his albums usually feature a few non-singles that are worth listening to. But after working with Beyoncé on her new self-titled album, I’m sure sales for both artists will continuing increasing well into next year.
33. Banks – London EP
American singer-songwriter Banks is undoubtedly the female version of the Weeknd, and her debut EP ‘London’ proves just that. With only four songs, it’s odd that Banks’ catalog to date trumps most of the Weeknd’s previous and current releases.
32. The-Dream – IV Play
Even a Beyonce’ feature and holy water combined couldn’t save The-Dream’s fourth album from completely tanking on the charts. ‘IV Play’ features an entire disc of (usually) raunchy #teriustunes and a few surprise collaborations (Gary Clark Jr., Jay-Z).
31. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
Following in the footsteps of Earl’s first mixtape, ‘Doris’ became an indie success upon its release in mid-2013. Tyler, the Creator features on two songs, while Earl himself produces most of the rest, leaving fans with one of the most cohesive hip-hop albums this year.