As we come to the end of the year, we realise that 2013 has been a fantastic year for music! Each year we get a huge amount of album releases, concerts and controversial moments. But there has been something about 2013. Huge returns from artists who haven’t made albums in a few years, the return of high-profile hip-hop beef and resurgence of genres.
The way 2013 started you’d think it would be dubbed the comeback year. The biggest return was from none other than Justin Timberlake. Teasing fans with social media post before the release of the hit single “Suit and Tie” to warm fans up for his first album in six years The 20/20 Experience. Like a double-decker bus in London, we had to wait six years for one and we got another album only six months later.
Further returns came to Hip-Hop as well. The biggest and most anticipated was the return of Eminem. Releasing Marshall Mathers LP 2 at the back-end of 2013, Eminem’s LP debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with the second-largest sales week of the year, behind Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience. Are we shocked that these two are number one and two for album sales this year?
Both big artist in the early 2000’s and have now come back to give their fans what they’ve been missing. When artist return from a long spell out some cannot recapture the form they used to have, look at Jodeci. They literally fell off at Wembley Arena.
From 1:00 the travesty of Jodeci:
The Return of R’N’B:
R’N’B has been criticised and been seen as a dying genre, but in 2013 it came back! Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Jhene Aiko, Justin Timberlake and other R’N’B stars helped the recovery of the genre. Most R’N’B fans would not think that Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars would bring back the genre but in 2013 both artist have changed their image and sound. Bieber turned 19 and decided to become a bad boy by trying to fight the press, sleeping with random Brazilians (and getting caught) and becoming a vandal. Mars has gone for the more soulful option rather than the bad boy, who isn’t a bad boy image.
Bieber has changed his sound as well, using samples and sounding more like a man than a girl with his Music Mondays. Bieber takes a page out of the book of Craig David with “Recovery” and with “Heartbreaker” and “All That Matters” he is singing about some deep love rather than a repetition of the word baby.
Mars is looking to be the next Michael Jackson. A change in hair, dress sense and singing style, Bruno has changed up and looking to change up the game. From his visuals of his “Treasure” video, you think MJ. It’s too early to say he will be next MJ but he’s going the right way about, but he is not close to being the Legend and icon which is Michael Jackson.
Then you have the lovely Jhene Aiko. After features on Big Sean’s “Beware” and Drake’s “From Time”, Miss Aiko had everyone wanting her next solo project and it came in the form of her recently released EP Sail Out. Arguably one the best female R’N’B singers of 2013. With her soulful voice and simplistic style, Jhene has helped bring R’N’B back to what is used to be.
Beef Is Back:
As more and more rappers came onto the scene it seemed as if everyone just wanted to be friends and no one was trying to shake up the game. That changed when Big Sean leaked “Control”. That verse from Kendrick Lamar was on everybody’s lips especially when he named himself the King of New York (when he’s from LA) and called out nearly every rapper about.
I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ with
But this is hip-hop and them niggas should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas
Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas
They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas
This a buzz of responses from rappers who were not mentioned on the track that either felt Kendrick was talking too much smack or just want to remind the world they were still making music. Shout out to Joel Ortiz who was basically asking for work during his response. Even Drake, who claims to not respond to disses, threw a bit of shade back at Kendrick.
Kendrick woke up so many rappers. A lot were up in arms and either cussed Kendrick out or released a response about Kendrick’s verse. Others praised Lamar for finally speaking up and raising the bar in the rap game.
Great Summer, Great Festivals:
Nas, Kanye West, Jay Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Beyonce, Brandy, Faith Evans, Justin Timberlake and whole host of other names were on tour around the world in 2013. As well as different festivals such as Wireless and V Festival, the Legends of Summer Tour kicked off in the UK as Jay Z and Justin Timberlake created an unforgettable moment in live music history. Nothing was on the level of the spectacle which was The Watch The Throne Tour, however, it has been great for live music, even though Kanye West screamed and threw down a mic at his concert before storming off.
Quality albums and Projects:
There was an abundance of top quality albums released in 2013. Magna Carta Holy Grail, Yeezus, Born Sinner, My Name Is My Name, NWTS, Hall Of Fame, Body Music, Settle and so much more great albums were all released in 2013. Which was the best album? Which was the worst? Were there any bad ones? These are all difficult questions and I doubt there would be a unanimous decision made, which says a lot about the quality of albums which were released to the world this year.
Eminem and Justin Timberlake had the best sales on debuts, JayZ’s Magna Carta Holy Grail officially went double platinum plus the million downloaded via the Samsung Mobile app.
As a lover of music you don’t always get a year with a great amount of quality albums. This year we’ve been spoiled greatly, it is as if everyone in the music industry came together and decided this would be the year no one would forget.
What We Want From 2014:
What more could we ask for? Watch The Throne Two? That’s one of the few things we could ask for. No concert could compare to WTT and there has been a lot of talk about a second one and another world tour would be unbelievable!
More beef. Enough of the mother meetings and back to the competition. Drake is rapping about no new friends but not rocking the boat. Kendrick Lamar called himself the King of New York. He called J.Cole by his first name; can we get some sort of spark? Can we get some proper competition?
The answers Sway! Less Kanye West rants, but there is a guilty pleasure to hear him complain. But he has an album out in the summer and I pray it’s easier on the ears than Yeezus.
For 2014, I hope the quality of music continues and we get more classics and more music moments.