PopMatters | The Best Hip-Hop of 2013
Over at PopMatters, we put together a list of 2013’s best hip-hop. Yeezus isn’t #1. Feel free to check it out. My contributions are a blurb about Big K.R.I.T.‘s ‘King Remembered In Time’ which comes in at #8 and The Stuyvesants‘ ‘Refined’ which gets an honorable mention.
Big K.R.I.T. King Remembered in Time
In June of 2012, after a string of critically acclaimed mixtapes, Big K.R.I.T. finally released his album Live from the Underground. Sample clearance issues and other delays seemed to affect the final product and sales suffered. Some, including K.R.I.T. himself, wondered if he really had what it took to be a star on the main stage. Never one to be easily deterred, K.R.I.T. went back into the lab fueled by the doubters and his own belief that he failed his fans to methodically craftKing Remembered in Time—a 17-track-deep project billed as a mixtape, although it exceeds the quality of many proper retail albums on store shelves. With the spirit of his southern hip-hop forefathers in tow, Big K.R.I.T. followed the same formulaic approach that he had been using for years—starting off with crunk trunk-rattlers, before gradually getting deeper. This time around, he does it at a higher level. The stuntastic “Shine On” never clashes with the reflective “REM”. The southernplayalistic “Serve This Royalty” perfectly complements the ambitious “Bigger Picture”. Just as with his other projects, King Remembered in Time was produced (save for one track) and mixed solely by K.R.I.T. in true DIY fashion. As time goes by, K.R.I.T. will surely be remembered from this point forward, if he keeps dropping albums like this one. Emanuel Wallace
The Stuyvesants Refined
The Stuyvesants are a production duo based in New York—in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood to be exact. Allan Cole produces the tracks and Dorien Victor is the collector of the records that are sampled. This summer, they dropped Refined, an album of 25 soulful and mellow grooves that were perfect for a leisurely stroll through the streets, a long road trip, or just your run-of-the-mill social gathering. Standout tracks include the ultra-smooth “Portlyn” and the upbeat and bouncy “Sunshine”. Emanuel Wallace