Best Crossover Record of 2013

Reader's Pick

J. Cole - Power Trip ft. Miguel Artwork

J. Cole - Power Trip ft. Miguel

On the most literal level, the lead single off J. Cole's sophomore album depicts him lusting after a longtime crush. But, as the Roc Nation heavyweight himself has affirmed, it's also about the quest for that smash-hit record. While it's anyone's guess whether Power Trip helped him finally get with the girl in question, it clearly solved the latter problem. With a little help from RCA Records crooner Miguel on the hook, Cole was able to conquer the mainstream (the cut hit #19 on the Hot 100) without sacrificing the nuanced narrative and multifaceted wordplay his fans have come to expect. For its masterful interweaving of hip-hop and R&B, Power Trip, was hailed by readers as the year's greatest crossover jam.

Staff Pick

Kid CuDi - Immortal Artwork

Kid CuDi - Immortal

Typically, a crossover hit involves two or more artists from different genres pooling their talents and their fanbases. Leave it to Mr. Solo Dolo to do it all by his lonesome on Immortal, single number two off junior set Indicud. Technically, Kid CuDi was joined in spirit by indie-rockers MGMT - a reversed snippet of their second album's title track, Congratulations, is the basis for the record's blunted instrumental backdrop - but the Cleveland phenom's creative sampling techniques only accentuate the ingenuity of his approach, which won him our vote for crossover king of 2013, just like he's been the crossover king since essentially the first day he bust on the scene.

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