Best Hip Hop Record of 2013 (Independent)

Reader's Pick

Tech N9ne - Fragile ft. ¡MAYDAY! & Kendrick Lamar Artwork

Tech N9ne - Fragile ft. ¡MAYDAY! & Kendrick Lamar

When compiling a list of emcees who kill other emcees on their own stuff, Tech N9ne and Kendrick Lamar have to be near the top of list. With that in mind, it's no wonder that Tech N9ne's Fragile , which features a guest spot from Kendrick, was the reader's pick for Best Hip Hop Record of 2013 (Independent). Not only does this song feature 32 gripping bars from the stalwart emcees, but it also boasts some stellar efforts from ¡MAYDAY!, Ralfy “FAFA” Valencia and Danny “Keys” Perez, who team up to create the soft yet oddly haunting instrumental. The icing on the cake is the stellar vocals of Wrekonize and Kendall Morgan, who really set off the ominous vibe. The title might be Fragile, but this effort was one of the strongest of the year, so it's not wonder y'all picked it as your favorite.

Staff Pick

Wax - We Can’t All Be Heroes Artwork

Wax - We Can’t All Be Heroes

DJBooth-favortie Wax is definitely hip-hop's every man. While most rappers boast about cars and jewelry, Wax raps about being broke, drinking Miller High Life and struggling to pay the bills. A breath of fresh air, Wax always brings his fans relatably unique hip-hop and We Can't All Be Heroes, off his debut album, Continue..., is perhaps his best. Backed by a vintage, horn-driven beat from Lack of Afro, Wax spits some painful yet truth-filled bars where he wrestles with following your dreams vs. accepting reality. It might not be the most cheery effort from the often comical emcee, but his passionate delivery and deep, pensive bars make this one to remember.

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