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Jonathan Sawyer

Jonathan Sawyer is a writer/editor for Complex Magazine and HYPETRAK. He also runs PR and marketing campaigns for a variety of artists and brands.

Ty Dolla $ign – Beach House 2

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Ty Dolla $ign no doubt had a breakthrough year in 2013, in large part due to his signing with Taylor Gang. Not that he’s the new wave R. Kelly, but hey, Ty is kind of the new wave R. Kelly. His straightforward, sexual crooning is something you either love or hate. Oh, and don’t get caught blasting this around your parents.

Game – Operation Kill Everything

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I’m not too sure that Game is every truly slept on, but dude is honestly one of the most consistent rappers alive. His OKE mixtape went under the radar this year, for the most part, but if you happen to listen to one track from the tape, make it “Just So You Know.” FYI — “Astronaut P***y” is great, too—pause.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack

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In switching things up a bit, the soundtrack to the new Hunger Games flick was probably my most favorite non-hip-hop release of the year. Slept on? Well, in my realm where it’s all about hip-hop and EDM—yeah, it was. The musical backdrop for the film was even better than just that—the film. But the movie was great. You’ve probably already heard the best track from the project, “Elastic Heart,” but there are several others that aren’t far behind.

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KYLE – Beautiful Loser

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To be honest, I gave this album a spin or two right when it first dropped and sort of put it in the closet after that. But after dusting it back off last month, I found it to really be a solid project. No comparisons to Drake or anything, cause we know that KYLE hates that, but dude really is a younger, video game-playing version of Drizzy—and that’s a good thing. If you’ve gone through any relationship issues this year, you’ll love this compilation that much more. Simply put, a great album.

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Tinashe – Black Water

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There were actually several female R&B projects I got into this year—Cassie’s return, Jhene Aiko’s new joint and this one from Tinashe—to name a few. Somewhat lesser known than the aforementioned, it’s worth noting that Tinashe does it all—from singing to dancing to modeling and acting. This tape is highlighted by the Travi$ Scott feature, but I think you’ll find it very entertaining beginning to end—someone you should definitely be put on to if you haven’t been yet.

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