We’re going past the halfway mark this year, and certainly still has a lot of hip hop to digest. Here goes a list of the hip hop music artists who have been turning heads so far, and those who may still go hot for the next half.

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10. Azealia Banks

Azealia hit the charts last year with her single “212,” generating a lot of hype into an almost cult-like status. Azealia’s image certainly did much of the trick, but Banks certainly has a lot of cultural capital to expend. Her debut album Broke with Expensive Taste, set to be released this April, is said to feature collaborations with Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Pharell. Check out her latest single “ATM Jam” and get a taste of things to come.

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9. Casey Veggies

Nothing beats the fresh, especially with the case of Casey Veggies from Inglewood. This 19 year old wordsmith is extremely prolific, having already dished out six mixtapes and an album, all receiving critical acclaim. Hype is only word for the young rapper, as he emerged from the underground into signing Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. The world is fertile for this budding talent.

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8. Rockie Fresh

What’s in a name? Chicago’s own Rockie Fresh is ready to hit the town with his new sound. Mixing hiphop, alternative/ indie rock, and a scraggly rapping flow, MMG’s new addition to their Maybach Empire Roster is definitely on the move. His mixtapes Driving 88 and the recently released Electric Highway blasted his name into the streets. Rockie Fresh’s odd yet tasteful beats is sure yet to drop his yearly encore.

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7. Ab Soul

A resurgent wave in hip hop is hitting the airwaves, and yes, it is from the West Coast. Coming from the prodigious collective of Black Hippy composed of talents like Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Schooloy Q, Ab Soul is set to dominate with his latest project, Control System, one of the most critically-acclaimed hip hop albums this year. With his agonizing dystopian lyrics and distorted rhymes, Ab Soul is ready to establish West Coast hegemony in the hip hop scene again.

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6. Earl Sweatshirt

Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt gained critical acclaim last year for his upfront single “Chum,” and is ready to release his debut album Doris. Earl’s intricate rhymes and sonic extraganza, with collaborations ranging from Pharell, Frank Ocean and Canadian instrumental prodigies BADBADNOTGOOD, will all be a welcome treat to this year’s hip hop feast.

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5. Prodigy and the Alchemist

It has been a time since Mobb Depp released a groundbreaking album, so when Prodigy and the Alchemist dropped Albert Einstein this year, it was a sensation worth everybody’s attention. Retaining Prodigy’s trademark lyrical violence and bleak rhymes, Albert Einstein still delivered with its energy and verve.


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4. Tyler the Creator

Tyler is most often known to be a prolific creator of controversy, both in musical and non-musical terms. However, after releasing the much anticipated album Wolf this April, Tyler proved to be a more sensible artist in his own right. Going beyond mere provocateurism into being a genre-bending producer and multi-dimensional rapper, it is certain that Tyler will continue to ride the waves.

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3. Ghostface Killah

Teaming up with producer Adrian Young certainly helped Wu-Tang Ghostface Killah create one of the illest albums of the year, Twelve Reasons to Die. In keeping with his name, the said album is inspired by gothic and horror themes, which only made the album sicker than the sickest of doom-sounding albums released these year.

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2. RA The Rugged Man

Is it mere talent? If it is then whatever gene created RA is thoroughly an unfair one. With his latest album Legends Never Die, RA The Rugged Man has cemented his print in the world hiphop scene and perhaps has already generated enough respect to last generations. The album is considered on the best albums of the year, and without doubt, it is. 

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1. Big K.R.I.T.

Big K.R.I.T is certainly rising among the multitude, as his latest mixtape King Remembered In Time has hit 2013’s hip hop exosphere. Solid yet fresh to the ear, Big K.R.I.T’s free mixtapes are never produced with the any intention of mediocrity. His flawless rapping and the independently produced beats are dope beyond human recognition.

Here you go, our mid-year list of the best hiphop artists of 2013. Do you want to include anyone into the list? Do our opinions differ with you regarding a particulat artist? Drop a comment at our comment section and we’ll hear from you.