Best Albums of 2013: Mid-Year Report

Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, Kanye West and more

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J. Cole, 'Born Sinner'
Courtesy of ‪Roc Nation‬12/40

J. Cole, 'Born Sinner'

"Sometimes I brag like Hov/Sometimes I'm real like Pac," J. Cole raps on his second LP. Sometimes he's both – a verbal powerhouse and a self-emptying truth-sayer. The flagship signee to Jay-Z's record label spins dervish rhymes over dazzling self-produced tracks, full of riffs on racism, homophobia and misogyny that have more lyrical cunning than insight.

From the RS review: "When it comes to twisting himself into Kanye-size pretzels of career-oriented real talk, he's a champ."

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