“Yeezy season approaching” wrote a wise man about himself a few months back, effectively summing up 2013. This was a year that, for me, was characterised by a continued obsession with hip-hop albums and Breaking Bad. My friends kept reminding me I’m too pretentious about the things I listen to and watch. But I pressed on, believing I might as well embrace being pretentious, wearing tweed, and listening to Eminem’s affectionate love songs.
In the world of hip-hop, artists kept releasing album after album, mixtape after mixtape, with such consistency that every week there was a new “album of the year”. A few in particular stood out. There was Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap, a mix of soulful beats, very distinctive lyrical delivery, and the most infectious hook of the year in ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’. Kanye West released Yeezus, which divided critics and fans alike despite being one of the most sonically interesting mainstream hip-hop records around. A few months later, Kendrick Lamar’s verse in ‘Control’ caused a hilarious stir by calling out rappers out for being lazy. Most rappers were, appropriately, too lazy to respond well. Being the sensitive man that he is, Drake cried about it over a bottle of rosé before releasing the underwhelming Nothing Was the Same. But at least it wasn’t as abysmal as Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay Z’s experiment to see if he can take a dump and still sell it. Turns out he can.
Breaking Bad also ended this year. The finale might not have been a perfect 50 minutes of television, but the episode ‘Ozymandias’ came very, very close. Mad Men kept me hooked for quite a while, and The Walking Dead kept me disappointed for about the same amount of time. Other than that, I’ve been neglecting TV. It might have been the consistently awful fourth season of Community or the overrated first season of Hannibal, which was really not much more than CSI meets pseudo-intellectual drivel, meets a nearly non-existent Hannibal Lecter.
My housemates also inform me GTA V and Pokemon X/Y recently came out, but I don’t have time to play video games these days. And don’t get me started on books. I wish I had time to read something other than history, but, as a history student, that won’t happen any time soon. Oh well. Maybe next year.