I love how this album is about love, but not being hopelessly in love.
- Beyoncé: Beyoncé | I really did have a thought-out list of artists for 2013, but thanks to a surprise self-titled album, Beyoncé screwed all of that up. Who does that? She does, and I’m so glad she did. As an avid Beyoncé fan, I was so thrilled that Friday the 13th turned from horror to hot damn.
- Chrisette Michele: Better | Better assured me that in time all things will be better. Just remember to love you, love life, and love the journey.
- John Legend: Love in the Future | It encompasses a love journey that I wish I was on, but I know with due time it’ll happen just as romantically as this album.
- Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience | Truly an experience. Whether you were ready for a night out on the town or a night in the house with your lover, this album had a little bit of everything for everybody—something you won’t forget.
- Jay Z: Magna Carta…Holy Grail | This made me so excited about life, success, and happiness. The album highlights just how each trait depends on the other, and how when you achieve there’s nothing that can bring you down from that high.
- Drake: Nothing Was the Same | Everything I hoped it would be. Drake champions his own success and, well, who can be mad at that? “Own It,” “From Time,” “My Language,” and “All Me”…on repeat.
- Various Artists: Best Man Holiday Soundtrack | The perfect accompaniment to love, friendship, and life. If you listen with your heart, it’ll make you feel so warm and joyous.
- J. Cole: Born Sinner | With this album, J. Cole continued being a class act this year. Between “Power Trip” with Miguel and his thought-provoking “Crooked Smile” with TLC, he’s all that and a bag of chips.
- Fantasia: Side Effects of You | Rock soul. I love how this album is about love, but not being hopelessly in love. “Without Me” with Missy and Kelly forever engrained and on repeat.
- Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady | It showcases just how great Janelle Monae is. My favorite collaboration has to be “Primetime” with Miguel. I just feel so on fire and electric listening to this album.
Bonus: Nas’s Life Is Good is an honorable mention because I don’t believe I listed him last year, but this album was nothing short of grown man amazing.