Album: Black Up Why you should listen: You want something experimental
A common criticism of Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail is that it's safe. Unlike a lot of new rap that's changing the direction of how hip-hop sounds in 2013, Jay-Z didn't take many risks. On Shabazz Palaces' Black Up, they pushed boundaries, created a sound unlike anything before or since, and managed to pull off an album that felt like a piece of art. And they did it without mentioning Picasso a bunch of times.