As 2013 draws to a close, our contributors have been compiling their favourite moments of the year. Here are Ben’s Five Favourite Chicago Releases. Check out the projects and make sure to cop them if you’re into them!

Kanye’s Yeezus doesn’t count. Paris isn’t Chicago. Here we go…

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05. Pivot GangJimmy
“Good in the hood like Jimmy.” This is the only big group album that left a strong impression on my eardrums this year. Like some Native Tongues shit. Pivot Gang show numerous angles of hip-hop thrown into one concise project. Saba, who is quite possibly the strongest rapper of the large group, also produced the entire project. John Walt and Joseph Chilliams also stand out from within the confines of Jimmy. All of these guys are lined up for big things. Pivooooot.

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04. TreeSunday School II: When Church Lets Out
The follow-up to last year’s chipmunk classic, Sunday School 2 is cleaner and just as enjoyable as the original. The King will never get old. Tree is the oldest guy on this list and you notice it in his voice. Years of wisdom and street knowledge, Tree is a rapper who created his own lane, that Soul Trap for your brain. One time.

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03. Dally AustonThe Wood
The calmest flow coming out of the SaveMoney Army, Dally Auston’s debut project shows a great ear for music and a style both lazy and rehearsed. Listen closer. West Side Get the Money.

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02. Lucki Eck$Alternative Trap
The youngest rapper on this list and the one with the most potential. Alernative Trap is a new genre. Nothing sounds like it. Yet. It’s oh so glorious. Shout-out to Monster Mike, Hippie Dream, and Plu2o Nash for helping to create such a mesmerizing sound.

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01. Chance The RapperAcid Rap
10 Day put the city of Chicago on his back, but Acid Rap spread him out to the masses. This mixtape is front-to-back originality and excitement. Break away from the fear of the unknown.

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