While it's hard to remember anything before Beyonce's surprise album release this past month, this year saw the release of some noteworthy mixtapes and extended plays---many of which went under the radar, or were commercially slept on. From Solange's reign as the queen of indie R&B to the resurfacing of Tiffany Evans---2013 has definitely proven to be what's good.
With the year coming to an end, CentricTV.com has compiled a list of The 13 Best R&B Mixtapes & EPs of 2013.
13. Songs That Remind Me Of You - Daley
While this three-track effort doesn't quite match the magic of his 2012 EPs Those Who Wait and Alone Together, it's still a good listen, and finds the UK singer exploring new sounds. Favorite Track: "Songs That Remind Me Of You"
12. Fashionably Late Vol. 2 - Travis Garland
A former member of the Chris Stokes-discovered boy band NLT (Not Like Them), the Texas native's Fashionably Late mixtape series---especially the second installment---proved he was more than a carbon copy white guy with soul. Favorite Song: "Where To Land" ft. III
11. RockaByeBaby - Cassie
Inspired by the 1991 film New Jack City, the model turned singer dropped this 13-track mixtape that features appearances from Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, French Montana, Too $hort, Fabolous, and Ester Dean. “It’s not pop, it’s not R&B, it’s Cassie,” she explained about the release. She's right, it is "Cassie," but "Cassie" on this project, proves to be what's good. Favorite Tracks: "Numb" featuring Rick Ross, "Paradise" and "All My Love"
10. Black Water - Tinashe
The 20-year-old Los Angeles native flexes a musicality beyond her years on the 13-track mixtape. Black Water might sound disgusting in the literal sense, but this right here is quite refreshing. Favorite Song: "Midnight Sun"
9. Peach Moon - Bobby V
When the ATL based-singer/songwriter announced that this EP would explore a more jazzier, grown-and-sexy brand of R&B, he was initially met with a universal "huh?" However, the six-track project was musically a smash. Who are we to block change? Favorite Track: "Who Am I To Change"
8. Cut To Bridget Kelly - Bridget Kelly
It's been a long a daunting wait for BK's debut album, but the Roc Nation-signed singer has continued to pump out music. This six-track EP makes it clear the girl has vocal chops, and is probably one of the best vocalist in the newer crop of R&B singers. Favorite Track: "Special Delivery"
7. P.S...I Love You - Stacy Barthe
The accomplished singer/songwriter has been known to pump out a good EP, and this effort was no exception. A musical love letter to her fans, this 8-track EP made Centric fall for her---she was named a Centric Certified artist earlier this year. Favorite Track: "Flawed Beautiful Creatures"
6. Love & Happiness Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 - Estelle
After parting ways with her record label earlier this year, the UK Grammy Award-winning singer released this EP in three installments, with the third still pending release. But, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are strong enough to tide us over. Favorite Track: "Whatever You Like" ft. Roses Gabor
5. 143 - Tiffany Evans
The 21-year-old singer proved that she still has one of the best new-school voices in the game on this 10-track mixtape that is full of songs about finding love, being in love, and keeping love. Favorite Track: "Do Better"
3. Wake Me Up - Aloe Blacc
The Centric Certified artist released this five-track EP after the success of of "Wake Me Up!" by Swedish DJ Avicii that featured his vocals without crediting him on the official cover, nor on chart listings. While the single reached number one in several countries, Blacc's EP was a success in it's own right charting in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Favorite Track: "Love Is The Answer" ft. Pharrell Williams
1. Saint Heron - Solange Knowles & Various Artists
Solange launched her newly-formed Saint Records with the release of this compilation EP featuring the music of 11 indie R&B singers including eleven independent artists, including Knowles, Jhené Aiko, Cassie, BC Kingdom, Jade De La Fleur, Kelela, Kingdom, Petite Noir, Iman Omari, Sampha, India Shawn and Starchild. Favorite Track: Kelela - "Go All Night"
What do you think about our picks? Did we miss someone? Let us know in the comments section below
(Photos from left: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images, Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Mission BIG, Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Courvoisier, Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic, Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Chrysalis)