Listening Between the Lines: 2013 Lyrics that Sparked National Conversations

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  • Kanye West
  • Crooked Smile
  • J.Cole
  • "Oceans" Featuring Frank Ocean
  • Jay Z
  • “Accidental Racist”
  • Brad Paisley and LL Cool J
  • "Karate Chop Remix"
  • Furture and Lil Wayne
  • “'U.O.E.N.O.”
  • Rocko, Future and Rick Ross
  • “New Slaves”
  • Kanye West
  • “It’s a Cold World-A Trayvon Martin Tribute”
  • Young Jeezy
  • "You"
  • Chief Keef
  • "No Guns Allowed"
  • Snoop Dogg
  • "Chum"
  • Earl Sweatshirt
  • Top Socially Concious Songs of the Year
  • Black Skinhead

J. Cole

J. Cole’s single “Crooked Smile,” from his sophomore album, Born Sinner, allowed Cole to bring to light some of society’s most debated issues. The lyrics not only served as positive reinforcements for women who were victims of violence, but the music video was also dedicated to seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones, who was shot and killed in 2010 by a Detroit police officer in a drug bust gone bad.  

(Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images)

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