Tuesday, December 23, 2014
This is my top 10 Hip Hop albums of 2014. 2014 was a good year for hip hop overall which is saying a lot as it was missing albums from heavyweights like Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West and the list goes on. That being said, the underground really killed it this year.
10. Kid Cudi - Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon - Serving as the bridge between Indicud and the finale of the Man on the Moon trilogy, this album was Cudi's spaciest yet. A short 10 song ride best experienced with overhead headphones in the dark the album takes you to another world as Cudi himself seems like an alien even more on this album.
9. Common - Nobody's Smiling - Common's status as a living legend in hip hop has been cemented for years so for him to still be releasing quality music in 2014 is a bonus. This is the darkest and grittiest we've seen Common in a while but what really stands out on this album is the features; there really aren't any typical Common features on this album instead we see the likes of Big Sean, Vince Staples and Lil Herb on this all killing it.
8. Big K.R.I.T. - Cadillactica - Any other year this album would've been higher because K.R.I.T. absolutely killed his sophomore album and for me finally got back to how good his first few mixtapes were. If you don't like K.R.I.T. then this is the album to check out to get into him as it's accessible and he spits fire as always.
7. Logic - Under Pressure - Logic finally gave us his debut album after 4 mixtapes and a XXL Freshman feature and it was well worth the wait. The entire album, excluding the bonus tracks, is all Logic, no features which is a great way to make a debut album especially when you have the following that Logic has.
6. J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive - Following Logic, J. Cole's album has zero features on it as well and even sees Cole singing on some tracks. This album is fantastic and it's the kind of album that needs to be heard as Cole is a mainstream rapper making underground albums and making the radio fit to him which is important in 2014.
5. Lil Herb - Welcome to Fazoland - Lil Herb is a 19 year old rapper from Chicago who not only dropped one of the best mixtapes of the year but also even worked with giants like Common and Nicki Minaj. His voice cuts through production like few others and his stories of the streets of Chicago are worth hearing, this kid has a bright future.
4. ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron - If TDE isn't running hip hop right now, no one is, whether their signees are dropping some of the biggest albums of the year or doing features that set the hip hop world on fire, TDE is all the rage right now. Oxymoron is a well rounded album that has songs for every type of person and with features from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Kurupt and more. Oxymoron came out way back in February and it has only seemed to grow like a fine wine.
3. PRhyme - PRhyme - PRhyme is the duo of DJ Premier and Royce da 5'9" and this is their debut album. What's great about this album is how compact it is, 9 songs clocking in at under 35 minutes of banging beats and Royce spitting harder than he's ever spit before. This album is a nod to the 90's and seminal albums like Illmatic and not only does it succeed at paying tribute to those classics it even makes an argument at being a modern day classic,
2. Jon Connor - Best in the World: Kanye - The 2nd and final mixtape on this list is a mixtape by Jon Connor in which he rhymes over Kanye West beats which on paper sounds dumb but in practice works perfectly as your ears are already used to the beats so they key in on Connor and his stories and he makes the songs his own. This tape was on constant replay for me all summer being played front to back almost daily and to this day I still return to it pretty often.
1. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2 - If you know me or have talked to me the last few weeks, this album at number 1 should come as no surprise as I've listened to this album damn near every day since the day it came out. They give out this album for free, legally and after I got the free copy I still bought a physical copy. This album is an album you show someone when they say rap isn't art, this album is just, I don't have the words to describe it. This album is free, go sign up for their email and get it, I promise you won't be disappointed.