Nothing has bothered me more than hearing people say that 2014 was not a good year for Hip Hop. There were so many great albums released during this year that you must not have been paying attention to feel that way.
2014 produced notable comebacks from legendary groups like the Wu-Tang Clan and Dilated Peoples while also delivering much anticipated albums from the Step Brothers and Black Milk. Mississippi left a lasting mark in 2014 as 7evenThirty impressed on the independent scene with his album The Problem while Big K.R.I.T. made the album we all knew he could, Cadillactica, on the major label side of things. And speaking of the south, Nashville emcee Starlito proved once again why he’s one of the most underrated artists in the game on Black Sheep Don’t Grin.
Atmosphere endeared themselves to listeners on the well crafted Southsiders, a particularly rewarding listen for longtime fans of Slug and Ant. The frontrunner for album of the year was Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata, which somehow managed to live up to all the lofty expectations fans had for this emcee/producer collaboration. And while Piñata had the inside track on that top spot for most of the year, Run The Jewels shook up everything in late October.
Killer Mike and El-P have been a tour de force ever since they decided to team up. These two artists, respected heavily for their work individually, have carved out a new legacy together as Run The Jewels. Their second album, Run The Jewels 2, was everything you could ask for in a sequel. Mike & El-P’s chemistry is truly astonishing when you consider they’ve been working together for less than five years. El-P’s bombastic production is the perfect canvas for Mike’s powerful words and the two play off one another as if they’ve known each other their entire lives. Run The Jewels 2 embodies the spirit of Hip Hop and deserves to be called the top album of 2014.
- Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
- Atmosphere – Southsiders
- Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica
- Starlito – Black Sheep Don’t Grin
- Dilated Peoples – Directors of Photography
- 7evenThirty – The Problem
- Step Brothers – Lord Steppington
- Black Milk – If There’s A Hell Below
- Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow
- Pharoahe Monch – PTSD
- Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons
- Rittz – Next To Nothing
- Blu – Good to Be Home
- PRhyme – PRhyme
- Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty