As the end of 2014 approaches, there’s no better time to reminisce over all of the hip hop albums that made this year fly by. Another great year in music is in the books and if you still haven’t heard these albums, you still have a couple weeks to squeeze them in before the year is over.
Travis Scott: Days Before Rodeo
Days Before Rodeo came out on August 18th, and that’s the day I stopped wondering what the best album of 2014 was going to be. I’m a strong believer in the need to marinate in albums for 4 or 5 listens before forming an opinion, but after one round Travis Scott showed me exactly what I didn’t know I wanted to hear. The production alone is reason to have this album in constant rotation, paired with a flow from Travis thats equally unique and refreshing.
J. Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive
This album came out a week ago and it has already made a huge impact. With his last album Born Sinner having been released a little over a year ago, it was questionable if Cole could produce another solid album in such a short amount of time—but he rose to the challenge. Having already played it through an embarrassing amount of times since its release, this might be my favorite J. Cole project to date.
A Tale of 2 Citiez
No Role Modelz
Common: Nobody’s Smiling
Ten albums later and Common is still creating material that is as important to culture as it is to hip hop heads. He realizes that he is one of the last of his kind, and does his part in representing his old school style with new school elements. Common is able to evolve with the times while not losing who we all know and love him to be.
Hustle Harder (feat Snoh Aalegra and Dreezy)
Blak Majik (feat Jhené Aiko)
Kingdom (feat Vince Staples)
Pharrell Williams: G I R L
If it’s not enough that Pharrell is actually 200 years old but still doesn’t look a day over 30, he’s also amazing at everything else. We all know Pharrell is one of the best producers out today, but his bangers-a-plenty paired with his dreamy falsetto is enough to put you in a trance.
Gust of Wind (feat Daft Punk)
The Roots: …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Show me another hip hop group that, 14 albums later, is still making great music. Actually, show me another hip hop group in 2014 making music at all. Black Thought can still kill any of your favorite rappers and the musicality of the smooth but hard melodies throughout this work are easy to listen to—but not for a second uninteresting.
Understand (feat Dice Raw and Greg Porn)
When The People Cheer (feat Modesty Lycan and Greg Porn)
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Piñata
High (feat Danny Brown)
Piñata (feat Domo Genesis, G-Wiz, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Meechy Darko And Mac Miller)
Schoolboy Q: Oxymoron
Blind Threats (feat Raekwon)
Break The Bank
Logic: Under Pressure
Till The End
Big K.R.I.T.: Cadillactica
Lost Generation (feat Lupe Fiasco)
King of the South