Our Top 5 Hip Hop Releases of 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014
Hip Hop has had a major year in 2014. We've seen a diverse range of LP's and EP's released from the whole world over. 2014 was the year where we saw underrated and underground MC's take over as opposed to the usual suspects that we always see on top of end of year lists. Finding a top 5 was difficult as the quality released this year was out of this world. Here is our top five plus honourable mentions who also killed it this year.

5) Black Milk - If There's Hell Below 

It's hard to believe that If There's Hell Below is Black Milk's seventh studio album. Even after all these years his flow hasn't faded and he's still able to be original. Each track in the LP segues effortlessly and it's sequencing is perfect. The production is also superb as each beat connects to the mood of each track. It takes a true artist to be able to marry the production and his lyrics.

Best Track: Gold Piece (ft. Bun B)

4) Young Fathers - Dead

Dead is a hip hop masterpiece both lyrically and production wise. Making an experimental hip hop album is always a risk - it's either going to be revolutionary and incredible or it's going to be terrible. The psychedelic sound of Dead are intoxicating and will have you mesmerised from the first track. The best thing about Dead is that it feels natural. Young Fathers have proved that the risk involved in being adventurous pays off.

Best Track: War

3) Baro - HowGoodIsGood?

The Australian rap scene has been lacking in recent years, but the arrival of Milwaukee Banks and Baro have changed my opinion. HowGoodIsGood? is world class and an astounding release from the Melbourne MC. His conscious flows are intriguing and his lyrics show his maturity as a rapper beyond his years.

Best Track: Cinema (ft. Emerson Alexander)

2) Big K.R.I.T. - Cadillactica 

Sometimes I think Big K.R.I.T. is a reincarnation of the legends of Southern hip hop. He isn't an imitation though, he's just as good as those legends. Cadillactica is a Southern classic. He's production goes past what most of his peers are doing. In this LP, he maintains originality whilst remaining true to his roots. Big K.R.I.T. is the best Southern hip hop rapper in the game right now.

Best Track: King Of The South

1) Run The Jewels - RTJ2

Containing collaborations with Travis Barker of Blink-182, Diane Coffee, and Zach de la Rocha, RTJ2 is hard hitting. Lyrically, it's deep and intelligent. It's production is raw without being overdone. It's hard to find bangers with genius lyrics and wordplay like the tracks on RTJ2. Innovative is the best word to describe this album. It's not only the best hip hop album of the year, it's the best release of any genre.

Best track: Early (ft. Boots)

Honorable Mentions:
ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron 
Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo
Freddie Gibbs & Madilb - Pi├▒ata
The Roots - ...And Then We Shoot Your Cousin 
Vince Staples - Hell Can Wait
YG - My Krazy Life
Common - Nobody's Smiling

Written by Amy Smolcic