2014’s 50 Best LPs and EPs

I am officially the last person still thinking about 2014, the timing of list season really fucked me this year.  That’s okay though because if you’re reading this it’s because you love me and you’ll read literally anything I put out so you’re stuck anyway.  Lucky for my fan and a half out there though, this is the best “Best Album” list out there.  So what I did is I quadrupled the quality for you because of how long you had to wait.

Save Yo Time Section

Here is where I save you some time, 50 album list is a lot of work to read so if you came here to find where a specific album was, I’m going to tell you not to waste your time.

The first omission from the one-and-only end of year list is Azealia Banks’ Broke with Expensive Taste.  For some inexplicable reason there are a lot of people acting like this was a great album, I’m amazed, fucking staggered in fact, there was so little interesting or memorable about this album I had to force myself to listen to it for a second time because I couldn’t remember it the first time through.  Banks compensates for her unimaginative collection of tracks by being as vulgar as possible which I have no issue with if you’re doing anything even a little bit interesting with it.

YG also had a high profile release this year, which sounded exactly like all the other things YG has ever come out with.  Maybe I’m just not the guy (not that I actually subscribe to that narrative) but I find YG’s inability to keep me remotely interested lyrically a huge turn off.

Releases like Oxymoron, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and Vibes were good–at times great, but were simply just not better than Lord Steppington and you have to make a cut off somewhere.

While Niggas on the Moon came out this year it’s just the first part of their two part LP so it hasn’t actually come out yet

0-10: absolute garbage, 11-20 terrible, 21- 30 bad, 31- 40 passable, 41-50 okay, 51-60 good, 61-70 great, 71-80 amazing, 81-90 classic, 91-99 legendary, 100 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back!

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2013: 50-31

My list is 50 albums this year because I couldn’t fathom making just a top 20, 25, 30, etc. list.

Ten years ago 1993 was ending, the best year hip-hop has ever seen, maybe until this passed one.  2013 came strong and every album on this top 50 list did the same.  If you haven’t heard the album refer to the “Must Listen Rating” that’ll tell you how culturally significant, underrated, original, and/or unexpected the release was before you go and download 50 albums.

Save Yo Time Section

While both The Internet’s Feel Good and Toro Y Moi’s Anything in Return were both incredible, incredible I say!, they won’t be on this list for a lot of complicated reasons I don’t feel like explaining but when I say incredible I mean incredible so bump them if that’s your thing.

I made a quick look through at all the year end best albums list and some of them were really truly and embarrassingly terrible.  So if that’s what you’re looking for I can assure you Migos’ Young Rich Niggaswon’t be anywhere on this list and you will not see Nothing Was the Same or The Marshall Mathers LP 2, because this is not a list of the 50 albums that radio DJ’s liked the best so if you’re here to see where they ranked on my list I’m saving you some time.  They don’t.  Also A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord isn’t on here I know you all were smitten with trap music but I’m still kinda hoping it was a bad dream.

0-10: absolute garbage, 11-20 terrible, 21- 30 bad, 31- 40 passable, 41-50 okay, 51-60 good, 61-70 great, 71-80 amazing, 81-90 classic, 91-99 legendary, 100 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back!

If two albums have the same rating the tie breaker is the “Must Listen Rating”

Let’s Get Down to Business

50. Step Brothers- Lord Steppington

Favorite Track(s): More Wins, Byron G, Mums in the Garage, Banging Sound, Tomorrow, String Cheese

Least Favorite Track: Bally Shoe

Best Production: Draw Something (prod. by The Alchemist)

X-Factor: The Los Angeles rapper/producer duo compliment each other nearly perfectly.

Rating: 51

Must Listen Rating: 2/10

49. Atmosphere- Southsiders

Favorite Track(s): Camera Thief, Arthur’s Song, Bitter, Fortunate, Kanye West, January on Lake Street, Let Me Know That You Know What You Want Now

Least Favorite Track: Idiot

Best Production: Hell (prod. by Atmosphere)

X-Factor: Backpack rap at its finest.

Rating: 52

Must Listen Rating: 3/10

48. Kevin Gates- By Any Means

Favorite Track(s): Don’t Know, Amnesia, Can’t Make This Up, Arm and Hammer, Stop Lyin

Least Favorite Track: Posed to Be In Love

Best Production: Bet I’m On It (prod. HONORABLE C-NOTE)

X-Factor: Gangsta R&B is that new hype.

Rating: 54

Must Listen Rating: 0/10 I’m not easily offended, but his disdain of women makes it hard to recommend this LP.

47. Pharoahe Monch- PTSD

Favorite Track(s): Time2, Damage, Bad M.F., Rapid Eye Movement, D.R.E.A.M.,

Least Favorite Track: Broken Again

Best Production: Bad M.F. (prod. by Lee Stone)

X-Factor: Pharoahe has been rapping for a long ass time, he still has one of the best flows in the game.

Rating: 54

Must Listen Rating: 5/10

46. Travi$ Scott- Days Before Rodeo

Favorite Track(s): Days Before Rodeo The Prayer, Drugs You Should Try, Skyfall, Sloppy Toppy, Basement Freestyle, Backyard, Grey

Least Favorite Track: Zombies

Best Production: Sloppy Toppy (prod. by Travi$ Scott)

X-Factor: That production though… but really, damn Scott is quickly becoming one of the best producers in hip-hop.

Rating: 55

Must Listen Rating: 3/10

45. Young Fathers- Dead

Favorite Track(s): Low, War, Get Up, Paying, I’ve Arrived

Least Favorite Track: Mmmh Mmmh

Best Production: Get Up (prod. by Young Fathers)

X-Factor: While not nearly as daring as Tape One or Tape Two the experimental sounds of Young Fathers is still

Rating: 56

Must Listen Rating: 5/10

44. Big K.R.I.T.- Cadillactica

Favorite Track(s): My Sub, Pt. 3 (Bang Bang), Cadillactica, King of the South, Mo Better Cool, Mt. Olympus

Least Favorite Track: Do You Love Me

Best Production: Pay Attention (prod. by Big K.R.I.T.)

X-Factor: Big K.R.I.T. is officially the only person to make every year end list for me after Gambino’s inconvenient drop-off this year.

Rating: 57

Must Listen Rating: 7/10

43. Murs & ¡MAYDAY!- ¡MURSDAY!

Favorite Track(s): Tabletops, Zones, My Own Parade, Brand New Get Up, Bitcoin Beezy, New Years Day

Least Favorite Track: Serge’s Song

Best Production: You Again (prod. by Gianni Ca$h)

X-Factor: This is the most Miami album of all time, I know that sounds like a scathing rebuke but it’s not.  Mursday plays like a bunch of friends chilling in a studio having fun.

Rating: 58

Must Listen Rating: 2/10

42. Shabazz Palaces- Lese Majesty

Favorite Track(s): Forerunner Foray, Solemn Swears, Harem Aria, #Cake

Least Favorite Track: …down 155th in the MCM Snorkel

Best Production: Colluding Oligarchs (prod. by Shabazz Palaces)

X-Factor: Challenging, experimental, alienating, everything I love about music.

Rating: 58

Must Listen Rating: 7/10

41. Bas- Last Winter

Favorite Track(s): Mook in Mexico, Fiji Water in My Iron, My Nigga Just Made Bail, Charles De Gaulle to JFK, Your World

Least Favorite Track: Golden Goals

Best Production: Lit (prod. by Brown, Gilmore, $AGACIOUS)

X-Factor: Easily the most controversial release of the year with some critics giving it a 10 and others a 1.  Bas is nothing new that’s for sure but what he’s doing has worked in the past.

Rating: 60

Must Listen Rating: 7/10

40. CyHi the Prince- Black Hystori Project

Favorite Track(s): Mandela, Napoleon, Basquiat, 3 16, February 29th, Good Night

Least Favorite Track: Black Pride

Best Production: Guitar Melody (prod. by TEC BEATZ)

X-Factor: While at times his content can by too lofty for him CyHi is too clever for his own good.

Rating: 61

Must Listen Rating: 4/10

39. Lil Herb- Welcome to Fazoland

Favorite Track(s): Koolin, On the Corner, Mamma I’m Sorry, On My Soul, Designer, Murder, Write Your Name,

Least Favorite Track: 4 Minutes of Hell Part 3

Best Production: At Night

X-Factor: “Youza woulda shoulda coulda nigga.  Your click a buncha woulda shoulda coulda niggas”

Rating: 61

Must Listen Rating: 8/10 Gangsta Rap is alive and well in the city where The Untouchables was set… coincidence, I think not.

38. Mr. Flash- Sonic Crusader

Favorite Track(s): Motorcycle Boy, Number 1, Venus in Furs, Dazzle in the Dusk, Domino Part A, Domino Part B, Parliament of the Rooks

Least Favorite Track:  Bagheera

Best Production: Domino part B (prod. by Mr. Flash)

X-Factor: Have you heard Domino part B yet?  Really though–have you?

Rating: 63

Must Listen Rating: 5/10

37. Snoopzilla & Dam-Funk- 7 Days of Funk

Favorite Track(s): Niggaz Hit D Pavement, Let it Go, Faden Away, Do My Thang

Least Favorite Track: I’ll be There 4U

Best Production: Let it Go (prod. by Snoopzilla & Dam-Funk)

X-Factor: The first quality release from a legend in a long time, with a daring sound–what’s not to love?

Rating: 63

Must Listen Rating: 10/10 I’ts Snoop Dogg, buy it because fucking Detox is never coming out.

36. Souls of Mischief- There is Only Now

Favorite Track(s): Womack’s Lament, All You Got is Your Word, There is Only Now, Miriam Got a Mickey, Ghetto Superhero, Finally Back

Least Favorite Track: Panic Struck

Best Production: Stone Cold (prod. by Adrian Younge)

X-Factor: Adrian Younge does it again.

Rating: 65

Must Listen Rating: 6/10

35. Buckshot & P-Money- BackPack Travels

Favorite Track(s): Crown (Intro), Flute, Sweetest Thing, Clear Light, We in Here, This is my World

Least Favorite Track: Red Alert

Best Production: The Choice (prod. by P-Money)

X-Factor: Boombap is alive and well, dropping dirty shit, and taking names.

Rating: 65

Must Listen Rating: 10/10 Why is no one talking about this album?!

32. Pyramid Vritra- Indra

Favorite Track(s): Vanessa Hill, Dntslp, Monkeybread, Spyglass, Drown, Shining, Spool, Lemo, Feel

Least Favorite Track: Cherry Avenue

Best Production: Shining (prod. by Pyramid Vritra)

X-Factor: Pyramid Vritra’s debut album has an actually unique sound.  And for a word thrown around cavalierly about things that people, it’s a pleasure to see something that is actually different and new.

Rating: 66

Must Listen Rating: 7/10

33. ZelooperZ- HELP

Favorite Track(s): Heir to the Throne, Plateau, Hammys, Tonight Show, Can’t Hang, Isolation, Thunda Cats, I’m So Sad

Least Favorite Track: Blackberry

Best Production: Tonight Show (prod. by Matrax)

X-Factor: ZelooperZ utter refusal to do either what you’d expect or like are quite endearing to me.  Also the Bruiser Brigade features don’t hurt.

Rating: 68

Must Listen Rating: 8/10 Danny’s protege is here to stay, get used to this loud nigga.

32. Verbal Kent- Sound of the Weapon

Favorite Track(s): Body the Beat, Hunched Over Chess Boards, Now or Never Pt. 1, Raponomics, sound of the Weapon, Sammy Sosa

Least Favorite Track: Now or Never Pt. 3

Best Production: Sound of the Weapon (9th Wonder Remix) (prod. by 9th Wonder)

X-Factor: For a guy most people have never heard of Verbal Kent has been doing this for a long time.  Mello Music Group seems to specialize in under-appreciated rappers who have been dropping dope shit for a decade.

Rating: 68

Must Listen Rating: 10/10 Because for some reason this is the first time you’re hearing this name.

31. Skyzoo & Torae- Barrel Brothers (WEB)

Favorite Track(s): Talk of the Town, Tunnel Vision, Triangle Offense, The Hand Off, 4 Bar Friday, Memorabilia, The Aura

Least Favorite Track: Blue Yankee Fitted

Best Production: 4 Bar Friday (prod. by The Stuyvesants)

X-Factor: Two OG New York rappers grabbed the some of the best producers out (I mean I didn’t even know The Stuyvesants produced for other people).  Then spit solid verses over beats from a fucking time machine, there isn’t really anything not to like about this LP.

Rating: 70

Must Listen Rating: 8/10

This is a turning point in the year end list.  It speaks to the quality of the remainder of the releases from last year that this got pushed all the way down to 31, but get ready from some Incredibly Dope Shit.

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