This list is for 2 people:

  1. The people who want to check out this list in order to see what albums they missed last year.
  2. The people who want to disagree.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Honorable Mentions:

STN MTN / Kauai by Childish Gambino

 00 - Childish_Gambino_Stn_Mtn_Gambino-front-large

Childish Gambino is one of my favorite rappers. However, I couldn’t consider STN MTN / Kauai to be in the top 5 projects of 2014 because there’s just so much wrong with it. I still bump tracks like Sober, All Y’all, Money Baby and etc, but it just didn’t reach the next level in terms of quality, lyrics, production, or anything really. STN MTN / Kauai is just a really cool idea and I think it’s fine as just that. I’d definitely recommend a listen though. It’s still really good.

Run The Jewels 2 by Run The Jewels

 RunTheJewelsRTJ2

Confession: I never listened to Run The Jewels 2. But it’s taken the top spot in so many top ten lists that I couldn’t ignore the fact that so many people admire this project.

Top 5:

5. Nobody’s Smiling by Common

 common-nobodys-smiling-deluxe-cover

Hands down the most underrated album this year. I legitimately don’t get why more people didn’t pay attention to this when it dropped. Common is one of the most consistent artists in rap. Nobody’s smiling sounds like something he would have made back in the day. That also could have been the reason for the lack acclaim for this album. There wasn’t much growth as an artist for Common.

But even with that, this album was more relevant than any other album that came out in 2014. The overarching theme in Nobody’s Smiling had to do with the violence that goes on in Chicago. Common delivers. It’s definitely worth the listen from anybody who missed this back in July.

4. Anomaly by Lecrae

 lecrae_anomalycover

If you don’t know about Lecrae, know about Lecrae. Anomaly is a different kind of album. It’s centered on Christian values but it’s more than just a “Christian rap album.” Anomaly is quality. It’s better produced than a majority of rap albums out there. The presentation is powerful, and it makes multiple statements. Statements such as how Lecrae’s an actual Anomaly in hip-hop, how hip-hop’s a messed up medium, and how the world we live in is messed up but there’s still hope.

Musically, Anomaly goes hard. Lecrae delivers on the lyrics and the overall presentation is near flawless. If you want to judge for yourself, listen to the songs Nuthin, Welcome To America, and All I Need Is You and then tell me that those aren’t some of the best songs to be released this year.

3. Faces by Mac Miller

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Faces is stupid raw. I’m not even a huge Mac Miller fan but this whole mixtape had me like…

bill

Everything about this mixtape is just straight fire. How does someone make a mixtape that is better than his actual albums? Because that’s what Mac Miller did. I won’t tell you what’s raw about it. Just listen to it yourself and try to understand. Recommended songs: Insomniak and Wedding.

2. 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole

2014ForestHillsDrive

 

I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for putting this one at number 2. 2014 Forest Hills Drive was a solid album. J. Cole’s best? Not close. Born Sinner and Friday Night Lights are light-years ahead. 2014 Forest Hills Drive is still nice though. Here’s why:

January 28th

’03 Adolescence

Wet Dreamz

Hello

Apparently

Fire Squad

G.O.M.D.

Love Yourz

A Tale of 2 Citiez

Note To Self

I just listed nearly every song on the album including the outro. Every song goes hard. Even the songs I didn’t list still went hard. There’s a certain rawness in this album that has never been present in any J. Cole project before. That’s why it’s one of the best albums of the year. However there’s something that keeps it from being number one on this list.

1. Under Pressure by Logic

 logic-under-pressure-deluxe

YES I SAID IT AND I DON’T REGRET IT.

Under Pressure is better than 2014 Forest Hills Drive. *sits and waits for hate comments*

Under Pressure just has something that J. Cole’s album doesn’t. And I’m not even sure what that is. Maybe it’s more fresh? Maybe it’s Logic’s flow? Maybe it’s the concept?

I don’t know what it is but Logic did it with this album. Under Pressure is just so well rounded as an album with just enough edge. Songs like Bounce, Gang Related and Now get me hyped without being corny or ignorant. Till The End and Buried Alive are musically pleasing to the ear. And the rest of the songs all bring something significant to the album.

The only complaint I have about this album is its similarities to Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. At this point I can’t tell if they meant to jack Kendrick’s style or if the similarities are supposed to be a tribute. Either way, if you’re going to bite anyone, might as well be Kendrick Lamar.

The title song “Under Pressure” is basically “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst.” It’s also one of my favorite tracks.

Under Pressure the album feels like a whole cohesive project. Logic’s stories, delivery, and everything else worked together in order to deliver quality which is why Under Pressure has received the top spot in this list.

 

Thoughts? Let us know in the comments and vote on how cool you think this article is.

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