The Best Albums Of 2014 (So Far)

The Best Albums Of 2014 (So Far)


Time keeps passing us by. It feels like yesterday when we were arguing about orderings, placements and picks for our “Best Albums of 2013” list last December, and now 2014 is more than half-over. As a given year transpires, some trends arise on the fly while others only become evident in retrospect. The single most important trend of 2014 thus far is somewhere in the middle: it has not been a good year for hip-hop.

With that said, a handful of diamonds in the rough prevented compiling this list from being too tough. Many young talents are rising together, a new New School of rap-oriented acts destined for big things in the coming years. Quite a few are dropping their most anticipated projects to date in the coming weeks; if they live up to their potential, you can expect to see some unfamiliar faces in our year-end list.

With hip-hop in a genre-spanning slump, many artists whom we love from other genres are scattered throughout our rankings. Simply put, we have been generally blessed with a lot of great music when you let the categorical boundaries fall and take remarkable records for what they are. Whether filled with promise, defined by laudable experimentation or overflowing with dope songs that knock, a host of varying albums make up our favorite 30 projects released since the first day of January.

Click below to check out the best albums of 2014.

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  1. Andrew_Martin520
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 11:08:00

    I agree re: Lone.

  2. Andrew_Martin520
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 11:07:00


  3. Andrew_Martin520
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 11:07:00

    BBNG was solid but not great and LD is yawncity <3

  4. Intelligent Sound
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 10:37:00

    man this list is really spot on……. however i feel that lones new album deserves a little more love …… but i can agree more with you about ratking taylor mcferrin and kidkanevil

  5. fishfish
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 01:40:00

    I thought this was the worst list I’ve read from potholes.

  6. Zach Cole
    Jul 15, 2014 @ 15:03:00

    Roots album was wack as hell.

  7. Zach Cole
    Jul 15, 2014 @ 15:02:00

    Dope! How about BBNG, Little Dragon?

  8. Gedi D.
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 14:55:00

    I slept on that Takuya Kuroda album. That’s Jose James trumpet player. Gotta get on that, thanks.

  9. Gedi D.
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 14:53:00

    Thanks man.

  10. Alex
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 08:21:00

    Definitely a long comment lol, but thank you for adding to the discussion with fully formed, respectfully said opinions. We give a damn, for sure 🙂

  11. Antoine Smith
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 00:03:00

    I had actually read that review. I don’t wholly disagree with all that was said, but in the end I found it to be a good album that implemented some unique stylistic elements which resonated with me (particularly the infused raw classical and jazz composition, as well as the over arching haunting vibe of the album and old blues aspects). Its main weakness was simply being too short. Ultimately, I’d probably have it in the 20s some where on a top 30 list like this.

    When I see albums like Kidkanevil’s on here, that high up, I kind of scratch my head. It’s a solid album no doubt, but one of the best of ’14? The sounds on it were harvested from music Telefon Tel Aviv did over a decade ago. And as a musician, I understand that it is completely normal and acceptable to borrow from others, but it’s also necessary to establish your own identity and sound and when I here your music and I first think of Telefon Tel Aviv, Daisuke Tanabe, or Rainstick Orchestra instead of the actual artist, I don’t think that individuality has been attained and certainly not a top five level of prestige.

    Anywho, that was really wordy and y’all probably don’t give a damn. I’ll leave on the positive note that I appreciate the list not only because of the time that went into it because it had some albums I overlooked. =)

  12. Coffee Anon
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 23:42:00

    By the year’s end I’m expecting the top 5 to be injected with Run the Jewels, Flylo, D’angelo (we can only dream).

  13. Gedi D.
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 04:26:00

    I wouldn’t say Monch’s album is better than YG;s because their different albums but both are solid.

  14. Gedi D.
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 04:25:00

    It was inconsistent, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  15. Gedi D.
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 04:24:00

    This is the one album I’m regretting we didn’t get to review. Solid album.

  16. Gedi D.
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 04:23:00

    The Roots album was a poor mans version of Undun and it sucked, check our review for the details.

  17. Andrew_Martin520
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 08:12:00

    I’ll ad a few of those to my “to listen” playlist. Thanks man.

    Also, big fan of that Lone release, just barely missed the cut here.

  18. Antoine Smith
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 23:46:00

    Well while you’re taking recommendations might I also add the 2014 releases from Quantic, Lone, Lenzman, Illum Sphere, Tycho, Sharon Jones, Thievery Corporation, Takuya Kuroda, and Matthew Halsall to the mix. 😛

  19. Alex
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 20:44:00

    It really wasn’t. If Blue chopped the project in half, you might have a case here.

  20. Andrew_Martin520
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 15:59:00

    Or we just have different taste. Thanks for the comment though, been meaning to listen to that PUTS.

  21. Antoine Smith
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 15:28:00

    No CL, No People Under The Stairs, No Blu, No Roots, No J-Live, No Curren$y (Drive In Theater was crushin it, don’t care if it’s a mixtape), No Marcus D or Bop Alloy… Y’all are fallin apart over here… At least Piñata’s high on the list.

  22. crenshaw07
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 14:11:00

    Tune Yards – nikki nack should be in there.

  23. Dan McQuade
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 11:41:00

    Nabuma Rubberband?

  24. JayBout2
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 20:27:00

    Pell’s Floating While Dreaming album is sure to make it to the year end list as well. Pell has a unique sound that sets him apart from the masses.

  25. Ricky
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 17:31:00

    no BadBadNotGod III?

  26. Samba
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 17:20:00


  27. Rich
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 13:23:00

    Glad to see Cocaine Piñata on here. Definitely at the top, but Aesop Rock’s “The Blob” should be on here. His throwaways are better than a lot of people’s best shite…

  28. keeev
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 12:36:00

    nice list, but where is KATE TEMPEST???

  29. mtume
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:52:00

    also blu’s album was better than a lot of these.

  30. mtume
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:52:00

    open mike should be # 1. just being honest.

  31. Đ℞ΞV/
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 09:38:00

    I am very surprised that you put Pharoahe Monch so high… really? it is not better than YG’s album.

    Also I did not see How To Dress Well or The War On Drugs.

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