The StandOUTs: Best of 2014
It’s that time of the year again, 2014 flew by and now we find ourselves at our end of the year lists. In this article I will be giving you my top 5 favorites off 5 different lists from the categories of music videos, R&B projects, Mixtapes, songs, and albums. Agree or Disagree, Let me Know.
Top 5 Music Videos of 2014
5. Christ Conscious – Joey Bada$$
Right from the beginning you’re like “uh oh” what is about to happen, and then the beat drops and joey comes out aggressive as I’ve ever seen him. This video really captures the emotion Joey comes off with on this track and the part where he ascends into the sky at the end is hilarious too.
4. Tuesday – I Love Makonnen feat. Drake
This video is all around weird but awesome, from the manikin heads flying around to the whole OVO crew doing the cooking dance throughout the song. I Love Makonnen is pure entertainment, can’t wait to see what he releases in 2015.
3. i – Kendrick Lamar
This video is really well put together and provides great context for the song. I found it hilarious how Kendrick is dancing through this whole time and I loved the car scene with him sticking his head out the window.
2. Multiply- A$AP Rocky
This is Rocky’s only solo release of the year and he does a great job of providing a dark visual on this one. The main thing I love about this is the middle scene with the Pretty Flacko 2 preview. All I want is that song, please A$AP drop this song before 2020, I’m dying here.
1. Down On My Luck- Vic Mensa
This is easily the best hip-hop video of the year and its even better that it was made by one of Chicago’s own. I love how he rewinds the night to show every possible scenario that could have happened and this really brings the song alive.
Top 5 R&B Projects of 2014
5. X – Chris Brown
In my opinion this was Chris Brown’s best overall R&B project since the release of F.A.M.E. album back in 2011. This album had a good balance between him singing with a real R&B sound and the electronic beats that Chris has been using for his sound a lot recently. The songs I thought stood out the most to me on this were the “101 interlude” and “Drown In It” featuring the R&B god R.Kelly.
4. BJ Tha Chicago Kid – M.A.F.E. Project
Chicago’s own BJ tha Chicago kid put out a dope project in the 4th quarter of 2014. He gives you a really good modern twist on old school R&B and in my opinion he is this generations Nate Dogg because of how well he has performed on hooks for various rap songs such as “Studio”. This is just pure R&B right here; my favorites off this are “One in Million” and “Wednesday Weekend”.
3. Trigga – Trey Songz
Not gonna lie I do enjoy Trey Songz music a lot but he never put together a great project for me until he released Trigga this summer. Overall I felt that this was the best album yet as this project is very concise and contains no filler as I felt previous albums suffered from. My favorites off this were “Dead Wrong”, and the “Foreign Remix” featuring the one and only Bugatti Biebs.
2. PARTYNEXTDOOR- PARTYNEXTDOOR 2
This album was PnD’s coming out party (no pun intended) to the mainstream world and it ended up being one of my favorites of 2014. The single Recognize got the most recognition as it got a lot of radio play nationally throughout the year. Although I think his first project is a little better than this, this album still has a lot of gems on it such as “SLS” and “Bout it”
1. No More EP – Shlohmo & Jeremih
Jeremih had a great 2014 with the release of the platinum single “Don’t Tell Him” and various features but I thought the best thing he put out this year was this No More EP. Shlohmo an electronic artist provided great unique beats throughout this that were perfect for Jeremih to sing over. My favorites off this are “The End” feat. Chance the Rapper and the title track “No More”.
Top 5 Mixtapes of 2014
5.Ferg Forever – A$AP Ferg
This mixtape came out on black Friday and turned out to be a standout for me this year. The reason I like this project so much is because Ferg experiments with many beats on this which makes for not one song to sound the same. My favorites off this were either “Fergsomnia” featuring Twista or “Bonnaroo”.
4.Welcome to Fazoland – Lil Herb
Chicago’s Lil herb really put out a great project this year by providing a dark perspective of what actually is going on in the streets of Chicago. In my opinion Herb is one of Chi town’s most versatile artists as he can rap bar for bar with you or also hop on a hype track and do his thing. My favorites off this project are “Fight of Flight” and “On My Soul”.
3. No Label II – Migos
Migos put out two projects this year, this one first and then Rich Ni*** Timeline in the fall, however I thought this was the best. No Label II had everything from mainstream hits such as “Fight Night”, to one of the funniest of songs of the year in “Freak no More”. It also had some of the catchiest lines of the year such as the line off the song “Antidote” with Migos saying “Call me what you want but you cant call me broke”. After listening to this I’m sure you will have at least one of their lines stuck in your head and that’s not a bad thing.
2. The Water[s] – Mick Jenkins
Another Chicago artist, Mick Jenkins really is one of the best lyricists of this generation and he showed it with the release of the water[s]. This is mixtape is just pure rapping as Mick gives you bar after bar on each song addressing some key issues in society along the way. My favorites of this were” Jazz”, “Thc”, and probably his most famous track “Martyrs”.
1. Tony – King Louie
This is easily my favorite mixtape of the year and got the most replay from me all year. King Louie really solidified himself as the clear leader of the drill movement of Chicago by putting hit after hit on this project and it seems as a result this has landed him a deal on Drake’s OVO label. I have so many favorites off this but if I had to narrow it down to two it would be the intro “B.O.N.” where Louie goes insane and “Till I Meet Selena”.
Top 5 Songs of 2014
5. Often – The Weeknd
When this dropped I remember sitting in my car and playing this at least 5 times back to back. As time progressed this eventually grew into one of my most played songs of the year and found itself on this list. The beat made by the weeknd is fire and provides an up tempo vibe that the he rarely sing over. As always his lyrics were on point also and it creates for an awesome song.
4. Move that Dope – Future feat. Pusha T, Pharrell Williams, & Casino
This song had nearly everything you could want in a huge collaboration. It had the lyricist spitting straight bars with Pusha T, the swag rapper doing his thing with Future, Pharrell providing comic relief, and then Casino finishing the song with all sorts of hype. Not only is this one of the catchiest hooks over the year but Mike-Will-Made-It gave Future one of the best beats of the year to rap over.
3.Close Your Eyes – Run the Jewels feat. Zach De La Rocha
Initially when I saw that Run the Jewels had Rage the Machine’s Zach De La Rocha had a song together I was intrigued on how they would make it work. Well it came out incredible with El-P having him sing the hook and then looping him saying “run it” into the beat. RTJ does their thing on this and Zach even comes in near the end giving a great guest verse.
2. Irie Trill Vibes – Joey Purp
The first time I heard this song I went to a Ty Dolla Sign show in March and Joey performed this song live before the release. Needless to say it messed me up and I was like “what is this song? and how do I get it!?”. Fast foreword a month later the song was finally released and it was just as good as when I first heard it. Joey goes crazy over this beat saying memorable lines such “gold chain around my neck, all I do is flex”. If you’ve been to Chicago rap concerts recently you know that when this song comes on the place gets rowdy. Look out for Joey in 2015 because I believe he is the next big Save Money rapper out of Chicago to blow up.
1. Believe Me – Lil Wayne & Drake
You can call me mainstream for this but if I’m going to be real, this is easily my song of the year and got the most plays on my spotify from me. The hook is perfect, then Drake provides his braggadocios bars and Wayne comes in with his witty wordplay. My favorite part of this song is the second half when the beat slows down and Drake and Wayne go at again giving you quotable after quotable. This song is basically known by everybody around the country now and definitely “got the people going” in 2014.
Top 5 Albums
5.Oxymoron – Schoolboy Q
This was TDE’s second big commercial release since Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid m.A.A.d city when this released back in February. This album got a lot of replay from me back in the spring with songs such as Studio, Man of the Year, and Collard Greens especially being in heavy rotation. Overall this album was very concise and covered a lot of topics from Q boasting on “Man of the Year”, to him giving you insight to his dark past on the song “Hoover Street”.
4. Cilvia Demo – Isaiah Rashad
This really came out of nowhere for me when I saw TDE’s newest member released a project back in January I didn’t really think anything of it. However, after listening to this a few times I immediately realized how dope this was and why such a prominent label in the rap game signed him. This album had a great balance between chill vibes such as “Heavenly Father” and up-tempo songs such “RIP Kevin Miller”. I’m really excited to see what else he puts out in 2015.
3. Under Pressure – Logic
I had a lot of people telling me to listen to Logic over the past years but I never did, now after listening to this album I regret it, as this project turned out to be great. I loved how Logic really touched on so many issues on this about himself, which made for many relatable songs. With songs such as “Buried Alive” and “I’m Gone” it’s obvious that Logic is here to stay in the rap game and is ready to hit stardom.
- Run the Jewels 2 – Run the Jewels (Killer Mike & El-P)
I’m just going to say it right now this might be the best duo the rap game has seen since Clipse decided to hang it up a few years ago. The first Run the Jewels album was crazy but somehow they were able to top that album with this release. They come right out the gate aggressive as ever and then somehow maintain that energy. The songs that stick out the most are “Lie Cheat Steal”, “Close Your Eyes”, and “Blockbuster Night Part 1”.
1. Piñata – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Legendary producer Madlib struck an odd relationship with gangster rapper Freddie Gibbs on paper but they are actually an amazing combination together. They both compliment each other perfectly with Madlib really capturing Gibbs’ delivery with his beats and Gangster Gibbs doing each beat justice by you giving bar after bar. This is honestly my favorite rap project since Kendrick’s last release and I am able to play this from front to back without any skips at all.
If you made it this far down this post I’m gonna give you a bonus List of My Favorite Turn Up songs of 2014, which are basically 5 songs that when they got turned on at a party or something this year I probably was rapping all the words
5. Feel That – Vic Mensa
Vic Mensa and Smoko Ono link up on this and it goes. When the beat drops on this and Vic starts rapping the hook you know its about to get real, I saw many parties in 2014 that went crazy when this got played.
4. Lonely – Speaker Knockerz
First of all RIP Speaker Knockerz, but this song is great and he provides a lot of lines that I have been saying a lot this year such “Jug n Finessen”. Honestly this is one of those songs that I can literally rap word for word when it comes on.
3. No Type – Rae Sremmurd
This is obvious but honestly this song is crazy and also the funniest of the year because somehow Rae Sremmurd have no type but they only like bad chicks. What? Haha
2. Hot N**** – Bobby Shmurda
You know this has to be on here, no explanation needed. ABOUT A WEEK AGO.
1. Danny Glover – Young Thug
This was the song that announced Thugger to the world and honestly was my favorite song whenever I heard played anywhere. This beat is literally ridiculous and Thugger provides infinite amounts of hype to hang with it.