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The 25 Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2014 (So Far)

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Iamsu!, Sincerely Yours

Iamsu! is one of the fresh faces putting the Bay Area back on the map. Alongside his HBK Gang that includes Sage The Gemini and P-Lo, Su has breathed new life into the region that was once known for its hyphy movement. His debut album Sincerely Yours is an accumulation of the minimalist sound that he’s made widely popular again.

Throughout his career, the Richmond, Calif. rapper/producer has delivered solid mixtapes ($uzy 6 $peed, his Kilt series), so to see his official LP open more doors for him is one of the more exciting outcomes from the project. At only 24-years-old, he’ll have a long, fruitful career if he continues on this pace. Standouts like “The Weather,” “T.W.D.Y.” (featuring OGs E-40 and Too $hort) and “What You ‘Bout” only means he can go up from here.—ED

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Iggy Azalea, The New Classic

2014 was a year of prosperity and growth for Iggy Azalea, and her debut LP, The New Classic, was the launching pad that got her there. The album proved to a gang of skepts who doubted Iggy’s controversial style from the start that she was more than capable of making hip-hop tracks with a pop appeal. As the album’s hit single “Fancy” (featuring Charli XCX) is currently at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week, the LP proved that the Australian rapstress was making her mark in the game. She’s here to stay, fellas.—MJ

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Kid Cudi, Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon

Kid Cudi’s powers were restored on Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon, as he took listeners on a journey back to the territory he’d explored previously. Satellite Flight stretches the boundaries of hip-hop; for 41 minutes, fans entered into Cudi’s version of a deep space odyssey. The album is one half Cudi going back and forth with his signature crooning and rapping, and the second half a collection of impressive instrumental tracks, but the magic lies in the album’s sequencing. Nothing feels out of place and the order of each song makes sense, serving as a destination point in the Cudi narrative. Satellite Flight is a densely short album exhibiting all of Cudi’s strengths and creates a wonderfully dreamy atmosphere that only he can manage to capture. —ECM

Kid Ink - My Own Lane

Kid Ink, My Own Lane

Kid Ink was one of the first hip-hop artists to release an album in 2014. After building up his name with the independent release Up & Away and his EP Almost Home, the Los Angeles rapper blazed through the path he’s created with My Own Lane.

The project, Ink’s sophomore album, showcases him as a dominant hip-hop/pop star. Backed by production from DJ Mustard and DZL, the proven hitmaker delivers a variety of songs for any occasion. “Show Me,” featuring Chris Brown, is already a big summer anthem and joints like “Murda” show he’s a lyrical threat on the mic. If you’d been sleeping on Ink before, it’s time for you to wake up.—ED

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