This past year has been many things: a rejuvenation for the West Coast, another major year for Atlanta and a coronation of sorts for DJ Mustard. But across the board, sentiment has been that 2014 was a down year for hip-hop. But that doesn't mean that there wasn't still great rap music that was made. The beginning of the year saw the mainstream success of Kid Ink and ScHoolboy Q and the street rap brilliance of YG and Freddie Gibbs; the middle of the year saw Common lay down the law and Jeezy lay it all out, while the end of the year was packed with big albums from J. Cole and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. So when it came time to pick the best hip-hop albums of the year, it was a tough decision, to say the least. From Run The Jewels to Ghostface, Rick Ross to T.I., here are XXL's 14 best albums for 2014, ordered by release date. —Dan Rys, Emmanuel C.M., Miranda J. and Roger Krastz

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