25. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
Released: October 7, 2014
Flying Lotus’ last full length LP, Until the Quiet Comes, was a brilliant, cohesive step in a new direction that FlyLo described to The Wire publication as “a record for kids to dream to”. His appropriately titled fifth studio album, You’re Dead!, though, is definitely the inverted, twisted version of this, as it is a record that thematically embraces the thoughts of mortality, escaping the gripping jaws of death itself, and eventually falling through the vortexes of the afterlife. The common thread between the two records seems to be that while they may not be thematically akin, they seem to be the most introspective, illusory, and pensive records in Flying Lotus’ discography.
24. Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
Released: October 7, 2014
“School couldn’t get me into Heaven/And Heaven couldn’t get me in a bitch bed” might just be the perfect introduction to Vince Staples’ character, and coincidentally are the first lines you hear on his breakout EP, Hell Can Wait. Here, Vince cranks it back to times where he was less mature and more susceptible to the thrills and motives of his previous gang-related, violent lifestyle, all with the outlook of a matured adult able to connect dots that were not previously visible. Vince spits over hard, speaker-destroying beats all while speaking some of his most sensible, commercially-connecting lyrics.
23. Popcaan – Where We Come From
Released: June 10, 2014
It is hard to find better lyrics on a album in 2014, than on Popcaan’s Where We Come From. A Jamaican deejay and the best dancehall artist in music today, if you have a taste for the kind of music he makes, you will absolutely love this project. The beats are full of energy, and the song writing matches in quality. This album may go unnoticed by many mainstream hip-hop fans, but those with a deeper interest in underground hip-hop will easily tell you everything that makes this album great. In a 2014 dominated by hip-hop and indie, Where We Come From is one of the year’s top projects.
22. Warpaint – Warpaint
Released: January 17, 2014
The Los Angeles indie rock band formed in 2004, but released their self-titled album Warpaint almost a year ago. While the groups writing never used to come from the bottom-up, this project was Warpaint’s first time writing their songs together and it definitely paid off with their newest album. This may certainly go as one of the more commercially unnoticed albums of 2014, but it will not go as one of the critically unrecognized albums of the year as critics across the board have been praising Warpaint’s latest efforts.
21. Isaiah Rashad – cilvia demo
Released: January 28, 2014
Cilvia demo is Tod Dawg Entertainment rapper Isaiah Rashad’s debut and is yet another great project showing fans why TDE is a forced to be reckoned with. This is no good kid, m.A.A.d city, but it shouldn’t be either. This project tell’s Isaiah’s story and no one else’s, not Kendrick’s, not SchoolBoy’s. Joined by his TDE brothers on the album, cilvia demo is a full of consistently good tracks and gives a kick of the South to the LA-centered TDE team.