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TOP TEN: The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2014

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2014 will and should be remembered as a year of blockbuster independent hip-hop albums. The lack of any major releases from Jay Z, Nas, Kanye West or Drake, the stalling of Lil Wayne’s next and supposed last solo album, and noticeably weak efforts from 50 Cent and Eminem, among other name-brand artists, left a clear opening for albums like Run The Jewels 2 and Pharaohe Monch’s PTSD. Keeping with that theme, the types of places that best encapsulate hip-hop culture were in full effect—cities and neighborhoods with diverse ethnicities and strong working-class roots, Detroit and East Oakland among them.

The Infamous Mobb Deep10. Mobb Deep – The Infamous Mobb Deep

Followed by a packed free concert at Queensbridge Park this summer—which may have set an all-time high for white people hanging out in projects—Mobb Deep’s eighth album is a solid reminder of what made the duo from Queens so good in the first place. The two-disc album comes with all of the key ingredients: catchy, ominous beats and gritty, thought-provoking street tales. It even carries a remarkably similar name to the group’s second and most popular album, The Infamous. Most important, the LP serves as a testament to the undying chemistry between Prodigy and Havoc. The two reconnected for the project after a public falling out on Twitter in 2012, six years after their last release Blood Money, fueled by blunt accusations of disloyalty and homosexuality.

If There's A Hell Below9. Black Milk – If There’s A Hell Below

Detroit-native Black Milk continues to pay homage to his home city, which remains buried in bankruptcy, over soulful beats he, alone, produced in his unwavering do-it-yourself fashion. His sixth studio album, If There’s a Hell Below, is a contemplative endeavor with arguably some of the catchiest, yet least poppy, synthesized hip-hop tracks of 2014. Unlike most of his earlier releases, Black Milk finds the right balance between letting his beats speak full volume and letting his voice overpower that. The final product is one of the best from an artist who gradually refined his sound over the past nine years.

Lord Steppington8. Step Brothers (Alchemist And Evidence) – Lord Steppington

Los Angeles-natives The Alchemist and Evidence showcase their longtime friendship with their first collaborative release under the fitting group name the Step Brothers. The album is packed with plenty of bizarre references and obscure samples to satisfy music nerds, but far from nerdy in its composition. With well-placed appearances from both lesser-known and established artists, including Action Bronson, Styles P, and Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples (Evidence’s other step brother), Lord Steppington hits its listeners like a Long Island Ice Tea or pot cookies—most won’t realize the full effect until after consumption.

And Then You Shoot Your Cousin7. The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

The Roots have done better: Do You Want More?!!!??! (1994), Illadelph Halflife (1996), Things Fall Apart (1999) and Game Theory (2006), to name four of their stronger releases. Yet they haven’t lost steam as much as they have steered into previously unexplored territory. The hip-hop/neo soul band’s 11th studio album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is a sober and philosophical trip fueled by colliding pianos and strings, foreboding samples and heavy live percussion from Questlove. The Philadelphia natives may be at their darkest point here and the impression is far from fleeting.

G I R L6. Pharrell Williams – G I R L

While technically not a hip-hop album, G I R L is an eclectic commentary on gender that best fits this list due to Pharrell’s long-held status as a hip-hop producer and rap artist. The Virginia Beach native’s second studio album, which he produced almost entirely himself with a few co-production credits, peaked at No. 1 in 12 countries for a good reason. Anyone who sat in a car, walked into a store, turned on a TV or used the Internet in 2014 heard the song “Happy” at one point or another—love it or hate it. With the line between hip-hop and pop becoming increasingly blurred each year, Pharrell stands out as one of the select few to really make it work.

Piñata5. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

Seasoned super-producer Madlib and relative newcomer Freddie Gibbs are a refreshing matchup, evoking the sounds of old Wu-Tang Clan, MF Doom and Goodie Mob records. Oxnard, Calif.-native Madlib does what he does best, handling production on Piñata’s 17 tracks, while Gary, Ind.-born Mr. Gibbs comes across as a big league artist minus the polished look and canned hooks. The duo’s chemistry works so well that some of the biggest guest appearances, including Dannie Brown and Mac Miller, detract from the vibe. Fortunately, others like Raekwon of Wu-Tang add to it and Mr. Gibbs and Madlib only lose their step for a brief moment in the middle of the adventure.

There Is Only Now4. Souls of Mischief – There Is Only Now

The Hieroglyphics group that amassed an immediate cult following 21 years ago with the landmark single “’93 Til’ Infinity” once again proves that timeless music carries the most longevity when done right. The four East Oakland natives deliver a detailed narrative about camaraderie, crime, loss and revenge over live hip-hop tracks produced and arranged by Los Angeles-based composer and entertainment law professor Adrian Younge. With features from fellow ’90s icons Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, There Is Only Now is, perhaps ironically, one for the history books.

PHryme3. DJ Premier & Royce Da 5’9” – PRhyme

Royce Da 5’9” and Ganstarr veteran DJ Premier are a two-man super force that first teamed up in 2002 for Royce’s classic song “Boom.” The Detroit-born-and-bred rapper and Houston-born, Brooklyn-schooled DJ/producer were able to raise the bar they set 12 years ago with their first full collaborative album. PRhyme is precisely what the moniker suggests, starting off great and going up from there. Considering the usual age standards in hip-hop, one might joke that Royce, 37, and Premier, 48, have already peaked, but that just adds to the appeal. The release could have also been titled PRogressive.

Run The Jewels 22. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2

The second release from the frenetic Run The Jewels rap brand is a raw endeavor that hits in multiple layers at a rapid pace. The album just slightly tops the duo’s first effort and that’s enough to put it among the best hip-hop releases of 2014. Brooklyn-native El-P and Atlanta-native Killer Mike come as aggressive as they ever have—collectively and individually—with El-P handling co-production on all 11 tracks alongside fellow Brooklynite Little Shalimar. The result is an audible grand slam that turned an underground venture into a pop sensation and a project that will resonate for years to come. 

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)1. Pharoahe Monch – PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Nowhere near the status of a Jay Z or Lil Wayne album in terms of mass appeal, Pharoahe Monch’s fourth solo effort is all the more incredible for what it accomplishes. PTSD is a grim, but all the more fantastic, trip through the inner city that puts its listeners in the shoes of stuttering, manic-depressive fathers; broken-down, strung-out drug addicts; and sober, watchful city residents. The Queens native is at his sharpest and most conscientious and the result is an underappreciated gem that serves as a metaphor for the darker sides of the music industry. Then again, for a 24-year hip-hop veteran who has received accolades from some of hip-hop’s most prestigious artists, the praise has come before and will surely come again.

[TOP TEN] The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (12-20-12)

businesscard-85mmx55mm-hWhat’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  This is the second to last Top 10 List for 2012.  Actually, if the world ends tomorrow, this will be the last list.  If you don’t get a list next Thursday, I guess we’ll know which one is which.

Before we get into our list, we have to give a shout out to the boy Ca$h Out and the whole team at Bases Loaded Records.  Our whole team received gold plaques this weeks as recognition for our efforts on the “Cashin Out” record which hit #1 on the charts this year.  It was a much welcomed gesture from a team who’s supported us for years.  Whoever says that rappers don’t come and show love after they’ve gotten deals and blown up definitely can’t include Ca$h Out and BLR in that statement.  Good guys to the core.

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

 

HOT!!!

1. Future – “Karate Chop” (@1future)

2. Rihanna ft Future – “Loveeeee Song” (@rihanna + @1future)

3. BOB ft TI & Juicy J – “Still In This Bitch” (@bobatl + @tip + @therealjuicyj)

4. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

5. TI ft Lil Wayne – “Ball” (@tip + @liltunechi)

6. Young Jeezy ft Lil Lody – “How It Feel” (@youngjeezy + @lodylucci) 

7. Lil Reese – Us (@lilreese300)

8. DJ Drama ft Tyga, Wale, & Roscoe Dash – “So Many Girls” (@djdrama + @tyga + @wale + @roscoedash)

9. Baby D ft Gucci Mane – “One Night Sum” (@babyd2g23 + @gucci1017)

10. Rock Mob ft Rocko & Future – “Say Nun” (@therockmob + @rocko4real + @1future)

 

 

WARMING UP!!!

* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”

* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* RaRa – “That’s Why”

* Travis Porter – “Do A Trick”
* Tana – “My Old Slut”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) at nickloveatl@tmomail.net
FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl
See ya next week.

[TOP TEN] The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (12-13-12)

businesscard-85mmx55mm-hWhat’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  The end of the year is getting closer and closer and we’ve got the feeling that many of you aren’t ready for what’s coming down the pipeline.  It’s cool though.  We can already tell you who’s the next to blow – the artists that didn’t go on a musical vacation for the holidays.  You’ll see.  Nick Love and Big X have already been talking to the A&Rs and label heads giving them the rundown.  Did you make Santa’s list??  Lol.

Before we get into our list, we have to give a shout out to the boy Trinidad James.  Hate on him if you want, but we told you about him a couple of months ago and he just signed a reported 2 million dollar deal with Def Jam.  Y’all better catch up!!!

We’ve also gotta shout out RaRa (@1UpRaRa).  We’ve been bragging about him since September of this year.  This ain’t the Young Capone that many of you might remember.  Dude is all new and improved.  And, we’re 100% certain that he’s the next artist out of Atlanta to get that big deal.  His new video dropped today and everybody from Dirty Glove Bastard to XXL is talking good about it.  Check it out >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2hiDExvMGo

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

 

HOT!!!

1. Future – “Karate Chop” (@1future)

2. TI ft Lil Wayne – “Ball” (@tip + @liltunechi)

3. BOB ft TI & Juicy J – “Still In This Bitch” (@bobatl + @tip + @therealjuicyj)

4. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

5. Rocko – “Nachos” (@rocko4real)

6. T Melle – “Pill” (@itstmelle)

7. DJ Drama ft Tyga, Wale, & Roscoe Dash – “So Many Girls” (@djdrama + @tyga + @wale + @roscoedash)

8. Rock Mob ft Rocko & Future – “Say Nun” (@therockmob + @rocko4real + @1future)

9. Chill Will – “No Manners” (@1426chillwill)

10. K Major – “Rotation” (@kmajormusic)

 

 

WARMING UP!!!

* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”

* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* Yung Fresh – “36”

* RaRa – “That’s Why”

* Baby D ft Gucci Mane – “One Night Sum”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) at nickloveatl@tmomail.net
FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl
See ya next week.

[TOP TEN] The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (11-29-12)

Coalition_New_Logo_Black

What’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  It’s been a couple of weeks since our last email.  We hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.  It’s time to get back to work though.  Gotta end 2012 on a high note, right??

Before we get into our list, we have to give a HUGE shout out to Atlanta’s own Hip-Hop legend, Big Boi (@BigBoi).  This past Tuesday, he held a listening session for his forthcoming album, Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors.  Only one word to describe it – DOPE!!!  That “In The A” record featuring TI and Ludacris is a banger!!!  On December 11th, make sure you go cop that album!!!

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

 

HOT!!!

1. Future – “Trending Topic” (@1future)

2. T Melle – “Pill” (@itstmelle)

3. Verse Simmonds ft Young Jeezy – “Bout That Life” (@versesimmonds + @youngjeezy)

4. Chill Will – “No Manners” (@1426chillwill)

5. Scooter – “Columbia” (@1youngscooter)

6. Rocko – “Nachos” (@rocko4real)

7. TI ft Lil Wayne – “Ball” (@tip + @liltunechi)

8. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

9. K Major – “Rotation” (@kmajormusic)

10. BOB ft TI & Juicy J – “Still In This Bitch” (@bobatl + @tip + @therealjuicyj)

 

 

WARMING UP!!!

* DJ Drama ft Tyga, Wale, & Roscoe Dash – “So Many Girls”

* RaRa – “That’s Why”

* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”

* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* Yung Fresh – “36”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) at nickloveatl@tmomail.net
FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl
See ya next week.

The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (11-15-12)

What’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  This has been a good week for music in the city!!!  For 2 nights in a row, we got to check out the latest music from 2 of Atlanta’s best.  And, we’re proud to say, they did not disappoint.  HUGE shouts out to Future (Pluto 3D) and our boy B.o.B (#FuckEmWeBall)!!!  Ya’ll are truly making the city proud.

Also, HUGE shouts out to our new #1 record this week.  The boy Chill Will has been grinding in the streets in EVERY way and it’s paying off.  If you haven’t heard this “No Manners” record, you are really slipping!!!  We’re not gonna list his resume but you guys might wanna Google the boy.  He’s been around Gucci Mane and his team for a while and it looks like this might be his break out season.  Which brings us to our next our point – DON’T LET THE COLD WEATHER KEEP YOU FROM DROPPING THAT HEAT!!!  Don’t wait til January!!!  Work your records NOW so that you can enter 2013 with that buzz.  Get at us or the DJs in your market and get going!!!

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

 

HOT!!!

1. Chill Will – “No Manners” (@1426chillwill)

2. Scooter – “Columbia” (@1youngscooter)

3. Trinidad James – “All Gold Everything” (@trinidadjamesgg)

4. Future – “Trending Topic” (@1future)

5. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

6. BOB ft TI & Juicy J – “Still In This Bitch” (@bobatl + @tip + @therealjuicyj)

7. O Lyfe – “Ass Shots” (@o_lyfe)

8. T Melle – “Pill” (@itstmelle)

9. K Major – “Rotation” (@kmajormusic)

10. Yung Fresh – “36” (@1yungfresh)

 

 

WARMING UP!!!

* DJ Drama ft Tyga, Wale, & Roscoe Dash – “So Many Girls”

* RaRa – “That’s Why”

* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”

* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* Crix Green – “I’m On It”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) at nickloveatl@tmomail.net
FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl
See ya next week.

The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (11-8-12)

What’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  The end of 2012 is rapidly approaching and the number of rappers in the streets is rapidly decreasing.  Don’t fall for it!!!  We’re telling you guys now – don’t let the myth of the “4th Quarter” keep you from grinding between now and January.  EVERYBODY is waiting for the top of the year.  Why not attack while all the competition is spectating.  Remember, we broke Future towards the end of 2010 and we broke Ca$h Out at the end of 2011.  YOU could be the breakout star of 2012.  

Huge shouts out to our Coalition DJs DETROIT set.  Just like we’re breaking records down here in ATL, those guys are up top doing the same.  If you need to get your record booming outside of the A, you need to get at Nick Love ASAP!!!

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

 

HOT!!!

1. Scooter – “Columbia” (@1youngscooter)

2. Trinidad James – “All Gold Everything” (@trinidadjamesgg)

3. Future – “Trending Topic” (@1future)

4. Chill Will – “No Manners” (@1426chillwill)

5. Rocko – “Nachos” (@rocko4real)

6. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

7. T Melle – “Pill” (@itstmelle)

8. O Lyfe – “Ass Shots” (@o_lyfe)

9. Ra Ra – “That’s Why” (@1uprara)

10. BOB ft TI & Juicy J – “Still In This Bitch” (@bobatl + @tip + @therealjuicyj)

 

 

WARMING UP!!!

* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”
 
* K Major – “Rotation”

* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* Crix Green – “I’m On It”

* Yung Fresh – “36”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) atnickloveatl@tmomail.net

FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl

See ya next week.

The Coalition DJs ATL Weekly Top 10 List | The Streets Are Tuned In!!! (11-1-12)

What’s up world?? Coalition DJs checking in once again to give you this week’s Top 10 records in the streets.  As the wether cools down, the ATL music scene is heating up!!!  Lots of new records hit the list this week and some of the more established ones fell off.  Is your record on here??

We’d like to kick off this list with a huge shout out to all the R&B artists out here grinding in the streets.  We know ya’ll are fighting an uphill battle but we got your back.  These rappers got all the outlets in the world to get their stuff off (mixtapes, clubs, open mics, etc).  You gotta compete against the people in yoru genre PLUS the rappers.  That ain’t cool.  But shouts out the ones making some head way – Verse Simmonds, Masspike Miles, O Lyfe, Hamilton Park, Untitled, T Melle, Tiffany Bleu, and more.

Now, what records did the Coalition DJs break in the strip clubs, on the radio, and online this week??

HOT!!!

1. Scooter – “Columbia” (@1youngscooter)

2. Trinidad James – “All Gold Everything” (@trinidadjamesgg)

3. Future – “Trending Topic” (@1future)

4. Chill Will – “No Manners” (@1426chillwill)

5. T Melle – “Pill” (@itstmelle)

6. Rocko – “Nachos” (@rocko4real)

7. T Mac “On My Grind” (@tmac263)

8. Slice 9 ft Future, B.O.B. & Young Dro – “Another One” Remix (@slice9 + @1future + @bobatl + @dropolo)

9. O Lyfe – “Ass Shots” (@o_lyfe)

10. Ra Ra – “That’s Why” (@1uprara)

WARMING UP!!!

* C Neal “On Da Line”
* Blitz – “Shake Dat Ass”
* K Major – “Rotation”* Lysa Lambo – “Magic”

* Tana – “Old Slut”

Is your record on this list?? Do we have your record?? If not, make sure you get at us!!! Contact us here or hit up Nick Love (@nickloveatl) at nickloveatl@tmomail.net
FOLLOW us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/coalitiondjsatl
See ya next week.

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