Welcome to our 15th annual Illuminati 2G Hip Hop Awards. Here we recognize the best albums of 2014 in the world of hip hop. We break in down into regions as by what was the best album from the east, west, midwest and dirty south. All the selections are made by Illuminati 2G so if ya got beef wit the picks, hit me up on email or the message board.
East Coast Album Of The Year: J Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive- Over the last 2 years the growing trend in the music industry is dropping albums with little to no promotion behind them. While for most this would be considered career suicide, megastar Beyonce did huge 1st week numbers. J Cole decided to take a crack at it in 2014 and the results were a home run. Over 300,000 units sold first week and the ONLY hip hop album to have at least 500,000 units sold in the calendar. Solid year for the east coast.
Oh I forgot to mention the album is a personal classic. Unapologetic, thought provoking and melodic, J. Cole ended 2014 on top of the game.
Honorable mention: Ghostface, Wu-Tang, Joe Budden, Ransom, Logic, Mobb Deep, Cormega, Pharoahe Monch, The Roots, Nikki Minaj, 50 Cent, Canibus
Dirty South Album Of The Year: Big K.R.I.T.- Cadillacditca- In an overall quiet year for releases from the South, KRIT came out in 2014 swinging. A jack of all trades, KRIT dropped one of the most complete albums of the year, flawless production and lyrical content and SHHH, a statement defining single crowning himself the King Of The South. I approve this message, salute.
Honorable mention: T.I., Isaiah Rashad, Killer Mike, Ludacris, Jeezy, Rick Ross
Midwest Album Of The Year: TIE Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier- Prhyme & Freddie Gibbs- Pinata: If KRIT’s album was one of the most complete, this album from a producer/MC duo standpoint you don’t get much better than the albums from Royce and Gibbs. Freddie Gibbs has been one of the hardest working MCs in the game and his album produced by Madlib was one of the true early gems of the year. Only to follow that up with the dream matchup (FINALLY) of Premo and Royce to end the year. A banner year for releases from the Midwest.
Honorable Mention: Black Milk, Common, Mick Jenkins, Shady Records Compilation, Rittz
West Coast Album Of The Year: Jehuniko- Forever Free: The LA native had quite a year in 2014, after dropping a couple free albums, the opus of the year, Forever Free released late this year. The conceptual gem showcased J’s amazing story telling ability, introspective cuts and serves as the perfect sedgeway to his long awaited Bittersweet album on January 9th. Another stellar year for west coast releases.
Honorable Mention: Vince Staples, Crooked I, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, DJ Quik, E-40, Step Brothers, YG, Damani Nikosi, Dilated Peoples, Cozz, Rass Kass
Best Comeback: Cormega
Best Indie Album: 50 Cent- Animal Ambition
Most Slept On Album: Crooked I: Sex, Money & Hip Hop
Best Mixtape- Slaugtherhouse- House Rules
Best New Artist- Logic
Most Entertaining “Beef”- Drake vs Tyga
Best Guest Appearance- Jay-Z: The Devil Is A Lie
Best Rap Quotable & Diss Song: Jay-Z: The Devil Is A Lie & Game- Chiraq
Best Lyricist- Ransom
Biggest Disappointment: Up until J. Cole, no gold, platinum albums
Album Of The Year: J Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Producer Of The Year: DJ Mustard
Group Of The Year: The Roots
Label Of The Year: Top Dawg
Compilation Of The Year: Diamond D: Diam Piece & The Game: The Year Of The Wolf
Song Of The Year: Joe Budden- Ordinary Love Shit 4/The Game- The Purge
Overall, I thought 2014 had some incredible albums. There once again seems to be a resurgence in consicous rap so hopefully we will hear more of the same in 2015. Region wise, I liked the things that I heard from the East and the Midwest all year. Especially the East, alot of new artists and crews dropped great albums this year. TDE continued with their dope releases from Schoolboy Q, Ab Soul, Isiah Rashad and SZA. Seems like that grimey east coast sound is making a comeback with artists like The Wu, Mobb Deep, Cormega and other dropping albums. The South was relatively quiet this year, but definitely that some dope releases. KRIT’s album was amazing and Rick Ross dropped 2 dope albums.
The Midwest really had dome great releases. Royce, Black Milk, Freddie Gibbs and the new Shady compilation. Let’s hope yall fans ain’t sleeping the next time. I want to take this time to thank all of the fans and visitors that have supported the site since day one. So many dope interviews this year, DJ Muggs, Crooked I, Lil Fame, the list goes on, over 178 interviews and counting this year and over 100 interviews for the 6th straight year. MAJOR THANKS TO JEHUNIKO, WEST HAVEN BLAST, ADAM MURPHY & T. They both put in a ton of work with their interviews and features. ALL are truly Illuminati 2G to the fullest.
We got more in store including continuing our podcast radio show, our popular Sanctuary mixtape series and a street album and we are trying to build up our forum so alot more is in the works. Also we hope to get our first I2G hosted live show coming soon. Too many artists to name, you know who you are. Thank you. We will continue to bring the heat as we go into our 15th year. 2014 was our best year, and we have alot in store for you guys in 2015 so keep it locked here at Illuminati 2G! Hoped you liked the awards