In my opinion, this guy dominated 2014. Sure, he didn’t sell as many records as Drake, or get as many retweets as Kendrick, but his latest mixtape, Small VVorld, was second to none. Everyone from Four Tet to ILOVEMAKONNEN made an appearance on it and the production was top notch. He’s since be labelled the rapper “everyone wants to work with.” He’s definitely one to watch, and with a beard that constantly changes length and colour, we’re in for some crazy shit. The highlight for me would be the track 4 Seasons ft. OG MACO.
Lets face it, there’s so many fucking people in A$AP MOB that it’s hard to keep track of who does music, who does PR, and who’s just there to sip lean and get high. But one member who has really burst out of the background recently is A$AP Ferg. I’d probably be pushing it to say that he’s outshone Rocky this year, but I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t approaching the title of my favourite mobber. Rocky identifies him as his protege and basically says that if anyone is going to blow up aside from him, it’s Ferg. Of all the bangers he’s put out and featured on this year, I’d have to place Voices In My Head off SBTRKT’s latest album, Wonder Where We Land, top of the list. Fergalicious.
We all knew this one was coming. It honestly is impossible to make a best of hip hop list right now without including K.Dot. He’s taken the rap game by storm, and although his only release of 2014 has been the track i, it’s still enough to win him a spot on my leaderboards. Though, this is also partly due to anticipation regarding his upcoming album, rumoured to drop later this year. I know that doesn’t leave much time, but if it does drop, get ready, because it will be bananas. Obviously, my Kendrick highlight is his aforementioned track, i. He’s taken some heat for it, because it’s clearly a bit too jazzy for the real hip hop heads, but I for one am digging the Isley Brothers sample.
Just as I will be hated and loved for this mention, I too hate and love Drake. His R&B style stuff does absolutely zilch for me. I don’t come to Drake to listen to soulful singing, I come for hard-hitting beats and calling out all the fuccbois on the track. I personally doubt Drake has as many enemies, treacherous friends and ‘fake’ girlfriends as he proclaims, but his flow is good and the bass can get worryingly heavy (which is also a good thing). He recently dropped three tracks out of nowhere, and let me tell you, I was in bed when I got wind of one of the tracks, entitled 6 God, but I didn’t fall asleep for another two hours after my first play-through. So, naturally, it’s my Drake highlight of 2014. Drizzy, I hate you, but you drop some fire.
Hear me out on this one; Skepta may be a grime artist, but he’s been known to dip into hip hop as well. Exemplified perfectly by his recent collaboration with A$AP Bari/Young Lord on It Ain’t Safe. His first verse is so immaculate I had to hit the rewind a few times, and then a few times again. Other than this, he released the track That’s Not Me in June alongside his brother/partner in grime (couldn’t help myself), JME. It went on to win Best Video at the MOBO awards and reasserted their place as grime pioneers once again. I’ve always had faith in the Adenuga brothers. Even when the British scene was looking at a premature death, they managed to drag it back out of the depths. I put forward It Ain’t Safe as my choice for Skepta's biggest, baddest banger of 2K14.