#Bestof2014 – Who Had the Best Year? [Editorial]

Posted on January 8, 2015 by


This list has nothing to do with music quality or preference.  This is a look back at 2014, the successes and accomplishments of those involved.  Who had the best year takes into account most everything except whether I like their music or not.  If the year was only 11 months, Bobby Schmurda would be damn near the top of this list but with the years he is facing, I don’t think 2014 will be considered his best. Dej Loaf also had a great year after “Try Me” turned her into a blogosphere name and even got her onto EMINEM’s album. Gambino had a very successful year and continues to do things his own way too.


  1. Lecrae

Lecrae continues to knock down doors for “Christian rappers” and moves closer to have the first word knocked from his title.  His album Anomaly earned him his first number one album on the Gospel Chart AND the Billboard 200.  He had a successful tour, many campaigns to reward his fans and award nominations from a number of sources.  I don’t think he’s stopping any time soon but 2014 could be considered a breakout for the young emcee.

  1. Ilovemakonnen

Despite not being on this list, Drake helped make 2014 a great year for 2 of 3 mentioned already.  While buzzing in ATL, Drake’s hopping on “Tuesday” and subsequent singing of Makonnen helped propel him to new heights. To cap off his impressive year, “Tuesday” even received a Grammy nod.

  1. ScHoolboy Q

OXYMORON was one of the best albums of the year, debuted at #1 and featured some of the best single tracks put out in 2014. After he dropped, he spent a good majority of the year on the road doing sold out shows and continues to ride his 4th, 5th singles from the album. Now, he can join the list of albums better than Iggy’s that lost at the Grammy’s…

  1. Eminem

The Eminem fans are going to support him no matter what he does but 2014 saw a few more accolades being thrown towards the Detroit OG than he has received as of late.  The Shady Cypher seemed to be a very big hit online and while Em will always sell well on a solo note, the ShadyXV compilation still did relatively well for today’s sales standards.  Even though it dropped in 2013, MMLP2 racked up a few MORE Grammy nominations to add to Em’s resume too. Who knows how many more big years Shady has in him? He can definitely look back at 2014 as one of his bigger successes as of late.

  1. DJ Mustard

MustardontheBeatHo! 2014’s go-to sound/producer was definitely DJ Mustard (especially by way of YG & Ty$) and he cashed in! By the end of the year, there were a few other names starting to compete and I think they will end up on next year’s list but 2014 belong to Dijon.  Despite a fake falling out with YG recently, the two have big plans for their imprint.  We’ll see if they can hold our attention.

  1. Migos

I think it is safe to say that Migos is here to stay.  Other artists may have just been a flash in the pan after “Versace” was EVERYWHERE but Migos are still relevant. Very relevant. Hate ‘em or love ‘em, they had an amazing 2014.

  1. J. Cole

Cole continues to do things his way and continues to take Ws. He has a loyal fanbase that he has cultivated over the years; they support him and he rewards them by inviting them to his house to hear the album, driving a bus around NYC to meet people off twitter and sign their CDs, and other things like that.  He took a major television appearance on Letterman and promoted social justice with a performance of his Mike Brown themed song instead of promoting his album single… AND he got another #1 album and one of the best selling rap albums of the year.  The label, Roc Nation and everyone else just stays out of Cole’s way because he clearly knows what he’s doing. And it works.

  1. Iggy Azalea

Cultural appropriation, poor response to criticism, and music quality aside, Iggy has had a pretty fantastic year.  But that is what happens when the machine has chosen you to be the next star. Oh, you don’t like “Fancy”? Well listen to it 20 times an hour on the radio and see if it doesn’t become catchy… The New Classic didn’t sell well but her singles have done numbers and no one will be surprised when she wins “Best Rap Album” with whatever other trophies she takes home.  She also got a new modeling gig with Forever 21 and a lot of other endorsement deals.  We can hate all we want but Iggy is probably feeling pretty good about her year.

  1. Nicki Minaj

The biggest press, control of her own album rollout, one of the biggest debuts for rappers, female artists, whatever category you put her in, of 2014, accolades left and right, possibly her best album to date, star in a Hollywood film.. There isn’t much that Nicki didn’t do in 2014. Her loosies that got dropped online earned back some of her hip hop cred, she set online records with her “Anaconda” video… Nicki was pretty much on top all year.

  1. Killer Mike

2014 that Killer Mike (finally) become one of the loudest voices in hip hop.  We all knew he could rap but his collaborations with El-P are giving him the shine that he has never really gotten before. Not that one man can represent everyone in hip hop and especially not their opinions, but when CNN hosted a rapper to discuss Fergueson and other topics of the sort, who did they have? Killer Mike. And is there anyone else you would have rather they spoke to? He didn’t have the same commercial success Nicki or Iggy had, but considering what level they started the year at, nobody did 2014 better than Mike.

Posted in: Editorials, Lists