The 6 Best Hip-Hop/Rap Albums of 2014

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Schoolboy Q — Oxymoron


Quincy Hanley, known by his stage name Schoolboy Q, is a rapper hailing from Los Angeles, CA. He's part of the super group "Black Hippy," which includes three other notable mainstream rappers: Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock (under the independent label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE)).

Battling with drug-addiction for a large portion of his career, Oxymoron was Schoolboy’s third studio album and was largely based off his previous years selling and abusing various drugs. This album was his coming out party, as it was his first album release under a major label (Interscope Records), and it lived up to the hype that was created when he announced he would be releasing the album in late December, 2012.

The album is a brilliant mix of his past life on the streets and his current status as a rap star. The album start to finish doesn’t have a bad track, and this is a sentiment to Schoolboy’s progression as a rapper who is here to stay in the limelight. Look out for his next project, as it’s sure to be a quality release exhibiting his true skills as a west coast rapper.


Full disclosure: I'm already a big Beyoncé fan. Waking up last Friday to see that Beyoncé had released a new album felt a little bit like an early Christmas gift. No promotion, no warning; Bey had basically put the album in my stocking with a wink and a nod. At that, I'd have been pleased even if the album was just okay.

But it's not. It's better than okay; it's pretty incredible. I wanted to give it some time before I tried to review it because I knew I was riding so high off of the shock element... and the fact that her new album was finally here. But even after the surprise elements fade away, I haven't been able to turn this record off. The only other albums this year that have been like that for me have been Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady and Jay Z's Magna Carta... Holy Grail — so Bey is in good company.