2014 was full of groundbreaking musical releases from all corners of the earth. Regardless of your personal taste, this year there was something for everybody.
The following list is my top 10: From heavy hip hop, to summery jangle pop, to fluttery acid jazz; this genre-blending collection of sounds defines my taste perfectly – Inclusive, Diverse, and Eclectic.
Here we go:
Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
The lyrical talent of Long Beach native Vince Staples is truly crippling. If Kendrick is the voice of hope, then Staples is the mouthpiece for the hopeless. Hell Can Wait is a captivating tale of drugs, crime, and police brutality. “And they expect respect and non-violence.. I refuse the right to be silent.” With resigned honesty, he tells the stories that are often overlooked. Unlike many of his peers, he is not glorifying street culture and violence or even necessarily trying to change anything; rather he is criticising the corrupt system that has taken so much from him and those he loves; the society that forces people down and makes us turn on each other in order to survive. “North Division tryna stop my blackness.” Staples is a much needed addition to the current state of hip hop because he raps from a place of truth and maturity far beyond his 21 years. His flow is calculated and alters itself seamlessly to fit the beat – At times firm and vehement, it then gracefully speeds up to dance over the tripped out haunting production.
Stand Out Tracks: 65 Hunnid, Hands Up, Feelin the Love