2014 was a hugely successful year for many LA artists. So many made the jump from local artists to artists on the rise and other regionally successful artists became industry mainstays. In a year where the Lakers sucked ass, The Dodgers fell short of World Series expectations, we could at least take pride in the fact that LA hip-hop continues to dominate the industry, underground and radio all over the country.
I decided to reflect on this immensely successful year for Los Angeles music by making a short list of the illest 14 records of 2014. It was difficult because there were so many hits, bangers and anthems to choose from. But, I bring you Rosecrans Ave’s fourteen best of ’14, in no particular order.
14. Warm Brew “Can Ya Blame Me”-The recent OpM signees from Santa Monica really reminded us what an ill group sounds like, it’s so dope when everyone in the group sounds completely different from the next guy.
13. Schoolboy Q ft BJ The Chicago Kid “Studio”- This was one of the biggest records of the year and in my opinion the best song off of Q’s Oxymoron album. It was dope because even though it was a song record catered towards to the ladies it in no way sounded forced or planned, Q is talking gibberish at the end and he made us all sing it too.
12. Teeflii ft 2 Chainz “24 Hours”- What LA artist constantly won more than Teeflii this year? I’m not sure anyone did, from the beginning of 2014 to the end Teeflii showed his talent to the world on the mic and with the pen, he co-wrote Kid Ink and Chris Brown’s “Show Me” and sang hooks for everybody who wanted a banger. This track was getting spins from spring to the winter, and if it comes on right now I’m singing along.
11. Big Sean ft E-40 “IDFWU”-The anthem, plain and simple. But Vic, Big Sean is from Detroit, this is true however he lives in LA now, plus DJ Mustard and DJ Dahi and Kanye West all produced the track and they are resident of LA as well so there, you’re moded you little stupid ass bitch.
10. Vince Staples “Blue Suede”- Vince has been killing things since he appeared on the Earl Sweatshirt’s “EpaR” in 2010 but this year was really his year, he released two projects, and Blue Suede off of Hell Can Wait was the dopest.
9. Tinashe “2 On” ft Schoolboy Q- Pull yo’ panties down from under you! This was another anthem, this was for the ladies but fellas don’t act like you didn’t sing in your falsetto to this one while you were alone in the car, that shit is tough not to do man. Groovy Q came in with the fire verse and gave you an excuse to say it was your favorite record.
8. OT Genasis “CoCo”-I GOT BACON SODA. This record is solely responsible for Bacon Soda’s rapid rise in popularity, I don’t think people are drinking it because that sounds disgusting but it’s a funny IG post I guess. Seriously though, this record gets the club jumpin’ and if you can make everyone move and sing your song you did something right. Shoutout to Long Beach’s OT Genasis, keep ’em coming.
7. Omarion ft Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko “Post To Be”- DJ Mustard produced it so you know it’s a hit. It was a great record before the third verse but when Jhene came in and said “he gotta eat the booty like groceries” this made the song one of the best of the year easily.
6. Kid Ink ft Chris Brown “Show Me/ Main Chick”- Let’s be honest, it’s the same song just part 1 and two, I’m not giving it two slots. But these were some of the funnest and catchiest songs of the year. Production by DJ Mustard of course, he did not miss once this year.
5. KYLE “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”- This might be my favorite song of the year, it was just crazy dope, fun, filled with bars and the hook/production was literally perfect. Hope to hear much more from KYLE in 2015.
4. Speak “BulletProof Denali”-I dare you to find a better written song than this one in 2014. On top of that the bars, were insane, the production was crazy and it had a refreshingly unique sound. Speak’s Gnarly Davidson VS The Marlboro Men was also one of the dopest albums of the year.
3. YG ft Drake “Who Do You Love”- I really wanted to put YG’s whole album on the list but this record will have to do since it was probably the most successful single. This is a record that will be played 10 years from now and everyone will remember what they were doing when they first heard it, it’s just one of those rare instantly classic records. Bitch Who Do You Love is such a genius phrase and an even better hook.
2. Thurz “The Big Bang” (Feat. BJ The Chicago Kid, Clyde Carson, Overdoz & Preston Harris) Produced by Marlon Barrow- That was tiring to write, but it was such a well put together record I had to do it. This funky, groovy track is off Thurz’s Designer EP and I dare you to listen to it and not attempt to electric slide, this is the type of record you play at a wedding to get the party jumping. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Dad, Cousin It, can all appreciate this record and get to sliding.
1. Kendrick Lamar “i”- I know I said it wasn’t in any particular order but then I put Kendrick in the #1 slot, it’s just a coincidence, G.O.M.D. not everything is a conspiracy. This positive and infectious record was so important and anxiously awaited, the day it was released people woke up at like 5am to hear it first, that’s HiiiPower.
Jeremih ft YG “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
Phora ft Dizzy Wright “Roll Witchu”
UTK ft Ab-Soul & Loaded Lux “Talk To Em”
Casey Veggies ft YG & IAMSU “Backflip”
Do you think I missed any? Comment below!