25. Big K.R.I.T. (Cadillactica)
This album is my first exposure to Big K.R.I.T. that I know of. He is on a few of the EPs on this list in guest appearances. In the total opposite of Run The Jewels 2, the lyrics Big K.R.I.T. but the production is sketchy.
#24. Kev Brown & Hassaan Mackey (That Grit)
This album is reminiscent of some of the typical albums of the late 90′s; nothing fancy just typical beats and lyrics.
#23. Danny Brown (Detroit State of Mind)
This is a good album. Danny Brown comes off edgy and angry, but he says “nigga” a lot. A. LOT.
#22. Atmosphere (Southsiders)
This album is fascinating. I love the beats and samples/production, but its missing one major thing, grit. It reminds me of some middle class college kids doing their thing on the mic. They do it well though.
#21. Planet Asia & tzarizm (Via Satelitte)
There are 2 or 3 songs on there that CRANK. The rest, not so much.
#20. The Roots (...And then you shoot your cousin)
What is this, the Roots 457th album? I don’t know, but Roots fans will appreciate it much more than the band’s efforts in the 2000′s. I’m one of those un-Roots fans who actually liked “Phrenology” and “Tipping Point” ergo 19th place.
#19. Hail Mary Mallon (Bestiary)
Might be the best cover art for an EP in 2014. This EP falls into the category of horror rap. I like its uniqueness. Some nasty beats on here as well.
#18. J-Live (Around The Sun)
One of if not the most consistent and prolific kats in the game. I think being so prolific actually hurt this album as some of the production and lyrics to some of the songs seemed rushed.
#17. Trademark Da Skydiver (Return of the Super Villain)
This EP conceded my prejudices towards hip hop with jazz samples...I LOVE THEM. "Return of the Super Villain is well-produced with good lyrics. However, the hooks in a few of the songs are so bad that 17 is as high as I could rank it.
#16. Madlib & Freddie Gibbs (Pinata)
I was really disappointed by Madlib's production in this EP. That's something I thought I'd never say. Nonetheless, it is still a pretty good EP.
#15. Bambu (Party Worker)
When Jin came out with the song "Y'all Gonna Learn Chinese", I thought, "Wow. How did he manage to get Chinese in there?" Enter veteran Bambu. I raps a few lines in Tagalog and even though I don't understand it, he was flowing. There is a woman on the EP who can FLOW (I was unable to find her name, sorry), check this album out.
#14. L’Orange (The Orchid Days)
This album is not for everyone. It reminds me of St. Germain or a variation of Madlib’s Blue Note collection. No matter how you definite it, this is good. The lyrics are something to be desired, but the production more than makes up for it.
#13 DJ Premier & Royce Da 5'9" (PRhryme)
This was the most anticipated EP of 2014. Unfortunately, it kind of fell short in expectations, but still a good album. “You Looz” is straight bananas and carries the album for the most part.
#12. Pharoahe Monch - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Confession: I have a prejudice against Pharoahe Monche. I consider him more of a poet than an emcee. Take Saul Williams and teach him how to do his poetry to beat, and there you have Pharoahe. Excluding my prejudice, this album would be a top 5 without question.
#11. Ghostface Killah (36 seasons)
"36 Seasons" is a story in music form about a man returning after 9 years. Love that. Nothing like a good story-teling EP. Along with L’Orange’s “The Orchid Days”, I would consider “36 Seasons” a great instrumental album of sorts.
#10. Cormega (Mega Philosophy)
Remember when Cormega tried to make things work with Capone and Noriega and hit took him years to get his own album? No he’s on a roll with some really good shit. Mmm!
#9. J Cole (2014 Forest Hills Drive)
I didn’t want to like this album. But I do. I reminds me a bit of Common’s “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” album. The entire EP is a story telling session of life. I dig it.
#8. dilated peoples (Director of Photography
When I first heard this EP, I was blown away. Great throwback album. DP is still a winner.
#7. A-Villa (Carry On Tradition)
VERY gritty. Great featured emcee spots and probably the best throwback EP of the year. There a couple of disappointments on here, but not many.
#6. Skyzoo & Torae (Barrel Brothers)
There used to be a term for a great song or beat called a “head knocker”. This EP is a head knocker, especially the last 4-5 songs. The only downside of this EP is that it a bit redundant beat-wise.
#5 Blueprint (Respect The Architect)
I don’t know what to say about this album except it is captivating. Might be the best EP lyrically of 2014. It should be deep in your rotation.
#4. Ray West & OC (Ray's Cafe)
The arrangement and production of this EP is incredible. It reminds me of some Slum Village works way back when where the lyrics were ok but the beats, samples and production were off the charts. Only an isolated few will not enjoy this album.
#3 Blu (Good to Be Home)
As I said before, I love rap music that tells a story. “Good To Be Home” tells a story of life on the street and being about the place you represent; before and after. A much grittier take than J Cole’s album.
#2. Diamond District (March on Washington)
There is only one reason and one reason only that this DC trio’s EP isn’t #1; lyricism. The vocal skills of Oddisee, Uptown XO & yU the 78er are very good; just not great. Everything else? Phenomenal. A definite must listen.
#1 Apollo Brown & Ras Kass (Blasphemy)59-xzibit-bishop-lamont
Oh man....it don't get too much better than this. Lyrics, beats, sampling; unreal. After listening to this EP at least 10 times, you end up realizing that Apollo Brown and Ras Kass not only stick to the "blasphemous" theme, but actually sample a few gospel songs to achieve their goal. Best album of the year and one of the best albums in quite some time.