If you haven’t gotten into Nas yet, do yourself a favor, get Illmatic and listen to it on repeat for a while. It’s one of those records you should spend a while digesting, and is by far one of the best debut albums ever. Also, if you haven’t heard Run The Jewels or RTJ2, do. El-P is my favorite producer, and Killer Mike is one of the most charismatic and dope lyricists in the game today, so together they are fucking amazing. The mix of El P’s Brooklyn production/raps and Killer Mike’s southern flow is really interesting. I still think RTJ2 was the best album of 2014.
Agree on Illmatic, that is one of the few albums that I vividly remember hearing for the first time. And it still sounds so good… Amazing how it has held up over time.
I think that Run the Jewels 2 is pretty widely considered the best rap album of 2014. I would put Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata at #2. I think 2015 will be a better year for hip hop than 2014 considering how well it’s gone already. Tons of great releases, definitely including To Pimp a Butterfly. Speaking of that, here’s a good breakdown of the album by the internet’s busiest music nerd on Youtube: