Hip-Hop 2014: The Unusual Suspects
Today marks 6 days into the New Year, which means we’re finally over the hangover and onto reflecting about what actually happened in hip-hop during 2014. We take a step back and immediately realize how rather unorthodox it indeed was. I mean no Kanye or Jay album, no Drake album for the first year since he “got on” in ‘09 (granted he didn’t fail to bless us with bangers like “0-100” and “Trophies”) Macklemore winning a Grammy for best hip-hop album (giving the Twitter world a field day on the Twitter-sphere). The year left a major opportunity for the not so usual suspects to come up and take a shot at the throne.
You typically can’t explain hip-hop in 2014 without mentioning the presence women have established in an industry dominated by men. 2014 brought out a resurgence in the already established Nicki Minaj. From home-run guest appearances on essentially every song on “Ya Hot 97 everyday that’s my word” to releasing her critically acclaimed album “The Pinkprint,” the Queens native imprinted her mark on the previous year heavily.
After having unquestionably the hottest single of the summer (or possibly even year), we’d be remise to not have mentioned the Australian rapstress, Iggy Azalea. “Fancy” set every girl (and frat bro) across the world into a frenzy when it first dropped, it also proceeded to set fire to Iggy’s career. She, much like Nicki (who feathers she’s ruffled) has excelled in features such as Ariana Grande’s “Problem” and T.I’s “No Mediocre” not taking a breather once.
A female takeover is something we seldom see in the rap world but judging from their performance in the past 12 months, it seems like they don’t plan on hitting the breaks anytime soon. To tie it all in, Nicki says it best in “Touchin, Lovin,” when she raps “Made more money last year than Mr. Drummond” (Still don’t know who that guy is).
One Hit Wonders
What made the rap scene exciting in 2014 and helped us not dwell on the “big hitters” not delivering, was the one-hit-wonders we had come across. Whether it was Detroit femcee Dej Loaf (ah! another female rapper prospering in 2014) with “Try Me” or Busta Rhymes’ new recruit O.T Genasis with “Coco” we had a plethora of hits to keep us busy for the past 365. Brooklyn’s Bobby Shmurda took being a one-hit-wonder to a whole new level when he released “Hot Ni—a.” From everyone free-styling over the beat or getting on a remix, to rap megastars like Drake and Meek Mill giving him the heavy cosign, Bobby Shmurda came and delivered in 2014 (might I add the video currently has over 57 million views on Youtube).
2014 came and went with the typical rap kings spending more time on the tabloids (or getting kicked in an elevator in front of wifey) than on the charts. Hip Hop has always somewhat had a “you sleep, you die” mentality and this past year attests to that very point. Different artists you wouldn’t expect took advantage and prospered in a rather unusual 2014 in hip-hop. Oh and did I mention Macklemore won a Grammy for best Hip-Hop Album of the year?