Best Hip Hop Albums: 2000s (2011-2014)

Last time I named the best album of each year from 2000-2010.

This time I’m doing 2011-2014.

Scope the best hip hop albums: 2000s (2000-2010) here.


2011

Undun – The Roots

The Roots - Undun

The Roots killed it again with Undun and showed they are here to stay for a good while longer still. Still! At this point they’ve already started working with Jimmy Fallon (shout out to Jimmy for making the best house band decision possible), but The Roots are always gonna be The Roots.

 

 

Make My (track 3, feat. the always dope Big K.R.I.T.) through The Otherside (track 6) is one of my favorite four-song stretches in a recent album. If you haven’t heard Undun you gotta scope it now. It jumps from chill to banging to groove and back without missing a beat (literally, because Questlove doesn’t miss.)

 2012

good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

2012 is easy to pick. good kid, m.A.A.d city came out in October (so it almost added to an incredible 2013 for hip hop) and people still won’t stop talking about it. I saw Kendrick in concert 2 days before the album dropped (and 2 days after it leaked) and I can’t wait till I get another chance to go see him.

 

Anyways, this is one of the best concept albums (complete with voicemails and skits) in hip hop of the decade, and anyone who hasn’t heard it yet for whatever reason needs to.

good kid, m.A.A.d city - Kendrick Lamar


 

  2013

Old – Danny Brown

Danny Brown - Old

2013 is very very hard to pick. You can definitely expect an article from me detailing the best albums of 2013 soon (here!). But I have settled on Old. Danny Brown essentially splits his album up into the leading songs of each side, Old [Side A] and Dope Song [Side B].

 

 

Old (and by extension, Side A) is the story of how Danny Brown got to be who he is, and Dope Song (and by extension, side B) is a banger, a celebration of where he is now. There were many great albums in 2013, including some free mixtapes, but Old is the most complete, best album.

Old - Danny Brown


 2014

Cilvia Demo – Isaiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo

Cilvia Demo came out 28 days into 2014, also almost adding to an incredible 2013 for hip hop. Instead, the 23-year old TDE member set the bar early for 2014 and wasn’t surpassed. Rashad’s album was highly anticipated by some, but he remained unknown to many until he dropped Cilvia Demo.

 

The album is overall chill (as was his goal), but the rap and beats are anything but lazy. Straight fire is what you can expect from this album, and you’ll probably restart it immediately after your first listen (it’s a short 49 minutes.) The debut EP by Rashad set the bar damn high for both 2014 and his own career. I have no doubt he can live up to it.

Cilvia Demo - Isaiah Rashad


If you still haven’t seen my picks for 2000-2010:

Scope.

Be on the lookout for my article diving into 2013, the hardest year to pick. If you think I chose wrong, 2013 or otherwise, let me know below. Let’s battle it out!


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