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KABOOM! MAGAZINE.COM 14 MOST EXPLOSIVE ALBUMS OF 2014

KABOOM! MAGAZINE.COM 14 MOST EXPLOSIVE ALBUMS OF 2014
From folk to electronic to hip-hop, 2014 was a year for the books in the music scene. This year, some will argue that we had no masterpiece albums in music like we’ve had in previous years. But many of this year’s top albums proved that the music is just as great as ever. Today, Kaboom! Magazine.com showcases some of our favorite albums of the year with the “14 Most Explosive Albums of 2014.” These albums not only blew away the competition, but they also gave us exactly what music needed in 2014. iamsu_jay 14. IAMSU “Sincerely Yours” In 2013, the Bay Area had a musical resurgence lead by a young and talented rapper named Sage the Gemini. In 2014, IAMSU continued that youth movement with his debut album “Sincerely Yours.” Alongside his HBK Gang that includes Sage The Gemini and P-Lo, Su has breathed new life into the region that was once known for its hyphy movement. His debut album is an accumulation of the minimalist sound that he’s made widely popular again. Throughout his career, IAMSU has delivered solid mixtapes, so to see his official album open more doors for him and the rest of the HBK Gang is one of the more exciting outcomes of the year. tumblr_nf6zr3ab9f1rqkjmno1_r2_500 13. J. Cole “2014 Forest Hills Drive” Better late than never, J. Cole saved hip hop in 2014 with his 3rd studio album entitled “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies. Cole was able to straddle the fence of a conscious rapper who can still create commercial hits and enjoy a good romp in the bed. J. Cole’s third album, easily debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, marking the rapper’s third consecutive chart-topper. By the end of the album, two things are certain: Jermaine Cole is cocky enough to claim the thrown and humble enough to request unity amongst fellow rappers, including those he took shots at. Cole may not be the king of rap, but at least this time he didn’t let Nas down. chris-brown-x-2014-album-billboard-410 12. Chris Brown “X” Led by his hit singles “Fine China” “Loyal”, and “Love More” featuring Nicki Minaj; Chris Brown 6th studio album “X” became his sixth consecutive top ten debut in the United States. Chris Brown’s sixth album can be summed up simply with a dedication to longtime fans. Most of hip-hop’s female demographic audience will definitely consume the songs that are being offered on the album. Whether you’re fighting love or enjoying love, this album will have everything you need to get through it. iggy-new-classic-cover 11. Iggy Azalea “The New Classic” 2014 was a year of prosperity and growth for Iggy Azalea, and her debut LP “The New Classic” was the launching pad that got her there. The album proved to a gang of skepts who doubted Iggy’s controversial style from the start that she was more than capable of making hip-hop tracks with a pop appeal. The album won the Breakthrough Artist Release award at the 2014 ARIA Music Awards[89] and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album at the 2014 American Music Awards, beating out Drake’s Nothing Was the Same and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. It also garnered Azalea four Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Fancy” and Best Rap Album at the 57th Grammy Awards. riff-raff-NEONiCON-artwork 10. Riff Raff “Neon Icon” Riff Raff is one of hip-hop’s most polarizing figures, but his debut album Neon Icon clarifies his oft-debated place in the game—the man is here to have fun, period. Riff Raff is aware of himself, as evidenced by his clever intro that parodies the Bro you take him and his fans for. He winks at your disapproval and then proceeds to throw a 49-minute audio party that you’ll desperately want to join. The album is executive produced by Diplo, so it’s unsurprisingly carried by an electronic current, but generous blends of old school nostalgia, trendy trap, poppy melodies, and even country provide a level of diversity that stands defiantly in the face preconceived predictions. You can practically hear the fluttering of a stack of cash being thumbed through as Neon Icon plays; the album is curated with the singular goal of making a hit stick with a large audience, and the amount of money invested to do so is obvious. The lead single “How To Be The Man” is a prime example of that intention, as DJ Mustard produced a less-is-more beat with Riff Raff spitting his trademark more-is-more content. He stays in a self-created lane of hyperbole, painting vivid and cartoonish pictures of technicolored opulence. la-et-tinashe-aquarius 9. Tinashe “Aquarius” Tinashe, who is also part of the alternative R&B movement, delivered an album that moved the needle this year. Though she had a huge hit with the addictive “2 On,” the singer proves she’s much more than a one-hit wonder on “Aquarius.” Her whispery vocals glide over the songs’ beats so nicely you’ll constantly hit repeat. “Just Like Vegas” is only one of the many standouts. August-Alsina-Testimony-album-cover 8. August Alsina “Testimony” August Alsina represents a new breed of R&B singer, and his Def Jam debut Testimony is the perfect introduction. Weaving together tales of his past, present, and future, August held nothing back when it came to telling his story on his first studio project. Serving up thought-provoking ballads like “Mama”—which recalls the many tribulations he’s endured, detailing a life found more commonly within rap lyrics—to songs like “Kissin’ On My Tattoos,” which is certainly an R&B cut, the variety on the LP is seamless. With the album, August succeeded in blurring the lines between hip-hop and R&B more than ever. He went against the grain with this one, and it worked. lana-del-rey-1403216007 7. Lana Del Rey “Ultraviolence” On her second album, Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” is a melancholy crawl through doomed romance, incorrigible addictions, blown American dreams. She has pulled back on nods to hip-hop and hired a new gun: the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced most of the LP at his Nashville studio. Auerbach introduces dashes of bad ass blues and psychedelic guitar, but Del Rey – who co-wrote every song but the closing cover of Jessie Mae Robinson’s 1950s hit “The Other Woman” – holds tight to her pouty, cinematic aesthetic: the epic schmaltz of Ennio Morricone, reflected through the haze of a thousand dramatic selfies. schoolboy-q-OXYMORON-deluxe 6. Schoolboy Q “Oxymoron” TDE has been one of hip-hop’s fastest growing movements since the success of Kendrick Lamar’s debut album “Good Kid, M.A.A.d City.” Following that up was ScHoolboy Q’s own major label debut “Oxymoron,” which dropped in February and landed the label its first No. 1 album. “Oxymoron” stands on its own two feet all while displaying a mean, gritty style of gangsta rap on songs like “What They Want,” “The Purge” and “Break The Bank.” It also sets the pace of the album with chill vibes on songs like “Collard Greens,” “Studio,” and “Man of the Year.” Complex named it the sixth best album of the first-half of 2014 and is currently nominated for a Grammy under “Best Rap Album.” geasy-bannner-600x350 5. G-Eazy “These Things Happen” Sometimes if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. G-Eazy has been one of the Bay Area’s hottest acts for the past couple of years, but this year; he proved that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are not the only indie acts selling out shows and albums worldwide with his album “These Things Happen.” Named USA Today’s “Hottest Ticket on the College Circuit”, G-Eazy has seen his fortunes improve quite a bit in 2014. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart with first-week sales of 47,000 copies in the United States. It’s one thing to have a No. 1 album for a major label that’s providing you with everything you need to create a spark, but when you can set the world ablaze by just using the rocks and twigs you came in the game with….now that’s explosive. Sam Smith 4. Sam Smith “In the Lonely Hour” We all got that one album that we end every night with and in 2014, that evening came from Sam Smith. “In the Lonely Hour” was an emotional roller coaster ? a ride you couldn’t get off of even if you tried. The songs, anchored by his piercing voice, had the power to make you cry, smile, shiver and even dance. Tracks like the radio hit, “Stay With Me,” and “Leave Your Lover” are intense and emotional, making for an honest, beautiful album that soothes the soul. There can only be only reply when he sings, “Oh, won’t you stay with me?” That would be a resounding, “Yes.” taylor-swift-s-1989-officially-debuts-at-no-1-on-billboard-200-with-1287-million 3. Taylor Swift “1989” When the queen of country crossover’s fifth studio album dropped Oct. 27, record stores were filled with mumbles of “I can’t even!” and whispers of “This is literally me!” as myriads of millennials forked over their parents’ hard-earned money to buy — gasp! — an actual CD. Selling more than a million copies its first week, “1989” singlehandedly bumped up record sales for 2014, becoming the first album of the year to earn platinum status. But even if you push impeccable marketing tactics, unparalleled sales and record-breaking statistics aside, “1989” still stands as the most important chapter in Swift’s diary-like discography. Shifting from her explicit, revealing lyrics and down-home country roots to blooming metaphors and bonafide pop hits, Swift transcended the confines of her media-given boundaries and defined what it meant to be Taylor Swift. We’ve got a blank space on our album-of-the-year list, baby, and we’re writing Taylor’s name. girl_pharrell 2. Pharrell “G I R L” Arguably the best R&B album since Usher’s “Confessions”, “G I R L” not only got Pharrell nominated for an Oscar, he’s cleaned up at a series of award shows since. There’s a reason Pharrell waited a while to release an LP. Thanks to the massive success of the single “Happy,” the album peaked at No. 1 in 12 countries worldwide, also charting in the top 10 of 17 other countries. The refreshing sound also attributes to the excellence of the project, as Pharrell meshed 1970′s disco sounds with the hard-hitting beats of today, setting the album apart from much of the pop-hop that’s come through in the past decade. At the 57th Grammy Awards, the album is nominated for Album of the Yearand Best Urban Contemporary Album. The track “Happy” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video. yg-my-krazy-life-artwork 1. YG “My Krazy Life” It may have been one of the biggest snubs in Grammys history, but Bompton’s favorite son earns the No. 1 spot on our list for the most explosive album of the year….and for very good reason. Delivering his debut LP after nearly five years in the game, there’s no denying the caliber of the craft YG put into “My Krazy Life.” Making listeners privy to all aspects of his struggles growing up in Bompton, YG gave fans something to dance to and shared his personal journey along the way. With two huge singles, “My Hitta” and “Who Do You Love,” mixed up with strong cuts like “Meet The Flockers” and “I’m Sorry Mama,” the album provided the perfect mix of summertime bangers, while DJ Mustard’s production gave the album its bouncy backbone. YG also brought back the raw West Coast gangsta sound that we hadn’t heard since Snoop Doggy Dogg debut album “Doggystyle.” Simply put, he couldn’t have managed to do it in a more authentic way. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 61,000 copies in the United States. Complex named it the best album of the first-half of 2014 and both Billaboard and Rolling Stone listed “My Krazy Life” as the best rap album of 2014. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST EXPLOSIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR? VOICE YOUR OPINION RIGHT NOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.