20 Best R&B Albums of 2014

The year in tough lovers, elusive chanteuses, purple royalty and more

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Ty Dolla $ign, 'Beach House EP'
20
15/20

15. Ty Dolla $ign, 'Beach House EP'

What can you really say about "I used to love these hoes/But now I love this money," other than, "At least it's an ethos"? This purring/sneering L.A. phenom is the most melodically alluring young jerk in R&B (pretty crowded field!), and even if the two preceding Beach House mixtapes are slightly better (or at least longer) showcases of his talent for impossibly coarse lyricism layered over impossibly lush and beautiful synth jams, this is a fine major-label introduction to the guy. The sweetly menacing "Or Nah" is a genuine hit, and this is definitely the highest-charting record in Billboard history that includes the line "Yo' bitch look like a boogawoof." R.H.

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