40 Best Rap Albums of 2014

From Young Thugs to Old Droogs, Rich Gangs to broke MCs with expensive taste — the year's best in rhymes

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Dej Loaf, 'Sell Sole'

36. Dej Loaf, 'Sell Sole'

"Try Me," the hypnotically deadpan single by this unknown Detroit native was as unlikely as it was striking. With an unforced, insinuating singjay flow, 23-year-old Deja Trimble became a staple on the radio by almost pityingly informing her foes that she was a "Nazi" with a "heart full of demons" who would go after your "whole motherfucking family," among other things. It was startling, to say the least. On Sell Sole, Dej reveals a warmer, more playful voice, but her uniqueness is most apparent when she settles into a bluntly cold-eyed delivery — "Bird Call" almost rivals "Try Me" for vividly vicious threats and on the fiery yet melancholy "Blood" (featuring Young Thug), she thrillingly flashes her versatility while mourning the death of her father and other family members. Just as comfortable rapping or singing (especially on the R&B freaker "Easy Love"), Dej is still developing her persona, but she's not to be trifled with. C.A.

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