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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E-40, 'Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 1' and 'Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 2'
40
39/40

39. E-40, 'Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 1' and 'Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 2'

The 21st and 22nd albums from E-40 continue the pattern he's adopted since leaving Warner Bros. in 2009: Flood the streets with product. It is great and it is overlong, and its 28 songs shouldn't be consumed in one setting. Generous to a fault, he makes room for both Dej Loaf, who delivers a killer verse on "Baddest in the Building," and T-Pain, who croons out an Auto-Tune chorus for "Red Cup." 40 raps effectively on "Programmin'" about coming up in Vallejo's streets ("cutting the grass, no time to play with toys"); but just as often he'll crank up the slaps and bug out on "Straight Mobbin'" and "Bass Rocks." There are the stabbing funk keyboards of "707," and an odd but heartfelt interpolation of Chic's disco chestnut "I Want Your Love" for "Give Me Love." He's an O.G., the "Same Since 88," but "Choices (Yup)" proves he can be just as innovative as any New Bay upstart. In short, Sharp on All Corners is E-40 with no filters, and it shouldn't be any other way. M.R.

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