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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Gangsta Boo & BeatKing, 'Underground Cassette Tape Music'
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30/40

30. Gangsta Boo & BeatKing, 'Underground Cassette Tape Music'

Memphis rapper Gangsta Boo, a veteran associate of local stars Three 6 Mafia, and Houston's BeatKing collaborate on a mixtape-themed-album that celebrates their hometowns and the idea of Southern underground hip-hop itself. There are appearances from H-Town artists like Lil Flip and Paul Wall (who's on a song that turns his own "Still Tippin'" into a gauzy creeper) and Tennessee titan 8 Ball. The beats are rife with horror-flick string swipes, spine-tickling keyboard runs and crisp drum crackle. BeatKing brags about his in-demand dick and drops lines like "Fuck you, loser/I been getting money since the PT Cruiser," and Gangsta Boo gives us a fright-night image of walking red-eyed on ghetto streets looking for a feast that'll have you going to bed with the lights on. J.D.

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