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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Lil Herb, 'Welcome To Fazoland'

9. Lil Herb, 'Welcome To Fazoland'

Chicago rapper Lil Herb and his frequent collaborator Lil Bibby are teenagers with mannish voices in the drill tradition of Chief Keef — but they follow more traditional standards of lyricism than most of their Chiraq peers. For example: "We was bangin', slangin' all the white/But we ain't Oberweis." Welcome To Fazoland, Herb's first project with mixtape legend Don Cannon, dials up the production values with steel spaceship beats that suit his rapidfire delivery better than a constant raining of hi-hats. On the emotional standouts "Fight Or Flight" and "Mama I'm Sorry," Herb shouts out his mother and apologizes for youthful mistakes A.S.

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