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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PRhyme, 'PRhyme'
40
37/40

37. PRhyme, 'PRhyme'

Together, Royce Da 5'9" and DJ Premier are responsible for some great lyrical rap music: From 2002's "Boom" to 2004's "Hip-Hop" to 2008's "Shake This," the duo often bring out the best in each other. But they've never done a full project together until now, and while PRhyme is not apt to do as much damage as it would have a decade earlier, it's nonetheless one of 2014's most electrifying rap full-lengths. At only nine tracks, it moves in, hits hard, and leaves you wanting more. Premo's beats are Nineties hip-hop head comfort food, but Royce approaches his writing and rapping with the hunger of a 20-year-old aiming for his first blog post. Although its target demo is now on the other side of 30, the saturated ranks of younger stars makes an album like this stand out, one where a Jay Electronica verse moves with more force than the slate of 2014 rookies getting quadruple the attention. D.D.

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