Billion Dollars in an Elevator: The Definitive 2014 Hip-Hop Timeline

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Everyday there’s an overload of hip-hop flooding the internet. From banal news to surprise albums to overnight memes, we're drowning in news. Today's BIGGEST THING EVER is tomorrow's "Oh yeah, I forgot about that." We digest so many noteworthy and unexceptional events, it’s easy to forget when the moments occurred. Quick, without looking it up, how many projects did J. Cole drop this year?* If we're living in an age where it's hard to even remember how many projects one of the most popular rappers on the planet dropped, how could you possibly remember everything important? 

So in typical DJBooth fashion, we wanted to coil the chains of incidents into one central location, a place to re-discover and reflect, a timeline of 2014, everything worth remembering, and a few things we wish to forget.

For better or worse, this is the year that was.  

January

Notable Albums:

Kid Ink - My Own Lane
Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo
Ty Dolla $ign - Beach House
Step Brothers - Lord Steppington

Notable Songs

YG - YG – "Who Do You Love" ft. Drake
Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive" ft. Kendrick Lamar
ScHoolboy Q - "Man of The Year"
Tinashe - "2 On" ft. ScHoolboy Q
Ty Dolla $ign - "Or Nah" ft. Wiz Khalifa
Gold Linl - "The Heart"
Mick Jenkins "Leonidas"
Young Thug - "Danny Glover (Remix)" ft. Nicki Minaj

Notable Headlines:

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since Macklemore bested Kendrick at the GRAMMYs. I haven’t forgiven him for being a diva and releasing that text message. Cilvia Demo is aging well, I have high hopes for Isaiah Rashad. The death of James Avery was shocking, Uncle Phil will live on forever (thank you Netflix for finally adding The Fresh Prince). Is "Or Nah" the longest running trend of the year?

February

Notable Albums:

ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron
Kid Cudi - Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon
CyHoi The Prynce - Black Hystori Project
Migos - No Label 2
Yasiin Gaye - Side 1: The Departure (Mixtape)

Notable Singles:

Iggy Azalea - "Fancy"
Lil Wayne & Friends - "Senile"
Vince Staples - "Nate" ft. James Fauntleroy
Nicki Minaj - "Lookin' Ass"
Future - "Move That Dope" ft. Pharrell, Pusha T, & Casino
Common - "Made In Black America" ft. Ab-Soul

Notable Headlines:

I almost forgot CyHi dropped a pretty incredible mixtape this year, it disappeared after the summer started. I wish I could forget Iggy’s "Fancy," and the fact DMX almost boxed George Zimmerman. Future isn’t a favorite of mine, but "Move That Dope" is pretty undeniable.

March

Notable Albums:

Pharrell - G I R L
Rick Ross - Mastermind
Young Money - Rise Of The Empire
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
YG - My Krazy Life

Notable Songs:

SZA - "Child's Play" ft. Chance The Rapper
Jay Z & Jay Elec - "We Made It (Remix)"
Raury - "God's Whisper"
Jay Elec - "Better in Tune With the Infinite" ft. LaTonya Givens
Chance the Rapper & Skrillex - "Coast Is Clear"
Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon & Diplo - "Hero"
Alex Wiley - "Vibration"
Smoke DZA - "Ghost Of Dipset" ft. Cam'ron
Metro Boomin - "The Blanguage" ft. Young Thug
Big KRIT - #WeekOfKRIT
Cozz - "Dreams"

Notable Headlines

March is the month music started to heat up. YG impressed, Pharrell and Freddie Gibbs completely took over my iPod, I wanted to do yoga and join a gang. Jay Elec dropped new music, still didn’t drop his album. Raury and Cozz appeared as new challengers with promise. Boosie is finally free and everyone yelling free Boosie went to be hypebeast elsewhere.

April

Notable Albums:

Chuck Inglish - Convertibles
SZA - Z
Nas - Illmatic XX
August Alsina - Testimony
Iggy Azalea - The New Classic
Future - Honest
Asher Roth - RetroHash
Bas - Last Winter
Mobb Deep - The Infamous Mobb Deep
GoldLink - The God Complex

Notable Songs:

The Roots - "Tomorrow" ft. Raheem DeVaughn
Vic Mensa - "Down On My Luck"
Big K.R.I.T. - "Mt. Olympus"
Ariana Grande - "Problem" ft. Iggy Azalea
Nicki Minaj - "Chi-Raq" f. Lil Herb
Future - "I Won" ft. Kanye West
Drake - "Days In The East/Draft Day"
Chance the Rapper - I Am Very Very Lonely
Ab-Soul - "Tree of Life"
Killer Mike - "The Boonies"

Notable Headlines:

SZA won me over in April, Donald Sterling lost his team and Questlove teamed up with Vulture for six must-read articles. I might’ve been one of few that loved Asher Roth’s album, he’s far from the college loving frat rapper that he once was.

May

Notable Albums:

Tech N9ne - Strangeulation
Blu - Good To Be Home
The Roots - …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Skyzoo & Torae - Barrel Brothers
BADBADNOTGOOD - III
Mac Miller - Faces
Wiz Khalifa - 28 Grams
Slaughterhouse - House Rules

Notable Songs:

Common - "Kingdom" f. Vince Staples
Rae Sremmurd - "No Flex Zone"
Rich Gang - "Lifestyle" ft. Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan
Ab-Soul - "Stigmata" ft. Action Bronson & Asaad
Nicki Minaj - "Pills N Potions"
Cam'ron & A-Trak -  "Dipshits"  
Lupe Fiasco - "Mission"
Lil Wayne - "Believe Me f. Drake"
Ghostface Killah - "Six Degrees" ft. Danny Brown
Lil Wayne - "D’usse"

Notable Headlines:

Another month of incredible releases. Mac Miller shocked the world, Cam’ron and Dame Dash together on "Dipshits" had me wearing a throwback jersey and baggy jeans, again. "No Flex Zone" and "Lifestyle" in the same month? We weren’t ready. Kanye got married, Jay-Z floated like a butterfly, Pears stock went up, and T.I. fought Floyd Mayweather before Pacquiao. Thumbs got a complete workout this month.

June

Notable Albums: 

50 Cent - Animal Ambition
Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy
Ab-Soul - These Days…
G-Eazy - These Things Happen
Riff Raff - Neon Icons
Alex Wiley - Village Party
Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

Notable Songs:

Jeezy - "Seen It All" ft. JAY Z
T.I. - "About The Money" ft. Young Thug
Drake - "0-100 / The Catch Up"
T.I. - "No Mediocre" ft. Iggy Azalea
Mike Will Made It - "Buy the World" ft. Kendrick Lamar, Future & Lil Wayne
Young Thug, A$AP Ferg & Freddie Gibbs - "Old English"
The Weeknd - "Often"
SBTRKT - "Temporary View" ft. Sampha
Statik Selektah - "Carry On" ft. Joey Bada$$ & Freddie Gibbs
G-Unit - "Grinding My Whole Life"

Notable Headlines:

Still holding a grudge against Ab-Soul for These Days. G-Unit reuniting, Outkast on tour, at this rate Detox will be...never mind. This is around the time I started to see Young Thug’s hidden talent. He completely stole the show on "About The Money" and fit in alongside Gibbs on "Old English."

July

Notable Albums

ILoveMakonnen - I Love Makonnen EP
Common - Nobody’s Smiling
PARTYNEXTDOOR - PartyNextDoor Two
Sir Michael Rocks - Banco
Saba - Comfort Zone

Notable Songs

Bobby Shmurda - "Hot Nigga"
Big K.R.I.T. - "Pay Attention" ft. Rico Love
Father & ILoveMakonnen & Key! - "Wrist"
Raury - "Cigarette Song"
Wiz Khalifa - "We Dem Boyz (Remix)" ft. Rick Ross, Nas & ScHoolboy Q
Statik Selektah - "The Imperial" ft. Action Bronson, Royce Da 5'9" & Black Thought
Chance the Rapper - "Wonderful Everyday: Arthur" ft. Wyclef Jean, Jessie Ware & Elle Varner
The Weeknd - "King of the Fall"
Jhene Aiko - "The Pressure"
Wale - "The Followers"
OG Maco - "U Guessed It"

Notable Headlines: 

Between Bobby’s hat disappearing and OG Maco’s guessing, the power of social media elevated both these artist into a new realm of stardom. Meek and Wale went back in forth like school girls, I guess Twitter squabbles is a violation of probation, soon after Meek was incarcerated. Don’t sleep on Saba.

August

Notable Albums:

Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]
Wiz Khalifa - Blacc Hollywood
G-Unit - The Beauty of Independence
FKA Twigs - LP1
Travi$ Scott - Days Before Rodeo
Ty Dolla $ign - Sign Language
Lil Bibby - Free Crack 2
Curren$y - Saturday Night Car Tunes
Raury - indigo child

Notable Songs:

Nicki Minaj - "Anaconda"
Rae Sremmurd - "No Type"
Logic - "Driving Ms. Daisy" ft. Childish Gambino
Eminem - "Guts Over Fear" ft. Sia
Run the Jewels - "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1"
Vince Staples - "Blue Suede"
ILoveMakonnen - "Tuesday (Remix)"
Lil Wayne - "Grindin"' ft. Drake
Juicy J - "Low" ft. Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby & Young Thug
Beyonce - "Flawless (Remix)" ft. Nicki Minaj
Lil Herb - "Fight Or Flight (Remix)" ft. Common & Chance the Rapper
OnCue - "So Much Love"
J. Cole - "Be Free"

Notable Headlines: 

Great month for the unknown and upcoming. Rae Sremmurd broke the matrix by transcending one hit wonder status. ILoveMakonnen made Tuesday less boring with the help of Drake. Mick Jenkins, Raury, and Travis $cott scored my entire month. The Michael Brown travesty brought Ferguson to the forefront of social media. I saw Dead Poets Society for the first time, due to Robin Williams passing. I recommend anyone that hasn’t seen it to do so immediately.

September

Notable Albums:

Jeezy - Seen It All:The Autobiography
Lecrae - Anomaly
Chris Brown - X
SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land
Young Thug & Friends - Rich Gang: Tha Tour Part 1
Jhené Aiko - Souled Out
OnCue - Angry Young Man
T.I. & Friends - G.D.O.D. 2

Notable Songs

Kendrick Lamar - "i"
Black Milk - "Gold Piece" ft. Bun B
Rick Ross - "Elvis Presley Blvd." ft. Project Pat
Wale - "The Body" ft. Jeremih
Dej Loaf - "Try Me"
Flying Lotus - "Never Catch Me" ft. Kendrick Lamar
Big Sean - "IDFWU"
Common - "Kingdom (Remix)" ft. Vince Staples & Jay Electronica
Rapsody - "Hard To Choose"
ScHoolboy Q - "Studio (Remix)" ft. Nas
Jeezy - "Holy Ghost (Remix)" ft. Kendrick Lamar

Notable Headlines:

There’s a rapper named Father, let that sink in. Once Drake signed Makonnen, nothing was the same. Kendrick made his long awaited return, “I” has grown on me immensely since its release. Flying Lotus is from another world. Rich Gang Mixtape is surprisingly good. Rapsody’s "Hard To Choose" is a must hear.

October

Notable Albums:

Childish Gambino - Kauai
NehruvianDOOM - NehruvianDOOM
Flying Lotus - You’re Dead!
Vince Staples - Hell Can Wait
The Game - Blood Moon: Year of The Wolf
Hoodie Allen - People Keep Talking
T.I. - Paperwork
Logic - Under Pressure
Run the Jewles - Run The Jewels 2
Stalley - Ohio
Black Milk - If There’s A Hell Blow
Cozz - Cozz & Effect
Tinashe - Aquarius
Rapsody - Beauty and the Beast EP
Future - Monster

Notable Songs:

Ludacris - "Good Lovin" ft. Miguel
O.T. Genasis - "CoCo"
Big K.R.I.T. - "Soul Food" ft. Raphael Saadiq/ "Cadillactica"
Joe Budden - "Ordinary Love Sh*t Pt. 4 (Keep Running)"
Nas - "The Season" 
Jay Rock - "Pay for It" ft. Kendrick Lamar
Nicki Minaj - "Only" ft. Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown
JMSN - "Ends (Money) / "Street Sweeper"
Royce & Premo - "Courtesy"
Drake - "6God" x "How Bout Now" x "Heat Of The Moment"
T.I. - "About The Money (Remx)" ft. Young Thug, Lil Wayne & Jeezy
Jaden Smith - "Blue Ocean" / "Fast"
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah - "Gunshowers" ft. eLZhi
Chance the Rappe - "No Better Blues"
Cozz - "Knock Tha Hustle (Remix)" ft. J. Cole
You Gotti - "Errrbody (Remix)" ft. Lil Wayne & Ludacris

Notable Headlines:

Enormous month for hip-hop. If we're doing a month vs. month breakdown of 2014, I'd have to give October the crown. Crazy that it already feels like it happened a long time ago. 

November

Notable Albums:

Joe Budden - Some Love Lost
Teyana Taylor - VII
Theophilus London - Vibes
Big K.R.I.T. - Cadillactica
Rick Ross - Hood Billionaire
Shady Records - Shady XV
Beyonce - BEYONCÉ (Platinum Edition)
A$AP Ferg - Ferg Forever
The Neighbourhood - #000000 & #ffffff 
Killer Mike - Sunday Morning Massacres 
Eminem - Shady Classics
Jaden Smith - Cool Tape Vol. 2 
Migos - Rich N*gga Timeline 

Notable Songs:

Beyonce - "7/11"
Pusha T - "Lunch Money"
Willow Smith - "9" ft. SZA
Ty Dolla $ign - "Stand For"
Rick Ross - "Movin' Bass" ft. JAY Z
Eminem & Friends - "Detroit Vs. Everybody"
Lupe Fiasco - "Deliver"
Frank Ocean - "Memrise"
Tink -  "Around The Clock" ft. Charlamagne Tha God / "Movin' Bass" ft. JAY Z & Rick Ross
Freddie Gibbs - "Sellin’ Dope"e
SZA - "Sobriety"
Kevin Gates - "I Don't Get Tired" ft. August Alsina
Open Mike Eagle - "Late Show"

Notable Headlines:

J.Cole and Ferguson held everyone’s attention in November. Kim Kardashian gave us distraction of the year for a brief moment. Detroit challenged everybody, I refuse to go up against Trick Trick in any medium, so they win. Elated that Killer Mike re-released the Sunday Morning Massacres, a must have if you weren’t around pre-Run The Jewels era.

December

Notable Albums 

Ghostface Killah - 36 Seasons
J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Royce & Premo - Prhyme
D'Angelo - Black Messiah
JMSN - Blue Album
Astro - Computer Era
Kevin Gates - Luca Brasi 2
PND - PNDCOLOURS EP

Notable Singles:

D'Angelo - "Sugah Daddy
Fabolous - "Lituation
Nipsey Hussle - "1 Hunnit a Show" ft. Rick Ross
Action Bronson & Danny Brown - "Bad News" (prod. Alchemist)

Notable Headlines:

D’Angelo just dropped an album, Detox really might be… never mind. Lil Wayne wanting off of Cash Money still feels surreal, but it doesn’t rival the surreal feeling of Eric Garner not getting justice.” The month is still young, I’m sure there will be plenty to talk about as we get through these last few weeks. Praying Fab doesn’t disappoint, and hoping that the recently freed Meek Mill will be returning strong. 

Sweet baby Jesus, that was a lot of work. But it was worth it - I don't know if you can really have any "this is what happened in 2014" or "2014 was like this' discussion without a cheat sheet like this. It really helps you see how quick Makonnen's rise was, how much stamina a song like "2 On" really had and more. See you in 2015. 

* J. Cole dropped two projects this year. 

[By Yoh, aka Sherlock Yohmes, aka @Yoh31]

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