If you were devoted enough to go off the beaten path and venture into the world of indie hip-hop you were handsomely rewarded in 2014. We had some really incredible albums, EPs, free projects and mixtapes from pillars of the indie world as well as exciting efforts from talented newcomers. These releases had depth, power, quality and most importantly, they were straight-up dope hip-hop. This could end up being the most competitive race on this year's Best Of The Booth ballot. On your mark, get set, go!
For a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
Best Hip-Hop Album and/or Project (Unsigned/Independent)
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
When an emcee as tough and talented as Freddie Gibbs teams up with a legendary producer, the results are bound to be dope... pun intended.
GoldLink - The God Complex
GoldLink is created a renewed buzz in the DMV market thanks to the unique, bouncing style he showcases on The God Complex.
Locksmith - A Thousand Cuts
Regardless of who comes out on top in the polls, you won't find a more personal, striking album among the nominees than Lock's latest effort. This is a significant body of work and a must-hear for any music fan human being with emotions.
¡MAYDAY! & MURS - ¡MursDay!
A respected underground veteran (MURS) links up with the most successful indie label in the game (Strange Music) and one of hip-hop's most talented live ensembles (¡MAYDAY!). The result is a colorful and wild, yet well-constructed album that makes for one hell of a listen.
Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]
Mick is being touted as one of the brightest young emcees in the game and, with the power of The Water[s], it's not hard to see why. Drink more water!
Run the Jewels - RTJ2
Naturally, El-P and Killer Mike's sequel to one of the best albums of 2013 is one of the best albums of 2014.
Rapsody- Beauty & The Beast EP
When Jamla poster child Rapsody unleashes the beast it is a beautiful thing. No need to hide. Press play.
Skyzoo x Torae - Barrel Brothers
Indie stalwarts and Booth favorites Skyzoo and Torae come together to create a hard-hitting joint LP that will make any rap nerd jump for joy.
Step Brothers - Lord Steppington
The name "Step Brothers" might be new to you, but Alchemist and Evidence should be familiar faces to any self-respecting hip-hop head. Here, the two industry vets combine to form Lord Steppington. Hip-hop, ladies and gentlemen!