They say that albums don't matter as much anymore, that it's a singles driven game now. Really? Then why are the debates around Best Hip-Hop Album of 2014 so passionate and popular? Great albums are still cultural landmarks, which is why after thousands of votes, you have to give both Big K.R.I.T. and J. Cole some serious respect for their wins. Only in the Best of the Booth Awards will you see Cadillactica and 2014Forest Hills Drive win Albums of the Year.
Reader's Pick: Big K.R.I.T. Cadillactica
Every time Big K.R.I.T. drops a body of work, it’s like going down south to visit your country cousin for the summer. Old-school Cadillacs, soul food, blistering basslines, all the qualities that screams dirty-dirty. K.R.I.T. has a way of encompassing his roots into the essence of his music. This quality is most notable on his latest album, Cadillactica. Fan waited two years for this - that's nothing compared to the wait for Detox, but still a lengthy period of suspense. Their wait was richly rewarded, in that time frame the Mississippi artist crafted an album with plenty of intricate funk, blasting bump, and incredible lyrics that you will rewind again and again. Imagine mixtape K.R.I.T, with a major label budget, and a thought-provoking concept. Krizzle snatched the best hip-hop song of 2014, and now he can added best album to his list of growing accomplishments. The BOTB award isn’t a Grammy, but it’s a testimony to how much your fans care, and Krit fans obviously care a great deal.
Staff Pick: J. Cole 2014Forest Hills Drive
The Come Up, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights created a buzz you couldn’t ignore; it was easy to hail J. Cole as one of the best and brightest coming up after giving this trinity a listen. The problem is, Cole’s first two albums didn’t live up to the potential that his previous work showed. They were good, but failed to touch us beyond the surface. He seemed lost between being creative and pleasing the labels expectations. It wasn’t until his third album, the recently released 2014 Forest Hill Drive that he truly showcased what originally stole the hearts and ears of his listeners. An honest voice, that’s sincere and candid, while being able to deliver lyrical miracles over impeccable production. He crafted this album in secret, revealing it in December, but the music’s quality trumped everything else we heard in the year. It was a well-orchestrated sneak-attack that took Cole off the silent sidelines back into the glowing limelight.
Congrats to Big K.R.I.T. and Cole, two artists who are both continuing to push the boundaries of what music released on a major label sounds like. And for the complete list of award winners, hit that link below: