While the mainstream is charting on Billboard and getting the club to go up (maybe even on a Tuesday?), your favorite indie emcee is busy creating some dope music for the sake of dope music. No ego's, no charts, no club hits, just pure, unfiltered rap music. The mainstream is all well and good, but this is where hip-hop lives and breathes.
And for a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
Best Hip Hop Record (Unsigned/Independent)
Childish Gambino “The Worst Guys ft. Chance The Rapper”
The song may be entitled "The Worst Guys," but these guys are two of the best, most creative artists around, and when they get together, the result is undeniable.
Rapsody “Hard to Choose”
Hands down one of the most compelling efforts of the year. Rapsody is honest and authentic and the 9th Wonder produced beat is the stuff hip-hop heads dream about.
¡MAYDAY! x MURS “Here”
That chorus! If you needed some extra motivation to make it through your day job this year, this was the song.
Black Milk “Gold Piece ft. Bun B”
The D meets H-Town when Black Milk grabs Bun B to guest over his own sample-driven production. Flawless!
Skyzoo & Torae “Blue Yankee Fitted”
Nothing is more hip-hop than a Yankee cap. Well, there is one thing, Skyzoo & Torae rapping about a Yankee cap.
Tech N9ne “Fragile ft. Kendrick Lamar, ¡MAYDAY! & Kendall Morgan”
Two emcees (Kendrick and Tech) known for obliterating other emcees going head to head? Yes please! They may be "fragile" when it comes to criticism, but lucky for them, nobody can knock this potent number.
Chance the Rapper & Social Experiment “Wonderful Everyday: Arthur"
Hip-hop and an aardvark from a children's series don't exactly go hand and hand, but with Chance The Rapper at the helm, anything is possible.
Locksmith “Hardest Song Ever ft. Leah Tysse”
Going hard usually means "banger," but here Locksmith tackles an issue that has been hard for him to deal with his whole life. You won't hear a more striking, honest, and emotional effort all year.
Run the Jewels “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F*ck) ft. Zack De La Rocha”
Run The Jewels make epic, hit you in the mouth hip-hop and with Zack De La Rocha guesting on this RTJ2 standout, you might just get knocked the f**k out.