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Top 10 Rap Albums for January 2014


New albums from OC, Step Brothers and Smif-N-Wessun ensure a busy kickoff to the new year. Here are 10 new hip-hop albums worth checking out this month.

10. Leikeli47 - 'LK47 Part II'


New York rapper Leikeli47 is back with the second installment of her LK-47 series. The 15-song project is also co-produced with District 9 and DammoTHEGREAT, and boasts more of the versatile and inspired charm of the first mix. Remember her name.

Release Date: Jan. 9

9. French Montana Presents: 'Coke Boys 4'


It was the Coke Boys mixtapes that made industry bigwigs pay attention to French Montana. The Moroccan rhyme slinger hasn't forgotten his roots. Coke Boys 4 teams French and co with Meek Mill and Jadakiss on the mic, as well as Harry Fraud, Cool & Dre, and Young Chop on the board.

Release Date: Jan. 2

8. Kid Ink - 'My Own Lane'


My Own Lane is the debut album by L.A. rapper Kid Ink. It features a very pop-friendly sound and smooth beats. If you're into nasal flows and singsong rap tunes, then Ink might be your cup of tea.

Release Date: Jan. 7

7. Havoc - 'The Infamous Kit Vol. 2'


Many aspiring producers would pay a premium for a studio session with Mobb Deep producer Havoc. With Hav's production kits, they don't have to. For the price of a DVD, you get a windo to the mind of genius. "I'm looking forward to giving fans and up-and-coming producers a piece of that Queensbridge sound that I'm known for," says Havoc in a press release. "They'll be able to take my signature sounds and really be able to put their own spin on them."

Release Date: Jan. 15


6. A Plus & AAGEE - 'Molly's Dirty Water'


Warning: Leave your expectations at the door. This is not the A-Plus you know. One listen to Molly's Dirty Water and you'll immediately forget that man behind this project is a founding member of the Hieroglyphics crew. EDM, Glitch-hop, baby coos…no sound is off limits here. AAGEE joins in to make this a balanced yet surprising listen. 

Release Date: Jan. 14

5. Smif-N-Wessun - 'Born and Raised'


Smif-N-Wessun go the experimental route with Born and Raised, blending hip-hop with reggae. Born and Raised  is produced entirely by Beatnick & K-Salaam, with guest appearances from the likes of Junior Reid and Jr. Kelly.

Release Date: Jan. 21

4. Ray West & OC - 'Ray's Cafe Cassette'


OC of DITC fame and producer Ray West join forces on Ray's Cafe Cassette. The music nods to throwback samples and the free spirit of the 70s and 80s. Their aim? To make songs that stand the test of time. Themes run the gamut from love to loss. Not a single rhyme wasted.

Release Date: Jan. 21

3. Louis Logic - 'Look on the Blight Side'


Last time we heard from Louis Logic, he was drawing perfect circles and peddling relationship woes. Seven years later, the Brooklyn jester returns with his most ambitious volley yet, Look on the Blight Side. Logic's lyrics still turn the lens inward, but the music is far more experimental this time and makes for an engaging listen.

Release Date: Jan. 14


2. Roc Marciano - 'Marci Beaucoup'


Roc Marciano dropped Marci Beaucoup with a whisper last month, so you might have missed it. This one keeps the focus on his production rather than his potent lyrics. He leaves the rhyming to guests Action Bronson, Evidence, Ka, etc. who do their best to keep up with the beats.

Release Date: Dec. 23

1. Step Brothers - 'Lord Steppington'


Evidence and The Alchemist are Step Brothers. Together, they deliver a compelling album full of hard-hitting lyrics and the type of triumphant beats we've come to love them for.

Release Date: Jan. 21

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