malbin’s Top 30 Albums & Mixtapes of 2014

20. Rick Ross – Mastermind

mastermind deluxe

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2014 was a slow year for MMG outside of two albums from Rick Ross. Both Stalley & Omarion released their debut albums on the imprint, but Rozay’s first release of the year, Mastermind, stole the show. Mastermind is arguably the pinnacle of Rozay’s career, as he flourishes throughout the album. Whether it is him rapping over a Scott Storch beat with background vocals from Keith Sweat on ‘Supreme’ or squashing beef with Jeezy on the tenacious ‘War Ready’, the MMG ringleader is in the best form of his career rapping over some of the crispiest beats in recent memory. If Wingstop’s lemon pepper wings could be transformed into audio form, they’d sound like Mastermind.

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19. Theophilus London – Vibes


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Theophilus London‘s overall aesthetic has always seemed to overshadow his musical output, but in 2014 he got both on the same page with his Vibes album. The album was executive produced by Kanye West, which I am sure helped, but Theo really constructed his first all-around cohesive project. The electronic, dance heavy album feels like something you could listen to for the next 20 years and it won’t sound dated in any capacity. The no-brainer standout of the project is the Kanye-assisted single ‘Can’t Stop’, which sounds like vintage ‘Ye & a newly improved Theo. Hopefully, the two continue to work in the future in any artistic field.