Jhene Aiko’s Souled Out is a majestic, colorful and heartfelt piece delivered by the most soulful artist of 2014 . Unlike her last project, Sail Out which featured many artists, Souled Out is a separate piece of work representing Jhene Aiko as she takes listeners on a emotional journey through her past and current life experiences. The album consists of singles “To Love & Die”, “The Pressure” and “Wading” and features artists Common and Cocaine 80’s. The debut album went on to sell 70,000 copies during the first week. Unlike many artists, Jhene’s debut was original and true!
Iggy Azalea was the it girl of 2014! Iggy’s anticipated The New Classic was a solid intro for the Australian rapper. The high-energy rap/pop-fused record consist of the smash hits “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX and “Black Widow” featuring Rita Ora and collaborations with T.I., Movado and Watch The Duck. The album went on to sell 75,000 copies and even produced the rerelease Reclassified! The New Classic earned Iggy 4 Grammy nominations for Album of The Year, Rap Album of The Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration and Best New Artist at the forthcoming 57th Grammy Awards! Who dat? Who dat? I-G-G-Y!
This year Wiz Khalifa fused the rawness of the streets and the luxurious life of Hollywood to deliver his fifth studio album Blacc Hollywood. The high-energy rap album delivered bangers such as “We Dem Boyz”, “Ass Drop” and “You & Your Friends” featuring Snoop Dogg & Ty Dolla $ign and consisted of collaborations with h Ghost Loft, ScHoolboy Q, Nas,Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Curren$y, Pimp C and Jeezy. The record went on to sell 90,000 copies in it’s first week. Blacc Hollywood earned Wiz 2 Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for “We Dem Boyz”!
2014 was a rocky year for R&B singer Chris Brown! Amongst the ups and downs cam Chris Brown’s sixth studio album X. The highly anticipated album brought us “Fine China”, “Don’t Think They Know” featuring the late Aaliyah, “Love More” featuring Nicki Minaj, “Loyal” featuring Tyga, Lil Wayne and French Montana and “New Flame” featuring Rick Ross and Usher amongst many other bangers. The album featured many other artists including Trey Songz, Akon, Brandy Jhene Aiko and Kendrick Lamar. Overall, Chris Brown delivers a wide variety of tracks that explored many genres of music. The album went on to sell 146,000 copies in the first week. X earned Chris Brown 3 nominations at the forthcoming Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song/Performance for “New Flame”. Looks like 2014 was a great year for Breezy after all!
Schoolboy Q made major impact with his classic third studio album Oxymoron. The highly anticipated album delivered raw rap lyrics while exploring different aspects of the TDE rappers haunting life. The album consisted of 5 successful singles including “Studio” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, “Hell Of A Night”, “Collard Greens” featuring Kendrick Lamar and “Man Of The Year”. Collaborations also included 2 Chainz, ASAP Rocky, Jay Rock, Tyler, The Creator, Raekwan and Kurupt. Oxymoron went on to sell 139,000 copies during it’s first week and earned Schoolboy a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album at the forthcoming 57th Grammy Awards.
J. Cole surprised fans in 2014 with his third studio album 2014 Forest Hill Drive. The unexpected album was Cole’s most personal piece consisting of true music that explored every aspect of Cole’s world. Honorable tracks include “A Tale Of Two Cities”, a raw track exploring the battle inside of Cole, “Wet Dreamz” a track about losing his virginity and the self-empowering track “Love Yourz”. Although the album had no promotion, 2014 Forest Hills Drive went on to sell 371,000 copies in it’s first week! Talk about success!
Taylor Swift delivered her first official pop record with her fifth studio album 1989. The All-American girl rocked the world with the smash hits “Shake It Off” which went #1 in more than a dozen countries and “Blank Space” which made Taylor Swift the record holder for first female to succeed herself at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. 1989 broke records in it’s first week selling 1,280,000 copies making it the #1 album on the Billboard Top 200 today! If that’s not enough, “Shake It Off” earned Swift 3 Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance and Song of the Year at the forthcoming 57th Grammy Awards! Although 1989 is a thing of the past, Taylor Swift’s just beginning!
2014 was definitely a great year for Nicki Minaj! The rap diva left her mark with the highly anticipated The Pinkprint. On the album Nicki shows growth and diversity as she delivers everything a current Blueprint for female MCs should consist of. The Pinkprint spawned singles such as “Pills N Potions”, the multi-platinum “Anaconda”, the controversial “Only” featuring Drake, Chris Brown and Lil Wayen and Nicki’s very-vulnerable “Bed Of Lies” featuring Skylar Grey. Other collaborator include Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Jeremih, Meek Mill and Lunchmoney. Nicki definitely effected both pop/hip-hop culture with this record! Although the album missed the cut for the forthcoming Grammys, Nicki earned a nomination for Best Rap Song with “Anaconda”. I’m looking forward to seeing what moves Nicki Minaj makes in 2015!
Trey Songz claimed summer 2014 with his sixth studio album Trigga. This year, Trey Songz delivered the perfect combination of club turn-ups, smooth R&B and sex with hit singles such as “Na Na”, “Foreign”, “Smartphones” and “Touchin Lovin'” featuring Nicki Minaj. Other collaborators included Justin Bieber, Juicy J, Mila J and Ty Dolla $ign. Trigga went on to sell 105,000 copies in it’s first week! The album is the epitome of R&B god in 2014! Who else can do it better than Trey!?
Ariana Grande exploded this year! The pint-sized diva delivered pop-perfection with her sophomore album My Everything. Grande met international stardom when the album went #1 in over 60 countries selling 160,000 copies in the U.S. alone! This year Grande spawned four #1 Top 10 hits including “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea, “Break Free” featuring Zedd, “Bang Bang” featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj and “Love Me Harder” featuring The Weeknd. The album also includes collaborations with Big Sean, Cashmere Cat, Childish Gambino and A$AP Ferg. My Everything includes everything from upbeat pop tracks to smooth hip-hop/R&B tracks and beautiful, heartfelt ballads. Ariana grande is nominated for 2 Grammys at the 57th Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Bang Bang”.