Best and Worst Hip-Hop Moments of 2014
2014 is coming to a close and the year in hip-hop did not disappoint. Rappers gave us plenty of hits (and misses), from Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s extravagant dream wedding to Bobby Shmurda’s famous Shmoney Dance. Drake broke new ground by hosting the ESPY awards, OutKast reunited to mixed results and if that wasn’t enough, Nas celebrated the anniversary of his seminal release ‘Illmatic.’ There are so many memories — good and bad — to look back on when it comes to some of your favorite rappers. Check out the Best and Worst Hip-Hop Moments of 2014.
Best: Kanye West Marries Kim Kardashian
The wedding of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian wasn’t just hip-hop’s most extravagant affair in 2014, but it was the biggest celebrity wedding of the year. The rapper wed his lady love in Florence, Italy, in a celeb-studded event that included guests such as Rick Rubin, LaLa Anthony, Q-Tip, Big Sean, Tyga and Jaden Smith. John Legend sang ‘All of Me’ and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli also performed for the newlyweds.
An eyewitness said that the usually confident Kanye was nervous. “It was funny how nervous he was,” said the source. “He clearly knew the gravity of what he was about to do. This morning he was all smiles, but as it got closer, you could see that the nerves were kicking in. It’s common for most grooms. I’ve seen it all before.”
Before walking down the aisle, Kimye got guests in the lovey dovey mood with a lavish rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles in Paris. Kim’s favorite singer, Lana Del Rey, serenaded lucky guests with a three-song medley, including ‘Summertime Sadness.’
Worst: Christ Bearer Cuts Off His Penis
Police found the Los Angeles-based rapper lying on the sidewalk near his apartment building, where he was critically injured. Christ Bearer, who was initially discovered by RZA years ago and released the track ‘OOOH!’ this year, was rushed to the hospital. He survived but apparently doctors were unable to reattach his penis.
Best: Drake Hosts 2014 ESPYS
He’s a rapper, a singer, an actor and a pretty good award show host too. Drake showed off his multiple talents by hosting the 2014 ESPYS by commanding the stage with his boyish charm, humor and musical skills.
Fans loved his silly take on sports, Skylar Diggins — his crush — and groupies. He even created special tracks like ‘Side Pieces’ and ‘Honorable Mention’ for the occasion. Plus, he and Chris Brown buried their beef by starring in a skit together.
After the ESPYS, could other award shows be in Drake’s future? We hope so.
Worst: Migos and Chief Keef Have Beef
Trouble had been brewing between the camps, but in November, the conflict seems to have escalated when Migos performed at a Washington, D.C. club and ended up in a brawl with Chicago’s GBE. Quavo, a member of Migos, allegedly had his chain stolen and the jewelry somehow ended up in the hands of Chief Keef.
Later, Migos member Offset defiantly told Billboard: “Nothing’s going on. That’s it. F— ‘em. F— ‘em, f— ‘em, f— ‘em, like OG Maco said [on ‘F—EMX3′]. F— ‘em.”
Best: OutKast Reunites
It was the reunion hip-hop heads have waited for since 2006. In 2014, OutkKast reunited after a lengthy hiatus. Twenty years since their debut album, ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,’ Andre 3000 and Big Boi promised to bring back the ATLien love.
The duo took to the road for a string of high-profile gigs including Coachella, but fans were less-than-thrilled initially. Later performances proved better, reminding us that sometimes it takes a few rough spots to perfect a good thing.
Best: A$AP Rocky Blasts Hood by Air and Been Trill
A$AP Rocky is a fashion killa — literally. After rocking designer threads by Hood by Air and Been Trill, the Harlem, N.Y.-bred rapper blasted the clothing lines in his new song, ‘Multiply.’ “I ain’t really f—in’ with that Been Trill, swear s— is booty like ‘Tip Drill’ / Nah I ain’t really into throwin’ shots, but these motherf—ers better gimmie my props,” he raps.
The track’s accompanying video finds the A$AP mob leader standing in a room with the Been Trill logo covered in a “no” symbol. Been Trill quickly responded by creating a shirt acknowledging Rocky’s shot. The shirt was emblazoned with the words “Multiply Dis.”
Best: Kendrick Lamar Performs on ‘Saturday Night Live’
‘Saturday Night Live’ has always been a prestigious gig and in 2014, Kendrick Lamar blessed the late-night stage, giving hip-hop heads even more of a reason to stay glued to the TV screen on a weekend. K. Dot performed a high-energy version of his new song ‘i,’ sporting a dreadlocked hairstyle and colored contacts inspired by Method Man. He then followed up with the track ‘Pay for It’ with his fellow TDE collaborator Jay Rock.
Worst: DJ E-Z Rock Dies
“It takes two to make a thing go right,” those words still resonate more than 25 years after Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock released ‘It Takes Two’ in 1988, making the song a favorite amongst hip-hop fans. Sadly, DJ E-Z Rock died suddenly in April at the age of 46.
The pair’s knack for crafting party jams helped push ‘It Takes Two’ to become a nationwide hit and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Songs chart upon its release. Their follow-up single, ‘Joy and Pain,’ and ‘Get on the Dance Floor’ were both dance hits as well. Their debut album, also titled ‘It Takes Two,’ went seven-times platinum.
R.I.P. DJ E-Z Rock. Thank you for the gifting the hip-hop world with tracks that continue to get a party started.
Best: Nas Releases ‘Time Is llmatic’ Documentary
The film explores the MC’s musical roots through the narrative of his father, jazz musician Olu Dara. ‘Time Is Illmatic,’ created by journalist Erik Parker and director One 9, captures the making of ‘Illmatic’ including commentary from Nas’ brother Jungle, as well as Q-Tip and Dr. Cornel West, among others.
Other hip-hop history in the flick includes Large Professor detailing how he first heard a young Nas and realizing he was a “dream come true” and producer Pete Rock’s memory of singing the hook to ‘The World Is Yours.’
Worst: Shmoney Dance Rip-Offs Emerge
When you wanted to turn up in 2014, chances are that you did so while showcasing your moves to Bobby Shmurda‘s Shmoney Dance at least once. The goofball movement accompanying ‘Hot N—-‘ was done by everyone including Rihanna and Beyonce, but it’s the random versions like a U.S. soldier overseas and the Junior PGA golf champs that are burned into our minds forever.