14 Best Mixtapes of 2014

The best things in life are free.

The best things in life are free.

Or so the saying goes. It's also the core concept behind the mixtape, best known as a cornerstone of the hip hop genre. It launches titans – think Kendrick, think Drake, think Wayne – and in the internet age, the tradition has blossomed into a breeding ground for talent across many genre lines. We listen to these all the time, all year long, and here are our 14 favorites of the last twelve months:

01 Suki Girlz: Suki Girlz [DL]

02 Jon Connor: The Late Registration of a College Dropout Who Had a Dark Twisted Fantasy of 808s and Heartbreak

03 Dean Blunt: Skin Fade [DL]

04 Vince Staples: Shyne Coldchain II

05 Lotic: Damsel In Distress [DL]

06 Mick Jenkins: The Water[s]

07 Jeremih: N.O.M.A.

08 Mac Miller: Faces

09 De La Soul: Smell the Da.I.S.Y. [DL]

10 Migos: No Label II

11 Rome Fortune: Small VVorld

12 King Louie: Tony

13 Childish Gambno: STN MTN

14 Lil B: Hoop Life