The year in rap 2014 is ending on a sour note. Bobby Shmurda is falling as quickly as he rose, and the issue of race has become the center of attention, with Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea looking across the divide from opposing sides. One thing has remained constant, though: bars. They're what makes this artform so special. We rap along on our way to school and work. Their words inspire us at the gym, and cause us to lose our minds at the party.

What 2014 hip-hop lacked in a plethora of great albums, it made up for in great songs. Drake stunted, Lil Wayne made a triumphant return, Kanye took us to church, Nicki went off, Jay Electronica keeps teasing us, and Vince Staples is making us pay attention. With America in social turmoil, the narrative rap brings to the table has played an important role. This genre is able to make us forget about the world's ills while at the same time giving a voice to the voiceless. We're able to party to the Rich Gang tape at night and then escape Earth with Run the Jewels as our trusty spaceship pilots. It's been the year of the Internet, with mixtapes, free albums, and loosies dominating the conversation. Check out the 14 Best Verses of 2014.