The hottest beats is a misnomer for this list of 20 productions that shaped the commercial sound of hip-hop culture in 2014.  Of all the thousands of tracks produced each year under the umbrella of hip-hop, we could only honor a select few as standing above the crowd.

Everybody with a laptop these days seems to be calling themselves a beat-maker or producer, but it takes a superproducer to really shape the sound of the culture. It is with great pleasure we present the Hottest 20 Instrumentals of 2014. This list was the result of much negotiation and a conscientious and healthy debate within the ranks of HotNewHipHop, but we are confident that the best are represented. On the list are plenty of familiar names and producers, these are the dudes who created a beat that often transcended the song itself, tumbling into freestyles from certified stars to upcoming cats, everyone had to try their hand at it. Salute to the winners on crafting audible masterpieces, and thanks for moving the culture closer to the moon and beyond the limitations of yesteryear.