It’s snowing here on the east coast and I couldn’t think of anything better for this Tuesday. Basically, I thought the snow scene in this video was dope back in the day. It also helps that this is the lead single off of iLLmatic. Nothing more to be said. This week’s Re-Release is Nas’s “It Ain’t Hard To Tell“.
“Often cited as one of the best hip-hop albums of the ’90s, Illmatic is the undisputed classic upon which Nas’ reputation rests. It helped spearhead the artistic renaissance of New York hip-hop in the post-Chronic era, leading a return to street aesthetics. Yet even if Illmatic marks the beginning of a shift away from Native Tongues-inspired alternative rap, it’s strongly rooted in that sensibility. For one, Nas employs some of the most sophisticated jazz-rap producers around: Q-Tip, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Large Professor, who underpin their intricate loops with appropriately tough beats… ” – Allmusic.com
Man, listen. Shaolin was rocking around this time. NYC (and maybe the rest of the world) couldn’t get enough. When I first heard this track I was beyond amped. The beat was hot, his flow was on point. I was so hyped that I bought the album…insert MISTAKE here. Sh*t was trash. Sorry. This track though? Dope! Kind of silly now that you listen to the lyrics. Lol! Nevertheless, this was hot for it’s time. This week’s Re-Release is King Just’s “Warrior’s Drum“.
“Another of the new crop of Staten Island (aka Shaolin), New York, USA, rappers, whose appropriation of the ‘Shaolin’ martial arts ethos saw him compared to neighbours the Wu-Tang Clan. He made his debut with the ‘Warrior’s Drum’ 12-inch, which became a huge underground hit in 1994. Backed by his crew/gang, Blackfist (also the title of his label, operated through Select), it was competent hardcore but seemed somewhat unoriginal in the context.” – Allmusic.com
Without a doubt synonymous with the cult-classic film FRIDAY, THIS BECAME THAT ANTHEM. I heard it the week before the movie came out and thought it was kind of weak. Then I saw the movie that FRIDAY (wink, corny I know) and I’ve loved the record since then. It is just a perfect soundtrack record. Has almost nothing to do with the plot of the movie. I just love the movie FRIDAYand everything associated with it….WHO DOESN’T? Think I’ll go buy the soundtrack now. Lol! This week’s Re-Release is Dr. Dre’s “Keep Their Heads Ringing“.
I’m playing this record as I type. I loved it the day I heard it. UGK are legends in the rap game. From the Outkast feature to the Willie Hutch “I Choose You” sample, it’s hard to hate on this one. This week’s Re-Release is UGK feat. Outkast “Int’l Player’s Anthem“.
There are a lot of people who don’t want to hear these types of rap records anymore. They look at the subject matter as old and tired, but this struggle continues. This world still exist. You’re not supposed to be entertained by it. You are supposed to feel it. That’s what made this record so dope. Whether you were aware or not, the struggle was real. Classic. This week’s Re-Release is Mc Eiht’s “Streiht Up Menace“.
“Veteran West Coast gangsta rapper MC Eiht dedicated much of his life to rap, beginning his seminal career with Compton’s Most Wanted (CMW) while only a teenager. Despite his youth, Eiht‘s contributions helped catapult CMWto national fame in 1990 with It’s a Compton Thang. The group followed the lead of fellow Compton gangsta rappers N.W.A, but were a bit less controversial and, in turn, much less popular. CMW released two more albums – Straight Checkn ‘Em (1991) and Music to Driveby (1992) — beforeEiht began his solo career in 1993 with the group’s producer, DJ Slip, in tow and “Steiht Up Menace” as his solo debut single. His debut solo album, We Come Strapped, topped Billboard’s R&B album chart a year later. Eiht‘s sales numbers unfortunately went downhill from there, though he retained a cult audience over the years and remained loyal to longtime affiliates Slip and Mack 10.“ - Allmusic.com
What can I really say. This track is a classic. More so for the beat but the Clipse give the track that extra grit. A hard record that banged in the club, hearing this song makes me nostalgic. Dope debut album too. Would you say that it is a classic? Idk. But this? This song is in the record books for sure. This week’s Re-Release is Clipse “Grindin“.
“Rap and drugs. The somewhat unholy marriage is now decades deep. Not surprisingly, the conjunction has produced some dynamic musical results that have been readily smoked, ingested, and snorted by the mainstream music listening public. Back in the late ’80s, Ice-T was one of the first rappers to blur the lines between the rap world and the underworld. On his single “I’m Your Pusher,” which tastefully sampled Curtis Mayfield‘s “Pusherman,” Ice-T compared his whole album (Power, 1988) to drug weight, proposing that his music would be something rap fans would fiend for the same way a smoker fiends for nicotine. In the early part of the 21st century, after the Virginia-based production team the Neptunes‘ had splashed their electro-synth beats everywhere, from songs with hardcore rapper N.O.R.E. to pop sensation Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams and partner Chad Hugo created their own label, Star Trak. The first act signed to the Star Trak label was a pair of Neptunes cohorts known as the Clipse, a sibling duo of highly skilled VA transplants (by way of the Bronx) with some obvious nefarious connections to the world of drug hustling…“ - Allmusic.com
I like the song Drake did. I’m saying. It would have been corny for him to try and redo it from a rap perspective. It was it’s own song and it brings to light a classic Wu-Tang track. I loved this song the minute I heard it. Dope beat. Typical Wu slang. Plus it dropped during the summer. You know how we love our Summer Anthems. This week’s Re-Release is Wu-Tang Clan’s “It’s Yourz“.
“By the time the Wu-Tang Clan finished their first round of solo projects and reconvened for their second album as a group, the double-disc album had become the hip-hop fad of the moment. So why not give it a shot? With a main crew of nine MCs (plus new protégé Cappadonna), the Wu wouldn’t have to depend heavily on guest appearances to flesh out two whole discs of material, as Biggie and 2Pac had. While the result, Wu-Tang Forever, is frequently brilliant, it’s also sprawling and unfocused, losing its handle on the carefully controlled chaos of Enter the Wu-Tang. On the one hand, there’s more social consciousness on Wu-Tang Forever, taking hard looks at ghetto life while finding pathos and offering encouragement and uplift (“A Better Tomorrow,” “Impossible”). On the other hand, you also get some of the group’s most explicit sex raps yet (“Maria,” “The Projects,” the utterly bizarre ODB solo track “Dog Shit”). In other words, the group is starting to go off in more individual directions here, making it harder to maintain an overall focus….“ - Allmusic.com